I get two complaints
more than any others. The first is "Dude, you smell like a pig."
The second is, "You're too hard on comic book adaptations." Actually,
correction, those complainants never call them "comic books"; they
are "graphic novels", "graphic novellas" or "graphic works of art
in the traditional short format on really shitty paper." Well, there
ain't a damn thing I can do about the first complaint short of taking
shower and I'll do that when they pry this porn descrambler from
my cold dead hands and feet. The second complaint is probably valid.
I am too hard on movies ripped from the long-form graphic art of
Marvel and DC.
Maybe pissing on the comic book fans is, in many
ways, just pissing on myself. Something I know all too much about.
Sure it seems funny to make fun of morbidly obese, Cheetos-coated-fingered
misfits when I'm doing it. But am I doing it just because I too
am a misfit and looking for a way to win the favor of the popular
kids. Am I simply savaging my own ilk to look cooler, like the guy
who tells a girl all his friends are geeks because he thinks that
somehow makes him cool. Really, though, he's just acknowledging
that he can't even claim cluelessness as his reason for hanging
out with the geeks.
Like so many things, making jokes of the computer
lab crowd feels hilarious when I do it, but leaves me with deep
regrets later. For example, pissing in the open window of a car
strikes me as a rich, profound gag every time I stumble out of the
Tavern and find such a vehicle. In retrospect, though, it isn't,
especially since I usually target my own Galaxie 500.
I've had a good time at the expense of the comic
book geeks for their geekiness and obsessive attention to detail
about, well, about fucking comic books meant for eight-year olds.
It isn't fair, though, and the usual rigid and comprehensively researched
and contemplated reviews I write are tainted by this injustice.
I saw X-Men 2: X-Men United this past weekend, and I gave
it a fair chance.
Now, having come clean, I can say with pride and
clarity that I am approaching this review from the perspective of
the comic book fan. I am writing this review with an open mind and
with an attention to detail and accuracy you rarely find in my reviews
of comic book adaptations. I can say without worrying what the popular
kid think that X-Men 2 is pretty fucking retarded. And long.
It's pretty fucking retarded long. And boring, too. Even seeing
it at the Cinderella Drive-in, with the pleasant distraction of
sugar-doped four-year olds in pajamas playing hide and seek among
cars, didn't make the experience enjoyable.
I saw the original X-Men movie, but I remember
less about it than the time I hit my head in the Tavern's men's
room and woke up in the alley with the Harelip's teethmark in my
collar bone and wearing underwear made of wax paper. Actually, I'm
not sure which I would rather remember. X-Men 2 takes off
where the last one ended, I assume, with a bunch of mutants who
want to be accepted into society and yet can't resist naming themselves
afterAmerican Gladiators. That's probably a great way to
win respect among steroid-popping closet homosexuals at Gold's Gym,
but it's a questionable strategy for blending in.
Led by Professor Xavier Cugat (played by Gene Luck
Picard), once a polyrhythmic bandleader and now a superfreak who
can play drums with his mind, a band of good mutants works to protect
the fate of all mutants and to have them accepted as equals all
over the world. Cugat runs a school for band class with its own
jet, and has assembled a squadron of crimefighters like: Wolfman
Guy (Hugh Jackman) has the withering looks of a man coming from
a Flock of Seagulls lookalike contest for werewolves; Sprinkles
the Weather Girl (Halle Berry) wears a lame-ass white wig necessary
for being able to create tornadoes and hurricanes with her breath;
Mr. Sunglasses (James Marsden) who has really expensive Oakleys
that can shoot fire; Dr. Dorian Gray (Famke Jannsen) can read people's
minds and control matter too, but the picture of her she keeps in
the attic cannot; Bandit (Anna Paquin) is a prematurely graying
teen who can suck your soul out with a French kiss (and really,
this isn't so impressive. My mother is able to crush souls with
her words). There are dozens of others, including Nitro, Pyro, Chilly
Willy, Dick Face, Juan Valdes, and the new addition Earthworm (Alan
Cumming) who does a delicious Cabaret rendition throughout
the entire movie without once wondering whether it's really fucking
annoying. You go for it, Earthworm!
Returning from the first movie and in the corner
of evil are Mr. Magnavox (Ian McKellen) who can suck the iron out
of your blood and make bullets out of it, and watches way too much
television (hence the name), and Dark Blue Mercury Mystique (Rebecca
John Stamos), a discontinued car who becomes a shapeshifting supermodel
with a deep gloss paint job. Dr. Magnavox was caught at the end
of the first movie, and so in this one he is being held captive
at a space-agey hotel with excellent cable access.
But, all mutants, good and bad are facing a new
threat when a very , very bad government scientist Mr. Strikeout
(William Cox) plots to steal Xavier Cugat's giant drum machine and
use it to pound the life out of all the mutants worldwide. Boop
boop, bap bap! Mr. Magnavox and Cugat, once friends, then enemies,
must now ally themselves to save all of the mutants from death by
way of the world's most devastating drum circle.
Along the way, each mutant gets an opportunity to
use its mutant powers to fight the sniveling evil forces. Sprinkles
makes it rain so the flowers grow, and that makes everyone happy.
Wolfman Guy encounters the equally indestructible Wolfman Lady (Kelly
Huh) and they make Wolfman love. Oh wait, no, they just have a scissors
fight, except the scissors are part of their hands. Cool! In the
end, the mutants all attack Mr. Strikeout with cymbals and go clang,
clang, clang! Until his damn head is ringing. I know my head was
ringing and I'm pretty sure it was cymbals.
There's a whole lot of noisy and confusing action
in X-Men 2, maybe like 40 minutes worth. That's great because
the comic book geeks can get into message board arguments about
it for months to come. That leaves about 95 minutes for characters
to yell "Noooo!" and "Stop him!" and stuff like that. Sadly, it
leaves no room for any of the movie's 60 or 70 characters to have
any personalities. Sprinkles, we hardly knew ye. Mercury Mystique,
I hear you handle well for a mid-size sedan but I wouldn't know.
The heavily promoted Mazda RX-8 gets a better showcase. One time
Wolfman Guy drinks beer right out of the bottle, because he's a
bad boy. How's that for character development? And Dr. Strikeout
has a pretty good grip on being the sort of transparently evil character
that only 450-pound video-game worshipping comic book collectors
could not see through. Once I put on another 250 pounds, you bet
your sweet ass I'm joining them.
There's some infighting among the mutants. Wolfman
Guy and Mr. Sunglasses both love Dr. Dorian Gray, and so they give
each other lots of nasty glares and, at one point, Mr. Sunglasses
really burns Wolfman Guy by telling him to fill up the motorcycle's
gas tank himself. Oh, shit, I guess he was put in place.
The action seems pretty good for people who are
into that sort of thing. It sure as hell goes on forever. There
are about eight times where you think the movie is over, but then
it keeps coming back to resolve more stories under the misguided
perception we actually give a mother rat's tit what happens to Sprinkles,
Xavier Cugat, Pyro, Twinkles the mad ballerina, and the rest of
the well-coiffed mutants.
So I didn't like it, but it sure as hell wasn't
because I didn't try. I paid so close attention I thought my fucking
head was going to burst all over my car windshield. I want everyone
to understand how much time and patience went into this review,
making sure I got all those little details right. It's that sort
of respect that I hope the comic book community can give back to
me. Truce, okay? Two Fingers. Oh, yeah, one other little
detail I forgot to mention. All the X-men are pedophiles, too.
to tell Filthy Something