anna berry

CAN WE PLEASE DISCUSS THESE BEAUTIFUL X-LADIES?!

Famke Janssen and Sophie Turner as Jean Grey/The Phoenix

Halle Berry and Alexandra Shipp as Ororo Munroe/Storm

Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and Jennifer Lawrence as Raven Darkholme/Mystique

Anna Paquin as Marie D’Ancanto/Rogue

Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat

Kelly Hu as Yuriko Oyama/Lady Deathstryke

Dania Ramirez as Callisto

Kea Wong and Lana Condor as Jubilation Lee/Jubilee

Rose Byrne as Agent Moira MacTaggert

January Jones as Emma Frost

Zoe Kravitz as Angel Salvadore

Fan Bingbing as Blink

Olivia Munn as Elisabeth Braddock/Psylocke

Epic Movie (Re)Watch #169 - X-Men: The Last Stand

Spoilers Below

Have I seen it before: Yes

Did I like it then: Not really.

Do I remember it: Yes.

Did I see it in theaters: No.

Format: Blu-ray

0) Forewarning, I get a little more frank about my distaste for this film than I expected. So if you like this film and are tired of the criticisms about it, feel free to scroll past.

1) So this film had a troubled start. Fox took a while to pull the trigger and when they did Bryan Singer had signed on to direct Superman Returns which he now claims to regret. They hired Matthew Vaughn to direct - and he even made some casting and conceptual progress - but he had to bow out after a family issue. Then they brought in Brett Ratner because the film was rushed into production and he had made a successful film in a rush for the studio with Rush Hour. This - in my opinion - leads to a lot of the issues the film has.

2) This film does not open with the monologue which has opened both previous X-Men films, instead getting straight into a prologue involving Erik and Charles in 1986 visiting a young Jean Grey.

This is probably one of the earliest in depth uses of the CGI facelift technology which Hollywood seems to be all the rage about these days. It’s weird, I’m glad it doesn’t last long.

3) So in 1986 Charles can walk…but in X-Men: First Class he couldn’t walk because of Erik. Then in X-Men: Days of Future Past (before Wolverine altered the timeline) it was established he CAN walk at the expense of his powers. I can head canon a remedy for why Charles and Erik are working together despite being strained, but this is a great example of how continuity in the X-Men films kinda goes to crap after a while. 

4) Not only do we get a Stan Lee cameo, but also a Chris Claremont cameo (Chris Claremont being one of the most quintessential X-Men comics writers).

(Claremont is the guy with the lawnmower, Stan Lee with the water hose.)

5) The intro scene with young Warren Worthington/Angel tearing off his wings is very much inline with the dark tone that the previous films had. Too bad nothing really comes of it.

6) The Danger Room.

Originally posted by xmendaily

Honestly this is one of the strongest elements of the film right here. We actually get to see the team sorta work together (as well as the one time Rogue actually uses her powers in this film), Logan in teaching mode is fun, Colossus has his one line in the whole film, and it’s a fun two minutes (I’m guessing at the time) of screen time.

7) I started discussing this in my X2 recap, but Cyclops in this film literally does nothing.

Originally posted by groznyjgrad

There were a lot of “casualties” born from the rushed production, and James Marsden was one of them. Cyclops was the badass leader of the X-Men in the comics, with great relationships with Jean and Professor X. In this film? He mopes about Jean’s death, goes shoots up a lake with his eye beams, then dies off screen within the first twenty minutes. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt as bad if he’d had more to do in X2 but you can remedy his lack of screen time in X2 with the promise that he’ll get to do something in this film. But no. No he doesn’t.

8) Similarly, Rogue in this film gets to do absolutely nothing.

Originally posted by xmendaily

All she does is feel bad about her powers, get shoved into an awkward and underdeveloped love triangle between her, Iceman and Kitty Pryde, stand in line at a pharmacy, and have her powers removed. She doesn’t even get a fight scene! This is the end of the trilogy. This is what Rogue was supposed to be growing into all along, the badass heroine we know from the comics. And while the continued conflict with her powers and total frustration with them is a good concept, it does not stand well on its own. It needs more. ROGUE needs more.

9) Kelsey Grammer as Beast.

