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X2: X-Men United (2003), PG-13
Analysis Date: May 1, 2003
Edited: May 6, 2003
CAP Score: 30 out of 100
CAP Influence Density: 1.71
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X2: X-MEN UNITED (2003), PG-13 -- "Sometimes anger can help you survive." ... "So can faith."
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Ames Entertainment, XM2 Productions, 20th Century Fox, Donner/Schuler-Donner Productions, Marvel Entertainment
Distribution (US): 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
Director(s): Bryan Singer
Producer(s): Avi Arad, Tom DeSanto, Richard Donner, Ross Fanger, Kevin Feige, David Gorder, Stan Lee, Lauren Shuler Donner, Ralph Winter
Written by/Screenplay: Story: David Hayter, Zak Penn. Screenplay: Daniel P. Harris. Comic Book and Charaacters: John Byrne, Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum, Michael Dougherty, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Bryan Singer, Len Wein
Cinematography/Camera: Newton Thomas Sigel
Music: John Ottman
Film Editing: Elliot Graham, John Ottman
Casting: Coreen Mayrs, Roger Mussenden
Production Design: Guy Dyas
Art Direction: Geoff Hubbard, Helen Jarvis
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6, Granbury, Texas
NOTE: May 6, 2003. I have edited the Summary/Commentary section of this analysis report to honor some of the comments of our visitors who have been supportive of this ministry plus a couple after-thoughts of my own. The changes do not alter the scoring or the scoring distribution whatsoever but provide more information about the movie and the characters and fortify applications of the Scriptures. -TC-
X2: X-Men United has some really good things to say. Too bad the good things said were embedded in and almost suffocated by tons of assaults on morality and decency, especially female nudity in this, yet another R-13. But many have misguided understandings of the Scriptures because of the Scriptures being embedded in and almost suffocated by tons of assaults on them through convenience "interpretations", situational redefinitions, counterfeitings and conditional applications of them to sound good, to make us feel better about our behaviors, to suit cultural tolerances and to quietly and relentlessly yet in vain eradicate that terrible "s" word ...
Our inability to grasp the true meaning of the Truth in the Bible is more likely a matter of our perception of what is said. In other words, there is nothing unclear about what God tells us. But since some of His statements do not fit some of our expectations we attempt to change His Word suit our expectations, which confounds our perception of the Truth.
In the subject line of this report we quote from X2: X-Men United. Even with all the assaults on morality and decency in the movie, I was especially moved by one character in particular. I want to put the spotlight on him up front. The character is Kurt Wagner, a.k.a. Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming). Even after being cast out of his family from birth because of his hiddeousness, Nightcrawler portrays a strong Christian faith in God. Openly. Refreshingly. Alan Cumming speaks the Lord's Prayer (remember, the Lord's Prayer is from Jesus Himself) and makes several references to the power of faith. For example, when Nightcrawler speaks to Storm (Hale Berry) about so much anger in her she says to him "Sometimes anger can help you survive." Nightcrawler replies "So can faith." Also, the Nightcrawler performances suggested very well that even the ugliest of appearances can be beautiful if the heart is pure. By God's standards. Not ours. Well done, 20th Century Fox and Bryan Singer. Well done for the courage to keep the politically incorrect character of the original Nightcrawler. I am impressed.
I will not argue the nudity of Mystique. If it is okay for her to wear only blue paint and tiny "glued-on" scale prosthetics to maximize exposing her gender-specific anatomy (though much of it amplified through fabrication), wouldn't it be okay for men to be seen with only paint and tiny glued-on scales over their gender-specifics? Put another way, what do you think the police would do if a woman walked into an elementary school classroom wearing only the identical covering Rebecca Romijn-Stamos wore? Would it be okay to go into a church or courtroom with only such a covering? How about a public beach (Mystique's "outfit" does not conceal as much as the skimpiest of bathing suits)? Well? These are all public places just like the theater. And isn't such a display only freedom of expression? Such display is vulgar tease, pushing the threshold of acceptability yet further below wholesome to younger and younger kids every year. Nothing more. Nothing less. By the way, I was right about Mystique getting more screen time this time. A lot more. Most of it nude. [Ps. 12:8] It has been reported to me that the true Mystique was a red-haired woman in a white dress. If true, doesn't that sort of point to where the filmmakers were going with Mystique in this movie for teens, for the age stratum least capable of managing the fires of sexual desires? Even if it is not true, the direction is the same.
