X-Men (2000): still a darned good flick

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Gaith, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. Whofan

    Whofan Fleet Captain

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    Regarding Xavier's uselessness in the films, this is sort of true of the comics themselves. Xavier has often been written out of the team (Starting with a death in the 1960s that was later retconned to be Changeling-AKA Morph), and I've lost count of how many times he's been 'cured' from his leg injuries, or re-injured. I think his biggest leave of abscence was during the 80s, when the team was largely led by Magneto and Storm when he was hanging out with space-wife Lilandra in space, but the status quo returned in the 90s. Even then, there were storylines where he left the team 'for good'.

    I see him more as a mentor to the team these days, with Cyclops or Wolverine more the mutant leader.
     
  2. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    I wonder if the Deadpool movie will feature Deadpool's "power" of breaking the fourth wall? It'd be interesting to see him stopping to talk to the camera like Ferris Bueler or Wayne Campbell sometimes but, at the same time, it would break any "realism" or dramatic impact in the movie.
     
  3. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ As I understand it, the original script would have, but re-writes removed all the, well, clever, witty and original, bits like that.
     
  4. Wereghost

    Wereghost Part-time poltergeist Rear Admiral

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    I didn't concur with the critics who saw the movie as just a trailer for the franchise. It provided cinema audiences with a singularly intelligent, character-driven action blockbuster (showing the likes of the same year's flashy Mission Impossible 2 how to do it) and presented us with the most superheroey superhero movie in years, bringing iconic characters like Cyclops, Magneto and Wolverine to life. It had its flaws (It was as corny as heck, and Sabretooth and Storm were barely characters at all.) but the ending left me wanting to grab passers-by in the street and evangelise the movie. First one that I saw twice in the cinema. Haven't seen it in a few years, but going on memory I'd give it a solid four stars despite its flaws. It really was a breath of fresh air at the time.
     
  5. The Naughty List

    The Naughty List Working the Pole Moderator

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    Ah, thanks. I wasn't aware that there was an after-credits scene. I found it on YouTube.

    You mean that thing we were already discussing on the previous page which you must have read since it prompted the side discussion about the Deadpool movie, but that you are now bringing up like it's the first time anyone has mentioned it (which you frequently do)? :p
     
  6. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The original Deadpool script that JacksonArcher reviewed here (should still be able to search for the original thread) did indeed have a fourth wall moment and addressed the "Deadpool" that was featured in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. As Captaindemotion mentioned this script has since been rewritten several times.
     
  7. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    I must've over-looked that side discussion.
     
  8. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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  9. TremblingBluStar

    TremblingBluStar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not sure if this has been mentioned, but in the first film Xavier says he met Magneto when he was 17. In First Class, at least according to the credits, Xavier was 24.

    Xavier also says that Jean and Scott were "among his first students".

    I am not bothered much by the inconsistencies. I consider both the X-men prequels as existing in their own continuity.
     
  10. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I guess that makes him a fibber.
     
  11. TremblingBluStar

    TremblingBluStar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I watched both X-Men and X-Men 2 (I refuse to say X2) recently, and agree that the second film is far better than the first. The first film's only real strength was the great characters (with the exception of Cyclops), but the overall plot was rather lame.

    I still remember being in the theater, when the twist came up that Magneto was looking for Rogue instead of Wolverine thinking "what? How did he know about Rogue? And why did he send Sabertooth out to almost kill her? And if he knew about her, why didn't he get her before she got to Canada?"

    I like the idea that he would turn the world's leaders into mutants, but using the Statue of Liberty was silly. It reminded me of Ghostbusters II at that point. And why turn them into mutants that will immediately die? It would have been a better twist, IMO, if senator Kelly had survived and gone into seclusion because of his condition.

    I never had a problem with the budget. Rewatching the film, it feels like the sets of the area beneath the mansion are rather cheap - but I think that is more because of the shiny chrome finish on everything makes walls and doors look like plastic instead.

    A $75 million dollar budget is hardly something to scoff at. Even though some special effects sequences don't hold up (Wolverine swinging around the statue) it still manages to have better effects than both Wolverine and First Class.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I hate the name X2 as well (it's a coordinate, not a title), but the full title of the film is X2: X-Men United, which isn't nearly as bad. Okay, maybe "United" isn't a very good description given how much of the movie has the team divided, but at least it has, you know, actual words in it.


