X-Men was one of the first ever superhero movies to really knock it out of the park, so to speak. It follows the story of Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), a mutant with animal like abilities, as he is recruited by a group of fellow mutants that each have their own set of superhuman abilities. They all fear that bad guy Magneto (Ian McKellen) is about to bring an all out war that could threaten the existence of mankind as well as Wolverine's young mutant companion, Rogue (Anna Paquin).
X-Men still manages to hold up against the modern superhero films. X-Men was one of the first real game changing superhero movie to hit cinemas (game changing as in having many heroes to root for) and from then on out they got bigger and were released more frequently. Sure there were others that came out prior to X-Men's release, but none of them have held their ground with the modern audience as much as this film, or its sequels, have. In fact, X-Men still manages to slot in as one of the better superhero films that we've ever received.
The film takes a ballsy decision to not show the origins of these characters. With practically all superhero movies we always begin with how these heroes evolved into the heroes we know them for, but with X-Men this isn't the case. The film begins a few years into the future and all of these mutants are already mutants. There's no backstory and no unfortunate event that takes place that makes us care about them and feel for them as their journey takes a perilous turn. Instead we catch them up to date in the modern world and as we progress through the film we learn more about them and begin to care for them.
Hugh Jackman is Wolverine. Before making this film, the Aussie actor Hugh Jackman hadn't really caught the eye of most of the general public. After this movie his career was skyrocketed to what we know now. His large, masculine physique is perfect for the look Wolverine and his performance proves he's got it all. I couldn't imagine an actor that's more suited for a role that Hugh Jackman and Wolverine. The two are practically one of a kind and a recast is dreaded among comic book fans and Marvel movie fans alike. There literally is not a more perfect choice for this character.
Bryan Singer gives his famously polished direction. Singer, who also helped with the writing process of the movie, was able to use his brilliant directing skills to finally bring the X-Men universe to the big screen. With a fast paced, action packed and occasionally witty screenplay, Singer morphed it into a sleek action/adventure movie that's engaging, original and just entertaining.
To sum up, X-Men is a classic superhero movie that still holds up fine against modern superhero movies. The film takes many risks, but it all pays off with polished direction, a fast pace, plenty of action and an emotional and witty screenplay.