Archive for the ‘Lame Remakes’ Category

The Omen (remake)

Sunday, June 11th, 2006

omen-3.jpgWhy do people re-make movies? Sometimes it is to further explore topics in the original, or to expound on missing elements. Sometimes they re-make them to turn an abstract foreign film into something Americans can understand. Sometimes they just do it because they can. I have a sneaking suspicion that The Omen got re-made because this year boasts the only 6/6/06 until the next millennium, and somebody had to commercially exploit that fact!

Basically, the re-make was pretty much like the original as I remember it. I love Liev Schreiber. Let me just say that he is always awesome in movies, this one included. Julia Stiles was slightly less stilted and wooden than usual, and Mia Farrow was properly creepy as the nanny of Satan, although she totally doesn’t look strong enough to wield a sledgehammer, even with Lucifer’s help. The kid who played Damien has a great sullen, eye-narrowing evil look of mistrust that I’m sure he can use to irritate his parents for the rest of his life. The cast seemed great, so what was wrong with this movie?

Truthfully, I’m not sure. I enjoyed it, but the whole time I had this nagging feeling that it sucked. Maybe I’m naturally distrustful of remakes. Maybe I just thought it was kind of pointless to remake a movie when you don’t add anything to it. Maybe I wanted something less commercial and more heartfelt to usher in what was supposed to be Armageddon on that Tuesday, June 6th. I *wanted* to be scared shitless. Instead, I get the some updated info on the End of Days in the form of a PowerPoint presentation given to the Pope, complete with pictures of 9/11 (raining fire), hurricane Katrina (floods), the Challenger blowing up (star falling from the sky) etc. It wasn’t scary at all– it was just the kind of thing that every kid starts digging up in Jr. high when he starts listening to inordinate amounts of KISS and Black Sabbath.

Alas, this movie will not give me nightmares. Quite the contrary, Liev Schrieber is pretty dreamy in this as the Loving Husband and Dutiful Dad. Do you really think he would stab his own kid in the heart with a rusty metal dagger, even if the kid makes all the gorillas at the zoo freak out? I don’t, but Mr. Schreiber actually makes his sudden change of heart about the whole thing believable. I mean, with pollution, corruption, war, inequality and everything else in the world that sucks, sometimes you just want to believe that it will be a pre-ordained force beyond our control that will wipe out the earth. I wish I could have been convinced as well.Omen.jpg

Poseidon

Thursday, May 18th, 2006

That people had learned their lesson and not named a ship The Poseidon. Besides, aren’t ships supposed to be given girls’ names?

Don’t get your hopes up– this is not the made-for-TV remake of The Poseidon Adventure that starred Steve Guttenberg, Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell, and that chick who was Dr. Corday on E.R. I was really excited about that one, but alas, missed it when it aired– perhaps someday people will find it in their heart to put it out on DVD.

Poseidon is the new new remake of The Poseidon Adventure (and possibly Beyond the Poseidon Adventure) that stars Kurt Russell and Richard Dreyfuss. Unlike it’s made-for-tv predecessor, this one didn’t feature terrorists blowing anything up. This version sticks pretty close to the original Poseidon Adventure’s plot line– a rogue wave smacks a cruise liner and before anyone can develop a character or a decent back-story, all hell breaks loose!

This film is in the true spirit of Irwin Allen. Irwin would be proud. Directed by Wolfgang “Das Boot” Petersen, (also responsible for Troy and Enemy Mine) it is the story of 8 Empty Symbols representing different strata of the human condition who are forced to put their differences aside and work together to survive without uttering any swear words.

There’s the Rich but Down-Home ex firefighter turned mayor of NYC (Russell), the overprotective father of a daughter whose main function is to supply some boobs and pout a lot while Daddy disapproves of her spending so much time with her boyfriend. There’s The Boyfriend who is just… well… another guy. He gets his legs pinned under some falling scaffolding that takes the massive strength of 3 people and a lever to extract, yet he barely even limps afterwards. There’s the Nice Young Mom and her young son Conor. The mom spends a lot of time screaming “CONNNNNNNNNORRRRR!” And the son has some “so cute because they sound mature” lines, as well as getting to scream “MOMMMMMMMYYYYYYY!!!!” a lot. There’s a middle aged gay guy who’s about to commit suicide when the wave hits (Dreyfuss), and causes him to find new meaning in life by saving the ass of the hot Latina stowaway chick numerous times (she supplies more boobs and an amusingly obvious underwear shot). who am I forgetting? Oh yeah, the “badass” loner guy. He’s a loner, and a badass. There are also the requisite minor disposable characters who we meet long enough to maybe feel slightly chagrined when they meet their tragic demises.