Originally posted by stydixa

According to IMDb, Grammer was cast when Matthew Vaughn was still directing. Which makes sense, because he is an absolutely fucking perfect fit for the character. In every way. Easily the best part of this film is Grammer as Beast. Like Alan Cumming as Nightcrawler in X2, you don’t feel like you’re watching an actor here. He perfectly represents not only the X-Man’s intellect but also his when needed ferocity. Unfortunately Beast gets a little lost in the mess of the film, but damn if Kelsey Grammer is not just totally phenomenal in the part (which makes the rest of the film’s mediocrity all the more disappointing).

10) The idea of a mutant ethics class taught by Professor Xavier is wonderful, and if explored a little more illustrates an inherent hypocrisy in the character. Professor X has not always been the stalwart in the comics that many believe him to be. He is flawed, often times superior and filled with hypocrisy. Saying one thing then doing another. This film gives us our best peak into that, teaching a class on mutant ethics before it being revealed that he - without consent - went into Jean’s mind and set up barricades. Making her afraid of her powers instead of teaching her to use them. Unfortunately this isn’t explored as in depth throughout the film as it could be.

11) One thing I really REALLY do not like about this film is Storm.

Originally posted by blackpantherstorm

According to IMDb:

Halle Berry had initially decided not to reprise her role as Storm for this film, citing lack of character development in the previous two installments, and a tense relationship with Bryan Singer. However, after Singer’s departure, and suffering a major box-office flop with Catwoman (2004), Berry agreed to return, on the condition that her role be expanded. Consequently, in this film, Storm replaces Cyclops and Professor Xavier as team leader of the X-Men (which is keeping with the comics, where for a time Storm served as team leader in Xavier’s absence).

In the film’s attempt to make Storm stronger, the filmmakers instead make her impatient, judgmental, superior, angry, and rash. None of these are traits I would use to describe Storm in the previous two installments nor in the comics or any other medium. It is a total disservice to the wise, patient, empathetic character we were introduced to in X-Men. The one who stood by the bedside of a man who hated her just so he wouldn’t be alone when he died. Trust me, there are plenty of moments in this recap where I am going to be calling out Storm’s characterization.

12) I believe when Bryan Singer was slated to come up, the film was going to exclusively concern itself with the Dark Phoenix Saga. Instead with his departure, Jean Grey’s return as the Dark Phoenix is reduced to a subplot to the mutant cure plot. And honestly? The mutant cure is wildly interesting. Taking inspiration from the first arc of the Joss Whedon penned Astonishing X-Men, I am consistently more interested in the plot with the cure than the Dark Phoenix plot in this film. I think both (especially Dark Phoenix) are put to a disservice by being paired together, and instead they should have been their own thing.

13) Did I mention how much I dislike Storm’s characterization in this film?

Storm [after Beast tells them about the cure]: “Who would want this cure? I mean what kind of coward would take it just to fit in?

Beast: “Not all of us can fit in so easily. You don’t shed on the furniture.”

First: this is remarkably judgmental of Storm, especially considering in X2 she offered Nightcrawler a safe place from the outside world. It just doesn’t make sense.

Second: GOOD ON YOU BEAST! Storm is being sort of ignorant in that statement. Her powers are practically invisible. But does she actually hear what Beast says? No. Because not two minutes later… 

(Screenshot taken of a GIF set who’s source is unknown [if this screenshot is of your GIFs, please let me know].)

There are so many things I want to say about this, but I think it’s said perfectly in these comments from @marxisforbros, @helioscentrifuge, and @kawaiite-mage:

This - more than anything else - perfectly represents my issues with storm in the film.

14) Even in what is by far the weakest of the first three X-Men films, Ian McKellen as Magneto is still wonderfully strong.

Magneto [after a mutant asks why he has no tattoos]: “I had a mark once my dear and let me assure you no needle shall touch my skin again.”

15) Added to the seemingly infinite list of things which are underdeveloped because this film is trying to do too much, Pyro’s return brings nothing to the film. He’s not developed, he’s not peeled back, his rivalry with Iceman is never fully explored, he’s just there out of obligation to the ending of X2. Which is - like a lot of this film - unfortunate.

16) Another item to add to the above mentioned list: Ben Foster as Angel.

