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(2003)

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After Watching This, Roll On X-Men 3
Big Movie Fan5 May 2003
Absolutely happy! That is the only word I can use to describe my feelings after spending my hard-earned money to see X-Men 2. It was worth every penny.

Firstly, the makers of superhero films such as this have an unenviable task. They have to please hardcore comic fans and casual movie fans which is no easy task. And The X-Men-with their forty years of history and continuity-are perhaps the hardest heroes to put on the big screen. Well, I've spoken to many hardcore X-fans and casual movie fans and they all enjoyed it too.

I won't go into great detail about the plot. Let's just say that The X-Men and their enemy Magneto have to join forces to combat an even bigger threat. I enjoyed this movie so much because for the first time in years, I didn't read ANYTHING about the plot or any reviews prior to viewing it. That is why I'm not going to go into great detail about the plot. Just enjoy it.

All the favourites are back including my personal favourite Hugh Jackman as Wolverine (I hope Wolverine gets his own movie franchise one day). The makers of this movie have done a great job in making sure various characters get the right amount of screen time. We'd all love our favourites to get more screentime but with so many X-Men (and women), the producers have to do the best they can; and they do indeed.

There are a few really great special effects in this movie but unlike some special effects laden movies, the plot is more important in this movie. Furthermore, the movie is much deeper and really makes you think. Marvel comics (and movies) have always been deep and many of the issues have reflected real life. This movie is about persecution and intolerance of mutants and reflects many issues from the past and the present such as Hitler's treatment of the Jews and the different ideologies of Martin Luthor King and Malcom X. In fact, many longtime X-fans have compared the X-Men's Professor X to Martin Luthor King and the evil Magneto to Malcom X. Seeing a movie like this cannot only provide a couple of hours of entertainment but make you view society in a totally different way.

This is the best superhero film since the 70's (when we saw gems such as Superman The Movie) and the 80's (when we saw Tim Burton's Batman). It was a fantastic film but it begs one question-how are they ever going to top this?
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why all the underrating?
suicidea8 January 2004
A lot has been said about this movie, as is the case with many recent Hollywood comics adaptations. While I truly respect everyone's opinion, I really don't see the point in some criticisms brought up against this movie.

(Definitely NO spoilers ahead.)

First of all, we must realize that X-men comics have been around for decades. They existed before many of you were born. Still, the producers had to assume that the average audience had little or no idea about the mutant phenomenon, but Bryan singer did a very good job (as always) in the first film, and introduced the audience. Besides, adapting such a story with so many characters to the screen is no easy job, and is also risky, considering it's Hollywood and it must return all those millions. So the mutant phenomenon was well explained, the characters and their abilities introduced, and the plot (which actually had a story, unlike many action flicks) was carried out smoothly. All in the running time of one film. good job.

The second film, however, had to concentrate (naturally) on more characters and a more thorough story. This is why I object (in the title) to people criticising this film for "lack of character development" etc. Many of the characters WERE developed in the first film. If you never read x-men comics, and did not even see the first movie, and see this one right away and still expect the director/writer to spell things out for you, well, you'll be disappointed. "Where did Colossus take the kids during the attack?" someone asked. To hide them somewhere, THAT'S where he took them. I don't think people would like to see the director spell out everything, such as Colossus' inner voice saying, "Well, let me take these kids somewhere beneath this multimillion dollar facility, to hide them from the bad guys."

And the newly-introduced characters were introduced well enough. You see their abilities, you see whose side they're on, you even learn more about their personalities as the movie progresses. What else do you need to learn? Which team he supports?

The highlight of the film was definitely Mystique's transformation scenes, very well done.

The movie had many shortcomings, of course, the pace slowed down more than once, some main characters, especially Cyclops, were almost lost, but the plusses were way more than minuses. Especially Nightcrawler, who almost stole the lead from Wolverine. I must also add that Wolverine is much more violent in this film than the first, much more like the original comic character.

As for the people who complain about the abundance of characters. Well, bad news for you. X-men is not a story of a couple of guys and their girlfriends. There are much more characters, hopefully to be seen in the next sequel(s). Jubilee, Pyro and Colossus were all hinted in this one. Though I'm eager to see Gambit also, I can't wait to see how they will do the Beast. Of course, I can see the "no character development" people asking each other, "Who is Beast?"

In short, this movie does what it's supposed to do: Gives us entertainment, and shows us our favorite characters on screen.
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8/10
Another X-ellent movie!
MinorityReporter12 December 2005
Some people would tell you that X2 is more conventional and mainstream than the first movie and to that I can only say: What a load of rubbish! Not only does X2 continue in the style set by the first film but it also improves on it greatly. This is achieved by adding more characters, making a deeper story and making the ever expanding universe even more chaotic so as better to capture the essence of the comic book. Two thumbs way up! The story picks up after the events of the first film in a way that pleases the viewers of the first film and is satisfactory to new viewers. The story is still well written and the pacing has improved a lot from the first film. There are no real slow points during the movie and the director takes special care to cram many of the scenes with breath taking visual effects so the audience will never lose interest. The dialog is once again both very sharp and witty and intelligent and allows for adequate character development. The character development is something some people have seen fit to criticize as they claim there isn't enough of it and except for only two characters I whole heartedly disagree. The character development of the main characters happened pretty much in the first film and therefore it is only necessary to add a bit more depth to the characters instead of repeating the character development from the first film. I did feel, however, that the film seemed somewhat rushed at times and that is a shame as it definitely had potential to be a 2½ hour film.

The acting is still sublime and I, of course, have to emphasize Hugh Jackman who is still absolutely brilliant as Wolverine. Both in bringing out the animal sides during the fight sequences but also in keeping the character human like in the comics. Ian McKellen returns as well and further fleshes out his character of Magneto and makes the character every bit as devious and charismatic as in the previous film. Patrick Stewart returns as well and does what he did in the first film and he is still the only one who could play Xavier. Among the new actors are Brian Cox and Alan Cumming. Cox does what he does best and plays the new villain with the exaggerated style he usually does. Cumming on the other hand shows remarkable depth as Nightcrawler and is in spite of his appearance one of the most human characters in the film. I will miss him in the third film. Lets hope Beast is any bit as good as in the comics. Some have had their characters lessened in the sequel. Most notably James Marsden while Famke Jansen's character is developed further. Halle Berry's character Storm is still kept in the background but I'm sure she will get more screen time in the third film. Aside from the ones I have now mentioned the acting is quite good all round.