Unfortunately, although there was plenty of screaming and freaking out, nobody got slapped, in true Irwin Allen tradition. Oh well. Basically, this movie WAS AWESOME! We all know that I love cheesy disaster flicks. The cheesier, and the bigger the budget, the better. This one didn’t scrimp in either category, either. The big budget supplied mangled corpses in nearly every scene, and lots and lots of stuff impressively blowing up. The cheese was supplied by the ragtag band of survivors who had to perform many scary and dangerous tricks to cross gaping precipices, waterlogged airways, narrow tunnels, and fire-filled halls. Though they cry a lot and almost lose hope, only 4 of them end up dying (and two were only minor characters).

Disaster movies are awesome, because you always know *someone* is gonna die. In this movie, it is never completely obvious who is about to kick off. You think, “well, they wouldn’t kill the kid, right?” or WOULD THEY? “They wouldn’t kill the hero, right?” OR WOULD THEY? “They wouldn’t dare off the hot chick…” WOULD THEY!? It will leave you guessing, right until the characters exhale their last breaths.

If you are a fan of movies with brilliant, witty dialogue, fascinating character development, unexpected plot twists and philosophical undertones… stay far away from your local cineplex. However, if you enjoy stuff blowing up and watching people almost drown a lot, head to your nearest movie theater!

The Avengers

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Starring: Uma Thurman, Ralph Fiennes

This is one Baby Boomer nostalgia tv show that sort of made the jump to moviedom fairly OK. I admit I found this movie really amusing at times. I was never a huge fan of the original series, however, so I probably missed a lot. Uma Thurman actually fakes an English accent pretty well. The understated wittiness was funny up until it started getting irritating, and the plot was occasionally interesting. However, the plot ended up getting in the way of what the main point of the film was-to poke fun at the original tv series. This was a noble effort, I guess.

The Avengers

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
And a witty response to you, too, Mr. Steed
Starring: Uma Thurman, Ralph Fiennes

OK, I actually like Uma Thurman, despite what anyone else says. As ex-supermodels go, she’s a fairly good actress, and manages to bring a little wry humor into most of the roles that she plays. Unfortunately, I thought this movie pretty much sucked! This was yet another Hollywood attempt to take a charmingly lame old show and jazz it up with some snappy computer graphics. However, anyone who actually would be a fan of the original Avengers probably liked that show, in part, for its creative (and usually low-budget) props. I mean, it’s fine to create an “original” movie that does nothing but show off studio magic, but if you’re going to remake a cult phenomenon that’s already thirty years old, you should at least pay a little respect to the original.

OK, enough ranting. Uma and Ralph make a valiant effort to bring back the personalities of the original Steed and Peel, despite the lack of a plot, or any kind of interesting dialogue. In fact, they did a remarkable job considering how little they had to work with, and their rapport was definitely the best part of the film. Sean Connery as The Bad Guy is kind of ill-conceived… but whatever. He’s Sean Connery, so he gets to do whatever he likes, despite the fact that he’s kind of a self-absorbed dork. Patrick McNee (Mr. Steed the Original) makes a cameo appearance, and Eddie Izzard is always fun, too. But I’m giving this film three borings because I saw it on a long airplane flight, and even Mr. Steed and Emma Peel couldn’t keep me from nodding off once or twice.

All in all, I guess I just don’t like big-budget Hollywood effects. There’s something undeniably creepy about old black-and-white film stock and homemade props that you just can’t re-create with computer graphics. I understand that most people probably don’t share my viewpoint on this, but like I said– why remake the film at all, if you’re not going to comment on the original? At least Austin Powers, as much as it is just frat-boy humor, is somewhat of a satire on the old Bond films. And the Brady Bunch remake does nothing but poke fun at the original. Classic Cinema this ain’t, but at least the filmmakers were making some kind of a statement.

Lord of the Flies

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
No parents. No teachers. No rules… no clothes.
Starring: Balthazar Getty, Chris Furrh

Who could resist Balthazar Getty running around naked covered in ash and pig’s blood? You know you can’t! This movie seemed to be just a big excuse to show us fifteen-year-olds frolicking in their underwear. In fact, I think this movie may have been sponsored in part by NAMBLA.

