May 02, 2003
x-men 2 or x2

xmenxmenxmen! how do i love thee? they art innumerable.

fyi: do not read this if you have not seen the movie and don't want anything spoiled. i'm serious. i am going to give away shit like you wouldn't believe. i want to say too here at the start that i am lackluster fan of the comics. i would like to be more of a fan, but i never read them as a kid. i admit that. there's TONS of shit that i know nothing about and if any of my comments offend on the basis of against the holy bible of the original comics, i apologize. know that i am basing pretty much everything i say solely on my enjoyment of the movies as entities unto themselves.

this movie fucking rocks my world. the joy of watching it is incalculable. you know how the first one is really good and enjoyable and funny and action-packed? this one surpasses it in every single way imaginable. well except for the opening credits. they suck.

i wrote notes all over my body, so here are my impressions of the movie.

snafu pluralized:
why does nightcrawler go from being pale skinned to his normal blue color in the beginning? how does that work? totally unexplained.

why do they not state who he is sooner. it was vaguely confusing. perhaps it wouldn't be for someone who's read all the comics or was more prepped before seeing the movie. but i thought for a while he was supposed to be beast which made me really mad since he wasn't covered in fur. and some guy next to me thought so too. but maybe we are just dumb. certainly his introduction of himself (alan cumming with his beautiful faked german accent) "my name is kurt wagner. but in the munich circus i was known as the incredible nightcrawler!" wolverine: "save it." curt, as always. ah hugh jackman.

what the fuck is up with wolverine's hair? i feel it should stay in the wolverine style no matter what he is doing or even if he is soaking wet (which he isn't at any point, although wouldn't it be nice if he was?) but instead it's only perfect at the very beginning and then at the very end. the rest of the time it's all messed. people use more styling products. live up to your image. you've got a reputation to maintain here.

the folder given to the president at the end by rogue/xavier is not the same in two shots. first it's opened and has merely a white paper on top and a staple in the corner. next it is closed and has a blue cover but no one closed it. heh. a small point but still.

in the cartoon i accepted the fact that storm and jean gray were just as good/powerful/able to take care of themselves as the men. in the movie versions i have a harder time of believing it, even though the two of them are the main heros in this movie. at the very beginning when they're sent off by themselves in the jet to retrieve the assassin (nightcrawler). i'm like, 'what are you doing? they can't handle this by themselves. they're just little girls!' and true, they do handle it. but it seems slightly less plausible. as if they just got lucky or something. wierd.

cyclops is hardly in this movie. and when he is in it. all he does is cry like a baby because jean left him and he didn't protect her, she protected him. baby. but seriously. he gets captured and isn't seen for like an hour and a half. it's impressive how little of a role he has. same goes for rogue. though she's visible in the movie more. iceman (bobbie drake) has a larger role. and speaking of him.

what the fuck is up with the drake family? i'm sure, mind you, that this is drawn on some comic book plot line or what have you. but they're his parents and his brother. who DOES that? who turns in family to the cops like that just because they're mutants? that's just plain silly. that kind of attitude is so prevalent in xmen but at the same time it seems just so unrealistic.

the movie starts off with professor xavier's voice, "sharing the world has never been one of humanity's defining characteristics." apropo for this juncture in world history, perhaps. but also just a good line.

other good lines:
"we love what you've done to your hair." magneto to rogue (allusion to first xmen movie).
"that's one dorky looking helmet." pyro to magneto (allusion to what everyone was thinking in first movie).
"when will these people learn to fly?" magneto to mystique while controlling the jet.
"again you think it's all about you." magneto to wolverine (allusion to first xmen movie).
"i did not mean to snoop." nightcrawler to jean grey. it's in the way he says "snoop." good stuff.

