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ACTION-ADVENTURE: X-Men (2000)

X-Men (USA, 2000)
Directed by Bryan Singer
Starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry

In my now-archaic review of The Usual Suspects, I postulated that all Bryan Singer films have a confused sense of identity; they "attempt to marry several conflicting elements while never quite deciding what they want to be." Superman Returns can't decide whether it wants to directly follow the campy tone of the early Christopher Reeve films or be a more emo, Smallville-esque story; Valkyrie flits between a serious drama about betrayal and an old-school B-movie about blowing up Hitler; and even his best-known work can't make up its mind whether it wants to focus on the characters or the ornate mechanics of the heist genre in which they find themselves.
The X-Men films have always been at least a partial exception to this rule. Coming after the disappointment of Apt Pupil, this first film in the now-burgeoning franchise finds Singer with very clear in…

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