For anybody who didn’t read Lord of the Flies in tenth grade, I’ll recap. A plane carrying a buttload of military academy brats crashes somewhere in the pacific, conveniently close to a small, yet lush tropical island. All the grownups are killed except one, who is injured and delirious. Left to their own devices, the kids create a pseudo-tribal society based upon teasing the fat kid, and pig hunting. Actually, this version (there was another Lord of the Flies made in 1963, qualifying this as a Lame Remake) stuck pretty closely to the book, so you won’t hear me complaining about that. Except… I don’t think they actually used a single scrap of dialogue from the original! For instance, I don’t remember the twins talking about ALF (Alien Life Form) in Golding’s novel. “I’ll bet it’s eight o’clock right now, and Alf’s causin’ trouble!” Ok, whatever.

I also don’t remember the gratuitous use of glow sticks in the original. In fact, the first two lines of the entire movie are “What is it?” “A glow stick.” Weird product placement. I like how a glow stick causes the untimely death of Simon, however: the crazed pig-slaughtering youths mistake its unearthly green glow for a demonic spirit.

What ever happened to Balthazar Getty, anyway? And Chris Furrh– shouldn’t his name have more vowels in it? I can’t really think of much more to say about this movie. If you want to watch something artistically close to the original book, rent the 1963 version. If you want to watch naked kids run around with glow sticks, rent this.

Austin Powers II: The Spy Who Shagged Me

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Starring: Mike Meyers, Elizabeth Hurley

I actually liked this movie a lot better than the first Austin Powers flick. The first dwells really heavily on all of Austin’s personal quirks, which weren’t all that funny to begin with, in order to cover up a major absence of plot. Plus, the nineties vs. sixties thing really got on my nerves after awhile. And you can only watch Dr Evil put his pinky up to his mouth so many times. Anyway, I was majorly disappointed, because I’ve long been a fan of 007’s cheesy hijinx, and I thought Austin Powers would be a sort of clever, tongue-in-cheek satire. Oh, well.

Anyway, as I just said, I liked this movie a lot better. If they were to actually erase the original Austin Powers flick from the face of the earth, and make this the new, original Austin Powers movie, I’d be really happy. There’s nothing about the first film you won’t pick up on by the first ten minutes. It’s still not really the witty satire I had hoped it would be, but at least now they pushed the envelope so far that the corny sight gags actually work, rather than being merely irritating. I was laughing out loud in the theater, and I’m usually pretty hardcore when it comes to stuff like that!

Dr Evil somehow escapes being frozen in space (they didn’t really explain this, but whatever) and flies back to Earth in a giant aluminum egg. Meanwhile, Scott Evil, his disappointingly mild son, is making a guest appearance on the Jerry Springer show. Jerry goes backstage and… surprise! It’s your dad, Dr Evil. Big E picks a fight with some audience members and some fake chairs get broken across people’s backs. The Pentagon catches this on their worldwide surveillance system and sounds the alarm.

This time, Dr Evil travels back in time to steal Austin Power’s “mojo” from his frozen body. There’s his henchman, Fat Bastard, who is a major Cheap Laugh (although he has bagpipes which leak nerve gas– cool!) and his dwarfish clone, Mini-Me. The sibling rivalry between Scott and Min-Me is actually pretty amusing at times. There’s also a romantic subplot between Dr Evil and his henchwoman, Frau Farbissina. (Apparently, there’s also a romantic subplot between Dr Evil’s other henchdude, Number Two and Dr Evil’s other henchdude, Number Two– his 1990’s and 1960’s versions– except they cut it out of the major release! Watch for this on video!)

Actually, Dr Evil is a lot more interesting than Austin Himself, and I was totally rooting for him at the end. Dr Evil has more shifts in character, much better dialogue, and is basically much, much cooler. Frau Farbissina is just too cute with her little spit curls, and Mini-Me’s totally deadpan performance saves the character from becoming a lame merchandising gimmick. The Austin character is way too over-hyped to have any kind of subtlety, but the Evil Nemesis archetype is a lot less obvious and Mike Meyers has more room to explore his character. Basically, Evil wins out for me.

Anyway, if you never saw the original film, I would say: don’t bother. Go out and see The Spy Who Shagged Me at the theater; it’s worth it. I still dream of one day making my own Bond-esque spy flick, which would be totally sly and deadpan and feature really bad actors taking themselves very, very seriously, and terrible special effects… anyway, until you see me rubbing elbows with George Lucas at a Planet Hollywood opening, go check out Austin Powers II instead!

