So once again we have survived.

X-2: X-Men United

Dear Mystique,

Hey sugar it’s me Vern. Remember me I reviewed your first movie “the x-men” and even though I don’t read that comic strip shit, I enjoyed the picture. Well I gotta say although the title “x part 2 x-men united” is pretty terrible I also enjoyed your part 2. It doesn’t have the same “I can’t believe this isn’t total shit” surprise factor but instead it has these characters that I enjoyed in the first picture and it tries to add more depth and drama and convolutedness to their adventures and what not. like a comic strip book.

But the reason I’m Writing to you mystique is because you are my favorite mutant now. Don’t get me wrong, I still think Young Clint Eastwood is great as Professor Logan Wolverine, the art teacher at X-Men Community College. There is another X-Man called Rogue but she’s not really a Rogue, she always sits at the same table as Iceman and Fireman. Professor Wolverine is the real rogue, he wanders around in the snow by himself uncovering his past and going on adventures and shit. Who knows what happened between part 1 and part 2, he could’ve saved an injured baby polar bear, or he could’ve gotten in a fight with a yeti, or got buried under an avalanche and had to melt his way out by banging his metal freddy krueger claws against each other to create heat. I mean anything could’ve happened, as long as it is snow related. Anyway he’s the real rogue, so when he goes to the X-Man school to try to find beer, all the kids follow him around because he’s cool. I liked when he said “You picked the wrong house, bub.” That was pretty tough.

X2Most improved X-Man goes to Storm, played by Halle Berry. Her wig looks alot better and I guess the oscar made her try harder. She’s actually kind of scary this time when she gets the weather control going.

Also that new German guy Kurt is pretty cool. I mean I’m cool with mutants, I totally don’t even care that the guy has that tail and everything. I mean I would totally hang out with blue skinned people to be frankly honest. I probaly, you know I’m not a mutant but I’d probaly be one of those guys that hangs out with mutants and it’s like, when I’m around them I don’t even remember who is a mutant and who is not a mutant. I’d be like…

hey, you know that guy Kurt? Kurt Vagner? You know, the German guy?

Kurt? German guy Kurt. I don’t know, what does he look like?

I don’t know how to describe him, I mean, he’s kind of short I think, about this tall. Medium length hair. You know, not long at all, but it’s not like a crew cut or anything. He’s got a lot of tattoos, he wears like a leather jacket and striped pants.

Hm, I don’t know, are you sure I know this guy?

Yeah, Kurt. You know. With the accent. And he’s real religious, always saying prayers.

I don’t know.

He has a rosary, I think he was raised by gypsies though. He said he used to be in the circus. You know he’s, he’s the guy that teleports all the time, and leaves this cloud of inky blue smoke.

Oh, you mean the blue guy with the devil tail. Nightcrawler.

Oh yeah, he is blue, isn’t he? Yeah, that’s Kurt. Kurt Vagner. He’s a cool guy.

The one disappointing thing about Kurt, that opening scene where he attacked the president. When he didn’t kill him and just left a “mutant freedom now” ribbon I thought he was my fuckin hero. I thought he was some revolutionary like John Brown. But then it turns out he’s just being mind controlled by Stryker.

Now that Stryker guy, that guy’s a real asshole but I coulda warned you, Mystique, because that’s Brian Cox. He’s always playing assholes now, or pedophiles at least. I don’t fuckin trust that guy. I coulda told you that guy’s a bad guy and he has some magic formula to control the mutants and his son was a mutant who he tried to “cure” (can you believe that shit?) and now he has a vendetta so he is building his own “cerebro” machine and kidnapping Dr. X-Man to use him to concentrate on all of the mutants in the world at once so that he can commit telepathic genocide.

Now let me tell you why I liked this movie: this is a movie for our times. I mean I can relate to the idea of a militarist maniac manipulating the government for his own hateful, extremist agenda. I like how the X-Men are a badass underground civil rights group who try to use non violence when necessary. I’m into that. But I mean you guys are cool too, nothing against you guys. I have to admit it was you guys who stopped the passage of the Mutant Registration Act. The X-Men saved the humans from Magneto but you and Magneto saved the mutants from the humans. I was curious though, as long as I have you here what’s the deal with you impersonating that senator? How did you convince his family that he’s still alive? Do you like show up at the house and then you’re like, “Oh shit, I forgot my good tie at the White House, I’ll be back in a couple of weeks.” I don’t know, whatever you did you fuckin pulled that one off. Kudos.

