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X-Men 2

Warning: this page contains spoilers!

I really enjoyed this film, although I think in future I'll go for showings that are later in the evening, so that I don't have to put up with 10 year olds running around, talking, etc. (Fortunately they mostly shut up once the film itself had started.) One thing I haven't seen at a cinema before - a couple of copyright screens that appeared just before the film started, saying "You're not allowed to film this to make a pirate copy".

Overall, I thought the film was very good. Nice effects for Nightcrawler's teleportation, and by the end of the film his speech about the Munich circus was starting to remind me of Fraser's spiel from Due South. ("I first came to Chicago hunting my father's killers...") And I was very impressed by his mid-air save of Rogue, even though I probably should have seen that coming. It's been suggested (e.g. by sulkyblue) that the first film effectively acted as a trailer for this one (since they used that to establish the characters). I wouldn't quite go that far (since I thought the first film stood well on its own), but I certainly think this film hit the ground running, and kept up with that pace all the way along. And as for the ending, I think the key word here is "Phoenix"!

Some nice touches for fans of the comics - Dr Henry McCoy (aka the Beast) was interviewed on TV, Remy LeBeau (Gambit) was named next to Erik Lenscher (Magneto) on a computer screen, and another computer screen listed Franklin Richards (son of Reed and Sue Richards from the Fantastic Four) next to Cerebro. There may have been other "easter eggs" on those two screens, but they flashed by too quickly for me to read. Ah well, something to wait for when the DVD comes out, so that I can freeze-frame. And Colossus showed up (the guy whose body turned to metal), although he wasn't referred to by name.

I thought Halle Berry did a good job as Storm too - I suspect she gets a bit more clout now that she's an Oscar-winning actress... The first time I saw the original film, I thought she did well, mainly because Storm was a lot less pretentious/long-winded than her counterpart in the animated series. When I re-watched it a couple of days ago, I was less impressed, since I've seen the actress do a lot better in other films (e.g. Die Another Day), so I'm glad she did better this time around.

The only thing I really saw as a problem in the film was that some of it relied on humans being stupid. Not stupid as in bigoted, but stupid as in "lacking tactical abilities". E.g. it should be obvious that once Nightcrawler has teleported, there's no point shooting the wall where he used to be - it would be more useful to aim your guns next to the President, so that you can shoot him if he appears there. Similarly, when Pyro was setting one police officer on fire, why wasn't the other police officer shooting him in the back of the head? (Given that this happened to Wolverine after much less provocation.) But this isn't a major problem, and in fairness there are quite a few stupid people in the world, so I'll let it ride.

I also have the minor quibble that mutation isn't quite defined the same way in the Marvel Universe as it is in our reality... My understanding is that a mutant is someone who possesses a genetic characteristic which hasn't been inherited from either parent. So, that means that you can't detect mutants without having genetic samples from their parents. From what they've said in the comics, the idea seems to be that Marvel mutants are identified by one specific gene sequence (the so called "X Factor"), which then gives different people different abilities. On the other hand, it's not like the radioactive origins of other superheros (e.g. Spider-Man, Daredevil, Hulk) are beyond reproach, so I won't prod at it too much.

This page was last updated on 2003-12-29 by John C. Kirk

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