Bryan Singer’s X-Men took a little bit of Matrix and a whole lot of Marvel and jam-packed it all into an intense 90-minute film that was surprisingly more thriller than action film. This isn’t a surprise since Singer has always seemed most comfortable in thrillers, The Usual Suspects and Apt Pupil being the merits that earned him X-Men’s directorial helm. In X-Men, Logan, a.k.a. Wolverine, an amnesiac mutant with indestructible claws, is found by the X-Men, a group of highly-trained mutants who moonlight as teachers at a school for young mutants. The school’s headmaster, Charles Xavier, dreams of creating a world where human and mutants co-exist. Opposing Xavier and his X-Men is Magneto, Xavier’s former best friend and militant leader of the anti-human Brotherhood of Mutants. This is a movie made by its casting since the plot is rather slim and predictable. Watching Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan wax philisophical as comic book versions of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X makes for a riveting thriller. Hugh Jackman as Wolverine was risky, but amazing, casting. The visual style and look of X-Men is something to appreciate, as Singer and his production design crew throw away blind fidelity to comic book gratuity and instead adapt the comic to our real world. Gone is yellow spandex, bright purple/red costumes, eight-foot tall mutants, and Gucci-wearing shapeshifters. Everything is understated, making the film’s themes of prejudice and alienation all the more real for a modern audience.