“Have you tried not being a mutant?”

When X-Men was released in the summer of 2000 on a modest $75 million budget, it had the highest opening weekend for a superhero film, surpassing even Batman: Forever despite its complete absence of Jim Carey in green tights or Tommy Lee Jones hating everything and everyone.

“You fucking people.”

So the folks at Fox backed a crazy hunch superhero movies might be a big deal in the 21st century and immediately greenlit X2, a title chosen tboth to appeal America’s hardcore algebra fans and to keep signage costs to a minimum.

The script this go round was to be written by Zak Penn and David Hayter…

“David Hayter?”

Yes. David Hayter, who is perhaps most famous for voicing Solid Snake in the Metal Gear

“Metal Gear?!”

“NOW CUT THAT OUT!”

Anyway, Penn and Hayter both wrote separate screenplays which were then integrated with the strongest elements from each, which I was very surprised to learn because that would typically be a recipe for a shambling, Frankenstein’s monster of a script whereas here the script is one of the very strongest elements of the whole movie. I mean, it’s not Shakespeare or anything but it is a remarkably well structured piece.

The story largely draws from the 1982 X-Men tale God Loves, Man Kills written by Chris Claremont during that least-discussed era of comics history, the Bronze Age. The Bronze Age is usually dated as having begun with the seminal Death of Gwen Stacey in Spider-Man and saw a new generation of  comic book writers inject a more mature and morally complex outlook into classic comic books. The Bronze Age was, ironically enough, something of a Golden Age with all time classics like Watchmen, Dark Knight Returns, Maus and Killing Joke. Unfortunately, less talented writers took the grittiness and mature themes of those books but left the humanity and artistic merit on the shelf which is how the Dark Age happened.

Shadowhawk. He had AIDS.

But anyway, God Loves, Man Kills is very much a Bronze Age book, that leans hard into the X-Men’s role as a stand in for oppressed minorities while commenting on the rise of televangelism and the burgeoning cultural alliance between political conservatives and religious evangelicals that worked out great for everybody. It’s an extremely well-regarded story and an excellent choice for the X-Men’s sophomore film. And, because everything has to be about Wolverine, there’s also some Weapon X thrown in for seasoning.

The movie begins with a group of tourists being shown around the White House. We see the portraits of Kennedy, Lincoln and McKinley. Now, can anyone tell me what those three had in common? That’s right. They were all presidents. Suddenly, a teleporting, blue-skinned mutant attacks the Oval Office and has a fucking amazing fight with the Secret Service before getting shot and teleporting away right before he can give the president a new cigar-hole with his dagger.

So this is Nightcrawler and he is the best X-Man.

No, for real. That is not even up for debate. He’s the character who best exemplifies what the whole series should be about while also being a fantastically appealing character with a killer design, great power-set and probably an amazing body odour. You know those kinda people who just naturally smell good? I bet he’s one of those. Which is why it kills me to report that the movie kinda…doesn’t…get…Nightcrawler.

Okay, the good stuff first. The scene where Nightcrawler attacks the Oval Office is just fantastic (CGI has aged a little, but whaddyagonnado?) Wonderfully shot, thrilling, and Nightcrawler’s powers are just fantastically realised onscreen. But it’s what they’ve chosen to do with his personality that kind of cheeses me off. The whole point of Nightcrawler is that here’s a guy who looks like the actual devil but is a devout Catholic and also pretty much the sweetest, most fundamentally decent person you could ever hope to meet. That’s why he’s the best X-Man.

He’s not an Abercrombie and Finch looking white dude with a visor, he’s someone whose genuinely terrifying appearance masks a man of great moral grace and kindness. He’s a walking metaphor for why you shouldn’t judge people based on their appearance. And growing up, the fact that Nightcrawler was a rare Catholic superhero was one of the reasons I always loved the character. But in X2. Nightcrawler’s faith is presented less like an essential component of his character and more like a mental illness. He’s someone so crushed with guilt over his supposed sins that he’s taken to carving “angelic symbols” into his skin (yeah, not a thing).  Which kind of, y’know, blows Nightcrawler right to hell as a concept. It’s not “he looks like a freak, but is actually a really great guy” it’s “he looks like a freak but is actually a freak in a different way than you probably expected” which blunts the effectiveness somewhat.