Originally posted by comicbookfilms

Angel is one of the founding members of the X-Men in the comics along with Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, and Iceman. And in this film he just serves no purpose. At all. I think he’s here largely for fan service but I think we only get three distinct scenes with him which are: he runs away from his father for trying to cure him, he is seen at Xavier mansion looking for a safe place, and he goes to save his father. He never really interacts with anyone, we never really get to see him fight, or develop. He just is present in the film.

17) Okay, for the sake of time, here is everything that this film is trying to do: the cure storyline, the Dark Phoenix saga, introduce and develop Angel, continue Rogue’s struggle with her powers, introduce Kitty Pryde, continue Pyro and Iceman’s rivalry, continue Logan’s feelings for Jean, while also introducing iconic characters like the Juggernaut. And none of these things are done well. They are all desperately fighting for time and development and end up being underserved and under baked.

Vinnie Jones as the Juggernaut is particularly disappointing because he could’ve been a great Juggernaut but ends up being stupid comic relief instead.

18) Mystique deserved a better end to her story than get cured, get ditched by Magneto, and feed the feds dirt on Magneto. Again, this is a result of the rushed production as Rebecca Romijn had other scheduling conflicts.

Originally posted by lets-go-to-the-movies

19) Jean Grey’s Dark Phoenix is also not really developed well. We don’t really get a peek into what it felt like to be held back for all these years with invasive and nonconsensual psychic barriers. Instead she’s really fucking horny, does a lot of weird standing around, occasionally has a moment of clarity where she begs for death, and then goes back into being someone who just stares in the distance and doesn’t really talk. And she also aligns herself with Magneto for some reason.

Originally posted by diantos

20)

Xavier [after Jean wakes up and escapes]: “What have you done?…I warned you.”

Originally posted by yourreactiongifs

Logan…literally did nothing. He didn’t wake her up, he didn’t let her lose. She woke up, talked to him, and escaped on her own. And you’re fucking giving him crap? What the hell did you do buddy? You created this. You taught her to be afraid of her powers! Don’t give me this Jedi Council mentality that you were doing the right thing all along by teaching her to be afraid of herself. Okay I’m done.

21) When you agree with “death to all humans” Magneto you know there’s a problem.

Xavier [about Jean]: “She needs help, she’s not well.”

Magneto: “Funny, you sound just like her parents.”

Magneto: “You’ve always held her back.”

Xavier: “For her own good!”

22) This film also suffers from just boring fight choreography. Like the fight at the house is sorta dumb and lazily choreographed in my opinion. Storm flying in the air at the beginning is cool but then everyone else is just kinda…hitting each other.

23) Xavier’s death is remarkably sudden. Like, too sudden. We are left in shock, not in tears. We don’t really have the time to process it. Although seeing the school in morning over his death is done well, the actual effect it has on the audience is miniscule.

24) You know what else this film totally drops the ball on? Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde.

Originally posted by batwan

You know what hurts most? Ellen Page could be a freaking amazing Kitty Pryde and the fact the character is so lackluster in the film is not through any fault of her own. Kitty is one of the most badass fan favorite characters in the X-Men comics, but instead of using that to their advantage the filmmakers decide to thrust her into a half baked love triangle with Iceman and Rogue and only have her use her powers for a few minutes in an overstuffed fight scene at the very end. We never really get to know her as a character or analyze her relationships with the other teammates. But it’s Academy Award nominated actress Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde! That should be way more awesome than the filmmakers ended up making it.

25) Hey, remember how the relationship between Logan and Rogue was so freaking amazing in the first film? Yeah, this is all we get of it in this film.

Rogue [when Logan catches her leaving X Mansion]: “I want to be able to touch people, Logan. A hug. A handshake. A kiss.”

Logan: “I hope you’re not doing this for some boy. If wanna go, then go. Just be sure it’s what you want.”

[Rogue asks Logan if he shouldn’t be telling her to stay.]

Logan [warmly]: “I’m not your father, I’m your friend.”

Man, I really need to watch the Rogue Cut of Days of Future Past.

26) The most frustrating part of this film is that there are great moments and aspects to it. Jackman is still great as Wolverine, Kelsey Grammer as Beast, the idea of the cure. This line in particular has always stood out to me.

Magento [after Pyro he says he could’ve killed Xavier if he’d been asked]: “Charles Xavier did more for mutants than you’ll ever know. My single greatest regret is that he head to die for our dream to live.”