    We don't know much about what happened to Rogue between that first kiss with Cody and her arrival in Canada. Somewhere in between, she came to recognize she was a mutant. Maybe she ran away because she was publicly identified as a mutant and persecuted for it. At the very least, there would've been a police investigation of what happened to Cody, and the authorities would probably have determined that Rogue/Marie was a mutant, even if she fled before they could take her into custody. (Remember, Kelly had files on a lot of mutants too, including Kitty Pryde, I believe. So there are official records about a lot of mutants and their abilities.) So Magneto would've had ways of finding out about her.

    As I recall, Sabretooth wasn't trying to kill anyone; it was something of an accident that Logan's camp stove ignited the contents of the trailer. Sabretooth's methods of stopping the truck may have been pretty rough, but if Logan hadn't been who he was, then there wouldn't have been a fight, and Sabretooth would've just pulled Rogue out of the truck and taken her away.

    And given that Rogue had been hitchhiking her way across two countries for weeks, she wouldn't have been too easy to track down.


    Given Magneto's background, using the Statue of Liberty makes sense. To millions of immigrants, including a lot of persecuted Jews and other escapees from the Nazis, the Statue of Liberty served as a symbol of a new beginning, a new life free from the persecution of the past. He said so himself to Rogue: "Magnificent, isn't she? ...I first saw her in 1949. America was going to be the land of tolerance. Peace." It's the perfect symbol for what Magneto wanted to accomplish. He was lifting his lamp for the huddled mutant masses yearning to breathe free.

    There's also the fact that the world summit was being held on Ellis Island, and the statue's torch is the highest point in proximity to Ellis Island, so it's the logical place to put the device if he wanted to expose everyone at the summit to its energies.


    Magneto didn't realize the device would kill the humans it mutated. He wanted to turn them into mutants who would live on as mutants, but the machine didn't work the way he intended. He didn't believe Storm when she told him that Kelly had died. He couldn't accept it, because his plan hinged on the newly created mutants living on in their positions of power.
     
  13. TremblingBluStar

    TremblingBluStar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ah, but Magneto didn't write the script, did he? ;-)

    But overall his plan is deeply flawed. Whether the leaders are killed or not, they will merely be replaced by new leaders who will undoubtedly be much, much more anti-mutant. Magneto clearly wants a world where mutants rule over ordinary humans, but this would require some serious social changes, and not simply turning the world leaders into mutants.

    I know this is a few of the comics as well, but does anybody else get annoyed when Magneto uses his powers on all forms of metal, and not just iron? I realize that just being able to control iron would be a pretty weak power, but why not explain that his power uses a force other than magnetism?
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Why? Assuming they retain their reason and don't mutate into some form that poses an immediate threat to others, why would they be automatically removed from office? As far as the US is concerned, the Constitution only allows for a President to be removed from office if convicted of "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors," or in the event of "inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said office." Being mutated would be more of a medical condition, and as long as it didn't prevent the president from doing his or her job, there'd be no legal basis for removal. Of course, it would probably make re-election tough to achieve. Maybe some of the leaders would get deposed through various non-constitutional means, in countries where such things could happen, but a lot of them would probably be able to hold onto power for some time.


    Well, of course he doesn't expect it to happen overnight. It's meant to shock the world and force people to rethink their assumptions about mutants being separate from humans. And probably to ironically punish the bigoted leaders of the world by forcing them to walk in mutants' shoes. Even if they are removed from office, they'll still have to live as outcasts and Magneto will have gotten his revenge on them.

    See, it's not as if he sincerely cares only about reforming the world and creating a better life for mutants. That's how he rationalizes his actions, but ultimately he's a hate-filled, vengeful man who wants to punish his persecutors and wield power over them.


    Nickel and cobalt are magnetic as well as iron. Other metals, like tungsten and aluminum, are paramagnetic and can be more weakly affected by a magnetic field. And a powerful enough magnetic field can even affect normally non-magnetic materials. Scientists have used teragauss magnetic fields to levitate frogs and mice. So really, Magneto shouldn't have needed Mystique to inject a metal suspension into that guard in X2, not if he could summon a powerful enough field. (In the comics, he's sometimes been shown to manipulate people by the iron that was naturally part of their blood cells.)
     
