|X2 X-Men United |
Actors: Halle Berry, Alan Cumming, Bruce Davison, Kelly Hu, Famke Janssen
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Professor Xavier's Mutant Academy faces continued persecution including a military attack. At the same time his troupe of young adults with special powers must stop an evil mutant who attempts to assassinate the U.S. Presi... more »
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***** BIGGER & BETTER *****
Mr. N. Carnegie | Kirkcaldy, Scotland, UK. | 05/09/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The X-Men are back, with 2003's first blockbuster X2 directed by Bryan Singer. What's more it is bigger (some $50million), better, darker, longer, more action-packed and generally more exciting, with a substantial increase in the sexual tension. In this highly enjoyable sequel, the warring parties from the first instalment are forced into a partnership of necessity to battle against an army scientist, Colonel William Stryker (Brian Cox), who is determined to wipe all mutant life. To this end, in an excellent opening sequence, he coerces a teleporting mutant by the name of Nightcrawler into an attempt on the President's life with the purpose of turning both the public and the oval office against mutant kind. All the favourite X-people from the first instalment including Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Magneto (Sir Ian McKellen), Professor X (Patrick Stewart), Storm (Halle Berry), Rogue (Anna Paquin), Mystique (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos), Cyclops (James Marsden) and Famke Janssen (as Dr Jean Grey). In addition they are joined by three very noteable additions, Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming), Pyro (Aaron Stamford) and Yuriko Oyama (Kelly Hu). Although Sabretooth and Toad are missing in action from the first movie they're not exactly missed (because lets face it they aren't the most exciting X-characters anyway)!One of the things I most enjoyed about X2 is how much more there was than the first movie. More action, more humour, more X-Men (and X-children) a longer running time, and in particular, more Halle Berry, more Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and Famke Janssen, looking even more glamorous, more alluring and displaying more X-powers (as Dr Jean Grey) than she did in the first movie. That said, the film is still dominated by two actors; Brian Cox (one of Scotland's finest actors) who makes an excellent villain as Colonel Stryker and Australian actor Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. For it is their personal conflict and previous history that encapsulates the battle between good and evil that is at the heart of this sequel. However, they are ably supported by all the previously mentioned cast members and the addition of the excellent character Nightcrawler, played by another Scotsman, Alan Cumming. Kudos must also go to scriptwriters Mike Dougherty and Dan Harris and Director Bryan Singer, who was much criticised for the lack of action in the opening movie of this very profitable franchise. Dougherty and Harris have injected some subtle humour mainly absent from X-Men and Singer (with help from Editors John Ottman & Elliot Graham) has done well to seamlessly cram it all into 130 minutes, whilst still managing to keep to his promise of a darker sequel. Although critics may argue that much of the intelligence and thought-provoking elements from the first movie are much diluted X2 is still one of the finest comic book movie to date and exactly what X-fans were looking for in a sequel. Not only does X2 pave the way for a summer of superheroes, with The Matrix Reloaded and The Hulk imminent, but it also sets us up for the inevitable X3, although this is going to be hard to top."
Grab ahold of something... X2 is going to rock your world!
N. Durham | 10/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"X-Men 2 is based on a X-Men graphic novel called, "God Loves, Man Kills". Considered one of the best stories ever told in the X-Men universe! In X2, the main baddie is a man named Gen. William Striker who leads an assault against the X-Men... at the school! Joining Striker will be Yuriko Oyama, aka Lady Deathstrike, Mystique and other mutant baddies along with Striker's own forces. In the movie, Gen. Striker holds the keys to Wolverine's past in which he is so desperately seeking. X2's final major battle takes place at the abanded military base at Alkali Lakes which Professor X told Wolverine about in the first movie. Mutant cameos include Gambit, Colossus and many, many more. Unfortunately, Beast's cameo has been cut and there will be no Danger Room scene or Sentinel action. But this movie sounds action packed, unlike the first one, and will be the "Empire Strikes Back" of this franchise."
So Good It's Uncanny...