We cut to a museum where Storm, Jean and Cyclops are taking a group Gifted Youngsters on a tour and showing them how neanderthals and homo sapiens were able to overcome their differences with the help of hot, nasty, inter-species fuckin’. One of the kids, Artie, sees a little girl who sticks her tongue out at him and he responds in kind.

He is going to make some woman very happy some day.

Meanwhile, Rogue and Bobby (still played by Anna Paquin and Shawn Ashmore) and Pyro (now played by Aaron Stanford) are just chillin’ outside the museum and they get approached by two rowdy teens looking for a light. Pyron decides to be a dick and not give them one despite the fact that setting things on fire is his entire idiom. Things escalate and Pyro ends up setting one of the douches on fire (douches, hella flammable) and Bobby has to freeze him (literally, not metaphorically). And then suddenly everyone in the Smithsonian freezes in place (metaphorically, not literally) and Xavier angrily rolls into view and angrily demands to know what they they’re doing expressing their true selves instead of hiding their powers like the abominations they are. Incidentally, this scene was shot mostly with mimes as extras, as they were used to standing totally still.  In fact, if a terrorist attack had taken place that day, all of America’s mimes might have been wiped out. Whether that would have been worth losing Patrick Stewart is one of the great unanswerable riddles.

Back at the mansion, the X-Men learn about the attack on the White House and decide that, since they basically only have one dude in their rogue’s gallery at this point, it was probably Magneto. Xavier agrees that Magneto could have arranged something like this, but that it’s not his style because no one got turned into a jellyfish monster.

Speaking of jellyfish monsters, Mystique is still in Washington and still pretending to be Senator Kelly which raises all kinds of questions. Like…was Kelly married? Does Mystique…y’know? Have to “keep in character” around his wife? That’s messed up.

Anyway, Mystique/Kelly is summoned to the oval office where the president is meeting with Colonel William Stryker (Brian Cox), who’s in charge of the government’s shady, top secret, anti-mutant task force. Stryker asks for and receives the president’s blessing to raid Xavier’s school before it’s next scheduled blowing up (seriously, the Xavier institute makes Hogwart’s look like…um…a…very…safe…school) and the President says “okay” but to try to limit the shooting to the least telegenic kids. “Kelly” tries to talk Stryker out of the assault saying that the US government doesn’t want to start a war with mutants but Stryker barks not to lecture him about war because “I was pilotin’ Black Ops missions in the jungles of North Vietnam while you were suckin’ on your mama’s tit at Woodstock.”

“Actually while you were in Vietnam I was saving the world from nuclear annihilation in Cuba so how bout you suck the dick that I have now?”

Kelly/Mystique also meets Yuriko (Kelly Hu), Stryker’s mysterious henchwoman who never speaks and has a wicked strong handshake. Mystique now gets to work on busting Magneto out of his big lunchbox. She takes Yuriko’s form and hacks Stryker’s mainframe to learn where he’s keeping Erik. Pretty much all the performances in X2 are better this go-round but I gotta say, I’d forgotten just how good Rebecca Romijn is in this part. She gets hardly any lines but every scene she’s in she just nails it. She’s got an incredible presence. I mean, granted, someone who’s walking around ass-naked and painted blue with bright red hair would have to work pretty hard not to draw attention but she’s still really good. She track down Magneto’s main screw, Laurio, seduces him and then knocks him out and injects him with liquid iron which I’m pretty sure would kill him but if I had a problem with people surviving being injected with metal I wouldn’t be much of an X-Men fan.

Speaking of which, Logan arrives back at the Xavier institute and Rogue is thrilled to see him again. One thing I respect about this movie is the little details that you only notice on a repeat viewing. Like this scene where Rogue goes to hug Wolverine but is still very, very careful not to let her face touch his. It’s just a little touch, but I’m glad they put that in. Jean welcomes Logan back with a smile and a big old heaping pile of sexual tension and tells him that they need him to watch the kids while they go track down the mutant that tried to off the president.

