Stewart's Dr Xavier - from the Marvel comic strip - runs his boarding school as a refuge for mutants with special powers, and as an undercover operation against Magneto (McKellen), whose mutant forces are plotting warfare on humans in response to proposed legislation against the growing percentage of 'freaks' in the population. Aiming to stop such damaging conflict are Xavier's X-Men. His latest recruit Wolverine (Jackman) produces metal spikes from his knuckles; Rogue (Paquin) can cause death with a touch; Storm (Berry) has the weather at her command; while Cyclops (Marsden) delivers withering looks from ray-gun eyes. The conflict between Xavier and Magneto couches a dilemma familiar from ethnic and gay politics: assimilation or direct action. It's good to find an action movie which has at least one idea in its head, but apart from the brushed metal production design and pin-sharp camerawork, this offers only moderate excitement.