Monday, August 1, 2016

X2: X-Men United (Ottman, 2003)


     In 2000, the late Michael Kamen scored the successful first X-Men film.  3 years later, John Ottman (who was originally chosen to score the initial film) picked up where Kamen left off in "X2: X-Men United", and added his own spin on the musical themes of the titular superhero outcasts.  In the next decade he would go on to score 2014's "X-Men: Days of Future Past" and 2016's "X-Men Apocalypse".


     Ottman crafted many themes based on the characters in the film, and for a few of them (Stryker, Magneto and Jean Grey), created several sub-themes as well.  There are also a few "action" motifs, usually developed around rhythmic string ostinati, as well as some less obvious melodic material for Kurt (Nightcrawler) and Storm.
  • X-Men theme: fanfare/march, somewhat a "mutation" of Kamen's X-Men theme, and keeping the falling tail note.
  • Stryker theme: 3 note falling-rising motif, also an inverted version (rising-falling).
  • Stryker temptation theme: hypnotic tremolo figure.
  • Mystique theme: 5-note phrase variation of X-Men theme, often on harp with female sighing.
  • Jean Grey theme: falling, resigned/mystical melody/chord cadence, sometimes with cascading Phoenix motif.
  • Magneto theme: Ominous 3 and 4-note falling figure, with a syncopated sub-theme.
  • Deathstryke theme: metallic march rhythm, sometimes with exotic flute motif.
  • Wolverine drums motif.
  • Pyro theme: slow tremolo figure leading into a fateful harmony.


     The original soundtrack featured about half of the music used in the film, but in 2012 Lala-Land Records put out an Expanded Release.  This is described below.
Trk Dur Title Film Sequence (and themes)
1.1 0:22 Twentieth Century Fox Fanfare 0:00: Logos (ends with X-Men fanfare).
1.2 1:09 Opening
Titles
0:00: Xavier talks about the human-mutant issue in a voice-over over a star background (X-Men fanfare surfaces out of choir).
0:28: Main title with "tunnel" graphic, backing out into locked Cerebro chamber door (X-Men fanfare and march).
1.3 3:18 Nightcrawler Attack 0:00: A tour group looks at a portrait of Lincoln in the White House (subtle American anthem quote).  The President confers with his staff.  Kurt (Nightcrawler) teleports among the crowd.
1:09: Kurt begins his attack on the White House staff (Mozart's Requiem Mass choral chant with brass and percussion accents).
2:15: The President listens to the sounds of struggle in his office (held texture).  Kurt enters (choral chant resumes), dispatches the final agents and prepares to stab the President, but is shot at the last minute.  He escapes, leaving a message: "Mutant freedom now".
1.4 1:59 Alkali Lake 0:00: Scene dissolve to a frozen lake and dam, with Logan (Wolverine) approaching in the snow.  A white wolf shows him a gate.
1:06: Logan finds the abandoned ruins of the "Alkali Lake Industrial Complex" (hint of Stryker theme in low brass).
1.5 1:02 Jean's Hallucination 0:00: In a museum, Jean starts having psychic disturbances (partially used).
Something Terrible 0:29: Jean tells Scott that her dreams are getting worse.  He comforts her and they embrace.
1.6 3:38 Newscast 0:00: A newscast about Kurt's White House attack prompts Xavier to ask the students to leave the museum and return to the school. 
0:22: Back at Xavier's office, he tells the X-Men that he has been trying to track Kurt but is having some trouble.
Permission 1:06: Stryker tells Senator Kelly-Mystique that he's been interrogating Magneto and has learned about Xavier's school for mutants (brief X-Men motif in steel drums).  The President gives him permission for a raid.
2:07: Mystique-Kelly and Stryker later have a tense talk about a mutant-human war (X-Men motif, Mystique motif in harp).
Reunion 2:33: Logan returns to the school and flirts with Jean (Jean Grey theme), until Scott arrives.