By the way, I know you’re mostly interested in the mutant issues but I was wondering maybe if you get a chance, you and Magneto could look into this USA PATRIOT act that we have and the part 2 that they’re working on. The “patriot” act is our own Mutant Registration Act, but it encompasses alot more. They use it to justify roundups of immigrants, and then they lock them up for months or years without charges or lawyers and eventually deport them (deport, not teleport). They also do this trick where non-citizens from the middle east have to come register. If they don’t register, they can get arrested or deported. If they do register, they’ll get locked up without charges or deported. It’s fucked up man. This is also the act that gave Stryker the right to raid that X-Men school, and to lock those little mutant kids up in a pit. They’re doing the same thing in Camp X-Ray Guantanamo Bay. But instead of “little kids” they call them “juvenile enemy combatants.” If he wanted to, Stryker could’ve searched the school without a warrant and without telling anybody. He also could’ve checked all the X-Men’s library records and if the librarian tried to tell anybody that he did it, he or she woulda been arrested. That’s the Patriot act for you.

I don’t know what you could do now, because if you morphed into Bush or Ashcroft or any of those guys, and then you actually did something good, people would be pretty suspicious. I don’t know, I know this thing already passed but, you know, whatever you can do.

Anyway, that’s why you guys are cooler than other comic strip characters, you fight against the system. You fight cops and soldiers and you fuck with politicians and you get shit done. You don’t waste your time flyin around in some fuckin cape tryin to stop muggers. Shit especially you, you let it all hang out, you just walk around naked, do flips, slither around on the ground and all that crap. I love that crap. And that was pretty cool when you turned into Rebecca Romijn-Stamos. She was great in FEMME FATALE. Isn’t she married to some goofball from America’s Funniest Home Videos? Anyway you X-Men and Magneto-ites, you have strong opinions and some of you are more radical than others (right on sister). I mean I know I’m a human but like I said in my first review I think you guys got a good point about the fuckin humans. I don’t agree with everything Magneto does but he seems like a cool guy and it’s cool how he always has this blue naked chick (you) standing behind him.

You guys really have the same goal as the X’s, you just have a different opinion about how to get there. And I think the X’s understand that, that’s why Dr. X-Man visits Magneto in prison, and did you notice that when you busted him out and met them at that campfire they didn’t waste time trying to find out if they trusted you, they just went into action. That was cool.

I mean it’s a good movie. It gets kind of convoluted at the end because it’s so complicated and you start to wonder about all these powers, like what is the deal with Dr. X-Men being able to freeze the whole world like in the Matrix? I don’t get it. Also it would’ve been a better cliffhanger if after their little talk, the president went ahead and read the speech anyway, declaring war on the mutants. Not that I want a war on you guys but that would make a more exciting part 3 wouldn’t it? Oh well, I liked in the first one how they left Wolverine’s past unresolved, and they did the same thing here with Jean Grey’s growing magic super powers. I’m not stupid man, I know she’s not dead and since I heard all the nerds whispering something about “Phoenix” I guess that’s where she’s gonna turn up, Arizona.

But enough about Jean Grey, I mean she’s a looker for sure but she’s always whining about her headaches and stuff, plus between her husband and Professor Wolverine she has more than enough man. No Mystique, I am more interested in you and let me tell you why. It’s not because of your looks although I like your pretty glowing yellow reptilian eyes, your bright orange slimy hair and your gorgeous blue scaled naked skin. No, it’s like that fox show with the masks, I like you for your personality. You’ve got a mischeivous sense of humor girl I like that. Like when you were seducing Wolverine, I know it was in a closeup and hard to tell but didn’t you turn into Rogue for a second to tease him about his uncomfortable relationship with teens? That was good stuff, you know he’s into barely legal. Also how you freaked out that janitor by walking past him looking like him.

I know you don’t have alot of respect for men, you might be hard to always get along with but I don’t know man I feel like maybe I could change you, settle you down a little but you’d still be a strong woman and you could still kick my ass. I mean I don’t think I’ll ever need you to bust me out of prison but you gotta appreciate a woman who COULD do that if she needed to. that was a nice thing to do Mystique.

The part that impressed me the most was when you were talking to Kurt by the campfire. And by the way I could tell this impressed Kurt too, but some nerd told me you’re his mom, is that true? Anyway Kurt asked why you don’t just look normal all the time since you can, and you said, “We shouldn’t have to.” Right on girl. I like you just the way you are. Just don’t shoot me up with metal so Magneto can tear it out of me.

Think about it Mystique. We could be magic together if you were real. Either way, I can’t wait to see you in part 3.