Action wise the film took a major step up from the first film and many of the action scenes are quite simply awesome. We get to see more of Wolverine's feral rage which is always worth a look. All fights scenes with Wolverine are awesome and some of the most entertaining I've seen. Also we get a brief glimpse of Collosus kicking some ass and he does look cool I must say. In fact many of the individual mutants' powers are fleshed out in X2 and like in the original X-Men film they look absolutely beautiful. My only concern regarding the effects and action scenes is how on earth they are going to top them in the coming third X-Men film.

In regards to music and sound the film improved upon the first film with a much more catchy soundtrack and more audible effects. For example the sounds of Wolverine's claws shooting out and retracting have been amplified making him even more menacing than he was in the first film. Very well done.

All in all X2 is an excellent continuation of the original film and we are nearing something that is more like a saga than a series of films. I'm really beginning to see Bryan Singer as a master director after these two brilliant films and I am a little sad he opted to do Superman Returns rather than finish what he started with the X-Men films.

8/10
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9/10
Better than the first.
Devotchka18 September 2003
This movie was great--much better than the original film, which was pretty standard as far as summer blockbusters go. X-2 skipped all the awkward and unnecessary attempts at a backstory (and I'm speaking as someone who knew next to nothing about the XMen when I saw the film) and went straight for an intelligent route. The characters were fascinating and the special effects were truly pretty good--and that's saying something, since I'm usually bored out of my mind by that kind of thing.Some of the acting was absolutely wonderful. Rebecca Romijn Stamos, Ian McKellen, Alan Cummings, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, and Anna Paquin more than made up for the mediocre attempts of Halle Berry and Famke Janssen.
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7/10
"Sometimes the mind needs to discover things for itself."
nived8418 April 2006
2000's smash hit X-Men certainly deserved a sequel (or two, or three), especially with all the cash it made and how the first one ended. Now the X-Men are back together once again, and this time they've got some new friends, including Nightcrawler and Pyro, and as well as some new enemies like William Stryker and Lady Deathstrike (his personal mutant "assistant"/slave). This time the X-Men find themselves locked in an unlikely alliance with Magneto and Mystique (their nemeses from the first film) against an evil military scientist named William Stryker, whose main goal is to eradicate the world of mutants once and for all.

X2: X-Men United is in many ways an improvement over the first film. It's more psychological, it's longer, there's more action, more mutants, more of Wolverine slicing it up and like the first film it's never boring or drags, right from the get-go X2 is fierce and exciting. In fact, X2 is almost the perfect comic book film… almost. The one little, weak link in X2, for me at least, was Nightcrawler. Now, I like the character of Nightcrawler, but I honestly didn't care that much for Alan Cumming, he came off as a bit weak, and kind of "dorky". The character of Nightcrawler really just seems like a huge convenience to the plot; like the scene where he rescues Rogue in the X-Jet, which was oh so very convenient. But the one thing I liked about Nightcrawler, besides that awesome opening sequence in the White House, was his religious side, which I thought was interesting and made me sympathize with the character a little more.

Pretty much everything in X2 works perfectly fine, which I attribute all that success to the amazing cast (Jackman, McKellen, Stewart, Marsden, Janssen, Berry, Paquin, Cox, Romijn), and the fact that the film was written and directed by the same people who clearly knew what they were doing back in 2000, and here they show us once again they still know what they're doing, and they aren't afraid to up the ante and take it up a notch. If you liked the first X-Men there's really no reason at all why wouldn't enjoy or like X2 as much, or maybe even more than the first film. It still has those surprising moments of humor, and plenty of action, maybe even more so than the original. And like the original, X2 sets itself up for a third film; let's just hope it turns out (at the very least) as good as the first two films, if not better.
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10/10
The Best Comic Book Film EVER!!
Logansneo7 May 2003
Warning: Spoilers
With all the hype surrounding this summers blockbuster sequels, not the least of which is The Matrix Reloaded, as well as having to fight the ghost of Comic-book-movie-bombs-from-summers-past, it goes without saying that a lot of hopes and dreams were riding high on the shoulders of everyone involved in Fox's second big screen outing for everyone's favorite team o superheroes. Brian Singer himself must've been sweating adamantium bullets, not only being held under the gun by the studio to lead their next big moneymaker, but most importantly and fortunately for us because of his deep and honest desire to make the most accurate and cohesive comic book-to-film adaptation in the history of cinema. Well Brian I am thrilled to say that that is precisely what has been achieved with your amazing film X2: X-Men United!

It has become rarer and rarer to find a film that has the ability to grab your senses and lock your attention so firmly, not ever letting up until the credits role, such as this film does. One might only be able to count a handful of films where a sequel takes all of the good elements form it's predecessor, completely eliminates the things that didn't work or fit in the original, then goes on to not only exceed the expectations and hype surrounding it, but completely redefines and elevates it's genre. From this day forward let it be known that all other Comic Book films will hereby be judged and held up the new level of excellence set by Brian Singer's brilliant X-Men 2. And if ya' can't already tell, I kinda' like this flick! ; )

I am sure many of you would love to know exactly what makes this film worth spending your money on? Well, to try and sum it up the characters, their struggles, their dreams, their relationships, they all MATTER because infused throughout this entire production and at isn't core lies HEART! And at the same time the film can be both touching as well as possess a gritty and visceral quality, giving each in attendance license to participate in the action as an outlet for their frustrations and monotony of their everyday lives. Just as I felt as if I was part of the Fellowship in Lord of the Rings, so here again I feel like I am part of the X-Men team.

But what really drives my excitement is Brian Singer's seemingly boundless ability to correctly interpret the true spirit of the X-Men comics. Individually, as a team, hero and villain alike, he has somehow tapped into the heart of these books and like the title says, united them in a film that defied my highest expectations and ignites my imagination. This is however not to say that he hasn't altered things from the comics. But unlike other directors from the past who have butchered comic book adaptations, Singer's interpretation of the characters lets you understand that any changes that were made were for the best. Prime examples of this can be found in how deftly he handles Jean Grey and the silent discovery of her Phoenix powers. Understanding that it would be totally impossible for him to try and take the Phoenix Saga and directly translate that to film, Singer has rightly decided to do what lesser directors would have cowered at; to re-interpret this change, still showing Jean Grey inherit this power, but to use it to build on her character, and realize HER potential more than most writers of the comics have done in recent memory. At the same time treating the character with respect as well as both we the audience and the dedicated fans of the comics with that same respect and maturity. Another example of his skills in character interpretation is the way in which he has taken the religious zealot that was William Stryker in the comics and turned him into a much more menacing zealot shill clinging to the original characters' self righteous justifications. But by giving him the military background and simultaneously making Mastermind his son, as well as merging the scientists who created Wolverine and Deathstryke, Singer serves up an extremely multilayered and more well rounded Stryker with a very clear agenda. Brian singer accomplishes all of this at the same time he is sewing up crucial sub-plots and characters that are ingeniously and potently utilized.