That line is remarkably powerful, for even though the pair are at incredible odds with each other they’re friends. They have respect, they both want a similar goal (for mutants to be free form oppression) they just are going about it differently. I love that line.

27) Hey, remember how I said I really dislike Storm in this film?

Storm [after Jean killed the professor]: “She’s gone Logan, she’s not coming back.”

Storm: “She made her choice, now it’s time we make ours.”

(GIF originally posted by @kulo-ren)

Okay, first of all: isn’t Jean supposed to be like one of your best friends in the world? Weren’t you Xavier’s first students together? You wash your hands of her pretty freaking quickly and get REAL comfortable with that REAL fast. And then second: the hell do you mean she made her choice? SHE MADE NO CHOICE! This is the result of Professor X screwing around with her mind to the point where she can’t control her own damn powers! Like hell this is a choice! God, I hate what they did to Storm in this film.

28) Wait, is that…that’s R. Lee Ermey. The voice of a sergeant as the military prepares to go fight the brotherhood, that’s R. Lee Ermey!

Originally posted by punishingtheguilty

Huh.

29)

Kitty: “There’s only six of us, Logan.”

Yeah, because Rogue doesn’t get to do anything, you killed off Cyclops, Angel is also barely there, you don’t really get developed as a character, and Colossus already had his one line for the film.

30) I think this is the last time I’ll say this, but I really hate what they did to Storm in this film.

Storm [to Logan, about Jean]: “But are you ready to do what you need to do when the time comes?”

Originally posted by avriltenorious

Except for that weird line about what happens to a toad when it’s struck by lightning in X-Men, when has Storm ever gone into battle expecting to murder someone? What part of Xavier’s teachings or his memory would make her think that being EAGER to kill Jean is fucking okay? I just…ugh. Moving on.

31) One of the best parts of this film is the scene where Magneto moves the Golden Gate Bridge so it drops them all off on Alcatraz. It is an incredibly powerful and memorable visual and one of the standout aspects of the film.

32) So Magneto moves the Golden Gate Bridge, gets to Alcatraz (where the cure is being held), and sets his army of mutants lose before saying…

Magneto: “In chess the pawns go first.”

Originally posted by arthandlin

For one thing, Magneto is all into mutant brotherhood and everything. He has never once shown to think that one mutant’s right to live free was more important than the others, so why are these guys suddenly pawns. Secondly, and I don’t know how clear I can make this…

You have the freaking Dark Phoenix on your side, the most powerful mutant ever with no limits to her powers. AND SHE’S JUST GOING TO STAND THERE UNTIL THE BATTLE IS OVER!?!?

Originally posted by emilysurvivesgradschool

33) In the climactic battle, the X-Men don’t really fight like a team. At all. They’re sorta each doing their own thing while standing next to each other. It’s…boring.

34) Okay, this line is probably very stupid but I love it.

According to IMDb:

Cain Marko’s line “Don’t you know who I am? I’m the Juggernaut, bitch!” was inspired by a popular web parody film that made use of scenes from X-Men (1992). Throughout the parody , the Juggernaut character repeatedly says, “I’m the Juggernaut, bitch!” According to the Wikipedia, Brett Ratner even has a link to this parody on his own website.

35) I will say, even though this film has its problems, the way they defeat Magneto at the end (by distracting him with Wolverine) is very smart I think.

36) I have nothing to say about Phoenix’s demise that I haven’t said before. Underdeveloped, sorta doesn’t make sense, all that jazz.

37) So Rogue decided to get the mutant “cure” after all. And when she talks to Bobby about it…

Bobby: “This isn’t what I wanted.”

Rogue: “I know, it’s what I wanted.”

While I admire the idea for Rogue to take this decision in her own hands, I get the feeling the filmmakers were very noncommittal on this idea. They shot an alternate scene where Rogue tells Bobby she DIDN’T get the cure, meaning they didn’t really know which one fit the story better so they don’t invest in either idea. Also - and I said this earlier - Rogue didn’t do anything during the entire film.

38) The final glimpse of Magneto playing chess is actually a pretty nice way to end the film. It drives home how he has no one - not even Charles - while also setting up things to come. But…wouldn’t he still be under arrest? He’s still a terrorist, powers or not.