1.7 1:27 Cerebro 0:00: Logan joins Xavier, as the Professor uses Cerebro to search out Kurt (cello, strings/synth).  He tells Logan that if he concentrates too hard, his probes could kill the people he is mentally connected to.
1.8 4:01 Sneaky Mystique 0:00: Jean and Storm take off in the X-Jet to find Kurt (X-Men fanfare).
0:27: Mystique infiltrates Stryker's office to research Magneto's imprisonment (Mystique theme developed in harp, echoed pizz strings, metals, female sighing voice etc, hint of Magneto theme in low brass). 
2:18: Yuriko arrives (Deathstryke motif), as Mystique learns of a duplicate Cerebro (Stryker motif in high winds).
3:04: Mystique transforms into a janitor and leaves (Mystique harp motif/sighs).
1.9 2:20 Meeting Nightcrawler 0:00: Inside an abandoned church, Storm uses lightning to bring Kurt out of hiding (X-Men fanfare developed).  Jean catches him (brief, gentle Jean theme chords).  Kurt claims he is innocent and that he was mind-controlled. 
1:10: Among his skin carvings, they discover a strange scar on the back of his neck (female chant).
1:51: Logan has a flashback dream about the lab in which he was experimented on (hint of Stryker theme harmony in strings).
1.10 2:29 You Remember Him 0:00: Magneto tells Xavier that Stryker has been visiting him (inverted variation of Stryker theme).
0:39: They discuss Logan.  Magneto apologizes for being Stryker's tool.  The room is gassed.
1:39: Xavier and Scott are captured by Deathstryke (Deathstryke metallic rhythm).
1.11 7:54 Mansion Attack 0:00: Soldiers sneak into Xavier's school and begin tranquilizing students.  Logan senses something is amiss.
0:42: The students, alerted, begin trying to escape.  Stryker's helicopter approaches from afar (ominous piano/bass).  Logan engages soldiers in the kitchen (brass, Wolverine drums).  Colossus leads the students out.
2:34: Logan rushes more soldiers (drums, fateful Stryker theme variations).  Stryker's helicopter gets closer.
4:32: Stryker's helicopter arrives (reverse Stryker theme).  Rogue, Bobby and John try to escape but are cornered.  Logan rescues them (drums) and leads them out, until they run into Stryker.
Don't You Remember 5:20: Stryker tempts Logan with hints of his past (reverse Stryker theme in high winds), but Bobby interrupts when he erects an ice wall between them (Stryker temptation theme). 
Escape 6:52: Stryker blows up the ice wall (Stryker temptation theme).  Logan leaves with the kids in Scott's car (X-Men motif), as soldiers reach Cerebro.
1.12 1:58 Opening Cerebro 0:00: Stryker breaks into the Cerebro chamber.
Bottom's Up 1:22: In a bathroom stall, Mystique drugs one of Magneto's guards in order to give him an iron injection (Mystique motif in harp/sighs). 
1.13 3:29 Jason's Story 0:00: Stryker tells Xavier how his psychic son Jason tortured his parents until his wife killed herself (reversed Stryker theme).  He brings Jason in.
Harmless Kiss 2:26: While at Bobby's house (Pyro theme begins developing), Rogue flirts with Bobby and they have a brief kiss, with slightly uncomfortable consequences.
1.14 1:27 Magneto's Escape 0:00: (alternate mix) Eric senses the high iron content in the guard and draws it out of him.  He uses 3 metal balls to escape his prison.
1.15 2:49 What Bobby Can Do 0:00: Bobby freezes a cup of coffee for his mother during his "coming out".  Bobby's brother calls the police.
Finding Faith 0:51: Kurt explains his skin carvings to Storm.  Storm uses anger to express her feelings for humanity's prejudice, and Kurt advises faith.
1.16 3:15 Pyro Attack 0:00: Police arrive at Bobby's house.  Logan is shot unconscious.  John (Pyro) is tempted to use his fire powers (Pyro theme).  He attacks the police.  Rogue uses her power to absorb John's control over flame and stop the fires.