To illustrate the difference between how Brian Singer and the writers/producers for X2 utilize the material and do so intelligently making us pay more attention to the details, and alternately how so many of us have gotten used to dumbed down films that lead us deliberately, treating most of us like children, to their obvious conclusions, I bring up a subject of much debate. Now some have pointed out that in the ending of X-Men 2 where Jean Grey goes out of the plane to sacrifice herself was unnecessary obviously did not follow what was occurring to Jean throughout the film. What I saw was her character going through the anguish and realization that something inside of her was reaching far beyond her capabilities to control and after seeing what she was capable of in her battle with Cyclops that at the mom ent she saw that everyone in the team was in danger on the plane, she used this as self justification to sacrifice her life for everyone and at the same time stop the force inside of her which she feared was a growing danger not only out of her control but could eventually threaten or hurt all those who she loved.

What other director can you name has so responsibly adapted something like this to film? I can think of only one off hand, Peter Jackson and his diligence to The Lord of the Ring books. I dare say the Brian Singer has accomplished more than even Mr. Jackson, because Singer has taken a Comic Book, something the majority of people and press disregard as children's books or even geek literature, and has transformed it into a very HUMAN, very poignant, very real experience, and can only hope that he will continue on what he has accomplished.



* * * * * (5 stars)
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7/10
A few problems in an otherwise excellent film
Chandler8116 December 2004
They've done a hell of a lot right. That's my response to Singer's X-Men films; they're slick, funny, emotive and a real blast to watch. Without overdrawn character introductions and explanations, X2 launches right into seventh gear and doesn't let up.

Admirably, the film allows the majority of its characters a genuinely engaging storyline amongst the bigger picture, and although the story is not without its fault (using Cerebro as a major plot point two films in a row is like building the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi; been there, seen it before) it is certainly worthy of high praise. It's amazing that in just two films we already have a real appreciation for the relationships between such a considerable group of characters, and it is for the continued development of these relationships - and not the cool story line and action sequences - that makes me look forward to another X-film.

I would love to say that it's the casting that makes the films so brilliant - and it's true, the casting is great - but a couple of these characters have been woefully miscast. Iceman stood out for me, bringing an uncomfortable Backstreet Boy vibe to the role, and although his role in X2 is small, James Marsden just doesn't seem to have it in him to hold a commanding and authoritative position among the X-sters as Cyclops. In the first X-film he managed to at least stand beside the Wolverine with some great gags, but he's been left in the gutter for X2, and in the single scene toward the end of the film where Marsden is allowed to genuinely act, his emotional response feels awkward and forced. I am sure he is capable of more than this, and hopefully when X-Men 3 comes around he'll have more to work with. I've never been happy with Halle Berry as Storm, and she looks bored out of her skull in this film. I hope not to see her return.

Thankfully, most of Singer's new cast are admirable. The recast Pyro is great and Nightcrawler is fantastic. In fact, Alan is the only actor in the film who comes close to matching the quality of Jackman's Wolverine and McKellen's Magneto. These wonderful actors all appear to genuinely revel in portraying their characters. Janssen steps her performance up a notch too and it helps the film no end. I really hope to see her in the next film.

Ultimately, there are just a few slip-ups here in an otherwise classy and supremely entertaining film. With such an established canon of characters everyone is going to have their own opinion on how particular character should be portrayed, and for the most part X-2 does the job. Hopefully the bugs will be ironed out and we'll see a sequel of equal or greater quality in a few years. I'm certainly excited at the prospect.
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10/10
The budget is bigger, the cast is larger, the story is deeper, the film is better...
MovieAddict20164 May 2003
Warning: Spoilers
The film begins. We are shown a tour guide leading students and adults through the White House in Washington, DC. It seems normal enough. A security guard notices someone straying off the path and asks if he is lost. The man raises his head, and a tail flicks out from behind him. Before the security guard can do anything he is down on the ground, alerting all security in the area of a mutant attack.

The blue creature, known later as Nightcrawler, teleports past dozens of guards and kicks and whips them with his tail and fists. Finally the action dies down with the creature being shot (not killed), and we are left to catch our breaths. Reader, I'll tell you, it took me a few moments to catch mine.

It sure looks as if "X2" is on the right track for a sequel, and if anything, it seems better. The budget is obviously bigger as we see the truly amazing special effects in the beginning of the film, and though the action never quite again reaches its high-point as in the beginning, it sets the film up for other non-stop action sequences, just like the James Bond movies are known for doing.

But that's not all "X-Men 2," or "X2" as the posters abbreviate, is all about. It has an important human element that adds to the pure, non-stop, full-blooded action-spectaculars throughout the film. The cast is bigger, the budget is bigger, the story is bigger, and the action is plentiful. Teenagers will enjoy the action side, and adults will probably enjoy the human side to the story. It seamlessly combines both these two elements/techniques even more than the original film did. I didn't expect to enjoy this film more than the first, but I must say I did.

It reunites the old cast for a continuation of the struggle for mutants and humans to live together in the same world.

The film begins with an assassination attempt on the president's life, carried out by a teleporting mutant. This act upsets the entire world, and the president is about to begin the mutant-human war predicted by Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) in the first film. In an effort to get to the bottom of the attack on the president's life, and prevent world-wide war, Xavier sends out Storm (Halle Berry) and Dr. Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) to search for the teleporting mutant and discover the truth behind the assassination attempt.

Meanwhile, Logan "Wolverine" (Hugh Jackman) has returned to Xavier's mansion after searching for any signs of his past. He has found none. He is greeted by Rogue (Anna Paquin) and her new boyfriend Bobby "Iceman," who was briefly seen in the first film and is given a deeper character backdrop in this film.

But soon things start to turn for the worst as an attack on Xavier's mansion is led by Stryker (Brian Cox), the man behind the assassination attempt, who wants all mutants to be killed off. He kidnaps Charles Xavier, and reveals that he wishes for Charles to kill all mutants.

How? By focusing Xavier's psychic powers/telepathy on a particular group of people, Xavier can actually kill them. So Stryker plans to use his disowned mutant son (who also has psychic powers) to control Xavier's mind (sort of) and focus on all the mutants in the world, automatically killing them.

With this plot in motion, Mystique (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) has little time to free Eric "Magneto," which results in a truly amazing escape sequence which I will not spoil for you.

