Thursday, May 9, 2013

Adoption Movie Guide: X2

The earth is shared between traditional humans and mutants, who have evolved rapidly and developed distinctive traits and abilities. Each side mistrusts the other, although the mutants are divided into a separatist, elitist faction, led by Magneto, and a group striving for collaboration and unity, led by Xavier. Magneto is kept in a high-security prison but manages to escape. Some humans and some mutants ramp up for war, while others on each side prepare to work for peace.

How is This Relevant to Adoption? 
There are a few adoption-relevant themes throughout the X-Men Movies. One group of people is misunderstood and ostracized by another, larger group of people. Young adoptees may feel ostracized by their friends for being different; older adoptees often feel misunderstood by society, family, and friends.   Wolverine’s ability to rapidly heal might be interesting to some people who’ve experienced trauma. Wolverine also has a self-defense mechanism (claws) which he acknowledges hurts him every time he uses it. Rogue is a teenager who is unable to physically touch another person because she fears she will harm them.  All of the Mutants take on new names.

Strong Points
For those who feel ostracized, the film offers hope that, “We’re not as alone as we think.”

There is a powerful conversation between Nightcrawler and Storm. Nightcrawler explains, “Most people were afraid of me, but I didn’t hate them. I pitied them, because most people will know nothing more than what they see with their own eyes.”  He encourages Storm to not be so angry. Storm replies, “Sometimes anger can help you survive.” Nightcrawler answers, “So can faith.”

"Sometimes faith can help you survive."


Magneto is correct that humans distrust mutants, but he chooses to respond with violence.

Weak Points

One character uses involuntary administration of drugs to control others.

One character burns himself with a cigarette. Another character self-mutilates “for each sin.”

One character declares that his son – a mutant – is dead, even though the son is alive. A character betrays his brother to the police.

There is much violence – one character is shot in the head, but survives. A character drowns. A scene of home invasion could be very traumatic to some viewers.

Police are portrayed as villains.

Logan cannot remember how he became Wolverine. Xavier decides not to help him find out, explaining, “Sometimes your mind needs to discover things for itself.”  Later, another character reveals the information for his own purposes. Secrets usually do get broken; it’s best when truth is told by trusted, trustworthy people.  


Kids are likely drawn to superhero movies, but this film has enough violence to give parents some pause about grade school kids watching it. Teenagers will like the film – it’s well done and exciting. There are some troubling scenes, but the affirmation that no one is alone and the conversation between Nightcrawler and Storm are very positive. A parent watching this with a pre-teen or teen could highlight those scenes.

Questions for Discussion after the movie

If you were a mutant, what power would you want?

Do you ever feel alone?    (there are support groups for adopted teens which might be helpful).

Nightcrawler and Storm had an interesting conversation – Storm said anger helps her survive, while Nightcrawler says faith helps him survive. What helps you survive the hard days?

You might also enjoy

Adoption Movie Guide: X-Men
Adoption Movie Guide: X-Men: First Class

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