X-Men, the first of the three X-Men movies so far, was a refreshing addition to the super hero movie genre managing to hammer together the story of the X-Men origins but not to the point where fans will get bored with all the back story.
This DVD is now available as part of the Fox Marvel Heroes box set that includes the other two X-Men movies, Daredevil, Elektra, the two Fantastic 4 films and a four cartoon disc, and a bonus disc with a digital Silver Surfer comic.
The X-Men story begins with a young Eric Lehnsherr / Magneto being dragged by guards away from his parents at a Nazi concentration camp. Whether or not the viewer has any sympathy for Magneto's message they can certainly sympathize with his reaction to the way he and his parents were treated.
This is a great action, adventure, super hero movie but it is also at the heart of it a movie about prejudice and hate. The broad strokes of the movie manage to still convey the intolerance not only of humans but also of mutants. X-Men makes it clear that the kind of hatred based on accidents of birth are not restricted to one side or the other but rather infect the minds of both sides.
The producers of the movie put together a stellar cast to portray the mythical superheroes. Song and dance man Hugh Jackman plays the anti-social, emotionally stunted Wolverine to a T. Patrick Stewart is simply flawless as Professor Xavier. Famke Janssen is perfect as the torn between two extreme men (Cyclops and Wolverine) Dr. Jean Grey. Any male who doesn't just drool when Mystique played by Rebecca Romijn Stamos is on screen is either dead or not interested in women. Anna Paquin plays the confused and desperate to be loved, uber powerful Rogue with amazing depth. The cast is rounded out by James Marsden as Cyclops, Tyler Mane as Sabretooth, Ray Park as Toad.
The plot is fairly straightforward. A congressman is trying to force all mutants to register with the government. Magneto, having experienced the process of registration by a government in the past, gathers mutants who are resistant to the idea to his side girding for battle. Professor Xavier gathers together those mutants who are interested in taking a more moderated approach to resisting the registration process. Magneto has come up with a way to force mutation on everyone and intends to use it to such an extent that registering mutants would be a waste of time but to do that he must have a great deal of power. This sets up the final conflict between Magneto and the X-Men at the Statue of Liberty in superb super hero fight.
X-Men is well worth your time.