In his cell, Magneto gets a visit from Stryker who has the guard, Laurio, beat him and then restrain him so that he can inject him with some kind of serum. He then asks Magneto to tell him everything he knows about Cerebro.

Back at the X-mansion, Wolverine is having a weird dream where he’s been turned into a mermaid person and has to give a one-man performance of the Sound of Music in the Sydney Opera house except it’s in the middle of a lake and also Cher is there for some reason…nah, just kidding, he’s dreaming about yelling and adamantium and stabbing stuff because what else is Logan going to dream about? He goes into the kitchen where Bobby is hanging out and grabs a Coke from the fridge and has Bobby blow on it to cool it down and holy shit there’s a lotta subtext I didn’t notice in this movie the first time around. Actually, between this and the “coming out” scene later, the movie seems to be leaning pretty hard into the “Bobby is gay” metaphor, which is hilarious when you consider what happened in the comics later on.

See, the five original teenage X-men travelled forward in time and joined the regular X-men and the space-time continuum was all “…Please…kill…me…” but it was revealed that teenage Bobby Drake was gay which was a surprise to everyone because Bobby Drake classic had been on an all-pussy diet since the Kennedy administration. And then adult Bobby Drake revealed that yes, he had actually been gay this entire time. Not bi. Not queer. Not Greek. Gay. Every single beautiful woman that he had been actively pursuing and sleeping with and pining after, that was all lies.

I shouldn’t have to tell you that I don’t have any problem with Iceman or any other X-Man being gay. But I do have a problem with bad writing and clumsy retcons and this is definitely that. If a change to a character requires the audience forgetting vast swathes of what they know about that character it’s probably not a good idea. And what’s galling is, this actually could have been a very interesting story if done right. Sexuality is a lot more fluid than people often think. Hell, I’ve been attracted to women my whole life but only really started developing an attraction to men in my late teens. People can and do change teams. This could have been a very interesting story where adult Bobby Drake discovered an attraction to women later in life but teen Bobby is all about dudes and Fortnite. Anyway, getting off track.

Cyclops and Xavier visit Magneto in prison and Magneto reveals to Charles that he ratted him out. Suddenly the cell starts to fill up with night-night gas and both Scott and Charles are taken prisoner by Stryker’s men. Then, Stryker’s goons attack the school and most of the kids are rounded up but Logan is all about listening to the fans so this time around he engages in some brutal dismemberment. He comes face to face with Stryker who recognises him but Logan completely blanks on him like all my actor friends who made it big and says that he has no idea who he is. Stryker offers to tell Logan everything he needs to know but suddenly a massive wall of ice appears between them and Rogue, Iceman and Pyro remind him that he’s supposed to be baby-sitting them and that if anything happens to them he won’t get his fifty bucks and whatever he wants from the fridge.

Back in Magneto’s cell he gets a visit from Laurio and instantly realises there’s something different about him and we get what is probably the most iconic scene in the entire franchise.

“Mister Laurio. What’s it called when the metal in someone’s blood that normally keeps them alive is instead used to kill them?”

“Irony.”

“That’s…urk…TERRIBLE…”

Meanwhile, Wolverine and his amazing friends hide out in Bobby’s parent’s house in Boston. Bobby has to come clean to his parents about being a mutant. His parents are shocked but more or less supportive but Bobby’s little brother Ronny played by…

For real? Someone named their kid “James Kirk”? Who would do that? Who would force a kid to live with that kind of expectation?

Well anyway, Ronny calls the cops and no, you know what? We’re not done here. JAMES KIRK?! Why not name him “Hercules McSuperdick“?

Who would do that? Who would do that to their CHILD? I mean, no disrespect to the guy. It’s not mean feat to have appeared in all five seasons of Edgemont. He was in Final Destination 2, that’s cool, right? But all I can think of is…your name is James Kirk. You should be more than that.

Goddamn that’s depressing. People don’t think. They really don’t. Naming a child is such a big responsibility and…

JAMES KIRK?!

GOD!

Okay, I’m done.