This film is an underdeveloped mess in my opinion. While there are still strong performances and worthwhile additions (notable Kelsey Grammer and the Golden Gate Bridge scene), there are characters who are just pretty much forgotten and the fact it’s trying to do too much means nothing is done particularly well. If you liked X2 you should watch it just to get some sort of closure after that film, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll enjoy it. It’s just…eh, in my opinion. I do not enjoy it.

10

X2 (2003)

Director - Bryan Singer, Cinematography - Newton Thomas Sigel

“You know, outside the circus, most people were afraid of me. But I didn’t hate them. I pitied them. Do you know why? Because most people will never know anything beyond what they see with their own two eyes.”

Epic Movie (Re)Watch #167 - X-Men (2000)

(GIF source unknown [if this is your GIF please let me know].)

Spoilers Below

Have I seen it before: Yes

Did I like it then: Yes.

Do I remember it: Yes.

Did I see it in theaters: No.

Format: Blu-ray

1) Xavier’s opening monologue is not only a great way to set up this individual film, but the now-17-year-old franchise which followed.

Prof. X: “Mutation: it is the key to our evolution. It has enabled us to evolve from a single-celled organism into the dominant species on the planet. This process is slow, and normally taking thousands and thousands of years. But every few hundred millennia, evolution leaps forward.”

2) The very first scene in this film is young Magneto in a Polish concentration camp and I have to say it works absolutely fantastically.

For one thing it creates immediate sympathy for what is essentially the villain of the peace, but more than that it sets the tone for the entire series. Not just the dark tone but the idea that mutants are representative of the oppressed. When the comics were first released in the 60s the parallels were between the Civil Rights Movement, nowadays you can see parallels with the gay community and islamophobia. That is because oppression, intolerance, and bigotry are essentially the same no matter who it is directed at.

3) The introduction to Anna Paquin’s Rogue continues to set the dark tone of the film, as well as Rogue’s key conflict in a simple and understandable way.

4) The government hearing.

The hatred, fear, and oppression seen in this scene should not be as relevant in 2017 as it is. Senator Kelly’s arguments about, “Well we do license people to drive,” is based on fear and fear alone. He is scared but justifies his fear by making other people afraid. Asking a human being to register for being different is undeniably unconstitutional. And the filmmakers are aware that America has seen this play out before.

Senator Kelly: “I have here a list of names of identified mutants…”

Senator Joseph McCarthy [an actual historical figure who instigated the Red Scare in the 1950s]: “I have here in my hand a list of 205—a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party”

Good, just wait until I do my recap for Good Night, and Good Luck. I’ll have some things to say about Joseph fucking McCarthy then.

5) The relationship between Charles and Erik is - like all the best elements in this film - clearly established from their introduction to the audience.

Erik: “I’ve heard these arguments before.”

We understand that they’re friends, we understand that they both think they have the best interests of their people (mutants) at heart, but most painfully we understand exactly WHY they both go about their revolution through different methods. It is a relationship which will remain consistent and interesting throughout the series.

6) Ian McKellen as Magneto.

(GIF originally posted by @marveladdicts)

There are a number of standout casting decisions made in this film which will stay strong even in the weaker entires of this series, and Ian McKellen is definitely one of them. Unless you’re The Joker, a good villain does not see himself as the villain. Magneto does nothing out of cruelty or malice, he does so for one clear end goal: the superiority of mutant kind. You understand why he goes to drastic measures, even if you don’t agree with him. McKellen is able to consistently make Erik human. The sadness, the determination, the focus, everything that makes this character amazing in the comics, McKellen carries onscreen. A truly brilliant choice which will give us many great scenes to come.

7) Anna Paquin as Rogue.

Originally posted by poisonpam

Rogue is markedly more different than she is in the comics, but I don’t have as much of an issue with that as others do (at least, not in this film). She’s a bit more timid, a bit more scared, which is very human of her and helps the audience sympathize with her. Paquin plays the part remarkably well, carrying Rogue’s pain and conflict well in her performance.

8) Hugh Jackman as Wolverine.

