The second X-Men film is my number 1 favourite film from the X-Men film series. I have ben a great fan of that film since I first saw it in cinemas back in 2003. I have previously been a fan of the X-Men, having watched both the original animated series, and later X-Men: Evolution. The film itself is a science fiction blockbuster, featuring top of the line special effects; but at the same time is an incredibly powerful drama, featuring characters tortured backstories, resolutions and even sacrifices. There are many reasons why I like it, but there is one thing that makes it help stand above the rest, and that’s the film’s opening title sequence.
John Ottman‘s score for the opening titles is brilliantly produced. It’s a theme which starts off with a very serious tone; then the drums come in. Then we have a strong but serious theme constantly ascending to a point, just driving the energy up, as you both begin to experience the picture, and then feverishly begin to get excited by it.
It’s not just the theme though. The opening monologue from Patrick Stewart leads in with an explanation to provide a little update of what has come so far, but also to tell the less well known of the audience what Mutants are and what they mean to the world. It then comes to a dramatic climax with that brilliant line: “It is an historical fact; sharing the world has never been humanity’s defining attribute!”
Then the images start to pour in as the opening tune fades out in favor of the titles tune. One thing that is interesting about the opening title imagery is that while on the one hand it could be seen as just some vivid imagery; in detail it actually highlights what the film is going to be about. In this instance it goes through a machine and into Cerebro. This same imagery was used later on when the theme returned for both Days of Future Past, and Apocalypse.
The opening titles is one of the first things I consider when I think about this film. They are practically perfect and very effective. As the years ticked by and more films were released, I was a little disappointed when they weren’t used again (although the titles for Last Stand were pretty good in their own right). But then the title theme returned along with similar titles for two more X-Men films down the line; which at the time I was very excited about, and the film’s had only just begun.
I know the future of the X-Men in film is going to be very different to the incredible series that has just concluded; but if I could keep one thing, it would be this incredible title music!