The cops surround the house and when Wolverine comes out to see what’s what they shoot him in the head. Pyro has finally had enough of all this bullshit and starts setting fire to cop cars like it’s Halloween in Tallaght until Rogue is able to touch him and drain his powers. Storm, Jean and Nightcrawler arrive in the blackbird and they all escape.

Meanwhile, Xavier wakes up to find himself face to face with Stryker. It seems Stryker and Xavier have some history. Stryker originally sent his son Jason to Xavier to be cured of his mutation but Xavier refused. Then, Jason used his telepathic powers to drive Stryker’s wife to kill herself with a power drill. So Stryker has Jason lobotomized and now uses him as a factory to create his mind control serum. Brian Cox’s Stryker tends to get lost in the shuffle when talking about great comic book movie villains but he really deserves greater recognition. His Stryker is sinister and dangerously competent but also has a genuinely tragic back story that makes his point of view somewhat understandable. Would you still trust mutants if your own son turned out to be one, and then killed your wife in the most horrific way imaginable? As violations of trust go, that’s final level stuff. Cox is fantastic in the role (when is he not?), as is Stewart (ditto). Xavier’s horrified “My God, William this is your son” is such a devastating line reading. Cox reveals his plan to use Cerebro to wipe out all mutants on Earth.

Meanwhile, the blackbird is attacked by two US Air Force jets that try to force them to land (whatever happened to “if they have anything that can pick up our jet they deserve to catch us”?). They’re fired upon and Jean’s powers suddenly manifest in a new, more powerful and distinctly “flamey” way and she’s able to deflect one of the missiles but not the other one and it looks like it’s all over for our plucky muties but at the last moment Magneto catches the plane because he just happened to be in that particular stretch of woodland.

“Hey, should we check that they actually crashed?”

“Nah. They’re on the ground now. We have no power over them. We’ll have to leave it to the Land Air Force.”

Magneto and Mystique fill them in on everything they need to know going into Act 3, but they still don’t know where Stryker’s base is. Fortunately, Jean is able to poke around in Nightcrawler’s brain and finds its location. Wolverine and Jean do the sexual tension tango before she reminds him that girls prefer sleeping with guys who won’t go berserk in their sleep and turn them into cutlets. Later that night, Wolverine gets a visit from Jean who turns out to be Mystique. Which is kind of like going to a concert to see the Monkees and it turns out the Beatles are playing instead but apparently Wolverine is not into that so Mystique cycles through a few options before finally just asking him if he likes Cox.

“What?! What have you heard?!”

“Cox. I said Cox.”

“Oh.”

So, because everyone knows an “Enemy Mine” when they see one, the X-Men decide to team up with Magneto to save Xavier. This, of course, is a historical reference to the time Malcolm X teamed up with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to rescue Martin Luther King from the Mecha-Klan.

The sixties were a weird time.

I gotta say, even though it’s a large ensemble cast, the movie is great at using little character moments to flesh out the various players more than their meagre screentime might allow. Like, how Magneto and Mystique pair off into their own Mean Girls clique and make fun of Rogue’s hair. Magneto and Pryo also hit it off the way only an angry white teenager with a chip on his shoulder and a charismatic terrorist leader can and Magneto tells him to never forget that he’s a frickin’ God among mortals.

The X-men storm Stryker’s base while Jason telepathically manipulates Xavier into using Cerebro to target every single mutant on Earth while also impersonating a little girl (no judgements).

Wolverine finds himself back in the chamber where he was first implanted with Adamantium and Stryker gives him a three second TED talk about how it all went down before revealing that Wolverine actually volunteered for that shitshow. He also reveals that he’s moved on and found a new super-healing mutant who appreciates him and Yukio reveals that she has adamantium claws too. Logan fights and kills Yukio in a fight scene that is light-years ahead of the Wolverine/Sabretooth brawl (actually, all the action choreography is much better this time around) and he kills her by pumping her full of liquid adamantium. Which, even aside from the troubling subtext is kind of messed up. I mean, Yukio was being mind-controlled and almost certainly wasn’t doing this of her own free will and that’s never really addressed.

Meanwhile, a brainwashed Cyclops attacks Jean but she she’s able to use her newly activated to psychically blast him (Ms Mouse pulls that trick all the time when we argue) but their battle damages the dam that Stryker’s base is built under so now we’ve got a ticking clock.

