WHAT IS IT?
It's the first in the very successful series of X-Men movies from Fox. X-Men was released in summer 2000 and starred Hugh Jackman (in his breakthrough role) as Wolverine/Logan, along with acting stalwarts Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen. The movie introduced cinema audiences to Marvel Comics' mutant outcasts the X-Men and depicted the rising conflict between mutants and non-mutants. X-Men was a big success at the box office, taking over $296 million from a budget of $75 million. The film helped to pave the way forward for the rise in comic-book movies from the 00s onwards. X-Men was followed by X2: X-Men United (2003), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) and X-Men: First Class (2011).
WHAT WAS GOOD?
With its clever story, which mixed hatred and bigotry with big budget effects, X-Men quickly transcended the confines of traditional comic-book movie fluff when it was released in 2000. As an allegory for race relations X-Men proved to audiences that there was a whole lot more to comic-book movies than daft costumes and camp heroics.... and rightly so!
Particular highlights included Hugh Jackman's scene stealing role as Wolverine - the mysterious mutant with a severe case of amnesia - Rebecca Romijn-Stamos' sultry Mystique and pretty much every scene with Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen.
WHAT WAS BAD?
Erm... pretty much every scene with Halle Berry's Storm. Especially that weird-ass accent she used (what country was she supposed to be from?).
The other big problem with X-Men was it's inability to comfortably balance all of the major players. Whilst Wolverine and Rogue were given large chunks of screen time, popular characters such as Cyclops, Jean Grey and Sabretooth were left languishing in the background.
Oh and Toad was a bit shit too.
However, forgetting all that and swiftly moving back to the good stuff...
Director Bryan Singer presented a fantastic little movie with X-Men that perfectly launched the X-series, made Magneto a bad ass and cemented Hugh Jackman's career in Hollywood. A career that was almost given to someone else instead!