2:18: Jean and Storm arrive as Logan wakes up and gives the policeman who shot him if a warning look.  Bobby gives his fearful parents a regretful look and they all leave.
1.17 1:26 Xavier Escapes 0:00: (Unused) Xavier escapes by using his powers to overcome a guard.  He finds Scott (unfortunately it's all an illusion by Jason).
1.18 2:20 Storm's Perfect Storm 0:00: When the X-Jet is targeted by hostile fighters, Storm uses her powers to create tornado funnels, and the X-Jet performs evasive maneuvers (Jean harmony with choir).
Missiles 1:25: One of the pursuing fighters launches 2 missiles.  Jean stops one of them but the other hits and brings down the X-Jet (they are soon saved by Magneto).
1.19 5:02 Fireside Chat 0:00: Magneto and the X-Men discuss Stryker's plans (Stryker theme in strings).  
Flashback 1:20: Jean uses her powers to probe Kurt's mind in order to locate Stryker's hidden base.
Jean And Logan 2:01: Jean and Logan have a heart to heart (Jean theme featured on piano).  Logan kisses Jean, but gets rejected.
You Know What I Want 3:24: Mystique decides to play a trick on Logan and pretends to be Jean (Jean theme chords with playful pizz bass).  She taunts him with images of Stryker (Mystique theme in harp/sighs, Stryker motif in high winds).
1.20 2:11 God Among Insects 0:00: Pyro shows his power to Magneto (Pyro theme with choir support).
Where Is Everyone? 0:42: Jason puts Xavier into an illusionary visit with an empty school.  In the illusion he decides to use Cerebro to find the other students.
1.21 4:21 I'm In 0:00: Logan enters Stryker's base through an underground tunnel.  He calls out Stryker.  Stryker's men capture him and bring him to Stryker (hint of Mystique theme).
1:38: Stryker realizes that it's actually Mystique.  Mystique takes out some men and gets control of the tunnel doors (frenzied piano, etc).  Stryker uses charges to blow open the door to Mystique, but with little effect.
2:58: Mystique opens the tunnel doors, allowing the X-Men to enter (X-Men motif developed).
3:30: Xavier, still in Jason's illusion, approaches and enters Stryker's modified copy of Cerebro.
1.22 3:53 It's Time 0:00: The door to Mystique is broken down, but it is Magneto and the X-Men who enter.  They form a plan to split up, as Logan heads for Stryker. 
1:11: Stryker arrives at his modified Cerebro and tells Jason to proceed with his plan (Stryker temptation theme begins).  Jason tells Xavier to find all of the mutants in the world using Cerebro. 
3:27: Xavier puts on the Cerebro helmet.
2.1 2:40 The Children 0:00: Storm and Kurt rescue the kidnapped students.
0:26: Jean looks for the Stryker-controlled Scott.  Scott attacks and Jean retaliates, but her Phoenix powers manifest and cause major damage to the base (and dam).  Water begins to leak in (ominous brass).  Scott comes out of Stryker's control and embraces Jean (subtle Jean theme).
Something's Wrong 1:50: Jean feels that something is wrong.  Stryker realizes the base is finished, as Xavier continues tracking mutants with Cerebro..
2.2 4:58 Augmentation Room
(Death Strikes Deathstrike)
0:00: Logan finds the lab where his adamantium was fused to his bones.  He has flashback visions of the procedure. 
1:58: Stryker and Deathstryke arrive (Stryker theme in strings).  Deathstryke stops Logan from reaching Stryker (Deathstryke metallic elements enter).
3:05: Deathstryke reveals her claws (Deathstryke flute motif) and Logan engages her in battle.
2.3 5:53 Deathstrike Dies 0:00: John (Pyro) disobeys orders and leaves the X-Jet (Pyro theme).
0:15: Logan's fight with Deathstryke continues.
0:32: Logan finally kills her with an adamantium injection (solo boys voice).