Originally posted by hughxjackman

Hugh Jackman is the standout element of this film and one of the most perfect examples of comic book casting in the history of cinema. The guy played the part for SEVENTEEN years. Even in weaker X-Men films Jackman’s Wolverine is remarkably consistent. He IS Wolverine. The aggression, the ferocity, the isolation, the pain, the instinct, Jackman captures it all beautifully. But more than that, we explore who Wolverine becomes when we throw him together with other people. We see who he becomes just as he learns who he becomes when he has other mutants relying on him. It’s a remarkable journey to see him not only go through this film but all seventeen years of playing this character. You are not watching Hugh Jackman, this is not a performance. This is Wolverine. Living, breathing, pure, Wolverine. And whatever shortcomings the X-Men series has had throughout its years, Jackman’s Wolverine has always been perfect.

9) This line always stuck with me.

Originally posted by filmeslut

(GIF originally posted by @filmeslut)

This relates very well to the pain Wolverine deals with everyday. Most living creatures go through enough pain they do. Wolverine’s mutation means he lives with his pain on a daily basis. He HAS to. Dying is not an option for him. That is very defining for his character.

10) The fight with Wolverine and Sabretooth does a lot of things well. To start, it’s the first action scene of the film and - while brief - it establishes the strong choreography to come. Second, we immediately see a juxtaposition between Wolverine and the rest of the X-Men as he is more feral in his fighting style while Cyclops and Storm are much more uniform. Finally, it establishes the rivalry between Wolverine and Sabretooth. Something which is a staple of the comics, this rivalry doesn’t get too much time to develop in the film but it is established in small yet meaningful ways. I’m glad they at least did that as opposed to nothing.

11) Logan trying to escape Xavier’s mansion is actually wildly clever. It establishes the geography of the school without letting the audience know. Instead we follow Wolverine as he’s trying to escape this strange place and in the process get the layout of the new world he’s in. Very clever.

12) Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier.

Similar to McKellen’s Magneto, we are able to see the complexities of Xavier’s character through Stewart’s performance. We understand the pain he went through as a child, we understand how he has/is searching for hope for the future. We see the soft sorrow he carries mixed in with this optimism and the struggle he carries to put stock in hope over pain. It’s a wonderful character who - like Jackman - Stewart will get to play for 17 years.

13) If you want any further proof that Hugh Jackman is great as Wolverine:

Logan [after Xavier gives exposition about the X-Men and such]: “Sabretooth? Storm. What do they call you? Wheels?”

At least the last part of that line was improvised, but it is so perfectly Wolverine it fits.

14) The introduction to the Xavier school from a storytelling standpoint (as opposed to just a geography standpoint) is very slick and clean. We’re getting a lot of exposition about Professor X, the X-Men, and the world of mutants in not a lot of time. But it doesn’t dog down the film and we are not bored by it.

15) Ah, the future continuity issues begin…

When I was 17, I met a young named named Erik Lenscher…”

Originally posted by benmckee

They seem a little older than 17 to me…

16) Rebecca Romijn as Mystique.

Originally posted by obiwanskenobi

Romijn’s part as Mystique is largely a physical performance, but that does not mean it isn’t an iconic one. Before Jennifer Lawrence would put on the blue skin paint, Romijn would define who Mystique was on screen for all to come. She is able to portray the character’s passion, focus, physical strength, and shiftiness with just a movement. She doesn’t have many lines, but the ones she does have leave an impact.

Mystique [to Kelly]: “You know people like you are the reason I was afraid to go to school as a child.”

17) Magneto knows what’s up.

Magneto: “Mankind has always feared what it doesn’t understand.”

18) Famke Janssen as Jean Grey.

Originally posted by xmenladies

Janssen plays Jean well not only in this film but as she develops over the trilogy. Despite not having the flashiest/most aggressive of powers like Wolverine or even Cyclops, she’s able to hold her own with the rest of the team. She’s confident, competent, but still able to be vulnerable when the story calls for it and has no ego. A strong character actress with a strong character to fit her roll, I am glad for Janssen in this film.

19) James Marsden as Cyclops.

(GIF originally posted by @hughxjackman)

Okay, so I’ve got a handful of issues with how Cyclops is handled in the original trilogy. Not through Marsden’s performance or through his characterization, but more because of a lack of things to do in the plot. However, those issues do not pertain to this film (wait until I get to my Last Stand recap). Although Marsden’s Scott Summers/Cyclops is largely used as a foil to Jackman’s Wolverine, we get to see him in action and lead the X-Men later in battle (like he does in the comics). This film doesn’t peel back too much more than, “Wolverine pisses me off,” but we do get to see Marsden play a caring and competent leader when Wolverine is not in the picture. How he searches for Rogue, the way he handles the team on Liberty Island, Marsden plays all of this great. You understand why Scott is the leader of the team through his conduct and confidence, both things Marsden shows off very well.

