Well, I had been waiting for this film for a while. After the scoring and mixing sessions, my excitement for X-Men 2 had been steadily growing, and tonight I finally got to see it. Matt and I went to the Mann National (leaving our cellphones in the car, after the Dreamcatcher security fiasco), and once we got in, we ended up having to wait about an hour – because everyone had to get through security! Aargh. Well, at least we can hold a conversation with each other!
When the movie finally started, there was applause right off the bat – I knew this was gonna be a fun audience. In fact, the opening sequence had pretty much grabbed everyone, and it didn’t let go until the end. It’s one of those films that presumes you saw the first film, but nicely enough doesn’t rely on that to give you all the info you need to follow the plot. That being said, the story was pretty good, but not great. I liked the idea of Stryker (Brian Cox) manipulating mutants, but they never explained really how he could do that with a drug. Magneto (Ian McKellan) is sly and delightful to watch (his 3rd film with Bryan Singer at the helm); Professor X (Patrick Stewart) is regal and calming as always; Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is just too cool, with his cigars, “bub”s, and his urge to impale/slash nearly anything that gets near him. (An R-rated cut of the film would have been WAY too cool.)
I’m not gonna go into the plot, really, but I will say that I didn’t quite feel that there was as much of a “bang” as I had hoped, and the Jean Grey / Phoenix stuff was cool, but probably needed just a tad more explaination. (The only reason I knew what was really going on – without having read the comic books – was because Tom DeSanto explained it all to me at the scoring session!)
The music was, of course, awesome. I don’t know if it’s really Ottman’s best score, but it’s certainly his biggest. Powerful main titles, plenty of secondary themes, action cues, and a kickin’ finale / end title suite. Can’t wait for the album! The editing (by Ottman as well) is quite good, and the film never felt mis-paced. The trademarked montage sequence is pure Ottman, and you gotta admire how he does what he does when he does it.
Upon leaving the film, some Los Angeles snob started checking his voicemail – while we were still trying to get into the aisle. So he wasn’t paying attention, and slowed everyone else down. How frickin’ rude! Matt, not being one to pass up an opportunity to vocalize his opinions about rude people, commented to me (loudly) how rude it was. The guy glanced in our direction, and looked like he was gonna say something – until he noticed that Matt was a full head taller. Of course, Matt continued, and pointed out that it was a very ‘Los Angeles’ thing to do. Which, well, it is – a lot of people were on their cellphones by the time we got out to the lobby. So the guy finally decides to open his mouth, and asks Matt, “So do you really think it’s rude?” Matt responds with “Yes, I do.” The guy then keeps walking, leaving me and Matt wondering why he had no response. Typical Los Angeles weenie. We’ll see what kind of crowd the Matrix: Reloaded attracts!