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So, I just watched the first X-Men film again, and I think I enjoyed it a little more this time than last. I know I've previously expressed some of my thoughts on the current franchise, that I don't like it that much, that it doesn't feel right, and that I would rather see a reboot in the hands of Marvel Studios, but what do all of you think about it?
My first introduction to the X-Men (and the Marvel Universe in general) was through the show, "Wolverine and the X-Men". So, the specific X-Men team I know best, included Wolverine, Beast, Iceman, Shadowcat, Clyclops, Storm, Emma Frost (in Xavier and Jean's place), and also Professor X (leading a team in the future), Jean Grey (after recovering from a coma), Rogue (after discovering the true nature of the Brotherhood), Angel (before becoming Archangel), Nightcrawler (when escaped from Genosha), and Forge (although I didn't really get why he was there). So, it's a big lineup. Perhaps too big for a film that introduces the world to mutants, but when I compare it to the X-Men film's lineup, we have Professor X (staying out of the action, again), with Wolverine, Storm, Cyclops and Jean as the core team and Rogue and Iceman, just as supporting characters. I feel like something's missing from their team. Perhaps it's Cyclops being a little too smug and unlikeable, and then too weak. Perhaps it's too much of the sentimental side of Iceman rather than the playful side. I could continue to talk about features of characters that I didn't particularly appreciate... Or perhaps it's the general lack of Beast and other characters that to me, make the team what it is.
Even on the side of the opposition, things don't feel right in the character department, like Sabretooth's lack of lines, Toad's excessive bad-arse-ness, etc. And I know that over the course of the films, the characters were developed and more introduced. However, overall, despite there being less characters than in "Wolverine and the X-Men", there seems to be less exploration of the actual characters themselves. Ultimately, I don't mind different interpretations of characters and stories (I appreciate X-Men: Evolution), but I would like to see characters with depth. Having said all of that, I loved the interplay between McKellen's Magneto and Stewart's Xavier...
Thematically, I'm not sure about the huge emphasis on evolution without much mention of genetics at least (not that I'm against evolution- I think it may be possible, it's a theory that fits fairly neatly, but it is just that: a theory), and I would have liked to see more of the conflict between mutants and humans. Perhaps that's why I didn't like to see Kelly die so soon (and what's with him turning to water?). So, I guess what I'm trying to say is, show me more of the effects on society due to mutation, rather than ongoing mentions of it's origins, when even they're not entirely sure about them.
Visually, all of the actors look right for their parts, but I'm not a huge fan of the all-black suits, and I don't know how seriously a lot of the general public can take Wolverine when he's wearing "yellow spandex". The visual effects aren't brilliant, but it was made in 2000, and I'm biased by my 2011-special-effects-vision (special effects have come a long way in a short time). The orchestral score (composed by Michael Kamen) doesn't blow me away, but it does effectively convey emotions from the film...
I really can't fully put my finger on why the film doesn't feel right, but I would like to see a different cinematic interpretation. First Class did a little bit of that, but was too tied to the original trilogy, and so still had that strange feeling that wasn't right. But anyway, those are my thoughts on the "X-Men" film (as much as I can convert from this weird feeling to words) and its companions. What are your opinions on the franchise?
But what is the future for X-Men films? The most likely options at the moment are a sequel to Wolverine's Origin film, a Deadpool spin-off, or a sequel to First Class. I can't really see a sequel to the Last Stand happening, but you never know... Anyway, if none of these come out, after a while, we'll see the rights revert back to Marvel Studios, and we may see their attempt at an in-universe X-Men series. What would you guys like to see? And if you were direct your own trilogy or quadrilogy, which villains and themes would you like to see?