Saturday, December 21, 2002


movie for the evening: X Men. A strange choice of film for Bryan (The Usual Suspects) Singer. Being a comic book adapation, the film achieves all its goals, but if you're waiting for something interesting to happen, think again. Strictly by-the-book and endowed with some great SFX (although Wolverine spinning about one of the spikes in the crown of Lady Liberty is clearly amateur and shows!!!), the film is also blessed by an able cast (with a notable exception, but that comes later). Hugh Jackman is his first major role is great as Wolverine. (Rogue) Anna Paquin joins him to become the two focal characters in the film. Patrick Stewart has precious little to do and Ian McKellan is underused, although both attack their roles with gusto and seriousness. The echoes of Joseph McCarthy and the HUAC in Senator Kelly's crusade against the mutants are unsettling as is the opening during the Holocaust (Magneto's childhood). But these add some real-life credibility to an otherwise alternative universe.

And now, the notable exception: Ms Halle Berry. The Storm I remember from the comics was more mature than the dumb teenager treatment that Ms Berry affords it here, along with a deluxe platinum wig. Mercifully she doesn't have too many lines and if you watch the deleted scenes on the DVD, hers is the only one that seems a justified omission. Am I prejudiced? I really don't think so. I go out on a limb for actors trying hard to like them, but she consistently disappoints and Monster's Ball is going to be crucial.

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