The Man in the Iron Mask

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons, Gerard Depardieu, Gabriel Byrne, John Malkovich

The best part of this movie was seeing Athos’s (Malkovich) son doing his John Malkovich impression. I mean, he was really good at it! Other than that, this movie was fairly boring. It details the lives of the now washed-up Three Musketeers, as they discover that their mean king has an identical twin brother who is kept locked up in the eponymous Iron Mask in a dungeon somewhere. There are some political subplots involving past events and stuff like that. Ho hum. There are lots of great actors in this film…why? Were the filmmakers trying to make up for the lack of drama? It’s another example of John Malkovich playing regular person. He’s just not very believable if he’s not portraying a psycho or a retard. His sarcastic, clipped way of speaking is just, well, annoying if it’s not indicating the outer trappings of a confused, insane, or otherwise mentally deficient mind. As a pretty average 16th century guy (have I got the time frame right? I can’t remember,) he just comes across as being a little high strung.

Anyway, the rest of the actors seemed pretty bored with the whole idea of getting through this film. I was overcome with ennui just looking at them wearily going through the motions. And Leonardo DiCaprio, the ever-prepubescent waif just isn’t good at being evil. As the bad king, he’s just too wimpy for us to think that he harbored so much hatred for his own brother that he’d imprison him in an iron mask. As the good brother, he’s just boring. What can I say? This film was filled with lots of cheesy dialogue, and a totally predictable corny plot twist. Oy. I sigh with weariness.

Royal Deceit

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Starring: Christian Bale, Helen Mirren, Gabriel Byrne

Also known as Amled, Prinsen af Jylland , this Danish gem is an example of what the government of Denmark can do if it has a lot of money on its hands, but not many ideas. This film is a retelling of the Danish saga (“Amled, Prince of Jutland”) from which ole Will Shakespeare himself got the inspiration for Hamlet. See the connection? Amled… Hamlet? I was confused for a little while, because the “Am” in “Amled” rhymes with “Tom.” It took me a while to figure out that they weren’t ordering an omelet.

It is sort of interesting to see the original events of the Hamlet story. We get to see exactly what happened when Amled got shipped off to England. He scored a babe, and got into one of the cheesiest battle scenes I’ve ever seen. This battle scene is for what I shall henceforth remember this movie. I don’t think that words can do this scene justice, but I’ll try to describe it:

Take a piece of cardboard (an empty cereal box will do), and cut it into the vague shape of 3 soldiers standing in a row. Paint them black. Dim the lights. Shine some flashlights through red and yellow plastic wrap onto a wall. Now rock the cardboard solders back and forth in front of the wall while playing a tape of people yelling and banging pieces of metal together. I kid you not!

Aside from fighting, we learn other facts about how our ancient Dane friends lived. Judging from the film, they took a lot of steam baths and then beat themselves with tree branches. Maybe they did do that a lot back then, but do we really have to see it so often? The acting was good- Christian Bale, Helen Mirren and Gabriel Byrne all gave fine performances, as usual. But why were they in this film to begin with? The sets and costumes looked like something out of Monty Python and the dialogue was corny. Why didn’t the government of Denmark put up the cash to do a film in Danish with Danish actors?

Hunchback

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Starring: Mandy Patinkin, Richard Harris

Someone left the baby out in the rain…and he grew up to be a hunchback! Richard Harris stars as Dom Frollo, the Monsignor who takes care of the baby and lusts after/hates Esmeralda the gypsy. Mandy Patinkin is the lovable Quasimoto himself. A slightly draggy made-for-tv movie based on the cheery book by Victor Hugo. I didn’t actually read the book, so I don’t know how accurate this rendition of it was. But where are the singing gargoyles?

Lost In Space

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Warning… Warning… bad movie approaching…
Starring: Gary Oldman, the Guy from Friends

This film starts out OK enough- All of the original cast of the Lost In Space tv show got pointless cameos. I thought perhaps this would be a spoof of the original series. Unfortunately not. It was a draggy predictable sermon about how important family values are, even in space. There’s a cute space alien to provide comic relief, and to give something to put in Happy Meals. There’s also the evil Dr. Smith, played by Gary Oldman, who, in an alternate future evolves into part human, part space spider. The highlight of this film is getting to see Will Robinson all grown- up for a few minutes in an alternate future as a giant space nerd. And then the ending… Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!… Sequel approaching!

