Dynamic, bold and (for the most part) faithful to the comic origin!


Film Review © 2014 by Trip Reynolds

Action/Drama/Science Fiction/Comicbook Superhero

Directed by Bryan Singer; Screenplay by Simon Kinberg; Story by Jane Goldman, Simon Kinberg, and Matthew Vaughn.

Starring: Hugh Jackman (as Wolverine), James McAvoy (as young Professor Charles Xavier), Michael Fassbender (as young Magneto, Erik Lehnsherr); Jennifer Lawrence (as Raven / Mystique), Halle Berry (as Storm); Nicholas Hoult (as Hank / Beast), Anna Paquin (as Rogue), Ellen Page (as Kitty Pryde); Peter Dinklage (as Dr. Bolivar Trask), Shawn Ashmore (as Bobby / Iceman); Omar Sy (as Bishop), Evan Peters (as Peter / Quicksilver), Josh Helman (as Maj. Bill Stryker); Daniel Cudmore (as Colossus), Bingbing Fan (as Blink); Adan Canto (as Sunspot), Booboo Stewart (as Warpath), Ian McKellen (as Magneto); Patrick Stewart (as Professer Charles Xavier), Lucas Till (as Havok); Evan Jonigkeit (as Toad), Mark Camacho (as President Nixon), Michael Lerner (as Senator Brickman); Chris Claremont (as Congressman Parker), Len Wein (as Congressman Davis); Famke Janssen (Jean Grey), James Marsden (Scott Summers), Brian Cox (William Stryker), Kelsey Grammer (Hank McCoy / Beast), and dozens of supporting cast members.

Stan Lee must be happy. He used his vivid imagination to create thousands of characters, all with "powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men" and women, and now he sees his creations come to vivid life and in full glory on the motion picture screen, DVDs, BlueRay, etc. Unfortunately, as "executive producer," which only functions as an honorary title, Lee doesn't get paid any film royalties on all of these Marvel Universe films. Bummer for Lee. Yes, I know the aforementioned "tag-line" is from the opening of the "The Adventures of Superman" but it perfectly fits Stan Lee.

This time out, the X-Men of our "future" timeline must venture way back into their "past" timeline to save life as we know it. Got it? One of the great things about this film is that it combines two excellent variations of the same team of X-men, the "past" cast from the film "X-Men: First Class" and the present cast from all other X-Men films. Together our teams of X-Men must try to prevent a cataclysmic event that will ultimately result in the destruction of both mutants and humans. As usual, the background story for this film is derived from the comic book. If you'd like to know more, click here. Frankly, the "old" team is worthy of a film franchise built around them. Look at it this way, think "Star Trek: The Original Series," for Patrick Stewart's established group of X-Men and "Star Trek: The Next Generation," for James McAvoy's burgeoning group of X-Men. Stay tuned.

Without a doubt, the most important aspect of this and other X-Men films is the solid acting by all cast members. The acting is consistently exceptional, with each actor bringing "life" to their character. We take the storyline seriously because the actors take the storyline seriously. In this regard, it's easy to acknowledge Jackman, Stewart, McAvoy, Fassbender, and McKellen, but the supporting cast, especially Jennifer Lawrence, are equally talented. The action, as engineered via special effects, is exceptional. However, director Singer and the screenplay should have given more attention to actually introduce characters who have never been seen before, and in particular, to establish the extent of their mutant abilities. Not everyone reads comics, and those who do might not read the X-Men. So, failure to introduce Bishop, Quicksilver, Sunspot, Warpath and other characters at the beginning of the film leaves a vacuum. Who are they? What exactly are their mutant abilities, their powers? Must we go online to the Marvel Universe Wiki to find out who's who, and what's what?

The next film, "X-Men: Apocalypse" is scheduled for release in 2016. So, director Bryan Singer, will we ever see Storm, Colossus, and Cyclops demonstrate the full scope and power of their mutant abilties?

Film is directed capably by Bryan Singer. As expected, special effects and technical aspects were solid. Film is very eventful with a brisk running length of 131 minutes. If you haven't seen any of the X-Men films, you can easily correct this mistake by buying them (via retail, online, etc.) ASAP.

Recommendation: See it. Buy the BlueRay/DVD and file it with your collection of other X-Men movies.