‘X-Men Trilogy’

Katie Presley

I’m generally not an enormous fan of the action movie, but I make exceptions. Each one of the X-Men movies is an ENORMOUS exception. I got the trilogy for Christmas last year as a “we’re-about-to-break-up” gift, and that still didn’t ruin them for me. I’m still obsessed.

Granted, much of this obsession is fueled by Jean Grey (Famke Janssen). I have loved her since childhood, when I watched the X-Men cartoons. Mostly I like that she’s the most powerful mutant in any of the movies, but they still bother to name the movies after men. Anyway. Jean’s is the most exciting story of the mutants, as she grows (mutates?) from an unsure psychic to the terrifying Phoenix, who disintegrates things (and very important characters) with her mind. After she turns all veiny and sort of purple and fiery looking. It’s freaking awesome.

Also of note is the not-so-subtle political commentary being made in the films. Yes, they’re sweet action movies with mutants and powers and Hugh Jackman’s biceps. But they’re ALSO statements about the integration of society, and the need to accept and appreciate those among us who are wired differently. Depending on whose side you find yourself on, Magneto or Xavier (Patrick Stewart), you either want mutants to rule all and destroy pesky humans, or you want peaceful co-existence. Look for references to Magneto’s (Ian McKellen, kicking just as much ass as usual) past in a Nazi-era concentration camp. That has some influence on his political leanings and general distaste for humans, shall we say. On the main menu in the third movie, you can choose which side you’re on before you watch the movie.

I’m sticking with the X-Men because Jean’s on their side. For most of the time, anyway…
(2006)