We've been pretty hard around here on a certain movie with adamantium claws. Yes, whenever I'm reminded of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which comes out on DVD and Blu-ray today, I wish I had been shot with amnesia bullets. Still, I appreciated Hugh Jackman's determined efforts to stay out of the damn costume. Whenever Wolverine has donned a uniform in the previous X-Men flicks, he looks like he can't wait to rip it off. In his natural state, as the wandering, memory-challenged Logan, he repels latex like Congress repels taxpayers.

Most actors quickly declare that the biggest challenge in superhero movies is the costume: how to avoid looking sheepish or silly while wearing a form-fitting, custom-made suit that may reveal more than most of us are willing to bare at the beach? With advanced, super-realistic, computerized special effects and ripped body / stunt doubles available as needed, though, I think the bigger challenge lies in bringing the secret identities of superheroes to life: all those moments when supposedly normal people are leading supposedly "normal" lives.

Who, then are the most convincing superheroes without costumes? What actors and actresses have made you believe that their very human characters on screen could transform into larger-than-life heroes and/or heroines with a quick dash into a phone booth? Mind you, I'm not just talking Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen ...

1. Famke Janssen as Jean Gray in X-Men
She cuts a fine figure, doesn't she? Famke Janssen is undoubtedly sexier than Wolverine when they both suit up, yet she really shines whenever she's using her brain -- which is all the time. She doesn't need the costume to be one of the smartest, most empathetic, and most lethal people, in the universe.

categories Cinematical