Magneto's Old Tricks 1:01: Jason tells Xavier to kill all of the mutants that he's found with Cerebro.  Magneto kills a bunch of soldiers (by pulling all of their grenade pins) and approaches Cerebro's outer door (falling Magneto motif).  Xavier concentrates on the mutant population.
2:13: The mutants begin to feel Xavier's attack.  Magneto eventually breaches the door to Stryker's Cerebro and shuts down the device.  The X-Men regroup as Magneto lectures Xavier. 
4:05: Magneto reconfigures Cerebro's architecture (Magneto sub-theme).  Stryker-Mystique gives Jason new instructions.
5:23: Jason has Xavier target all humans.
2.4 8:16 Wolverine To The Rescue 0:00: At his escape helicopter, Stryker tells Logan that the base will soon be destroyed and that they must escape if he wants answers to his past (Stryker theme in strings over piano arpeggios).  Logan straps him to the plane and heads back to the base.
2:06: Xavier prepares to kill all humans.  The X-Men arrive outside Cerebro as Xavier begins his attack on mankind (moaning accents/organ/harp, etc).
3:31: Storm asks Kurt to teleport her into the Cerebro chamber (suspense piano/winds).
4:16: Storm decides to use her cold climate powers to wake up Xavier.  Outside, Magneto says farewell to Stryker (Magneto motif).
5:07: Storm begins lowering the temperature with high winds, as Magneto and Mystique escape in Stryker's helicopter.  Pyro joins Magneto (Pyro theme).  Storm continues to lower the temperature inside the Cerebro room.
6:30: Xavier finally comes out of Jason's illusion (rising horn figure).  The base starts to collapse (churning low winds). 
7:15: The X-Men race to escape the base.  Logan finds them and leads them out.
2.5 2:23 Rogue Earns Wings 0:00: As cracks develop in the dam, the X-Men reach the outside, but find Stryker's escape helicopter gone. 
0:48: Suddenly Rogue arrives in the X-Jet and makes a rough landing.  The students all board with the Professor.
2:00: Logan has a final talk with Stryker.
2.6 7:04 Goodbye 0:00: Logan leaves Stryker and rejoins the other X-Men.  Xavier urges the team to get to Washington.  The X-Jet prepares to take off.
1:06: The dam breaks and Jean makes a decision.  She exits the X-Jet so that she can turn away the water (Jean harmony begins).
2:01: Jean closes the exit ramp before Scott can call her back.  Water approaches.   Jean protects the X-Jet from the wave (Jean theme becomes Phoenix motif).
3:39: Jean communicates a final message to Scott through Xavier.  Her Phoenix power manifests as she raises the jet (Phoenix motif).
4:24: The X-Men realize Jean is gone (Jean theme developed).  Kurt says a prayer.  The X-Jet heads to Washington.
We're Here To Stay 5:39: The X-Men give the President documents proving that Stryker was behind the White House attack (after hijacking his TV address in the dark).  Xavier tries to change the President's mind about mutants.
2.7 3:10 Evolution Leaps Forward 0:00: The President reconsiders his next words.  At Xavier's school, Xavier talks to Scott.
0:29: As Scott leaves, Logan tells him that Jean chose Scott.  Xavier begins a class.  He senses something outside the window, and then continues teaching (Jean harmony in soft strings). 
1:51: Camera pans to Alkali Lake as Jean's voice-over describes a leap forward in evolution.  A Phoenix-like shape appears below the water.
2:40: End Credits (X-Men theme march).
2.8 7:17 Suite From X-Men 2
(End Credits Original Version)
0:00: X-Men theme developed into a march.
1:19: X-Men theme developed on strings/brass.
1:43: Phoenix theme in strings.
2:34: Jean theme developed in piano/winds/strings, joined by choir.
4:51: Pyro theme, Stryker theme.
5:56: X-Men fanfare begins to resurface.
6:16: X-Men March.
2.9 0:51 Evolution Leaps Forward
(Original Version)
(Alternate) Camera pans to Alkali Lake as Jean's voice-over describes a leap forward in evolution.  A Phoenix-like shape appears below the water.
0:43: End Credits.
