The other day I rewatched X2: X-Men United on DVD, and it reminded me of something I wanted to mention in my original review but omitted because it gave away the end of the movie. So if you haven’t seen the film yet, here there be spoilers.
Anyhow, when I went to see X2 in the theater I did something I never do; namely, visit the concession stand. I dunno what possessed me, but something about the prospect of seeing Hugh Jackman in leather made me want to have snacks on hand. So I got some popcorn and, of course, several cubic feet of cola. All I wanted was a “small,” honest, but you know how these things are rigged against you, where it’s, like, you can get an additional 128 oz. for only seven cents, and if you don’t go for it the cashier looks at you like you must be the stupidest thing ever to claw its way out of a grave and wander around in search of brains, so you’re, like, “oh, what’s seven cents compared to the withering scorn of a nineteen year-old making minimum wage?” and the next thing you know you’re staggering away with cup of Dr. Pepper the size of Kirsty Alley.
And then, for reasons as inscrutable as Mona Lisa’s smile, I proceeded to drink the whole damned thing before the open credits had concluded. Well, I think we all know where this is going.
So there I am, an hour or so into the film, with an Extended-Family-Sized Soft Drink firmly lodged in my Medium-sized nether regions. Now usually I’m pretty pragmatic about these things, and will flee to the restroom at the first twinge of discomfort, knowing that the longer I wait the more reluctant I’ll be to leave as the movie builds toward its climax. But director Bryan Singer did a pretty good job of making a movie without a single pee-able moment, what with the punching and the shooting and the more punching. So I’m sitting there waiting for the characters in the movie to decide to do something boring, like go see one of the Matrix sequels or whatever, when suddenly the X-Men announce that they have discovered the enemy’s secret hideout and they’re heading over there prontoismo to kick some mutant tail. And I’m, like, “Buh? We’re already heading to the big finale? Maybe this is only a 90 minute movie or something.” And I decide I can make it to the end.
Alas, dear readers, X2: X-men United is not a 90 minute movie. It is, in fact, a 135 minute movie. And the secret hideout, it turns out, is conveniently located inside a dam — a dam, I might add, which soon becomes damaged due to metahuman fisticuffs. From that point on we are treated to 45 minutes of pipes groaning with burgeoning water pressure, walls bulging under increased strain, corridors flooded by rushing torrents of liquid, and, ultimately, the disintegration of the dam itself, an event which precipitates an enormous wall of water shown rushing headlong at the audience, all while that cola continues to steadily drip-drip-drip into my bladder like some demonic IV feed.
Somehow, and despite all this, I made it to the first nanosecond of the closing credits, at which point I sprinted to the restroom as quickly as advisable under the circumstances. But the superhuman effort I’d exerted to get that far probably would have gained me admission into Dr. Xavier’s School For The Gifted.
Come to think of it, that reminds me of another motion picture + urination story. (I got a million of ‘em.) Several year back I went and saw Lawrence of Arabia at a local art house theater. At the end of the 215 minute movie I joined quite a sizable line at the men’s bathrooms. The facilities had two urinals, and while men were constantly cycling through the one of the right, the one of the left was seemingly inhabited by a gentleman taking the longest, marathon piss I’ve ever had the good fortune to witness. He outlasted the three guys in front of me in line and was still there as I occupied the second urinal. A few moments after my arrival, however, he managed to wrap things up. As he rezippered, he turned to me and loudly exclaimed “Thank God that was a movie about a desert!”