Rear Window

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Starring: Christopher Reeve, Daryl Hannah

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for handicapped rights. I firmly believe that all buildings should be wheelchair accessible, and sure, let them have all the good parking spaces! However, I do not believe that people have the right to use high tech multi-camera infrared surveillance devices to spy on their neighbors simply because they’re crippled and have nothing better to do with their time. Thus starts the remake of the classic 1954 Hitchcock thriller Rear Window. Gone are the days of Jimmy Stewart and his binoculars. Enter high-tech gagetry, and Christopher Reeve and his voice-activated computer and high-tech surveillance equipment, complete with cameras on both the second and third floors of his apartment for better peeping tom capabilities. In this made-for-tv version, we see Jason Kemp (Reeve)’s transformation from a workaholic architect to a quadroplegiac workaholic architect. In fact, the first half-hour or so shows his car accident, his heroic battle to regain enough use of his body to go back to work, how his company has slighted him just because he’s spent the past 6 months in a hospital… basically, it’s a handicapped rights propaganda film.

Enter Claudia, the Love Interest. Daryl Hannah is definitely no Grace Kelly, but even if I don’t compare this movie to the original, and take it simply as another made-for-tv thriller, she’s no Grace Kelly. In fact, there’s probably more chemistry between Ren and Stimpy then between her and Reeve. What would make her fall for a wheelchair bound workaholic peeping tom who can barely speak is not entirely clear. She gets really into the peeping tom bit too, and they bond over that. Call it love!

This movie also has other cardboard cut-out characters. For example, there is the Token Black guy. The guy in this case takes on the form of Antonio (Ruben Santiago-Hudon,) the physical therapist with the fake Jamaican accent. As follows the Rule of Movie Characters #437, Those possessing Caribbeanoid accents are always wise sages (or drug dealers). There is also a grumpy police detective (Robert Forster) who eventually saves the day. And of course there’s the Bad guy, the homicidal sculptor with the English accent. Did he kill his wife? We all know where the body is! You can’t fool us!

Another thing that absolutely astounded me about this film is the choice of window dressings the inhabitants of Jason’s apartment building choose to use. Every single one is clear. People in this building think nothing of undressing and doing other private things in front of uncovered windows. However, when they’re finnished dressing, they pull the blinds or curtains. Of course, the blinds and curtains are all made of the sheerest fabric ever invented and are totally transparent. Remind me to not hire this set docorater the next time I redecorate my apartment.

All in all, this was a very cheesy fun “thriller.” Don’t expect surprises, suspense or any dramatic merit. However, as a cheese fest, this movie is great!

Psycho

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Starring: Anne Heche, Vince Vaughan

“Why?,” you ask yourself. “Because it’s never been done before” is the response. Well, OK. I’m all for experimentation… but please don’t do it again!

Gus VanSandt has re-created the Hitchcock thriller in this 1998 re-make. He’s done more than re-create it, however, he’s remade it almost exactly like the original. Every camera angle, piece of dialogue, actor’s expression, are exactly the same. He even used the same score. I don’t know if this was the intention, but the similarity forces you to compare it to the original in every moment. I found myself saying to myself “I don’t remember those pineapples being on top of the bannisters,” or other such trivial details. One of the major differences was when we find Norman (Vaughan) spying on Marion (Heche) through a hole in the wall- I don’t remember him flogging the log in the Hitchcock version! But then, I suppose everyone is due his own artistic license.

The result is an oddly surreal film with dialogue that sounds laughably weird and stilted for the 90s. The music was eerie and tense in the 60s, but at the dawn of the new millennium, it’s kind of annoying. Watching this film was just… weird.

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Starring: Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd

What can I say? I’ve been waiting for this movie, like the rest of my generation, for 16 years! In the meantime, I’ve had my hopes and dreams shattered with the realization that the 3 previous releases were actually extremely cheesy. But still, I loved this film. I’ll concede that it was 100% predictable, that the dialogue was corny, and that the Disneyesque feel-good quality got old quickly. However, there’s something so primal in the plot. You know, the stuff that Joseph Campbell’s always talking about– the basic force of pure good vs. pure evil gets me every time.

Because of this, my sarcastic, jaded movie reviewer identity is in a bind. I mean, this film showed us absolutely nothing new– the plot was basically the same as the other three, we already knew what was going to happen, etc, but it was done in that Star Wars way. I couldn’t help but be on the edge of my seat during the battle scenes. I felt genuinely happy when good triumphed over Evil in a completely predictable way. I’ll admit I scoffed at the Evil Marilyn Manson look-alike Dark Lord of Sith, and that I definitely preferred the “real” aliens of the former films to the computer generated ones in this new episode. (And what’s up with those calypso playing Rasta-oid Aliens?)

