X2: Never work with children, animals or Alan Cumming. Once again the little imp just shameslessly stole the movie away from everyone, even Hugh, by being cute, blue and German: "By the way, did I mention I'm German?" :)
Was it any good? Oh yes. It was fantastic, in the true meaning of the word. Certainly not a critics favourite, or one of those so painfully worthy women's films that my friends in the chadonnay sipping chattering classes love so much, but for a movie based on an angsty soapy comic book with a message about racism and tolerance and American witchunts of any era, it weren't bad. For one thing, the cast were good, with very few weak links. In fact, the cast was rather impressive, for a bubblegum movie. Having good or competent actors in an action film is still a novelty. Thanks to cgi, gone are the days when one had to hire meatheads and stuntmen and wince as they attempted to mumble lines. Now you can hire a decent actor and just drop the stuntwork in later.
The FX in this is just fantastic, LOTR, Matrix fantastic. I was deeply distressed over the cgi in Spider-man or DD where it really, badly, looked liked they'd just pasted in some chunky bits from the Nintendo game (and they probably did). The opening scene with Kurt popping in and out as he rips through White House security was absolutely bloody fantastic. Bravo! I was so impressed. It looked real. That was the best part - the FX looked real. Cy's blasts, the plane, Wolvie's claws, Pyro's flames, Iceman's ice, it all looked real. Yeah, there were a few bits that were less than, but the set pieces they chose to polish were just brilliant. I also loved Magneto's escape, that totally rocked.
Enough spoilers yet? This is my revenge on friends who casually drop Buffy clangers into the conversation. Want a really big spoiler? There's a shitload of prick teasing about Dark Phoenix and after a red glowy Jean supposedly sacrifices herself under a dam full of water the very last shot is one of a Dark Phoenix like shape ghosting under the waters of the lake. And, oh my, Wolvie and Cyc consoling each other. Hello slash happiness. Lots of romance, triangles, angst, jealousy and slash - though the Wolvie/Stryker Scott/Prof slash had me squirming as the boys up the back laughed out loud (that's how blatant it was).
They're still teasing over Logan's past but the set reminded me very much of Cooper's birthplace. Very much indeed.
Pete: Second henchman, not third as I'd feared. He had closeups, he even had lines (and his American accent is almost as bad as his Australian one, wince, wince). Yep, messy end but he just about made the last reel and as Bro archly remarked, there's a good chance of one catching a glimpse in the pan and scan version (he'd been teasing me that I'd need to pre-order the WS version if I wanted to see the Pete). Don't know what was up with the racoon cammo paint though. You'll see what I mean.
Not a lot of plot, dare I say the books are more layered and complex, but there were some nice character moments and it had a heart and a soul - mostly provided by Hugh's closeups, and I liked it. The whole mutant repression thing was sledgehammered home with the usual subtlety of an American film but it was alarmingly topical considering the behaviour of our less than benevolent rulers in the USA today, and I wished they'd thrown in a reminder of the Nazi party again, though I suppose that's something most Americans can't chew on yet, that they're facists, in every sense and emotion and memory of the word. So cheesy as the whole 1930s Europe/1950s America parallels were, they were eerily and uncomfortable resonant, which perhaps gives the film more depth than it deserves.
Still, you can ignore the message (at your peril) and just watch Hugh being a total slut on screen (and loving it, as Max would say).
I was lucky enough to get into the third screening worldwide. When I bought the ticket it was meant to be the first, but when the tickets were snapped up in minutes I guess they threw on a few more, though I think it was unfair to schedule them before our screening. Never mind. We were all searched and screened and scanned and had to walk through detectors and suffer security checks of the like I never endure when boarding a plane, just to ensure no one snuck cameras into the cinema, though nobody consficated anyone's mobile phone, while they looked at my ye olde walkman suspiciously. Get with the 00s, guys. Usually I get upset subjecting my precious story disks and notes to just plain dangerous man handling but I was too tired and too excited to care, racing in and getting my seat, which turned out to be perfect.
Advantages of being homely #3: no one will sit next to you, therefore more arm and leg room for you.
After the movie, and a brief detour past Kings, it was time for a game of everybody's bus but mine. I hate playing that game, especially when my buses, unreasonably sparse already, fail to show. So I squeak home minutes to midnight, upsetting the bat, and, waking the residents, was asked if I wanted anything for dinner. Yes please, says she who hasn't eaten. Well tough, cackles AP, there's nothing to eat. Off to bed without any supper. AP sure knows how to ruin a night out - that's why she did it. Oh well, easier than being locked out all night I suppose (she never bolts the door unless I dare to go out).
Will try and get home early to catch up on Buffy et al tonight. Yeah, right.