2.10 9:10 Suite From X-Men 2
(End Credits
Film Version)
0:00: X-Men theme developed into a march.
1:19: X-Men theme developed on strings/brass.
1:43: Phoenix theme in strings.
2:34: Jean theme developed in piano/winds/strings, joined by choir.
4:45: Magneto themes.
5:55: Deathstryke theme.
6:40: Pyro theme, Stryker theme.
5:56: X-Men fanfare begins to resurface.
8:14: X-Men March.


     The original 2003 soundtrack release has many of the highlights of the score and, all things considered, is actually not a bad 1-CD representation:
Trk Dur Title Film Sequence (and themes)
1 7:11 Suite
from
X2
0:00: X-Men theme developed into a march.
1:19: X-Men theme developed on strings/brass.
1:43: Phoenix theme in strings.
2:34: Jean theme developed in piano/winds/strings, joined by choir.
4:51: Pyro theme, Stryker theme.
5:56: X-Men fanfare begins to resurface.
6:15: X-Men March.
2 2:18 Storm's Perfect Storm 0:00: When the X-Jet is targeted by hostile fighters, Storm uses her powers to create tornado funnels, and the X-Jet performs evasive maneuvers (Jean/Phoenix harmony with choir).
1:25: One of the pursuing fighters launches 2 missiles.  Jean stops one of them but the other hits and brings down the X-Jet (they are soon saved by Magneto).
3 1:31 Finding Faith 0:00: Kurt explains his skin carvings to Storm.  Storm uses anger to express her feelings for humanity's prejudice, and Kurt advises faith.
4 3:31 Sneaky Mystique 0:00: Jean and Storm take off in the X-Jet to find Kurt (X-Men fanfare).
0:27: Mystique infiltrates Stryker's office to research Magneto's imprisonment (Mystique theme developed in harp, echoed pizz strings, metals, female sighing voice etc, hint of Magneto theme). 
2:00: Yuriko arrives (Deathstryke motif), as Mystique learns of a duplicate Cerebro (Stryker motif in high winds).
2:42: Mystique transforms into a janitor and leaves (Mystique harp motif/sighs).
5 1:28 Cerebro 0:00: Logan joins Xavier, as the Professor uses Cerebro to search out Kurt (cello, strings/synth).  He tells Logan that if he concentrates too hard, his probes could kill the people he is mentally connected to.
6 7:35 Mansion
Attack
0:00: Soldiers sneak into Xavier's school and begin tranquilizing students.  Logan senses something is amiss.
0:42: The students, alerted, begin trying to escape.  Stryker's helicopter approaches from afar (ominous piano/bass).  Logan engages soldiers in the kitchen (brass, Wolverine drums).  Colossus leads the students out.
2:16: Logan rushes more soldiers (drums, fateful Stryker theme variations).
3:55: Stryker's helicopter gets closer.  Rogue, Bobby and John try to escape but are cornered.  Logan rescues them (drums) and leads them out, until they run into Stryker.
5:00: Stryker tempts Logan with hints of his past (reverse Stryker theme in high winds), but Bobby interrupts when he erects an ice wall between them (Stryker temptation theme). 
6:32: Stryker blows up the ice wall (Stryker temptation theme).  Logan leaves with the kids in Scott's car (X-Men motif), as soldiers reach Cerebro.
7 1:36 Rogue Earns Her Wings 0:00: Rogue arrives in the X-Jet and makes a rough landing.  The students all board with the Professor.
1:15: Logan has a final talk with Stryker.
8 3:41 It's Time 0:00: The door to Mystique is broken down, but it is Magneto and the X-Men who enter.  They form a plan to split up, as Logan heads for Stryker. 
1:01: Stryker arrives at his modified Cerebro and tells Jason to proceed with his plan (Stryker temptation theme begins).  Jason tells Xavier to find all of the mutants in the world using Cerebro. 
3:16: Xavier puts on the Cerebro helmet.
9 4:59 Magneto's Old Tricks 0:00: While in prison, Eric senses the high iron content in the guard and draws it out of him.  He uses 3 metal balls to escape his prison.