GREAT scenes:
nightcrawler invading the white house in the very beginning. alan cumming is a fucking god. plus nightcrawler is a great character.

campfire powwow with magneto, mystique, wolverine, jean grey, and storm. it's so cute. it's like they're cooperating and at the same time sworn enemies. ahhh camp songs.

magneto's prison escape with the sucking out the blood of the guard to make the bullets of the excess iron in the blood stream and then the banging and the breaking and the flat floating disc across the space and the face and the arms. oh how i love ian mckellen.

mystique getting into the underground base of operations (BOO). with the kicking and the sliding thru flipping off movement and then the blowing of kisses.

jean grey at the end turning into pheonix while: starting the plane, holding off nightcrawler from using his power to save her, and stopping the huge wall of water.

the lady deathstrike and wolverine fight in the room of thier origination as adamantium beings. kelly hu is a whirling dervish of a fighting machine, plus her ability to punch with her fingernails should not be underestimated. but the clang when she hits the ground after being pumped full of metal is quite a crowd pleaser. also the silver streams that leak out of her facial orifices is a nice touch. and also in this scene the eyeball phenomenon is pretty clear.

i don't know if this holds true throughout the whole movie, but the people under the control of the secreted brain fluid from jason stryker have bright blue irises surrounding the pupil, but when they come off the drug, thier eyes return to normal color. this can be seen in nightcrawler until he gets hit by the bullet and then his eyes go back to being gold, magneto's change infintestimally since they're already pretty blue, cyclops' you can't see. but then lady deathstrike's are the most obvious because they are ice blue, but when she's near death they bleed back to brown and she looks really aware for the first time. jason stryker having the eys of two different colors was interesting. as if he was partially under the control, but a part of him was still free and able to choose. although since he didn't chooses anything for himself really at any point, i'm not sure how well that holds up.

the multiple storylines in this movie created a wonderful blend of interconnectedness while also remaining fun. this movie could not have been so good, i think, without the first one being out of the way, because now in this one they could have more fun. they really became thier characters and they were relaxed into thier roles which made it all the more convincing for the audience. plus there were more strong plotlines than the first so it seemed both more complete and more satisfying as a story in that we already knew most of the characters and could now see them be developed in interesting directions.

the storyline which i loved the most was the jean grey growing power one, because the pheonix saga is one of my favorite arcs in the cartoon. the fact that they did it now confused me a little but i'm willing to go with it. it was cool to see her wearing this huge phoenix pendent in the beginning and then to watch the play of light in the water of the lake at the end forming the wings of her to be reborn. the third movie (i'm assuming there will be one) is going to kick even more ass i hope than this one. and i have to say, it has a lot to live up too.

reading message boards is fun


Posted by michele at May 02, 2003 09:36 PM

Dude, you do not know the force with which I am holding back, trying to keep myself from reading further. Oooh, I want to see it! Damn you lucky 1st night bastards! (not really, please don't miscontrue my cyber-tone here...)

Posted by: kati on May 3, 2003 12:48 AM

it's ok. you can damn my lucky ass to hell and back. =)

Posted by: michele on May 3, 2003 10:47 AM

i agree. this is one of the best action movies i've seen in quite a while.

as for nightcrawler's pale face, i think the idea is that he's wearing makeup, and in all the banffing and kicking and scuffling it gets rubbed off. i think at one point in the oval office you can see powdery remnants on the lower half of his face. i might have thought that the makeup didn't teleport with him, but it's clear that he teleports anything he's touching.

two more things: first, TWO separate characters die by having their bodies filled with metal, in two entirely different ways. that was weird.

second, when stryker comes in to interrogate magneto, magneto is reading "the once and future king." at the end of the movie, prof. x asks his students if they've read that book. i'm not sure what the connection is there, but it could have something to do with jean grey being the lady in the lake, although that's kind of a stretch. i'd be able to think about it more if i didn't have this goddamned final tomorrow.

also, rogue is extremely hot.

