When a cure is found to treat mutations, lines are drawn amongst the X-Men, led by Professor Charles Xavier, and the Brotherhood, a band of powerful mutants organized under Xavier's former ally, Magneto.
When bitten by a genetically modified spider, a nerdy, shy, and awkward high school student gains spider-like abilities that he eventually must use to fight evil as a superhero after tragedy befalls his family.
Several months have passed since The X-Men defeated Magneto and imprisoned him in a seemingly impregnable plastic chamber. One day, a mutant by the name of Nightcrawler infiltrates the White House and attempts to assassinate the president, setting off a chain reaction of anti-mutant measures by the government. Meanwhile, Logan is trying to discover his past. As scientist named William Stryker discovers Professor X's secret school and Cerebro, Magneto's partner, Mystique, is planning to break her leader out of prison. But when Professor X's school is attacked by Stryker's forces, Logan, Rogue, Iceman and a few are lucky to escape. Those who remain meet in Boston, where they form an uneasy alliance with Magneto to stop Stryker and rescue Professor X. Written by
Magneto's real name is Eric Lehnsherr. On Stryker's computer that Mystique hacks, the name is misspelled as "Lensherr." See more »
Mutants. Since the discovery of their existence they have been regarded with fear, suspicion, often hatred. Across the planet, debate rages. Are mutants the next link in the evolutionary chain or simply a new species of humanity fighting for their share of the world? Either way it is a historical fact: Sharing the world has never been humanity's defining attribute.
See more »
This is the first X-Film in the series to use the Marvel comic-book logo. See more »
After the success of the first movie, Bryan Singer brings the X-Men back to the screen. He has stated X2 is the X-version of The Empire Strikes Back. He's not totally wrong: like Empire, X2 is darker than its predecessor, characters are developed and dealt with in a more mature way, and the foreboding climax is quite shocking indeed (there's even a "I am your father"-style revelation concerning Wolverine's past, which is given more space here than in the first chapter). In fact, the movie could have been named X2: Humanity Strikes Back.
That's right, this time it's the "ordinary" people who are raising hell, in particular William Stryker (Brian Cox), a military scientist who takes advantage of the increasing paranoia surrounding mutants and has the POTUS himself approve his plan to take down the "monsters" once and for all. The war is about to begin, and with Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Cyclops (James Marsden) gone, the only X-Men left to face Stryker are Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), Storm (Halle Berry) and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), with some help from Rogue (Anna Paquin) and Iceman (Shawn Ashmore). They are eventually joined by a former employee of Stryker's, the blue-skinned teleporter Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming), as well as the most unlikely ally around: Magneto (Ian McKellen), who has managed to escape from the plastic prison he was locked up in (the break-out plays like the Marvel version of Hannibal Lecter's escape in The Silence of the Lambs, and yes, that is a compliment).
The plot is loosely based on the famous graphic novel God Loves, Man Kills by X-guru Chris Calremont (the villain and the alliance with Magneto are explicitly taken from that story), but Singer makes it all much more apocalyptic (Stryker was simply a preacher in the comic-book), while also having the time to take a look at some of the first film's subplots: the Wolverine-Jean-Cyclops love triangle is taken to a new, unexpected level and the Canadian mutant's forgotten "origin" starts getting slowly unveiled (Wolverine: "Who are you?"; Stryker: "Don't you remember?"). Jackman is the standout in this movie, as we finally get to see everybody's favorite X-fella lose it and make the bad guys regret they showed up in the first place. Those sequences are a treat for those who have grown up loving Wolverine and his dual, conflicted nature. Another actor who leaves a memorable impression is Cumming with his portrayal of Nightcrawler, one of the mutants people fear the most (he looks like a demon), but also the one who's most willing to forgive mankind for its mistakes.
So, with all the great acting, good writing and clever direction, no wonder X2 was voted the greatest comic-book movie ever before Spider-Man 2 and Batman Begins were released. This is one superhero opus you won't want to miss.
8 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?