Now, in an ironic moment, old enemies must fight together to bring down Stryker before his plan follows through. But the band of X-Men are far from solving their problems, as a new mutant, Lady Deathstrike (Kelly Hu) may stand in their way of defeating Stryker. And Wolverine may also find the key to his past in this mess.

"X-Men 2," unlike other sequels, improves upon itself. Tragic sequels go to the dogs when the filmmakers are either too proud to try and surpass the original, or are too arrogant to even attempt it. "X-Men" was an excellent comic-book adaptation, in more ways than one, and "X-Men 2" is only better. It contains more action than "Spider-Man" and its human factor is even more active than it was in the original, which is ironic, since the original was praised for having both action and human attributes.

The cast is first-class, but the real scene-stealer, just like in the original, is Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. The Aussie actor disguises his accent with a rough American one, just like British chap Bob Hoskins did in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?". If the filmmakers want a new James Bond after Pierce Brosnan, they need look no farther, because though he may not look the part in this film, Jackman can look very suave and proper (see "Kate and Leopold"), and is my top choice for the next Bond.

Comic book films are usually hit-or-miss. They're never in between. "X-Men" was an unexpected hit, but more than that, a good unexpected hit. It wasn't all hype. It was smart, action-packed and hat a great character side to it. Like I said before, "X-Men 2" improves upon all this and is the rare sequel that is better than its predecessor.

I expect "X-Men 2" to break some box office records, and unlike other films, I can honestly say that it deserves it.

4.5/5 stars -

John Ulmer
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Most "X"-Cellent!!
george.schmidt5 May 2003
X2: X-MEN UNITED (2003) ***1/2 Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Brian Cox, Alan Cumming, Bruce Davison, Anna Paquin, Kelly Hu, Aaron Stanford, Shawn Ashmore, Cotter Smith. Superlative sequel and a boost of hyperactive energy in the franchise's arm in the second chapter of the Marvel Comics' cult classic this time with good mutants teaming with bad to stop a bent human military advisor (hissable Cox) out to wipe out both types at any cost. Far-out special effects, new characters (particularly winning is Cumming as the blue-skinned Night Crawler) and non-stop action packaged with kinetic infectious giddiness. Jackman continues to amaze as the tormented Wolverine, Berry is given more to do as the tempestuous Storm, Janssen's Jane Grey is perhaps the most nuanced in her suddenly advance telekinetic skills and McKellen is well…magnetic as Magneto. Fun tongue-in-cheek screenplay by Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris (w/ David Hayter, Zak Penn and director Bryan Singer getting story credits) keeps up with the multi-layered storyline encompassing class welfare, social strata and in general to accept one for who they are and not what they are. Well done!
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10/10
One of the best sequels to date!
LebowskiT10003 May 2003
The X-Men has always been my favorite comic book, without a doubt. Spider-man is probably in second place, but The X-Men take the cake. Ever since I heard a sequel was going into the works and Bryan Singer was still on board as director, I had faith that he would do the sequel justice...of course I couldn't help but have that looming fear that something would go wrong. In the end, the film was released and of course, I wasted no time in getting to the theater to see it on opening day.

After seeing the film, I can definitely say it's been a long time since I've come out of a movie theater as happy as I did for this film. The story was absolutely brilliant and was told in the perfect manner to keep you interested. ...And of course, there are plenty of new characters and action to keep the audience in awe as well.

Nightcrawler was a truly brilliant character to bring into the sequel of the film. Nightcrawler (Kurt Wagner) has always been one of favorite X-Men characters, perhaps even more than Wolverine...but that's up for debate. Teleportation has GOT to be one of the coolest and most interesting ideas for a mutant ability! I was incredibly stoked to see him brought to life on the big screen, Bryan Singer and Alan Cumming did a FANTASTIC job! Next to Wolverine, Colossus has also got to be one of my favorite characters. I can't even begin to express how happy I was to see him in the film...although not NEARLY enough was done with him when there was so much potential for his abilities in the film. Oh well, there's always X-Men 3 right? The other two new characters, Pyro (John Allerdyce) and Lady Deathstrike (Yuriko Oyama) were very well done as well, although not much of their character histories were explained...which is ok, there is only so much time in a film. The rest of the characters already had a firm basis from the previous film and were all executed extremely well in this sequel, my hat is off to Mr. Bryan Singer, "Keep up the good work!"

The entire cast was absolutely perfect for the film. Ian McKellan, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Brian Cox, Alan Cumming, Bruce Davison, Anna Paquin, Kelly Hu, Aaron Stanford, Shawn Ashmore, and Daniel Cudmore all did incredible jobs with their roles and should be proud of their work, truly fantastic.

The story in this sequel is great. I love the idea of the good and the bad having an equal threat and being forced to work together in order to save them all. The chemistry and the relationship between Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto) and Professor Charles Xavier is so bizarre and interesting...and very thought provoking. There are so many interesting and well done relationships between characters in the film: Logan (Wolverine) - Scott Summers (Cyclops), Rogue - Bobby Drake (Iceman), Jean Grey - Scott Summers (Cyclops) and Jean Grey - Logan (Wolverine) to name a few. I love just watching them all interact with each other.

What it all boils down to is this, if you liked the first film, then you should definitely like this film. I'm not sure I could say I liked X2 better than the original, but I'd definitely feel comfortable saying it was just as good...and better in certain aspects (but not as a whole).

I would definitely recommend seeing this film in the theater or at least rent it when it's released, it's well worth your time. This film isn't all about super-heroes, action and fantasy, there is a lot more to it than just that and I hope you can see and appreciate that. I do hope that you enjoy the film as much as I do and thank you for reading my review, be sure to read my review for the first "X-Men".

-Chris

P.S. They better start crackin' on a X3 right away!

Also..here's some interesting trivia for ya. In the scene where Mystique is finding out where Magneto is being held she is scrolling through a bunch of names, the name above Lensherr, Erik (Magneto) is LeBeau, Remy...aka "Gambit"...nice little touch there, I didn't get a look at the other names there, but there might be more allusions there. Another cool thing is in the scene where the security guard is in the bar, there is a TV on in the background with a guy named Hank McCoy talking...Hank McCoy later becomes known as "Beast". Pretty cool huh...
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10/10
X2: Mutation Moves On
MaxBorg8921 December 2005
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.

