You can't underestimate the impact of X-Men. Springing out of nowhere to gobble up $160 million of box-office receipts in the US alone, Bryan Singer's mutant mash made way for Spider-Man, Daredevil and Hulk's cinematic adventures, with studios convinced that comic-book tales could become serious blockbusters. Of course, no one suspected this while they were making it, which is why Singer had to deliver his tale of freaky-outcasts-turned-superheroes on a tight budget, to an even tighter deadline.
So understandably, X-Men feels too short and is certainly missing a set-piece or two. But what it lacks in breadth, it makes up for in depth, thanks to a clever script and a set of audience-winning lead performances.