Magneto and Mystique come across Xavier and Jason and decide that turnabout is fair play, so Mystique impersonates Stryker and tells Jason to tell Xavier to wipe out all the humans instead purple monkey dishwasher. Magneto and Mystique leave the base with Pyro to prepare to rule over the coming glorious mutant society (one they’ve cleaned up the seven billion plus dead human bodies). Storm and Nightcrawler figure out what’s happening and Nightcrawler is able to teleport Storm into Cerebro and she uses her powers to freeze Jason, breaking his hold on Xavier.

“Know what happens to little girls who get hit by blizzards? IT’S CHINATOWN!”

The X-Men rescue the kids that were captured by Stryker and as Wolverine leaves the base he comes across Stryker who was left chained up by Magneto. Stryker tells Logan that if he doesn’t save him he’ll never know his origin story and Logan says he doesn’t need to know and oh my Lord but I wish that Fox had felt the same way.

The damn bursts and as a million tons of water hurtle towards them Storm can’t get the blackbird to take off. So Jean sacrifices herself by using her powers to hold off the water until the other X-Men can get airborne. And James Marsden doesn’t get to do much in this movie (or any of them, honestly) but his anguished reaction to Jean’s death is really heartbreaking here. It just makes what happens in the next film all the harsher to take.

The movie ends with the X-Men paying a little visit to the president to let him in on what’s been happening and reassuring him that they don’t want to harm humanity, but no seriously, pull a stunt like that again and they will end him.

Back at the mansion, Xavier is teaching a class and looks up suddenly, as if sensing something. His pupils ask him if something’s wrong and he smiles and says “Everything’s going to be alright.”

Oh Charles. You naive fool.

***

2002 was a long time ago, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone that X2 no longer holds the title of greatest superhero film, if it ever truly did. But it remains a masterclass in successful sequel making. In every way, X2 improves on its predecessor. Whereas the first film feels like a sweeps week episode of Agents of SHIELD, X2 is a proper movie with a rock solid script that moves along at a great clip. Freed from the burden of having to shovel mountains of exposition into the audience’s open gobs, Stewart now full inhabits the role of Xavier and McKellan, despite being sidelines to supporting villain status, absolutely owns every scene he’s in and would be the movie’s MVP if Romain wasn’t doing even more with even less. No longer the greatest ever, but still pretty damn good.

Hey was that Stan Lee?!: That was not Stan Lee! Stan Lee doesn’t have a cameo in this one, thus bringing down a terrible curse upon this franchise.

The mad fools!

Department of Duplication Department: Some characters who were introduced as tiny cameos in the first movie get re-cast and reintroduced here, like Kitty Pryde, Jubilee and especially Pyro, who’s gone from a five second cameo last time to a fairly major supporting role.

How worried is Guinan right now?: 

“Everything’s fine, Mouse.”

Wait, Magneto is how old?: Since this movie takes place a few months after the first, Magneto is still 70.

Today, Mutants are: Gay. Really, really gay.

FINAL SCORE: This movie is…

 

X-CELSIOR!!!

X-traordinary 

X-cellent

X-pected standard

Un X-ceptional

Un X-cceptable

X-crement

NEXT UPDATE: 07 June 2018

NEXT TIME: What’s cooler than maths? Nothin’, that’s what.

38 comments

  1. Fantastic review, Mouse. One of your funniest ever.

    Wonder what the plan was if Wolverine hadn’t shown up back at the mansion at that exact time. Would they have had to call an actual babysitter? I’m picturing “Jack Jack Attack” x50.

    Agree about Nightcrawler, even Alan Cumming was a perfect choice. I want my swashbuckling, super upbeat, eminently huggable Nightcrawler, dangit!

    Donald in Mathmagic Land, yes! I have no idea why that short left such a mark on me as a kid, but I must have watched it a hundred times.

    1. That actually brings up an interesting point, are Scott, Storm, Jean, and Xavier the only adults working at the school? Who was in charge when they all left in the first movie?

