X Men

Stars: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Famke Janssen, Halle Berry

A movie based on Marvel comic book superheroes doesn’t get much better than X-Men. It’s intelligent, snappy, has wonderfully unique characters, very good dialogue and cool effects. And it all gets put together in a brisk 95-minutes. This is fun time in the summertime!

The story revolves around two groups of mutants, one lead by the diabolical Magneto (Ian McKellen), who’s convinced there is soon to be a war between mutants and humans and the other group lead by a super-intellectual Professor named Charles Francis Xavier (Patrick Stewart) who believes there is hope for all to exist peacefully.

Xavier runs a school for gifted children which is really a proving ground where young mutants are trained to control their unusual powers. Xavier himself has formidable psychic skills as he matches wits and power with Magneto, a.k.a. Erik Lehnsherr, who is able to control all kinds of magnetic fields. Aligning themselves with Magneto are the behemouth Sabretooth (Tyler Mane, a former professional wrestler), Toad (Ray Park) who is very adept at tongue lashing with his 15-footer and Mystique, the blue-lizard shape-shifter (model Rebecca Romijn-Stamos).

Xavier’s right hand men/women are telekinetic Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), a weather-manufacturer called Storm (Halle Berry) and Cyclops (James Marsden) who wears a visor to protect the world from his laser-beam vision. They are soon joined by Wolverine (the very impressive Australian actor Hugh Jackman) who has steel claws shooting out of his hands and Rogue (Anna Paquin) who’s capable of sucking out people’s life force by anyone merely touching her skin.

The human race is largely afraid of mutants and is debating having them register their wherabouts and skills, much as if they were sex offenders. Magneto is readying a way to tip the balance is his favor with a super weapon feeding off of his energy. Rogue becomes the pawn in this powerful chess match between Magneto and Xavier and Wolverine and the other “X-Men” must come to the rescue.

It all sounds a bit hokey, I know. But, this is the least-hokey film of this genre that I’ve ever seen. It oozes smartness and I applaud director Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects) and screenwriter David Hayter for elevating X-Men to top-quality entertainment.

Lotta says X-Men is super fun all the way.