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  20th Century Fox  
  Patrick Stewart  
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Well, I've seen this movie twice now, and I've thoroughly enjoyed it both times. It's a fast-paced action flick based on the Marvel comic legend, X-Men. I've never been a comic book following kind of guy (which is remarkable considering who my best friend in high school was, I mean you figure some of Matt's enthusiasm would have rubbed off on me, but there you go), but even if you had never head of the X-Men at all (which I have, at least enough to have the basic idea of the "universe" in mind) you would still enjoy this movie, I feel.

I've got to tell you, even from the very beginning, this movie showed promise. There are no before-the-title credits. That means there are no actors who insisted that their name appear before the title of the movie at the beginning. So, right away, you know this is not a movie whose purpose is designed to "showcase" any particular actor. Instead, you've got a bunch of people who are working together to pull off an action picture, and that's what they succeeded in doing.

I felt that the movie had just enough exposition to balance out the action. It doesn't try to explain everything, but it does give a good job of giving enough detail so that the action of the characters have some context in which to exist. You're never bewildered at any particular behavior. The pace keeps going fast enough to make the use of the special effects justified. It was well put together.

The whole premise of the movie, that which makes it work more than your basic martial-arts action style flick, is the nice triangle of antagonists. There are the regular people, then there are the two kinds of mutants that the regular people fear and hate (and don't bother to differentiate between), the kind that are ready to strike preemptively at the people whom they can already see in their minds' eyes as coming after them with torches and pitchforks, and the kind that feel sympathy for regular people and want to protect them from the first kind of mutants. While the regular people contingent is rarely felt on-screen except in a "congressional hearing" scene in the front (the only scene in the movie that I felt didn't really play well), they can always be felt just off screen, their lurking presence driving the actions of all the people we see on screen. It's that which drives this movie and which gives it just enough (dare I say it?) depth.

Some people say the whole Magneto-as-Malcolm-X/Professor Xavier-as-Martin-Luther-King device was overdone, but I felt that it was almost inevitable, and had that device been dropped, then the loyal comic book fans would really have had something to complain about. As it happens, I am hearing good things from people who were familiar with the comic who have seen the movie.

Anyway, go see this. You're going to have a good time.

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