9,5/10
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10/10
"X2" ("X-Men 2")- Arguably the best of the series. Thoughfull, exciting and exceedingly well-constructed.
MaximumMadness11 January 2017
With nine films thus far and at least two more on the horizon, all released over a near-twenty year window, 20th Century Fox's "X-Men" film franchise is something of a wonder in today's world of near- constant reboots and remakes. While it has by no means been a smooth ride, the fact remains that the long-running series has been a widely beloved and infinitely important one, especially when placed into historical perspective. Director Bryan Singer's original entry was one of the first major comic-to-film adaptations that convinced studios and audiences alike that comic-book movies could not only be mature and enthralling, but could be certified hits once again after the genre seemed to die-out in the 90's. And thus, a franchise was born and has stuck around ever since, through thick and thin.

It's almost a surprise, however, that one of the best entries in the entire saga came so early- 2003's follow-up "X2." With Singer once again at the helm, the film is in every conceivable way an improvement over his excellent first film- it's more thoughtful, more daring, more exciting... I think one could even reasonably say that not only is it arguably the greatest film in the franchise- it just might be one of the best comic-to-film adaptations of all time. Yes, it's that good.

Some time after the original film, a brainwashed mutant called Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming) is sent on a mission to try and assassinate the President of the United States under the guise of being a martyr for Mutant Freedom. Despite the mutant being stopped, the troubling event gives Colonel William Stryker (Brian Cox) the political edge and backing needed to get approval for an "investigation" on Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters- but his investigation is actually an invasion, as he storms the school, taking many students hostage and forcing the remaining X-Men to flee. At the same time, Storm (Halle Berry) and Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) are sent on a mission to collect Nightcrawler and learn his motivation for the attack, Cyclops (James Marsden) and Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) are captured by Stryker's mysterious bodyguard (Kelly Hu) and the shape-shifting Mystique (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) helps her former leader Magneto (Ian McKellan) escape from his high-tech prison. Soon, the remaining mutants (including Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Anna Paquin as Rogue and Shawn Ashmore as Iceman) are forced to team up with their former adversary to try and stop Stryker's scheme to use Charles and his powers to wipe out all of the mutants on Earth.

Given the film's nature as an ensemble piece, it's near-impossible to discuss the performances of each actor individually. But to keep it brief, everyone returning from the original is great in their respective roles. Special commendation goes to Hugh Jackman and his continued excellence in the role that helped to define him as a superstar and to Famke Jannsen, who gets a lot more attention this time around. They are by far the stand-outs of the returning cast. I also highly enjoyed Stewart and McKellen, who bring a sense of class and elegance to their roles and are incredible as always. The newest additions are also outstanding. Brian Cox is one of the greatest actors of our time, and his turn as Stryker is quite remarkable. He gives the character both an easily- "despiseable" sense of threat and dread, yet also a nice and subtle sense of pain and pathos. He's a cruel man, yet he has a past that might explain why he is the way he is. Alan Cumming is just magical as the frightened yet also amusing Nightcrawler, and there's a lot of great moments in his performance. And Kelly Hu makes for a fun and furious adversary as Styker's second-in-command "Lady Deathstrike."

Singer returns to direct from a script by "X-Men" scribe David Hayter and the writing duo of Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris. Singer got his start with hard-hitting thrillers like "The Usual Suspects" and "Apt Pupil", and I think that's part of what gives him an edge with the storytelling. He plays the stories straight and gives them a sense of real and honest threat, while also maintaining an emotional core that feels realistic despite the outlandish nature of the story and heavy Science-Fiction leanings of the material. He's also a very gifted visual artist with a slick and savage sense of composition and flow that lends itself well to the needs of high- concept action. His work on the series has always been nothing less than stunning. The script is very tightly written and juggles the plethora of characters well- everyone has their moment to shine, every major player has a clearly defined role and arc and the pacing is superb. Some wonderful work is done with the writing, and it's an honest shame that neither Hayter nor the writing partners of Dougherty and Harris were involved in the third entry.

The rest of the production is just marvelous. (Pardon the bad joke) Composer/co-editor John Ottman shapes some wonderful and memorable musical themes that compliment the tone and style perfectly, and he weaves together shots and sequences with a masterful touch. Cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel's visual palette is cool and visually arresting, and his work is just stunningly gorgeous. Some wonderful visual flair is given thanks to his talent. And production and costume design courtesy Guy Hendrix Dyas and Louise Mingenbach respectively is just fantastic. The film is made with nothing but top-notch work from top-notch artists.

As it stands, "X2" is easily one of the best if not the single best entry in the long-running series. Its phenomenal direction, sharp and thoughtful writing, beautiful production and outstanding cast weave an enthralling and thrilling cinematic experience that still stands tall well over a decade later. It's up there with the best of the best in terms of comic-book movies.

There's no other way to look at it- "X2" easily earns a perfect 10 out of 10.
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8/10
The time has come for those who are different to stand united
Lady_Targaryen21 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
X2 is the second part of X men's trilogy. Thanks God it basically has the same cast of the first movie, with new characters like Nightcrawler, Yuriko (Lady deathstrike) and Colossus . (A sad thing that they didn't show in the movie that Nightcrawler is Mystique's son)

I noticed that the mansion used for the school also appears as Lex Luthor's home in "Smallville" and that both Senator Kelly and William Stryker were born only few days/years apart, what makes strange the statement of Stryker saying that Kelly is his junior.

In the movie,Stryker is a high-ranking army colonel who leads an assault into Professor Xavier's school to build his own version of Xavier's mutant-tracking computer Cerebro in order to destroy every mutant on Earth. He hates mutants, and his son, is a very powerful mutant with the capability of convincing others with his mind to do what he wants (mastermind, anyone?)to be done. It's sad to see Jean Grey die, but it is nice to see the Phoenix symbol in the water surface.

One of the things I love in X men, are the metaphors to reflect current social issues that are always happening in our world, like problems with racism,prejudice,homophobia among others, that doesn't let people live in peace.
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One of the half-dozen best superhero films, hands down
gcsman8 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
In the X-Men comics, the Jean Grey/Phoenix/Dark Phoenix sequence originally from the 1970's and 80's was one of the all-time great storylines in all of comics history. In fact, it's still going, because Marvel realized (somewhat too late) just how powerful that theme was with the fans. The echos and spinoffs from the Phoenix saga have kept resonating through all the X-Men titles with follow-on characters like the post-Phoenix real Jean Grey (in the long-running X-Factor series), her apparent clone Madelyne Pryor (whom Scott Summers married when Jean was MIA and presumed dead, had a son with, then separated), Rachel Grey/Summers (the daughter of Jean and Scott from an alternate timeline), and ongoing conflicts between Scott and Wolverine, Jean's two lovers. And the Phoenix entity itself keeps showing up, once in a while. Jean herself has been put through a confusing near-endless cycle of death/resurrection/Phoenix re-animation, though it seems unlikely any of these would make it into the movies, since the X-films have now defined a path of their own.