Posted by: holohan on May 5, 2003 08:56 AM

holohan- you are with the excellent points. i did not notice the metal thing connection and although i did notice the t.h.white book both times, i had no justification for its use in the movie.

rogue is hot, i agree. although i did not like the shirt she wore in much of the movie, the pants were sweet.

another thing i forgot is that it's cool how on the ship rogue and iceman are like, "hey where's OUR kick ass leather jumpsuits?" and wolverine says they can have them in a couple of years. but then at the end in the oval office, they're wearing suits and....i can't decide if it's because they've proven they can handle it and are part of the team because they crashed the plane in time to pick up everyone, or because everyone recognizes that childhood is long gone and there's no need to protect the "children" anymore because we all have to take our places in the world. or something. i don't know. the point is that i was happy they got suits.

also, i didn't notice either of these two occurances but, for those of you who care, both hank mccoy and gambit make passing appearences in this movie. beast is being interviewed on the tv in the background in the bar scene with mystique and the guard, and gambit's real name is on one of the files on stryker's computer.

Posted by: michele on May 5, 2003 09:44 AM

upon seeing the movie AGAIN. i have some more reflections.
1. why not just kill all the humans? what's the big? what have they ever done for you anyway dammit?

2. that boy with the forked blue tongue...that is a dumb ass super power.

3. instead of watching the plane crash piloted by rogue, why didn't nightcrawler just teleport everyone over to the ship? he's fast. it wouldn't have taken that long. or the professor could have STOPPED TIME again. plot hole, i spot you.

4. snafu: in the cafeteria scene at the beginning there's this freaky looking guy with glasses and a blue/white plaid shirt standing next to jean grey, but then when the camera comes back to her he's missing. fucking freaky human coming out of prof x's freeze and bumming off for a smoke.

5. i am more skeptical of holohan's white powder defense of nightcrawler in the opening sequence now too.

(i still love this movie so much.)

Posted by: michele on May 8, 2003 04:06 PM

another plot hole came to me last night. in x-men 1, wolverine realizes that "storm" is really mistique because "no two women smell the same." but in x-men 2, he doesn't realize "jean" is mystique until he feels the scars on her ribcage. you'd think that wolverine would be super-attuned to jean's smell, you know, having just kissed her and being otherwise obsessed with her. do you think he knew deep down but was just fighting it because he wanted to believe jean wanted to have sex on him?

on that note, i was extremely tickled by nightcrawler's tail wag after mystique walks away from him.

Posted by: holohan on May 8, 2003 04:11 PM

and the little music thing while his tail wags. that is good. cuuuuute. except for how in the comics i think she's supposed to be his mother with some german count or something.

maybe wolverine finds it harder to smell when he's thinking with other than his brain. but yeah i thought that too and it was dumb. but also hot with the changing into storm, rogue, and jean. hoo. i paid more careful attention this time to see how much their different bust sizes changed. not significantly sadly. except storm's had more cleavage.

Posted by: michele on May 8, 2003 04:24 PM

i didn't realize she was changing into storm and rogue. i guess i figured she was changing into random hot girls. i'll look more closely when i see it again.

that must have been a fun shooting day. okay, famke, get on top of hugh. all right, now, rebecca, you get on top of high. okay, anna, your turn. halle, last but not least. let's see some energy up there. no, ian, you can't have a turn. that wouldn't make any sense.

unless it was all cg, which would be unfortunate.

Posted by: holohan on May 8, 2003 04:37 PM

goddamn lucky ass wolverine bastard grumble grumble......

Posted by: michele on May 8, 2003 04:48 PM

i saw x2 again on monday and nightcrawler definitely has powder on his face in one shot. the first time you get a good look at his face, when he's hissing at the secret service agents from behind the door, he has white powder all over his lower jaw. i'm not crazy, damn you!

Posted by: holohan on May 14, 2003 12:00 PM

T.H. White's the once and future King is a book having to do with the King Arthur legend. There are two main reasons I believe it made its way into the movie.