      1. wouldn’t Regan and Ford be more appropriate to show since the president in the movie survived his assassination attempt

  2. Well, thanks for the review. I actually remember the movie now, mostly, and I can see that the plot is tighter than the first movie, now that you point it out. I, therefore, don’t have a *reason* why I find the film less interesting than the first, as such.

    Nevertheless, I find it less interesting than the first. Oh, well. 😅

    As for your reaction to “James Kirk,” two things: first of all, the actor is James N. Kirk, while the character is James T. Kirk, so I believe the overlap is limited. Second, you are essentially saying, “People with the last name of ‘Kirk’ can under no circumstances name their child ‘James,'” which seems excessively tyrannical. Just my two cents. 😋

    1. I think the problem is more that if your name is James Kirk you can be an EGOT winning secretary general of the UN who also discovered how to cure cancer with sex and chocolate…and you’ll STILL be everyone’s 2nd favorite James Kirk.

  3. Agreed, Nightcrawler is the best X-man. Which is why it kills me whenever some writer or movie gets his character wrong. It’s not as bad in this movie as some other comics I could name… *CoughNightcrawlerPopeWhatCough* … But yeah, they missed the mark. Otherwise, a great film here, really fun to watch.

    Next time is one of my favorite Donald Duck shorts! Right after Donald in Nutzi Land, of course.

  4. “The Bronze Age is usually dated as having begun with the seminal Death of Gwen Stacey in Spider-Man”.

    Weird, to me the different between the Silver and Bronze Ages is really only a DC thing, Marvel was in the Bronze Age from the start. For DC 69/70 was the transition.

    Also the Bronze Age ended before The Killing Joke, that is a Dark Age comic.

    To me there is no difference between being Catholic and being a Satanist, I can say that because I was raised Catholic.

    Being with the same sex as a youth going for the opposite later has it’s own problematic implications.

    I liked The Last Stand in 2006 and I still prefer to the first movie.

  5. I gotta give this movie love for giving two of my top five X-Men some cool scenes (though Cyclops not winning the fight wasn’t ideal, narratively necessary but not ideal). Though, now that you point it out, this isn’t ideal Nightcrawler characterization. I look forward to your eventual thoughts on young Nightcrawler in Apocalypse.

    X3 is, well objectively pretty aweful, but at least it gave Kitty Pryde something awesome to do. The X-Men movies are a scattering of great characters doing cool stuff while Wolverine mopes and stabs people.

  6. Yeah, the script for this one is strong. The execution not so much, but there is just enough good there that the movie isn’t a total loss…still too much Wolverine in it, though.

  7. Mouse, I hope that your family have been well and that no further affliction has befallen them; I would also like to send warning that if you keep evoking BATMAN FOREVER so lovingly you WILL be expected to review it at some point (and that could lead you down the path that leads into OTHER DC movies … can a mouse afford to risk that Rabbit Hole?).

    (By the way, fine work with X2 – out of curiosity, may one please ask what you think of the Franchise’s music so far?).

  8. You know, i’ve heardit pointed out: A fuckotn of people probbly died at the end of this movie. People who were driving, swimming, flying, in surgery, let alone people who were elderly. I mean, this machine seriously hurt WOLVERINE, a man made of metal and muscle. I doubt grandma made it through.

  9. I feel like Pyro is a lot like Wheeler from Captain Planet. The writers gave the poor kid a flamethrower and put him on the hugs and cuddles team. Of course he’s going to end up getting pushed to the baddies.

    Also mimes are great and I will straight up leave mildly worded comments for people who say otherwise.

  10. First saw the movie four or five years ago. Thought it was good, but nothing from it’s really stuck with me.

  11. >like all my actor friends who made it big
    Was this just a joke or is there a story to tell?
    Anything Donald Duck is an amazing choice! And comics Donald is the best.

  12. I watched X2 for the first time in AGES a couple days ago. Glad to see it mostly still held up…though there were two things that bothered me. 1: So, since Mystique stopped her masquerade as Senator Kelly, how come there was never a headline or scenario like “SENATOR KELLY SUDDENLY MISSING” or “SENATOR KELLY REVEALED TO BE DEAD”? 2: That The Last Stand had to follow this. I’ll defend Spider-Man 3 to an extent, but apart from casting Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde and Kelsey Grammar as the Beast, I can’t defend a lick of X-Men 3. At least Spider-Man 3 had some moments that paid off, and the characters tried to make amends instead of their motivations completely getting screwed up so bad they were forced to retcon everything years later. (Spidey got retconned years later, too…but that was no fault of Spider-Man 3.)