According to screenwriter Zak Penn, the original concept for the movie X2 (X-Men United) was to go all the way into the Phoenix story, but he persuaded director Bryan Singer to hold back on it till the X-Men movie world was more well established. On its own merit I'd say that was a wise move; it's just that in X3 (2006) under different director Brett Ratner, they actually did go into Phoenix and messed it up. However, hope springs eternal. We'll see what the new Dark Phoenix (2019) has to show us next year with the rebooted younger X-Men cast. Fingers crossed.

Anyway, in X2 we just get three short moments when the Phoenix entity makes its appearance within Jean as a sort of prelude, but they're exciting moments in themselves and a key to the big climactic scene that is the payoff to the whole movie. From the moment of its theater release (2003) X2 has been one of my favorite movies, let alone superhero movies. And I'll say that a rating of 10/10 doesn't mean 'perfect', which as far as I'm concerned can't be defined for films; it just reflects how I feel about it. I watched this again on DVD just this week and it still holds up very well against all the other movies in this now-big genre.

My "top 5" list of all-time best superhero flicks right now is (no particular order) X2, Thor, Iron Man, Avengers, and Wonder Woman. What do they have in common? The answer isn't great special effects, although they all have that. It's (a) storyline and (b) characters that we care about, just like in any good movie of any genre. X2 from 15 years back is the oldest of these. Its special effects are just fine for what it needs, but the point is that it does NOT rely on its big action sequences as its whole reason for being. It's what happens BETWEEN those action set pieces that matters: the story, the characters, the dialog. If those are good, then you've got something that lasts.

After the success of the first X-Men (2000) we eagerly looked forward to the second instalment with anticipation and a bit of anxiety: would it be as good? maybe even better? It delivered, and that was important: the whole idea of the superhero genre was very new then and its eventual success was not at all guaranteed. The familiar X-people were back, the key actors were more comfortable with their roles, and the new people (Nightcrawler, Pyro, and brief bits by Colossus and Shadowcat) fitted in well -- the opening scene of the movie where Nightcrawler blitzes the White House guards to get to the president is one of the great introductions to a character who's going to play a substantial role in the rest of the movie.

The X-Men franchise has had some distinctive things going for it compared with the MCU. Right from the start, it's had something closer to gender parity with Storm, Jean, Mystique, Rogue all having strong roles. (And X2 easily passes the Bechdel test: as an example, see the scenes between Jean and Storm when they go off to track down Nightcrawler.) This is ground that the MCU still hasn't covered 15 years later. Another strong point is that the dialog and direction of the X-films doesn't rely on Joss Whedon-like self-referential humor, irony, or snark. Those have their place -- at Whedon's best, it's brilliant -- but at times it's just nice to watch something that takes itself seriously and where the issues feel real. Wonder Woman (2017) fits that category, too.

On repeated viewings of X2, though, you really start to admire the structure of the plot -- its complex web of interlocking storylines and characters, and the patient way in which it all unfolds until everything finally comes together in the last half-hour. Just about every piece of the web that appears in the first half of the film, large or small, gets used in the second half. If your movie is just a framework for running from one action scene to another for the sake of eye candy, you can't do that.

Who is actually the central character, among this big cast and complex story? Logan (Hugh Jackman) is the center of a sub-plot about uncovering his own origin, but he's not at the epicenter of the entire film. Magneto (Ian McKellen) is in a lot of scenes and is the leader of a sort of parallel attack on Stryker, but again no. Professor X (Patrick Stewart) is MIA in the middle of the film (again!) and surprisingly we hardly notice. As I hinted above, this movie belongs to Jean Grey (Famke Janssen). On a second or third viewing, you can see the ending coming in what happens with Jean throughout the film (including, especially, the first appearances of the immensely powerful Phoenix force within her). And it's the last 15 minutes that lift this movie from good to great. Jean's heartrending, fully self-aware sacrifice allows all the rest of the team to survive, along with the mutant kids rescued from the evil Stryker's clutches. Greater love hath no man. The emotional kick of this scene is doubled by the grief pouring out from Scott and Logan, who both desperately loved her in different ways.

Not that there aren't other good action sequences at well calibrated intervals. There's the visit of Bobby, Rogue, Pyro, and Wolverine to Bobby's parents' house (where we get the best line of the film from Bobby's mother, "Have you tried ... not being a mutant?), which goes sideways when the police arrive. There's the Blackbird chase by two fighter planes, with the moment when the Phoenix force first pops up; the all-out violence of the fight between Wolverine and Deathstryke; and the extended battle within the giant hydropower dam-turned-lab. But again, it's what happens between these that is important. The characters develop, interact, grow, and end up different people than they started.

It was a letdown that X3 (2006) couldn't continue the string. The franchise wouldn't rise to these heights again until Days of Future Past (2014). We'll see what next year's Dark Phoenix has to bring. The storyline is still begging for a good treatment.

(A footnote: Jean Grey is a puzzingly colorless name (no pun intended) given that it's from Stan Lee himself, that lovable promoter and genius behind the Marvel superhero universe. Stan came up with loads of strong and/or alliterative names for his comics characters like Susan Storm; Peter Parker; Jessica Jones; Luke Cage; Ororo Munroe; Scott Summers; Rogue; Reed Richards; Ben Grimm; Stephen Strange; Nick Fury; and dozens more. Why something so ordinary?)
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10/10
The Empire Strikes Back of the X-men films
andrewnmiller5 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Having already seen the first X-men movie and loved it, I couldn't wait to watch the follow-up, X-Men 2 and it didn't let me down. From it's themes and action scenes to the acting and direction, X-men 2 is a superior sequel to the first one in almost every possible way.

The movie begins with a indoctrinated mutant named Nightcrawler breaking into the White House and tries to kill the president but is unable to and flees. In the meantime, Wolverine journeys to an old army base in Canada to find evidence about his past but discovers nothing. Professor X locates Nightcrawler and sends Jean Gray and Strom to find him, while William Stryker gets permission from the president to examine the X Mansion for it's mutant ties. Stryker's forces than attack the mansion and abduct several students while Wolverine and a few other mutants are able to escape while Professor X and Cyclops are also captured. Now, the remaining X-men and Magneto must unite to save the professor and stop Stryker from executing his plans of destroying all of mutant kind.

