From the makers of Super Hero Movie Syndrome comes more reviews under a new name. I call it Comic Book Crusades. This episode I watched the 2000 X-Men movie. This was quite a treat especially because I have not seen this movie in some time. See you after the jump guys and gals.
The movie opens with a line of people inside a concentration camp in Poland. Things get interesting when a child gets seperated from his parents. The child, who would appear to be Erik Lehnsher, bends a gate that was supposed to keep the prisoners inside. This catches the eye of one of the Nazi soldier’s attention and leads into a major theme throughout the entire movie.
Cut to the present where a girl and a boy are about to get intimate but the moment is ruined when the girl, who is revealed to be Rogue, causes the boy to stop breathing when she touches him. At this point we are greeted with Jean Grey at a senate hearing debating the important question; are mutants dangerous? People of note in the scene are Professor Xavier and Erik Lehnsher aka Magneto. I liked this scene in particular because you have Jean Grey defending the mutants and on the other side there is the senator Robert Kelley. In many ways he reminds me of real senators who use the tactic of only mentioning things that support his points and completely pan over anything that contradicts him. This particular characteristic comes back to bite him later in the movie.
Cut to Professor Xavier sitting in a hallway when he is approached by Magneto. Magneto is disgusted by the events of the hearing. He is convinced that war is coming against the mutants but Xavier tries to convince him otherwise. These scenes between Xavier and Magneto are incredible because they have great on screen chemistry.
Next we see a truck driving through a city called Latham City, with Rogue in the passenger seat. As the scene progresses we see a fight pit and are introduced to Logan (Wolverine), who is one of the fighters. Later in a bar, Rogue is sitting on a bar stool watching news about mutants on TV. Wolverine sits next to her and the two aren’t talking for long before a group of unhappy gamblers decide to pick a fight with Logan. One of them pulls a shotgun on him and he quickly slashes the shotgun in half with his claws. After Logan takes out the shotgun, he escapes with Rogue.
He starts driving down the road but it doesn’t take him long to realize something is wrong. He hears a noise in the bed of the truck and reveals that Rogue is hiding inside. Logan is ready to just leave her behind but she convinces him to keep her around. After a bit of conversation between the two of them, the truck crashes into a tree and Logan flies out because he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. At this point we are introduced to Sabretooth. Wolverine and Sabretooth fight but it doesn’t take long for Sabretooth to take the upper hand. Shortly after Cyclops and Storm appear and save both Rogue and Wolverine. At this point we realize that Sabretooth is working for Magneto.
Cut to the lower levels of the Xavier Mansion, where Logan is lying unconscious being treated by Jean Grey. When Jean tries to inject him with something, he quickly snaps awake and overpowers Jean allowing him to escape for a brief moment. Not long after he escapes he starts hearing voices. After he wanders around for a while he finds a pair of sweats and makes his way upstairs. He keeps hearing voices who is revealed to be Professor Xavier. He is guided by the voice into Xavier’s office where he learns the name of this place is called the School for Gifted Youngsters. He is also introduced to the names Sabretooth and Magneto and is warned of both of them collectively.
Relatively close to when all this is happening, we move to another scene with Senator Kelly being kidnapped by Mystique and brought to the lair of Magneto. Back at Xavier Mansion, we see Jean Grey, Cyclops, and Professor X looking at X-Rays of Wolverine. It is at this point they realize he has the ability to regenerate. Back again to the underground hideout of Magneto, the mutant hating senator is meeting Magneto. He is mounting himself onto a machine several stories high. He twists his hands, activating the machine, sending rays at the senator.
Later, during the night, we see that Wolverine is troubled with night terrors. During this sequence Rogue walks into Wolverines room. She touches him shocking him awake and almost instinctively he stabs her. As soon as this happens everyone at the Xavier mansion floods into the room. Rogue continues to touch Wolverine and is able to heal herself using Wolverines regenerative abilities.
Back at the underground lair of Magneto, we see that Senator Kelly has started to mutate. With his new abilities he is able to squeeze through tight spaces turning part of his body into water. We also realize he is able to breathe, walk, and possibly even function underwater after he comes out of the ocean on a crowded beach.
It isn’t long before Mystique is up to no good as usual. Cut over to the Xavier Mansion where Rogue is talking to some boy who convinces her that she should leave after the incident with Wolverine. Shortly after she leaves the scene it is revealed that Mystique is behind this chicanery. After she tricks Rogue into leaving, Logan steals Cyclops motorcycle to go after her against Xavier’s wishes. While all this is happening Mystique sneaks into Cerebro by faking Professor Xavier’s eyes.