Nathan D. Ludwig | Culpeper, VA | 10/25/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Hey, pardon my pun, but it's so refreshing to see a comic book movie that doesn't feel like solely a comic book movie that could never happen even in a parallel dimension that looked like a comic book. I mean, yes, Daredevil and Batman and all the rest were fun and all, but they never had the "look" that made you say, "by God, they've done it, I'm looking at life anew!" Well, with X-2, they've done it, my friends...The first X-Men film was a necessary sacrificial lamb. With so many characters, good and bad, and each character having all their own ongoing multiple storylines and backgrounds and yadda yadda yadda, the first flick chopped all the excess fat and brought the comic book to life in a very realistic and engrossing world...However, it did have its flaws as well as a flat climax that felt like merely a prologue for future X-Films rather than a memorable first entry (though still better than most comic book tripe nevertheless).X-2 one-ups all of that, though...Everyone from the first is back for more and even some newbies hitch a ride. Nightcrawler has been made into a gem of a character by Alan Cumming. The opening sequence with him involved in an assassination attempt is awesome and unrelenting. Pyro was always a silly "goofy-villain-with-bad-costume" in the X-books but he's much more compelling as an angst-ridden teen fighting temptation from the dark side of mutant powers, kind of like Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode 2, but in this film it doesn't make you the moviegoer roll your eyes or consider suicide. There's a brief cameo from Colossus, another goodie mutie who will no doubt have a bigger and highly anticiapted role in the inevitable (and very welcome) X-3...All the other charaters from the original are even better here and it's hard to give all of them equal playing time in such a movie, but in the end everyone knows the real title of these movies: "Wolverine and his Amazing Friends." Got it? Get used to it. Hugh Jackman as Wolvie is so good that it should be illegal to play a comic character that well. Absolutely criminal. Quick, someone call the acting police and give Michael Jai White a copy of X1 and X2, tell him that's how to play a badass. Then laugh at him for ruining "Spawn" anyway.Needless to say, the plot is a foregone conclusion here and it's all just an excuse to -gasp- develop the characters. What? A popcorn movie with unobtrusive character development? Yep, that's X-2 alright; and it's all a hell of a lot of fun..."
Light years beyond the first film
N. Durham | Philadelphia, PA | 05/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Consider the first X-Men film a plot progressing set up, because from the first opening scene in X2 your thrown head first into one of, if not the, best comic to film adaptions of all time, and one of the few times a sequel out do's the original. Almost all of the first film's entire ensemble cast returns: Patrick Stewart (Professor X), Hugh Jackman (ever perfect as Wolverine), Ian McKellan (Magneto), Halle Berry (Storm), Famke Janssen (Jean Grey), James Marsden (Cyclops), Anna Paquin (Rogue), and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos (Mystique) are all back. Also, the film goes more in depth with Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) and Pyro (Aaron Stanford) and introduces us to beloved characters Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming who turns out to be nearly perfect in the role) and Colossus. The storyline finds the X-Men months after the events in the first film, under siege by General Stryker (Brian Cox) who has his own agenda for mutant kind. Eventually the X-Men must team up with Magneto to stop him, and this is where the film shines. Director Brian Singer was critiqued quite a bit when it was said that the first film wasn't action packed enough; well, he made up for it here as X2 is action packed from beginning to end and the film pushes the limits of it's PG-13 rating. The performances are great, and while Jackman is his usually terrific self as Wolverine, he isn't the focus this time around and we get to see Berry more developed as Storm, Romijn-Stamos gets more screen time as well, and Janssen is better now as Jean Grey than anyone could have ever thought before. The special effects are nothing short of incredible; from Wolvie popping his claws to Deathstrike (Kelly Hu) popping hers, to Colossus' body turning to steel to Pyro's fire spewing shootout with the cops you will be in awe of the special effects wizardry. The only complaint here is that with the exception up towards the end of the film is once again Cyclops is a criminally underused character. Marsden is a good actor and Cyclops is a very interesting character and it is a shame he has gone so underused. All in all, X2 is much better than I could have ever hoped it to be, and this is undoubtadly one of the finest comic to film adaptions of all time."