Love always,

Vern

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Monday, May 5th, 2003 at 4:36 pm and is filed under Comic strips/Super heroes, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

16 Responses to “X-2: X-Men United”

  1. Gearing up for DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. I like all the X’s about the same. Couldn’t get in to ORIGINS WOLVERINE and have yet to see THE WOLVERINE

  2. So today I bought the Adamantium Bluray set will all 6 films. Started at X1 tonight and I had seriously forgotten how good it is. Aiming to watch them in sequence but I might go for THE WOLVERINE next since I’ve heard really good things about it on here.

  3. Is it the director’s cut? Because you really want the director’s cut. It’s a far, far more satisfying film than the theatrical version.

  4. Nah I wish man, I read your great rap about it a few weeks ago and I knew I had to see it, but the box set’s only got the theatrical cut. If I like it I’ll definitely pick up the Directors cut when it drops down in price in the store. Can’t wait to talk about it.

    What strikes me now having seen X1 for the first time in 14 years is how seriously Singer treated the whole X Men world, particularly the characters themselves like Logan. Its got plenty of dark shades for a Marvel super hero film if you compare it to their recent stuff like IRON MAN 3 and SPIDERMAN 2 which I love but are way more hyper and cheerful in tone. Just look at the very first scene in X1 in the concentration camp with the young Magneto. It was pretty harrowing for an introduction to the mutant universe but a good insight into Magneto’s view on humanity.

  5. Darren – I dont know how one could call IM3 light considering its a movie about a hero suffering from PTSD and his girlfriend gets tortured and more or less raped when they inject that Extremis shit into her body. Otherwise I agree with you about X-MEN.

    When I rewatched those first two movies last year, what surprised was how political those movies were and how the genre today is just so afraid to make any sort of political stand for fear of offending Beijing or the midwest or whatever. They’re good civil/gay rights propaganda. I mean I really enjoyed THE WINTER SOLDIER, but when people try to argue that it’s very politically articulate….I laugh. I’m sorry, but I do. I suppose it is articulate for the Snowdenphiles and libertarians and Anarchists, but for everybody else…not really. Then again you had some Chinese moviegoers impressed by the idea of a patriotic guy fighting his own government, so maybe I’m not giving it enough credit.

    I think my favorite scene from X-MEN was when Magneto is lecturing the captured heroes. Not your usual monologuing, its like you have this psychotic terrorist with an insane plan yet he thinks he’s the sane one compared to these naive people and he’s baffled. And to a certain degree considering his origins….he’s right about his view of humanity.

  6. If you’re unironically calling people “Snowdenphiles” then of course you’re going to object and sneer down your nose at anything with Winter Soldier’s political message. Obviously.

  7. HardlyWalken – Its a movie where the heroes go Wikileaks on SHIELD’s database. What other term am I supposed to use?

  8. They didn’t “go Wikileaks”. Wikileaks reviews their documents to make sure that they don’t directly endanger people’s lives or out people in sensitive situations. They don’t just dump them onto the Internet and never have – and neither did Snowden’s sources. That’s actually one of the dumbest, crudest, and inarticulate moves that the movie made and I’ll join you in laughing at them.

    As far as what to call people who care a lot about civil liberties and privacy, how about “privacy advocates”?

  9. I love the last scene in X1 between Charles and Eric. And the last line “Old friend.” Great cliffhanger, and you just knew that prison wasn’t gonna contain Magneto.

    RRA – you’re right about IM3 being a bit darker, but I always thought the IM’s were more jokey and lighter overall than X-MEN’s.

  10. HardlyWalken – Its fine in a fantasy like that where you have clear cut good guys and bad guys. I mean only in a fantasy where Black Widow use the CIA defense (“you need us to protect you!”) and most audiences are fine with it. Take it out of fantasy and actually think about it…yup you can shit on it.

    Darren – Fair enough.

  11. Speaking of Magneto’s prison…did anybody realize that a plot point in DAYS OF FUTURE PAST involve busting Magneto out of jail? 2nd X-Men film that Singer has made where he’s had that plotting.

    Interesting.

  12. X2 is pretty much on par with X1 as a solid super hero film. I like that it expands on the mutaverse with most of the same characters, Nightcrawler and Deathstrike being standout new additions. The politic’s are pretty heavy, as RRA pointed out. X2 opens with an assassination attempt in the White House just to state the brevity of the mutant issue.

    I like Magneto’s prison break. He reminds me of Hannibal Lecter in his make-shift cell in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, this wonderful villain who requires such special attention. The way Mystique smuggles the metal substance into his cell is pretty ingenious.