Cyclops now realizing that something is going on, heads to the bus station with a few other mutants to go after Wolverine and Rogue. During this scene at the bus station, he is wearing the visor and no one questions it. Both Sabretooth and Toad show up and ambush Wolverine on the train. Magneto shows up and Wolverine is rendered useless against his control of metal. Magneto is able to rip apart the train cutting it in half. This stops the train in its tracks. With Wolverine out of the picture, the brotherhood of evil mutants captures Rogue and escape.
When they finally make it outside, they are confronted by cops. Magneto responds to this by smashing one of the cop cars. Again, no one seems to be phased by this. The cops start shooting at Magneto which he stops and points the bullets facing the cops. We now realize that Xavier is nearby. After he learns that he cannot telepathically communicate with Magneto, he instead goes after Sabretooth. He uses Sabretooth to force Magneto to back off. Magneto lets the bullets go and escapes off to the lair.
Later that night Senator Kelly shows up at Xavier mansion. When he arrives it is obvious he is in bad shape. Jean Grey takes him downstairs to examine him and he splashes into a puddle of water. At this point Professor Xavier uses Cerebro to figure out where Rogue is when we realize there is poison in the machine set up by Mystique. Later, against the advice of Professor X, Jean Grey attempts to use Cerebro.
Cut to a coast guard boat just off the coast. We see Rogue, Mystique, Magneto, and Sabretooth are inside. During this scene there is a UN hearing going on at this same time. This is where we realize why Magneto is so interested in Rogue. Magneto wants to transfer his mind into Rogue because his body can’t handle it anymore.
Back at the Xavier Mansion, we finally get to see the X-Men uniforms and we are treated to a throwback joke by Cyclops about yellow spandex. We also finally get to see the X-Plane which is quite a treat. With the information Jean Grey received from Cerebro, the X-Men locate where Rogue is, near the UN hearing. They fly the plane above the hearing, landing in the torch of the Statue of Liberty. Shortly after they land Logan is ambushed by a look alike, who is clearly Mystique. During this sequence Cyclops and Jean get ambushed by Toad. Storm uses the power of nature to electrocute Toad stopping him cold. Wolverine punch stabs Mystique killing her, or so we think.
At this point Magneto shows up. He uses his control of metal to encase the X-Men in metal collars. Wolverine is able to escape but is caught by Sabretooth. At this point Magneto is in the middle of transferring his power to Rogue forcing her to power the machine shown earlier. After Sabretooth is stopped, Wolverine frees the rest of the X-Men and the team effort to stop Magneto begins.
During the transfer of power sequence, for the first time in this movie Rogue now has the white streak in her hair now having the comic book and animated look. With careful planning and timing Storm, Wolverine, and Jean Grey are able to save Rogue. At this point Magneto is defeated for now.
On what I presume to be CSPAN we see Robert Kelly again who is now being controlled by Mystique. Logan has decided that after all this has just happened it would be a great time to get up and leave so he does. The movie ends with a great scene, again displaying the unique and amazing chemistry between Professor X and Magneto. The two of them are playing chess in a heavily guarded, specially designed prison cell for Magneto. The scene ends with Professor X claiming checkmate against Magneto.
I feel like this movie, and pretty much all of the X-Men movie get a lot of slack for not being accurate to the comics, being somewhat boring, being confusing, and other things I can’t think of right now. Personally I enjoyed this movie on the rewatch. I will agree to an extent with some points against it.
There are definitely a few points I would like to bring up that I specifically did not like. The first one is Mystique, and I do recognize this is because we have a much better Mystique now. The issue that I have with this Mystique is they didn’t use someone with a good voice, they just used some random person and put a filter over her voice.
The next issue I have is there doesn’t seem to be enough gravity in this movie. For one I would like to point out during the bus stop scene, no one seems to be bothered by the fact that Cyclops is wearing the visor. This makes me feel like they must have seen this guy before wearing that gear so this is nothing new. That’s nothing compared to my next point. Later on in that scene when Magneto smashes a car in front of the cops, none of them are at all scared by this. Even if this was a regular occurrence it would still be a shock to see every time. It really felt like those cops didn’t seem to care if they lived or died in that scene.
The last issue is something all of the X-Men movie are guilty of. The costumes look nothing at all like their comic book lookalikes. I realize at the time they were going for a Matrix look but what they didn’t realize is how much this dates this movie. The good ol’ yellow spandex makes for a timeless look that never ages.