With sequels, remakes and reboots being the main summer blockbusters these days, it's becoming harder and harder to find an action movie that has the capability to grasp your mind and engage your concentration so rigidly and doesn't let go until the film ends, X-Men 2 is one such movie. Usually, there are only a handful of movies where the follow-up is able to take all the previous elements from the first movie, effectively toss out anything that doesn't work and goes on to not only smash people's doubts or any kind of excitement for the movie but also utterly revalues and enhances the genre's credibility like The Dark Knight or Terminator 2. Given how the X-men feel more political and emotional than most other superheroes, the main aspects of the story lie with the characters and their battles for acceptance, their thoughts on how the world sees them, their relationships with each other, and how they all play a part in the story at hand while at the films core lies something a lot of modern action movies lack: heart.

But it's also thanks to director Brian Singer's obviously endless capabilities to accurately portray the authentic essence of the comics in a way that only a few directors have been able to do. Singly, wither they be hero, villain or as a team, Brian has managed to touch upon the emotional center of the comics and bring all these heroes and villains together in a movie that has no need for epic battles or witty dialog, but instead focuses on the lost arts of character development and interaction. Now, that's not saying that Singer follows the comics note for note as he does change things, but doesn't destroy it like what Josh Trank did to Fant4stic and while Brian's version of the X-men allows the viewer to appreciate that any changes made to the team are for the better like how skillfully Singer handles the character of Jean Gray and her hidden abilities as he reinterprets this variation by still bestowing her this power but using it to develop Jean as a character and allows the viewer to see the abilities she has and at the same time, Singer treats her along with the viewing audience and the fans with the utmost admiration while another fine case in Singer's abilities of character analysis is taking a villain like William Stryker who was a religious fanatic in the comics and turning him into a more dangerous bigot who still retrains some of his original holier-than-thou attitude but making Stryker a military man makes him even more ruthless and evil allowing Singer to give us a more complex and developed villain with a clear-cut plan and by adding in important sub-plots and characters that are used effectively make the movie what it is.

The movie's screenplay is able to juggle it's vast amount of characters without feeling too rushed as it gives each hero and villain a decent amount of development as well as has a change to have their moment without the movie feeling too cumbersome while there are plenty of Easter eggs for fans of the comics that don't endanger the course of the story. The movie also has a lot more smooth action scenes than the first one including Nightcrawler's spectacular attack on the White House and Wolverine slicing and dicing Stryker's men during the attack on the X mansion while John Ottman gives us some incredible and catchy themes that complement the movie while the editing and cinematography are to a high level.

Of course, the movie would be nothing without it's cast and it delivers that on a silver platter. Ian McKellan continues to show his acting credibility as Magneto and he doesn't hold back when it comes to the malice and warmongering, yet brings a level of class to the character as does Patrick Stewart as Professor X by conveying a relaxed grace as well as all the characteristics of a father figure and leader while Halle Berry brings the usual believability and truthfulness to the role of Strom. Anna Paquin is back as Rouge and gives a fantastic performance as does James Marsden as Cyclops, even if he's given little to do, Rebecca Romjin once again brings a dangerous edge to Mystique. Shawn Ashmore is believable as Iceman, showing great emotional range while being very likable. Aaron Stanford is great as Pyro, Famkie Jensen is again fantastic as Jean Grey and is given quite a lot of development which makes her all the more relatable. Allan Cummings is fantastic as Nightcrawler while Brian Cox plays a wonderfully menacing William Stryker. Hugh Jackman once again kills it as Wolverine and has completely made the role his own from the action scenes to the emotional moments.

Go watch this movie, it's truly awesome.
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9/10
An X-ellent Sequel That Improves on The First Film
carologletree22 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"X-Men 2" is one of several Marvel movies that is an improvement over its predecessor. Whereas the first film felt held back a little, this sequel is much more confident and polished.

Hugh Jackman is once again fantastic as Logan/Wolverine. Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart are their usual great selves. Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Storm all return from the first film and are more fleshed out this time around. I also liked Rogue a lot more than in the first one.

We get a few more characters spotlighted, such as Pyro and Ice Man. The stand-out is Alan Cumming as Nightcrawler; he is one of the coolest characters in the entire franchise. We also get a wonderful villain in William Stryker, played by Brian Cox.

The film has a great storyline that hints more of Wolverine's past and brings up many interesting themes. It also has bigger, better action sequences than the first one with the best one being the brutal fight between Wolverine and Lady Deathstrike. The music score is once again really good.

My only real issues are that the film is just a little too long and what lead to Jean Grey's death felt a bit weird (I understand why it had to happen, though).

This was a great sequel that builds and improves upon its predecessor like any sequel should. This is one of the best "X-Men" movies and one of the better superhero movies out there.

RATING: A-
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10/10
It's even better than the first.
justinsabatini30 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
X2 picks up after the first, with Wolverine rejoining the X-Men after a search on Alkali Lake for his past. When William Stryker infiltrates the X-Mansion in search for Cerebro, he also abducts a few child mutants in the process. Professor X is almost tricked into killing all mutants in the world until the X-Men, teamed up with Magneto, Mystique, and newcomer Nightcrawler, they save the worlds mutants and defeat Stryker and his feminine henchman, Lady Deathstrike. Jean Grey gives her life to save the team when the lake's dam burst, but there is hope that she isn't truly dead. This movie is better paced than X1 and we're given better character development. Bryan Singer has succeed once again, making one of the best superhero films of all time. That's why I give it a 10/10.
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4/10
Of X2 and Reloaded, Matrix is clearly the better comic book film
bimetale10 July 2003
So many rave reviews that I just have to add my bit, cause frankly : I *didn't* like it.

Okay, so Matrix was not adapted from a comic book. Still, it is clearly a comic-book film : exact same style, approach, feel and substance. It *could have been a comic*, and a good one at that! Another thing : I never was a fan of the original X-Men comic. Then again, ol' Supes or Batman never gave me shivers either, and still I loved the first Superman and Batman movies, so that don't mean a thing.

So : what's so wrong with this movie? Well, basically, I think it's just... DUMB. Yeah, that's the word : dumb! The scenario, and everybody in it is just so dumb it makes you cry. Hell, with prof. X's supapowers and Cerebro, I'd have fixed the Magneto problem in no time! Being Magneto and having co-designed the thing, I would have killed all those pesky norms in a sec too (which it is clearly able to do according to the film)! And then the army guy... with an asset like Mastermind, couldn't he really think of a more, well, intelligent way of fighting the mutants? Well of course, he *is* an army dude so maybe that's asking too much. And then the regular guys, like in the scene where Pyro blows up a load of cop cars, "You heard about those big bad mutants guys?"-style : being one of the soldiers, I would go like, "**BANG** - Yeah, I heard. I also heard most of you guys aren't BULLET PROOF!!!".

