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The origin story of the Marvel Comics characters which, as in the original print version, struggles with the sheer number of characters. It’s a SFX-heavy titanium-shelled blockbuster that pits one team of mutants (headed by good guy Patrick Stewart) against another (bad guy Ian McKellen). Guy being the operative word – X-Men isn’t too bothered with the sexism of its source material. Take that name for starters. Men? X-Persons, surely. The men in the comic, as in this adaptation are all gutsy and have traditional masculine attributes: Professor Xavier (Stewart) has brains; Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is a hairy brute; Cyclops (James Marsden) has nuclear-level laser sight; and as for naughty Sabretooth and Toad – well you can imagine what their bedrooms are like. With the women there’s something more hormonal going on. Rogue (Anna Paquin) is so highly strung that mere men die at her touch; Storm (Halle Berry) is a moody, heaving mistral of a woman with control over the weather; and then there’s Mystique (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) – an attractive girl who goes about clad in nothing but blue paint. Which is exactly the way comic-crazed minds would demonstrate feminine mystique, you imagine. That’s what I was thinking, anyway, while waiting for the plot to get going, which it never quite did. Never mind, introductions have been made, and plot can wait for the next X-Men movie. It was nice to meet everybody.

X-Men – at Amazon

A box set of 11 X-Men movies – at Amazon

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© Steve Morrissey 2013

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