20) Hey, remember back when Stan Lee cameos in Marvel movies were, “blink and you’ll miss it?”

21) So Logan straight up kills Rogue when she wakes him up from a nightmare. Like he’d be dead if it weren’t for her mutant ability. And after she does it to save her life she is met by fear and caution from her fellow students initially. And then Mystique disguised as Bobby comes to her and reprimands her. Tells her students are afraid of her, that Xavier is furious and looking to kick her out. How much must that hurt? Like, “Here’s a place where I can be me. Where other people are as weird as I am and where I can be accepted.” And then that’s taken away from her. It’s pulled out from under her feet because people are afraid of her, a feeling which is importantly all too familiar to her at this point. She let her guard down and - even though it wasn’t true and it wasn’t really Bobby - she was so ready to believe the world had turned on her AGAIN. That just…sucks.

22) Charles acting like he doesn’t know how Erik is hiding from his telepathy takes on new meaning in a post First Class world. It is probably easiest attributed to another error in continuity, but my head canon is that Charles is covering for Erik a little in the never dying hope that he’ll do the right thing.

23) Halle Berry as Storm.

Originally posted by alexsexklaus

I have never loved Berry as Storm, but that’s more because of The Last Stand than anything else. I think I like her best in this film, which is unfortunate because it is where she has the least to do. She’s a bit kinder, a bit more even tempered, wiser and more soulful than she comes off in the sequels. And the keeping of her original accent is a nice touch (I was disappointed to lose that in the sequels). But again, that’s all there’s really to say about her because she doesn’t get much time to shine in this film.

24) The relationship with Wolverine and Rogue is one of my favorite things about this film. These are the two most isolated characters in the film and they’re able to find solace in each other. Logan acts as the big brother/mentor to Rogue, familiar with the loneliness she feels for 15 years. Meanwhile Rogue finds comfort in someone who’s actually going to look after her. This is best seen on the train after Rogue runs away, where Logan leaves the decision up to Rogue. He’s not there to bring her back, he’s not there to pressure her into doing something she doesn’t want, he gives his two cents but will go wherever she wants to. He’s got her back.

Logan: “Come on. I’ll take care of you.”

If there’s one thing I miss most as the series progresses, it is this wonderful relationship between the pair.

25) According to IMDb:

The scene in the train station where a young boy smiles at Cyclops and he smiles back was unplanned. The boy was a huge X-Men fan, and Cyclops was his favorite. The scene originally called for Cyclops to look at the train schedule, but according to Bryan Singer, the boy could not stop smiling at James Marsden. Finally, during one shot, Marsden just looked back at him and smiled, much to the boy’s delight. Bryan Singer liked the idea so much, he kept it in the film, and told the actress playing the boy’s mother to react the way she did.

(GIF source unknown [if this is your GIF please let me know].)

26) And so it begins…

Magneto [upon encountering Wolverine]: “That remarkable metal doesn’t run through your entire body, does it?”

27) The scene with Magneto, the police, and Charles in the background is something I really enjoy. This is primarily because it is more a conflict between Charles and Magneto than anything else. I was taught in an early film class that if one character can walk away and not be devastated, the stakes aren’t high enough. I think that is the key to this scene. It’s all about stakes. What exactly are Charles and Erik willing to do, willing to sacrifice, all to get what they want? Seeing that play out is wonderful.

28) The fact that Storm stays with Senator Kelly while he dies, holds his hand, talks with him, even after all he’s done, speaks to a wisdom she has that is totally lost in X-Men: The Last Stand (but more on that when I get there).

Kelly: “Do you hate normal people?”

Storm: “Sometimes.”

Kelly: “Why?”

Storm: “I suppose I’m afraid of them.”

The fact she can admit that she hates those who oppress her sometimes is great. Because of course you would hate those who ruin your life! But not letting that hate define who you are is an incredible thing.

29) There is a brief moment where Cyclops is seen distraught over a comatose Professor X, which I think is very telling of their relationship in a way we will (unfortunately) not see again in this set of three films. It speaks to the depths of admiration he has for what is essentially his father figure.