  15. suarezguy

    suarezguy Commodore Commodore

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    My favorite X film and fourth best comic book films (after Batman Returns, Spider-Man 2 and Batman Begins). I liked that it was very approachable/understandable.

    X2 was good but the ending was too drawn-out, especially the fight between Wolverine and Lady Deathstryke with the same powers.

    For "Are mutants dangerous?" to be slightly plausible I think mutation, at least to more notable appearances/powers, has to be a pretty new phenomenon.
    I would have liked First Class more if the mutants were more around the level of Banshee's powers, with Xavier, Magneto, Mystique, Shaw and Frost the exceptions, rather than also have characters with powers similar to Cyclops, Nightcrawler and Storm.

    A solution would be that it was set in the future relative to when the script was first being developed ;)
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Not at all. Hitler convinced a lot of people that Jews were dangerous, and Jews had been around for thousands of years. And look at all the politicians and pundits in recent years claiming that gay marriage is dangerous to society or whatever. Homosexuality is hardly a new phenomenon.

    What can provoke a witch hunt like this isn't necessarily the initial discovery of a thing, but a change that pushes it into the forefront of public attention, that encourages politicians to seize on it as an urgent problem whereas it had previously been seen as not so urgent, at least not by the masses. It happens all the time in politics.

    Maybe the "mutant problem" was an issue that lingered in the background of public attention for a few decades while other matters like the Cold War took priority, and then mutants started pushing more actively for their rights in the '90s and others began pushing back. Maybe there was an event involving a mutant that led to a Supreme Court case and drew new attention to the "mutant problem," and politicians like Kelly latched onto it as a campaign issue, exploiting people's fears to bolster their own careers.
     
  17. TremblingBluStar

    TremblingBluStar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Because, if as shown in the movie the world really hates and fears mutants, or at least the leaders do, I wouldn't see them accepting a mutant as a leader. Further, when all the world leaders are turned into mutants, there would be fear around the world that mutants are taking over. It would cause more chaos than good, and thus isn't a very well thought out plan.

    Mutation could be thought of as a medical condition, but one that could affect a person's mind as well as body. I don't see people accepting a leader whose entire genetic structure was tampered with and trusting that his/her mind has not also been altered.
    But he would make them rethink their assumptions. They would fear and hate mutants. Did 9/11 make Americans warm up to Arabs? Granted, it made many Americans open their minds and become more aware of what we were doing that led to the attacks, but that sentiment is more an exception than a rule.
    Nickel and cobalt are magnetic as well as iron. [/quote] Copper isn't even slightly magnetic, and yet Magneto was bending the hell out of the Statue of Liberty. He was always shown as having control over all metals.
    I agree, though I don't think there is enough iron in a human body to make even a single bullet, he at the very least would have been able to kill the guard by pulling all of the iron out of his blood.

    That scene always bothered me, simply because injecting that much iron directly into a person's blood stream would kill him.
     
  18. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    I always thought the mutants in the movie arguing against Mutant Registration was stupid.

    There is a guy that can shoot energy blasts from his eyes and kill people. Guy with metal claws. Guy that can turn to steal and bash people's heads in.

    The most dangerous like mutants like Xavier and Magento can destroy entire cities without much effort.

    OF COURSE they should be registered. They are far more dangerous than any person with a gun.
     
  19. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The rule of thumb is that the sequel is only half as good, the third only one third as good, the fourth, well, you get the point. The X-Men movies are not really an exception. First Class is technically the sequel to the Wolverine movie, and it's better than that. But the second series is worse than the original trilogy. And the rule most definitely holds for that.

    I've never been puzzled by the love for X-Men United because it's wrecked by the popular Wolverine character. To see Wolvie actually kill a woman with his little soldiers is just too, too exciting to downgrade the movie. Not only was that repulsive to me, but the long drawn out fight scenes at the end were tiresome, the murder of Stryker also unpleasant, the suicide of Jean unmotivated. And when she solemnly declares that girls like the dangerous one and Scott was the kind they stuck with was a laugh out loud moment. For fantastic movies, getting a laugh at the wrong moment is absolutely fatal to emotional investment.

