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X-Men 2, spoiler free.

i got into comics relatively late: i was seventeen, in year twelve, and i got the chicken pox. drove me fucking nuts. at one stage a poured a bottle of the lotion stuff they use to stop itching over my head. anyhow, i spent two weeks at home, and for the most part, i couldn't maintain the concentration required to read a book properly. i had, however, picked up a few comics here and there, most recently the x-titles because i was inspired by the X-Men cartoon. it wasn't much, and throughout my childhood i'd picked up the odd issue of Judge Dredd, GI Joe and a few other bits and pieces; but the two weeks with the chicken pox and my mother's sympathy, that's what turned me onto comics. the x-titles were where i started, and i've remained favourable to the concept and characters throughout the years, even if i have moved from buying them to not depending on who writes the titles.

so, needless to say, i am part of the target audience of X-Men films.

and this target audience is entirely pleased with X-Men 2.

it takes the natural leap to a bigger scale with the second film, making it more of an ensemble cast, rather than focusing on wolverine and rogue. which is good, because they've kept the characters interesting for the film, though for anyone who's familiar with the comic, you'll be able to predict the end a mile away, and you will be left thinking i know what the third film will be.

it's not a film for kids, by the way. it's darker and more violent than the first, which suits me perfectly, but i can't imagine a bunch of eight year olds enjoying some of the graphic scenes. (maybe they will. i don't know much about eight year olds.) it's got the same sense of style to the first film, so if you liked that, i imagine you'll like this, though the plot is somewhat more plausible and interesting than that of the first film. this might be because it's lifted from God Loves, Man Kills but i haven't read that graphic novel, so someone else will have to yay or nay it.

hugh jackman remains the fun, stylish wolverine who is great to watch, and famke janssen as jean grey is actually more interesting than i thought possible for that character, while alan cumming as nightcrawler is excellent, and halle berry gets a larger role than i thought. anna paquin, however, is fine, but under used.

but for me, it is ian mckellen and rebecca stamos-rojin(?) as magneto and mystique that are the true life of the film this time 'round.

Comments

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mariness
May. 4th, 2003 08:13 am (UTC)
That would be because of Mystique's legs, which definitely added a needed something to the film. (Well, that and the fact that the actress was clearly getting a thrill out of playing the part.)

I would say, however, that Nightcrawler and Wolverine injected a good bit of life into this film on their own -- Nightcrawler with the combination of humour and religion, and Wolverine because, well, he's Wolverine, and I loved his interactions with Jean Grey and Bobby Drake.

benpeek
May. 4th, 2003 05:44 pm (UTC)
oh sure, definately: wolverine did add life, and so did nightcrawler, though i thought that had wasn't as well used after the first five minutes. but maybe it's hard to top that?

wolverine was cool, as always, and i loved his fight through the mansion, but i still maintain that magneto and mystique had the best moments, and provided that much grayer, more unpredictable side to the film.
mariness
May. 5th, 2003 05:54 am (UTC)
I think one minor problem was that the entire film had difficulty topping its first five minutes -- highly suspenseful, beautiful special effects, brilliantly timed -- both for audience members who knew who Nightcrawler was and those who didn't have a clue.

Magneto and Mystique certainly seemed to be having more fun than anyone else in the film -- you could almost feel Mystique's actress bursting with joy under that blue makeup. Maybe it's just that playing villains -- cool, meglamaniac villains -- is more fun than playing good noble characters like Xavier. And of course the villains here got all of the best lines, and weren't stuck mouthing the various platitudes that had to work their way through Storm's mouth. (I suspect, if you asked her, that Haile Berry would say that her James Bond role was more fun than this one -- although I may be entirely wrong.)






benpeek
May. 5th, 2003 06:36 am (UTC)
i agree: the first five minutes is pretty hard to top. wolverine's fight through the mansion is close, and magneto getting free is also a contender. certainly nightcrawler never gets as much use after that, which i think is why i reckon he's underused in the film. (and how did he get the gunshot wound treated, hmm?)

i read somewhere that halle berry thought there wasn't much to do in this film for her, or maybe it was the first film. but yes, she did get to say all those nice, morally uplifting lines, and in the end, so did wolverine... whereas magento and mystique didn't. (mystique, while having a lot more screen time, didn't actually say much when i think about it.)

still.

i would like to be a film villian. i think i'd really enjoy that.

(though back to halle berry for a moment: her role in that last bond film was horrible. in fact, that last bond film was awful. blah.)
mariness
May. 5th, 2003 05:22 pm (UTC)
I can't really get after Halle Berry's role in James Bond since this was the Bond movie that included surfboarding down a tidal wave and satellites melting Arctic ice in a very nonenvironmentalist manner and numerous other points really too numerous to mention, except that the other girl was hotter than Halle Berry, and even knowing she was the bad girl I kept hoping she would be the good girl.

Any movie where people are fencing in a plane as the plane is shooting down towards Utter and Final Destruction is a film that has, frankly, gone way past criticism of its acting. This is where you need to focus severe and intense criticism on the script, and more importantly, on the idiots that FUNDED this script, although, to give grudging points to the idiots, the film did at least return their investment.

But it was a Very Bad Movie, no question.

benpeek
May. 5th, 2003 06:27 pm (UTC)
i guess when i said halle berry's role in the last bond film was bad, i should've been a bit more specific, as the acting... well, who the hell knows with the acting, as the film was so very bad elsewhere.

at least in x-men, she was a character (no matter how morally nice and what she said), and not a simple piece of bond meat, trapped in an insane film. saying pretty much the same morally supportive things.

and being rescued by bond constantly.

thought, yes, i liked the other girl more, too. she had that accent...
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