1:24: At Alkali Base, Magneto kills a bunch of soldiers (by pulling all of their grenade pins) and approaches Cerebro's outer door (falling Magneto motif).  He breaches the door and shuts down the device.  The X-Men regroup as Magneto lectures Xavier. 
3:11: Magneto reconfigures Cerebro's architecture (Magneto sub-theme).  Stryker-Mystique gives Jason new instructions.
4:29: Jason has Xavier target all humans.
10 4:12 I'm In 0:00: Logan enters Stryker's base through an underground tunnel.  He calls out Stryker.  Stryker's men capture him and bring him to Stryker (hint of Mystique theme).
1:38: Stryker realizes that it's actually Mystique.  Mystique takes out some men and gets control of the tunnel doors (frenzied piano, etc).  Stryker uses charges to blow open the door to Mystique, but with little effect.
2:51: Mystique opens the tunnel doors, allowing the X-Men to enter (X-Men motif developed).
3:21: Xavier, still in Jason's illusion, approaches and enters Stryker's modified copy of Cerebro.
11 3:22 If You
Really Knew
0:00: At his escape helicopter, Stryker tells Logan that the base will soon be destroyed and that they must escape if he wants answers to his past (Stryker theme in strings over piano arpeggios).  Logan straps him to the plane and heads back to the base.
2:05: Xavier prepares to kill all humans with Cerebro.  The X-Men arrive outside Cerebro as Xavier begins his attack on mankind (moaning accents/organ/harp, etc).  Storm asks Kurt to teleport her into the Cerebro chamber (suspense piano/winds).
12 2:45 Playing with Fire 0:00: Police arrive at Bobby's house.  Logan is shot unconscious.  John (Pyro) is tempted to use his fire powers (Pyro theme).  He attacks the police.  Rogue uses her power to absorb John's control over flame and stop the fires.
1:48: Jean and Storm arrive as Logan wakes up and gives the policeman who shot him if a warning look.  Bobby gives his fearful parents a regretful look and they all leave.
13 4:52 Death Strikes Deathstryke 0:00: Logan finds the lab where his adamantium was fused to his bones.  He has flashback visions of the procedure. 
1:38: Stryker and Deathstryke arrive (Stryker theme in strings).  Deathstryke stops Logan from reaching Stryker (Deathstryke metallic elements enter).
2:55: Deathstryke reveals her claws (Deathstryke flute motif) and Logan engages her in battle.
14 4:00 Getting Out Alive 0:00: Storm decides to use her cold climate powers to wake up Xavier.  Outside, Magneto says farewell to Stryker (Magneto motif).
0:50: Storm begins lowering the temperature with high winds, as Magneto and Mystique escape in Stryker's helicopter with Pyro (Pyro theme).
2:13: Xavier finally comes out of Jason's illusion.  The base starts to collapse. 
2:59: The X-Men race to escape the base.  Logan finds them and leads them out.
15 5:28 Goodbye 0:00: Logan leaves Stryker to die in the snow and rejoins the other X-Men at the plane.  Xavier urges the team to get to Washington.  The X-Jet prepares to take off.
1:06: The dam breaks and Jean makes a decision.  She exits the X-Jet so that she can turn away the water (Jean harmony begins).
2:00: Jean closes the exit ramp before Scott can call her back.  Water approaches.   Jean protects the X-Jet from the wave (Jean theme becomes Phoenix motif).
3:25: Jean communicates a final message to Scott through Xavier.  Her Phoenix power manifests as she raises the jet (Phoenix motif).
4:10: The X-Men realize Jean is gone (Jean theme developed).  Kurt says a prayer.  The X-Jet heads to Washington.
16 1:48 We're Here
to Stay
0:00: Back at the White House, the X-Men give the President documents proving that Stryker was behind the White House attack (after hijacking his TV address in the dark).  Xavier tries to change the President's mind about mutants.
1:18: End credit (X-men fanfare).

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