It lets you know things will be looking up by starting out with the same exact opening shot from the first movie. There are plenty of other nods like Charles’s thesis being his opening monologue from that film.
My daughter’s commentary was, as always, deeply thought provoking and insightful. She’d heard of Kevin Bacon through talking about other films, the six degrees thing, and a CD we have of him and his brother’s band. When he appeared on screen as the evil Sebastian Shaw, she was surprised because he looked nothing like she imagined.
“I thought he’d look more like bacon.”
She also broke into a rousing chorus of “Let it Go” when Charles was working with Erik on his powers.
To keep the Disney references flying as befits one of our family, instead of mentioning a dragonfly or other bug, she decided Angel had fairy wings.
She also decided the wind powered Riptide’s name was “Vidia.”
Apparently it doesn’t matter if it’s a completely different actress, to a pre-teen girl, turning into diamond is awesome.
Darwin produced a few confused moments, since an early example of his powers was the fish tank trick; she thought he might be Aquaman.
During his heroic efforts to contain Shaw’s blast within his altering form, my daughter went back and forth between “Yup, Nope Yup, Nope” when trying to figure out if he’d survive.
Followed by: “Ooooh…guess not.”
Her response to Oliver Platt being dropped from a great height was identical to mine:
“Aww. I liked him.”
And she hasn’t even seen Diggstown yet.
Her reaction to Shaw’s explosive stomping blast however was completely original:
Some constants of her perception of all these films remained.
She generally agreed with Magneto, and had a very sly chuckle at him adopting the name in the post credit stinger. She cheered him extensively when he was taking out the “Greater Evil” (bad mutants and Nazis) However, she still treated him like a super villain before his more obvious turns at the end. This did not keep her from having the second greatest laugh of the film when he pushed Banshee off the radar dish.
Really the entire end conflict was a magnificent combined arms, plus superpowers and philosophical ideas battle that was the pinnacle of the story of Erik’s “fall” from the good side. The way that was handled along with the tragedy of the loss of his friendship with Charles when it was shown throughout how much the two of them contributed to the greatness of the other was phenomenal.
It’s a darn shame Anakin’s fall wasn’t handled that well. (At least in live action.)
Her anti-racist tendencies found an interesting outlet. Normally she’s a big fan of Beast, and liked Hank as he was introduced here as well. However, she went into a rant (that made her equally ranty father proud) against him when he implied Raven was only beautiful in her human disguise since “she’s beautiful blue!”
Side note, when Charles is uncomfortable with his adoptive sisters true form, I think it’s the only time in the franchise they acknowledge that Mystique (who shape shifts clothes along with appearance) is constantly buck naked.
My daughter was also kind of shocked at how effective the mutant’s trainings was since it seemed to only last a week, but that’s movie time for you.
Similarly I was kind of shocked that Michael Ironside played the American ship captain at the end. I was kind of shocked the first and second time I saw it, as well as the viewing during the commentary, but that’s my attention span for you.
The last X-men consistent moment I need to mention is the Hugh Jackman exclusion to her normal reaction to certain words.
Wolverine’s only one allowed in a PG-13 movie cameo F-Bomb elicited the biggest laugh from her in the entire film and we nearly had to pause the movie for her to catch her breath.
With Hugh’s help, the George Awards may yet safely pass down through my family.