    One difference between X1-2 and the current crop of Marvel films – the action comprehensibility is a lot clearer in the older ones. I wish the new guys would take a look at these and learn to appreciate the clarity in the action scenes. A blur in a blender does not make for a pleasing viewing experience.

  13. I still think Nightcrawler’s White House attack is the best action sequence in any superhero film. Just flawlessly put together. It opens the film with such momentum. You know shit is getting real this time.

  14. I don’t know about Nightcrawler Vs. The Secret Service being the best action sequence in a superhero film but it’s definitely one out of like 4 that actually impressed me. The other 3 being

    Spider-Man 2 train sequence
    Hulk vs. Army in Hulk
    Blade Vs. Vamps in Blade

  15. So like Nightcrawler I just exploded into a dark blue puff of air and landed straight on THE WOLVERINE, bypassing X3 and XMOTW and XMFC. I figure they could wait since I saw them already and I was a newbie to the one man show of Logan The LoneWolfMan. Actually that’s what Logan reminded me of, living in the woods like a Timothy Treadwell, waking to the morning dew and a big fucking grizzly taking a piss on a tree, like a dog does. Is that how bears really piss?

    Anyway this is gonna be a slow review because I only watched the first 20 minutes before life interrupted my viewing pleasure. But so far I already got an ON DEADLY GROUND vibe, in a good way, of Wolverine being a cool dude at one with nature and all that. Also the opening scene on the beach in WW2 Japan was pretty awesome.

    James Mangold is good at making genre films in a way you don’t expect to see. And I mean, he surprises your expectations. Like 3:10 TO YUMA was a great western, but I wasn’t expecting it to be so good because no one has really taken them seriously in the last 30 years apart from Clint. And it looks like he’s given WOLVERINE something special. I don’t know, I hope I’m right. I’ll let you know when I finish the whole thing.

  16. Re-watched X2 working my way up to Days of Future Past – I definitely liked it alot better than when I first saw it in the theatre, but there’s still a few flaws that keep it from its reputation as best superhero movie ever. Jackman is good as always; Storm is improved (though Cyclops is somehow in it even LESS than I remember!) Magneto’s escape is awesome and nasty; the good guy/bad guy team up is pretty cool even though it’s very short-lived (calling it “X-Men United” since they team up for about 10 minutes before turning on each other again is like calling STiD “Kirk and Khan United”, but oh well). The “coming out” scene at Bobby’s parent’s house is pretty good; the pacing and flow of the first 2/3 of the movie is well done.

    Cons: I’ll be honest here: the last 1/3 of this movie (once they get to the dam) goes entirely off the rails. We’re dealing with a movie where the “ticking clock” plot device involves Mystique pretending to be Stryker, whispering commands into the ear of a lobotomized Jason, who is pretending to be a little girl to Professor X, whom he convinces to destroy all humans in a makeshift Cerebro that Magneto switched a few tiles on. That’s almost Prometheus-like in how convoluted it is. Also this is the type of movie where Wolverine chains up Stryker, talks some shit to him, says goodbye and leaves him to drown. Then Stryker escapes but gets mentally zapped by Cerebro, then gets strangled by Magneto but inexplicably Magneto doesn’t kill him and just ties him up somewhere else. Then Wolverine finds Stryker AGAIN and talks some shit to him, says goodbye and leaves him to drown again. It’s just too much. Also, the same characters seem to be running up and down the same tunnel over and over again and people are opening and closing big metal doors and I suddenly remembered “oh yeah, this is why I didn’t like this movie the first time”. Also too much- the fact that EVERYONE on the planet almost died, plus I’m assuming people driving cars, flying planes, and little babies were probably killed by the Cerebro attack. I don’t even know what’s up with the ending, where Rogue is suddenly crying and holding onto that flight joystick like Mac with the minigun in Predator, or how there were about a dozen ways with all their combined powers they could have gotten out of that pickle in the end that didn’t involve someone sacrificing themselves. It’s too bad – b/c despite my nitpicks this movie is very, very close to being the excellent movie it has the reputation of being – another rewrite or two could have made it a classic.

    Retcon alert: Wolverine and Iceman meet each other and shake hands, etc.. even though I’m pretty sure they already knew each other in the first one. X2 also contradicts X-men Origins, since X2 makes it clear that Wolverine didn’t have bone claws and he looks surprised in his flashbacks when he wakes up post-op with claws in his hands. (Stryker also says he gave him his claws). And the bar scene has a TV with non-Kelsey Grammar Beast debating an unseen Sebastian Shaw on TV. I’m glad Kevin Bacon came back from that horrific injury in First Class!

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