Nightcrawler is forced by dastardly scientist Colonel William Stryker (Brian Cox) to attempt to kill US President McKenna (Cotter Smith) in an effort to convince the President he must approve registration and control of mutants. Senator Robert Kelly (Bruce Davison), a staunch supporter of mutant registration/control from X-Men turned into a mutant by Erik Lehnsherr a.k.a. Magneto (Ian McKellen), who is reported to me to be Mystique shape-shifted since Kelly was killed in X-Men, is now fighting Col. Stryker in his efforts to enact legislation to force registration/control of mutants. Elsewhere it is said that mutants comprise about 3% of the population. I wonder if there is design to using a figure of 3% since two of the quintessential characters are Ian McKellen and Allan Cumming, and since the tagline is "The time has come for those who are different to stand united " Oh! Forgive me! SIR Ian McKellen. (A private matter to address a request of a small grouping of our less-than-appreciative British visitors.)
United together? Were not the X-Men already united? Well, yes they were. But in this longer and more action-oriented installment in the X-Men phenomenon, the X-Men actually join forces with Magneto and his band of merry marauders (Mystique anyway). Together Dr. Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto find ways to combine their skills and talents to defeat Col. Stryker, if only for a short time, while maintaining an adversarial relationship between the two factions.
X2: X-Men United entered the ring of "summer" blockbuster contenders with fists a-flying and made its potentially dynamic contribution. We'll see if it can hold its title with Dr. David Banner lurking just around the corner. We'd best not make Dr. Banner mad 'cause we wouldn't like him when he's mad. Ah! But before Dr. Banner comes Neo ... again.
To summarize the three and a half log pages of findings itemized in the Findings/Scoring section, note that there is a l-o-t of female nudity (Mystique) -- a lot more nudity than the first X-Men. [**] Rogue (Anna Paquin) is seen willingly starting to remove her clothes (action completed off screen) in front of Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) in a bedroom. And after Iceman does a dutiful look-away, we see him turn his face back toward her and noticeably enjoy watching Rogue change her clothes [Prov. 6:25, Matt. 5:28]. Even the first time we see Rogue (in X-Men) she is, although clothed, in her bedroom on her bed with a teenage boy. Mystique forms a caucasian bar babe and exposes about 98.9% of her below-the-waist skin to a bar customer (and the viewer) then sexually attacks him by giving his tongue a tongue bath then unzipping his pants in a bathroom stall. [Eph. 5:5; 1Cor. 7:2] There is quite a bit of additional issues of sexual immorality in X2: X-Men United but the biggest point loss was due to violence. This is a very violent movie. Sometimes viciously. Sometimes brutally. [Prov. 16:29] Deathstrike (Kelly Hu) is seen repeatedly thrusting her blades into Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and apparently enjoying it. And Wolverine slashes his share of people, too. There are many blade killings in this movie, some defensive and some murder but fortunately, the filmmakers avoided the gore. Wolverine is also shot in the forehead by a police officer's 9mm handgun, but again with no gore. And evolution figures prominently in the movie [Gen. 2:1 - 2].
Please read the rather lengthy listing of findings in the Findings/Scoring section before you decide whether to take your family to see X2: X-Men United. And please do not use the first X-Men as a measure of this one. X-Men earned a CAP final score of 56 out of 100, two points above the range of scores earned by R-rated movies (54 and below out of 100) in the comparative baseline database. X2: X-Men United earned a final score of 30.
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** "Nakedness" (display of nudity) is spoken of as dark, restricted, undesirable, shameful, etc. 47 times in the KJV from Genesis to Revelation.
***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Offense to God (O)
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|NOTE: While the Summary/Commentary section of these reports is precisely that -- a summary in commentary format which can be and sometimes is subjective, the actual CAP Analysis Model (the Findings/Scoring section) makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse, for manufacture of justification for, or camouflaging of ignominious content or aberrant behavior or imagery with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme/plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example of behavior or thought from the sinful display or of the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. We make no attempt to quantify the "artistic" or "entertainment" value of a movie -- whether a movie has any positive value or "entertainment" value is up to mom/dad. The CAP analysis model is the only known set of tools available to parents and grandparents which give *them* the control they need, bypassing the opinion-based assessment of movies by others and defeating the deceit of those who would say anything to convince their parents otherwise. The model is completely objective to His Word. Our investigation standards are founded in the teachings and expectations of Jesus Christ. If a sinful behavior is portrayed, it is called sinful whether Hollywood tries to make it otherwise. That the sinful behavior is "justified" by some manufactured conditions does not soften nor erase the price of sin. Whether there is application of fantasy "justification" or "redemption" is up to mom/dad.|
|"There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|