X-Men | Chicago Reader

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After an opening sequence set in World War II Europe, this 2000 SF action adventure and allegory about the danger and irrationality of racism moves to a congressional witch-hunt in the U.S. sometime in the 21st century. The main characters, mutant superheroes introduced in 1963 by Marvel Comics, are shape-shifters, cyborgs, and telekineticists; they may have been dreamed up without the use of computer-generated imagery, but their behavior certainly lends itself to the technology. An idealistic mutant (Patrick Stewart) and a cynical one (Ian McKellen) compete for the support of other mutants, including a loner who sprouts lethal metal claws when angered or threatened and a teenager whose power is also a curse—she drains other people's energy merely by touching them. Exciting mainly because anything can happen and does, the movie drags a bit as it approaches a climax set on top of the Statue of Liberty. But once there it revives, in part because the sequence perfectly combines the tongue-in-cheek, the earnest, and the righteous. Bryan Singer directed a screenplay by David Hayter; with Anna Paquin and Hugh Jackman. 96 min.

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