I guess the point for me was not about the surface (even though Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson & Samuel L. Jackson are major babes,) it was about the underlying stuff that I can’t explain. If I sound like another star-struck Gen Xer, well I am. Some of my earliest fond memories involve reinacting Star Wars with my friends (I always got to be Han Solo’s little known cousin). I remember waiting with anticipation while my parents decided who was going to be forced to take me to see Return Of The Jedi for the 2nd time. It wasn’t about the hype, or the Squid Head action figures that I gave out as party favors at my 12th birthday; there was something more. An a former anthropology major I can feel all of the currents that run thorugh these movies- basic human feelings: loyalty, love of ones’ parents, the drive to do right, the love of fast chases (George Lucas must be some big NASCAR fan). all that good stuff that we strive for. It’s universal throughout human cultures and myths through the ages. George Lucas is creating modern mythology based on all of the mythology of the past. So it’s been done before. This is different. This is Star Wars.

The Mask of Zorro

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins

Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins buckle some serious swash in this study of plot devices. Banderas is the kid who idolizes Zorro, and then grows up to be a drunken petty thief who needs Zorro (Hopkins) to show him a thing or two. There is a girl involved, and babies, and a horse, just to keep everyone happy. It also has the second best walking-away-from-an-explosion scene ever witnessed by Hollywood. It all ends happily as Antonio Banderas walks away into the fakest sunset ever painted. The sword-fighting scenes are kind of cool, though, if you’re into that sort of thing.

X-Men

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Form of a Plot Device! Shape of a Fight Scene!
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Bruce Davison

In the not-so-distant future, pollution caused by the Atomic Age has triggered the so-called “X-Factor” in humans, a genetic sequence that triggers useful and glamorous mutations. People with this X-Factor develop Super Powers when they hit adolescence (a fact that has caused much trauma with our friends over at CAP Alert.) These Mutants are regarded as dangerous threats to Family Values, and a Conservative Senator (Davison) plans to wipe them from the face of the earth. However, a kindly scientist, Professor Xavier (Stewart) loves the mutants and has set up a special school for the development of their gifts. These “X-Men” are his special elite task force, charged with defending the safety of all Mankind. (You can tell by their Spandex uniforms.)

Unfortunately, Prof. X’s evil rival, Magneto (McKellen), has other things in mind. He creates a machine that triggers mutations in all humans, and he hopes to level the field by making everyone a mutatant. But what he doesn’t know is that these “unnatural mutations” are deadly– his unsuspecting victims will eventually croak due to their own freakishness. The X-Men must stop him!

With the help of Wolverine (Jackman,) the mysterious victim of a government experiment, and Rogue (Paquin,) a hapless runaway with the power to suck the lifeforce out of everyone she touches, the X-Men must put an end to Magneto’s plans. But will they be able to defeat The Toad (Ray Park,) Mystique (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) and Sabretooth (the ironically named Tyler Mane) –fearsome bad guys with amazing make-up and about three lines of actual dialogue each?

Unlike Scooter, I have a Y-chromosome, and therefore I got a big kick out of this movie’s many fight scenes. However, when you take those away, there isn’t much left to this movie. The relationship between Rogue and Wolverine is kind of touching, but aside from that, the other characters are just, well, superheroes. They don’t really do much except wander around and kick ass. Plus, I really like Halle Berry. I’ve seen her in other movies where she says stuff, and acts and… stuff. I think maybe she greeted somebody once in this film.

The evil Magneto was another thing that bugged me about this movie. Magneto is a mutant with the ability to generate and manipulate magnetic fields, thereby controlling anything made out of metal. The big showdown in this movie takes place within the Statue of Liberty, where Magneto gets to rip strips of metal off the walls of the statue and wrap them around the necks of our heroes. But… the Statue of Liberty is made out of copper, and copper isn’t magnetic. Iron’s magnetic, and so is steel, but only because it’s mostly iron. Wolverine has gigantic claws made of “Adamantium” (was it named after Adam Ant?) grafted onto his skeleton, and Magneto gets to control him, too. But unless Adamantium is really just iron, this wouldn’t work. So… whatever. I’m sure there are a billion discussion threads devoted to exactly this topic. In fact, I’m sure that Bryan Singer, the movie’s director, has received at least a million death threats from X-Men comic book fans because of this.

Anyway, if you’re a nitpickitty male nerd like me who enjoys fight scenes and bad scientific plot devices, you’ll love X-Men.