30) One thing the Marvel Cinematic Universe can learn from this film: how to create a great villain in two hours.

Magneto [with Rogue, upon seeing the Statue of Liberty]: “I first saw it in 1949. America was going to be the land of tolerance. Of peace.”

Magneto [about the Holocaust]: “Women and children, whole families destroyed just because they were different than those in power.”

31) I love this.

Wolverine [about the uniforms]: “You actually go outside in these things?”

Cyclops: “Well what would you prefer? Yellow spandex?”

32) This is one of my favorite scenes in the entire franchise.

Originally posted by soundsofmyuniverse

(GIFs originally posted by @soundsofmyuniverse)

I was about twelve when I saw this film for the first time. I really got comfortable using my middle finger after this scene. And too this day, every time I extend my middle finger, it is just SO cathartic. I may or may not be exclusively typing with only my middle fingers now.

33) Ladies and gentlemen, one of the greatest bloopers in cinematic history.

34) Logan’s fight with Mystique is incredible and reflects some of the incredibly strong solo choreography he will get as the film continues. It is fast paced, enticing, and plays with the concept of a shapeshifter very well (even giving us some GREAT misdirection right before Logan defeats Mystique, since at first we think he’s Mystique when he stabs Storm only to have Storm be Mystique all along).

35) You know how X-Men never stay dead? No? Well Toad does.

Toad [after thinking he killed Storm]: “Don’t you people ever die!?”

36) Oh boy…

Originally posted by mulder-scully-gifs

That is a line crafted by Joss Whedon after Fox asked him to help iron out the script (one of only two lines of his that made it into the final film). According to the famed writer, he had intended it to be much more tongue in cheek than it was finally delivered as. To this day, it is considered one of the worst cheesiest lines to grace a superhero film ever. Moving on.

37) This was the other line of Whedon’s which made it into the film, and I fucking love it.

Wolverine [returning to the team, only for Cyclops to point his eye beams at him]: “Hey, hey. It’s me.”

Cyclops [thinking he’s Mystique]: “Prove it.”

(GIFs source unknown [if these are your GIFs please let me know].)

38) You know what trope I love more than any others? At least, I’m pretty sure it’s my favorite. When the antagonist’s self righteous behavior gets called out.

Wolverine [to Magneto]: “You are so full of shit. If you were really so righteous it would by you in that thing.”

39) The final fight between Logan and Sabretooth is another strong action set piece in the film, with the use of place (the top of the Statue of Liberty) used greatly. These two are very similar in styles, in ferocity, and it’s fun to see them duke it out.

40) The final dialogue between Charles and Erik is powerful for a lot of reasons. It harkens back to the core conflict of their relationship/dissonance in philosophies, while also reminding the audience that all the problems of the world have not been solved and will have to be dealt with in the future.

Magneto: Does it ever wake you in the middle of the night? The feeling that one day they will pass that foolish law or one just like it, and come for you? And your children?

Xavier: It does, indeed.

Magneto: What do you do, when you wake up to that?

Xavier: I feel a great swell of pity for the poor soul who comes to that school… looking for trouble.


X-Men is a strong start to what would end up being one of the defining franchises of the 21st century. With great performances all around - specifically Jackman, McKellen, and Stewart - as well as reverence for the source material and a powerful tone, X-Men stands up to the test of time because of it’s characters and (unfortunately always) relevant themes of bigotry and bias. A film everyone should try at least once.

10

THE LADIES OF X-MEN

  • Halle Berry as Ororo Munroe / Storm
  • Famke Janssen as Dr. Jean Grey
  • Rebecca Romijn as Raven Darkhölme / Mystique
  • Anna Paquin as Rogue
  • Kelly Hu as Yuriko Oyama / Lady Deathstrike
  • Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde / Shadowcat
  • Jennifer Lawrence as Raven Darkhölme / Mystique
  • Zoë Kravitz as Angel Salvadore
  • Sophie Turner as Jean Grey
  • Olivia Munn as Elizabeth Braddock / Psylocke
10

X-Men (2000)

“Mutation: it is the key to our evolution. It has enabled us to evolve from a single-celled organism into the dominant species on the planet. This process is slow, and normally taking thousands and thousands of years. But every few hundred millennia, evolution leaps forward.”