    Also, the review was good, Mouse. Definitely made me laugh a bit more often than usual. 🙂

  13. Personally, I’ve always thought that Stryker was talking out of his ass when he said that Jason killed his wife. I don’t know, I just can’t see anyone who went under Xavier’s tutelage doing something that heinous. At the very least, I suspect that there’s more to the story than Stryker is letting on.

  14. You know, it only hit me like a decade after I saw this: you think there’s a transgender metaphor in Jason? Like, that’s the REAL reason Mama and Papa Stryker didn’t like them? For years, I just thought Singer was doing some cliche horror movie creepy little girl stuff, but now I dunno.

  15. Not only is his name James Kirk, but his real middle name is “Nichol”, which has to be a reference to Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura.

  16. Hey Mouse, great review as always. But I think you are being too hard on the Bobby retcon in the comics. I agree that sexuality is fluid but different people have different experiences. It’s entirely possible for Bobby to have been dating women simply in the hopes that something would change. It’s not unusual for people who have exclusively dated the other gender to come out in their late 20’s or early 30’s, especially someone from Bobby who hailed from a conservative family with bigoted parents.

    I think the comics did a good job with the retcon and Sina Grace developed it wonderfully in the Iceman solo series. A high recommendation if you haven’t read it yet.

    And while bi-erasure is a problem, there are still bisexual male characters in the comics like Daken and Rictor. Bobby’s personal journey is not part of THAT problem IMO.

  17. I have really fond memories of this one. Possibly my favourite X-men movie, really. Likely tied with the first, but only because of that ONE scene, which I think I’ll need to save ’til the review of the 3rd movie to properly elaborate on. Still, I remember having a blast watching this one with my family on our one DVD player which would play in slow motion if you pressed pause and fast forward at the same time (I think), letting us have the double pleasure of getting to watch all the epic fights in slow-mo (almost as fun as getting to watch classic Disney movies backwards on VHS!). Not sure if it’s aged well, as I don’t think I’ve given this a watch since the Avengers movies hit the scene, but I sure know it was dang good when we first saw it.

    Ahh, good ol’ Nightcrawler. I think this guy let me forgive the screenwriters for bumping Toad off in the previous movie. He filled that hole and then some, and his poofing out of the picture by the time Last Stand began is yet another one of its sins. As a non-comic reader, I was actually pretty surprised to hear that this movie didn’t play him right, because even an off Kurt Wagner was one of the most appealing characters in the X-Men franchise for me. And I remember my sister an I actually both really liking him for how sweet and endearing he was, so if there was any subtext that put his Catholicism in a bad light, we missed it as kids.

  18. Ahh, that Mystique comeback. Reminds me just how much I enjoyed Rebecca Romijn’s performance as Mystique in this one. The whole Enemy Mine thing the X-Men and Brotherhood had going on in this movie was a great chance to have fun with her and the movie definitely took it. That moment in the camping scene where she decides to troll Wolverine always cracked me up. Your pun here just makes it more hilarious. Loved your segue into Wolverine’s side of the plot earlier as well. Also, Ice Man was into Fortnite as a teen? Before it even came out? Did Shadowcat have to beam it back to him in the Days of Future Past arc? As for his brother, well, I’m just disappointed Abrams picked Chris Pine over the literally REAL James Kirk. C’mon, dude.

    Was it Penn or Hayter whose idea it was to set up the Phoenix arc in this movie? I need to know which one of them to be very, very mad at. That writer and whichever writer foolishly forgot to give Stan Lee his cameo and hold back the dreaded curse of The Last Stand. *shudders* And wait, Jubilee’s in this one? Why don’t I remember that at all? Yeesh!

    Also, yikes, what sadist requested the edutainment cartoon? I hope that one was on charity donation.

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