    (For the record, the guy who can blow your head off if he merely opens your eyes at the wrong moment is the dangerous one. Wolvie is just the guy with the ability to erect, uh, claws, yeah, that's the ticket, claws!;))

    First Class had too many movies stuffed in by too many screen writers. It wasn't well written at all, even if it tried hard to be interesing.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But would they have a choice? A lot of people don't accept Barack Obama as president, but they can't get rid of him until Election Day 2012 at the earliest. Lots of leaders have people who hate and/or fear them, but that doesn't stop them from staying in office.


    Except that, as I said, it's a mistake to assume that Magneto's professed desire to make the world work better is his actual motivation here. That's just his excuse. To him, it's more about poetic justice, punishing his persecutors by turning them into the thing they've persecuted and forcing them to live with being what they hate.


    But they'd have to prove it. You can't throw someone out of office just on suspicion or insinuation, or we'd have people getting thrown out of the presidency on a monthly basis. The Republicans spent half the Clinton administration trying to prove that President Clinton was unfit to lead, and they even impeached him, but they failed to prove their case. More lately, people have been claiming for years that President Obama wasn't born in the US and isn't qualified to be President, but that hasn't changed the facts. Accusation of incompetence is not enough, not in this country at least. Maybe in other countries you could get a vote of no confidence, and in less democratic countries you could get coups. But it's bizarre to assume it would automatically happen in every single case, as if laws and constitutions didn't exist.


    Initially, it kinda did. One of the few things the Bush administration did right was that it initially made a big push toward education, insisting that it wasn't about Arabs or Muslims and that intolerance toward Arab- and Muslim-Americans was not acceptable. And it helped that most of the Muslim world deplored al-Qaeda's actions and was eager to help us bring them down. (Although then Bush invaded Iraq and threw away all that progress on both sides.)



    But that kind of generalization is an unfair prejudice. Why should someone with a harmless mutation, like, say, purple skin or butterfly wings or the ability to understand any language, be treated as no different from someone who can destroy cities with his mind? That's gross bigotry. It's as immoral and unjust as, say, throwing Japanese-Americans into internment camps after Pearl Harbor. It's persecuting the innocent majority for the actions of a few.

    If someone's specific mutation can function as a lethal weapon, then there could be a legal basis for regulating it. But generalizing it to all mutants regardless of their specific powers is obviously wrong.

    Not to mention the difficulties with defining what a mutant is in the first place. To repost most of a comment I made on Law and the Multiverse:

    Mutation, as Patrick Stewart’s voiceover sagely informed us, is the key to our evolution. We are human because our genes mutated from those of earlier hominids, and there are still ongoing mutations spreading through the human population today. A mutation that allowed lactose tolerance in adulthood emerged in Northern European cattle-herders 5-6000 years ago and independently in Africa 3-4000 years ago. So those of us who can digest milk as adults are mutants compared to those who are lactose-intolerant as adults. (That’s right, I’m mutant and proud!) And what about the mutation that causes colorblindness? Or the mutations that give people blue eyes or red hair? For that matter, a study back in June announced that every human’s genome contains an average of 60 new mutations, most of which have no effect.

    So we’re dealing with one hell of a slippery slope here. When every human on the planet has dozens of mutated genes, when many (or, arguably, all) widespread human traits are a consequence of mutation, how in the world can the law define a meaningful difference between a normal human and a mutant? Basing it on mutations that create unusual appearances would mean that every blue-eyed redhead would have to be thrown in a camp or shot on sight. Basing it on mutations that impart unusual abilities would mean that every adult who can digest cheese would have to be put away. So where do you draw the line?

    I suppose you could try to define some sort of cutoff date — someone is a mutant if they manifest significant mutations that didn’t exist prior to, say, 1945. But that would mean Wolverine and Apocalypse wouldn’t count as mutants. And it might require extensive genetic analysis to confirm whether a mutation existed before a certain generation. And you’d still need to define the cutoff line for a significant mutation. Is it a mutant ability that can be used to inflict harm? Perhaps, but that can be defined very broadly. Flying isn’t intrinsically harmful, but Warren Worthington could always, say, drop a rock on someone’s head from a height.