1. (And this is the lesser of the reasons I believe) is that in it Merlin finds himself in a crystal prison (and Magneto is in a plastic prison reading it at the beginning)

2. In this story, Arthur finds out that there are only 3 species on earth that will actually wage war upon its own species...termites, ants, and of course humans.

Definitely a message from the writers of the movie. Hope this helps answer your question, michele

Posted by: padfoot1979 on July 14, 2003 10:12 PM

are you padfooting for harry potter?

those are good reasons! thank you for your input. =)

Posted by: michele on July 14, 2003 11:15 PM

Well, he was wearing the white powder in order to get into the white house... He was supposed to be part of the white-house tour or something, and if he didn't put any make-up on, then he would have been easily recognized as a mutant. ^_^ He just stayed behind, and then he launched his full attack on the white hour.

Posted by: Virus on August 28, 2003 09:38 AM

"Once and future king" theme. I've not actually read the book yet, but in 'general' Arthurian legends, Lancealot falls in love with King Arthurs wife. They then elope or something. Basically Lancelot betrays Arthur. I assume that Prof X is the King, Magneto is Lancealot.

Posted by: Really cant sleep tonight on August 31, 2003 05:57 PM

what, and pyro is gwinnie? because...i don't see either of them having sex with that punk kid. or even slaying jousting in tournament for him.

Posted by: nuala on August 31, 2003 06:16 PM

oops. that wasn't nuala commenting last, it was me.

Posted by: michele on September 1, 2003 09:50 AM

Hi, I know none of you but I enjoy reading all posts concerning comic movies (i get a bit obsessive after buying a DVD based on a comic) anyways, I have read the once and future king, but I don't think it's purpose in the movie is as complicated as you are thinking (though some of the reasons discovered are quite valid, multiple layers of meaning, especially lancelot conection, perhaps reference to the other love triangle in the movie eh wolverine, I mean lancelot I mean everyone's favorite character/knight/samori/etc.) anyways, both magneto and the phoenix will return to glory and power. Simply put Brian Singer was playing on the title, knowing good and darn well that we are by and large illiterate. Thanks for your time.


Posted by: AlaskanDan on December 3, 2003 04:56 AM

There is a relationship between X-Men and King Arthur but not quite like you said. Who knows how conscious the creators were of this:

Professor X = Merlin
Cyclops = Arthur
Jean Grey = Guinevere
Wolverine = Lancelot.

Proffesor X is the most powerful player, the instigator the one with the vision who forms the X men. The oldest, wisest one.

Cyclops is the young ruler; the leader, the one Prof X groomed to be king. The most virtuous, above reproach.

Wolverine. He starts as a loner, the wandering hero, he cannot find his place in life, or companions to fellow with. He is the best fighter, greater even than Cyclops. His relationship with Jean is unrequited love.

Jean Grey. She has the finesse, the virtuous qualities to be queen. She leads, as a queen must too. She demonstrates her powers of healing (non superpower). That’s so common among medieval ladies its clichéd. Not sure that was in the comics though.

You can’t keep a good story down, so these themes will be always with us in some version.

Posted by: James on December 4, 2003 04:37 PM

I think Wolverine and Jean belong together.I mean who gives a shit about Scott!

Posted by: Sakura on December 13, 2003 12:15 PM

i loved nightcrawler in this movie. he was so cute. i am really planning on seeing him in X3. it will b so sad to find out that mystique is his mother. :0

Posted by: DA on May 21, 2004 01:12 AM

Goddamn %#(%Q#*^&#^#(^*& spoilers!

Posted by: Dianna on May 21, 2004 07:48 AM

i gave away that spoiler earlier in this comment string. not that i imagine that will make you feel any better. but there you have it.

Posted by: michele on May 21, 2004 09:53 AM

I had the same reaction, but didn't comment. I just spoke it out loud

Posted by: gene on May 21, 2004 11:12 AM