That's one more thing : haven't they invented the gun yet in the X-Men universe? Most of the mutants are not power-protected in any way from bullets (except when Magneto's around of course), still none of them ever seems to think of wearing some Kevlar, let alone a *gun*. So, okay, I know it might have been a problem in the comic because of CCA regulations, but still, couldn't they have changed that for the movie just to make it less dumb? It would change the whole dynamic of the thing.

So, are there qualities redeeming the lack of basic intelligence throughout the movie? Not many... most of Wolverine's dry humor is gone, and Wolverine as a character seems less interesting than in the first X (though this does not seem to be a problem with the acting - see below). The fight scenes are just boring, sometimes even offensively so (Deathstryke could have killed Wolverine a thousand times in that fight, and still she lost it in the lamest manner imaginable - what a bummer). The other action scenes don't get a lot better (that plane chase for instance - there were a thousand ways they could have made that one tons more exciting than by just using YASP, Yet Another SuperPower).

The acting is very good for some, awful for others. Ian McKellen shines, as always : I bet he could even make a Coca Cola ad look exciting. Patrick Stewart also does a very good job at it - he really CAN do something more than Trek, and I really look forward to seeing him in better fares than this. And Hugh Jackman is still a good Wolverine, though he didn't get half the chances to show it that he got in the first movie. Even Romijn-Stamos did a pretty good job, a lot better than in the previous film. The rest of the acting though ranged from the simply lame to the excruciatingly bad. Nightcrawler made me crawl up the walls, but not in the funny way it was clearly intended.

And finally, there is the whole soap-factor : who isn't having an affair with whom in this movie? I remember this being one of the things that hit my crap-o-meter in the comics too - but just because it's crap that's in the comic, that don't mean you have to keep that crap for the movie!

All in all, I feel like this movie could have been a lot better, which is a pity. I had a negative feeling about the first X movie as well, but the more I thought about it and the more I saw it, the better it became. In the end, it finished about side-by-side with the original Matrix movie. X2 started out as just boring in my book, however : it only got worse each time I thought back about it, and the second sitting of it was just torture.

This movie will be a must for lovers of the X-Men comic as it quite faithfully reproduces its feel, all of the crap in the original books included. For those who do not fall into that category however, go see Reloaded, or if you have already, go see it a second time : you will be the better for it.
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4/10
" Something`s Wrong " - Yeah The Script
Theo Robertson14 December 2003
Warning: Spoilers
***** SPOILERS *****

I wasn`t all that taken with the original X-MEN movie but since it was the introduction of a franchise I forgave the flaws like the underdeveloped themes of antagonism between the humans and mutants . X-2 has no such excuses however since the plot revolves around Magneto and a rogue human general trying to start a war between the humans and mutants . Well I used the word " Plot " but just like in a Roger Moore Bond film or a typical Hollywood summer blockbuster the plot gets drowned out by explosions , stunts and special effects

It`s here I wish to absolve the screenwriters for most of the blame of a muddled underdeveloped story because I can imagine the screenplay being repeatedly returned to the writers with a note saying " Okay Jean and Wolverine are in love but there`s not enough teen romance so introduce a couple of teen characters " and " The boys at special effects have come up with a new morphing effect so write a few scenes where we can show it off " Note to Hollywood studios - If you think writing a screenplay is so easy try writing one . Then after you`ve done that write another one and another

Regardless of the pressure they were under there is a couple of things the writers are guilty of and that`s the mutants using their special powers to escape from a tight spot . F-16s on the tail of the escaping X-Men , I bet Storm can conjure up a few twisters . Yup thought so and this type of cheating takes place far too often but the fundamental error lies in a way a character is killed . If Jean dies at the end of the film it`s logical that Jean should be the focus of the story but for some reason it`s Wolverine who`s the focus for much of the story which is a blunder on the part of the screenwriters

So I wasn`t too keen on this sequel at all and as recent blockbusters like LORD OF THE RINGS and THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL show a good memorable fantasy adventure is down to a script that allows good actors to act and have special effects that arise naturally from the story . Cramming a film with special effects just isn`t enough any more
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8/10
More Of Same Eye-Popping FX
ccthemovieman-121 September 2006
Since the first movie, "X-Men," was famous for its great special effects, this sequel knew enough to deliver the same kind of eye-popping effects to please its fans....and it did! There are absolutely tons of stunning special effects, both visually and audibly. All of that means very few lulls in this 134-minute film.

Having said that, I do think the film needed some lulls. At over two hours of pretty intense action, it needed more breaks. It's just too much. Either that, or shorten the story.

Rebecca Romjin-Stamos, in her skin-tight outfit, is still a feast for us male eyes and Halle Berry and Famke Jannson aren't bad, either! Other familiar names from the first film are still here, such as Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Anna Pacquin and Ian McKellan.

It's a pretty interesting story and although they state evolution "as a fact" early on once again, they do have something unusual in today's films: a Christian character who was a good guy.

All in all, if you liked the first film, you'll like this.
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1/10
Mindbogglingly bad
Freycinet4 May 2003
How could such a piece of drivel get such a high voting score at IMDB?

This typical example of Hollywood's present-day empty-headedness has absolutely nothing going for it. Even compared to other superhero offerings it is disappointing.

If lately you've had the experience of choosing a Hollywood blockbuster based on hype but no first-hand info from friends, and then left the theatre disappointed and sorry to have wasted your money, then... you'll have a pretty good idea of what you're in for.

In X2 you'll be fleetingly presented with around ten superheroes, see them perform a trick or two each and then recede into well-deserved oblivion. You will also see a super-car and a super-plane. None of these entities will manage to awake any emotion whatsoever, since there simply isn't enough time to get acquainted with any of the multiple protagonists. Then again, that might not be so bad.

The boring and unimaginitive script contains not a single instance of wit or humour. All is dead-serious and self-conscious, which is rather amazing given the sheer ridiculousness of the superheroes and their abilities. There are fleeting attempts at discussing the place of mutants ("illegal aliens"?) vs. humans in society, but these are halted and overshadowed by computer-generated tricks. The times when movies would only need a few of those to entertain audiences are over, but the makers of X2 didn't realise.

The film even manages to make Halle Berry look bad (white 1960's hair). Enough said.
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4/10
Didn't do much for me at all.
poolandrews25 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
X2 starts as an attempt is made on the US President's (Cotter Smith) life in the Oval office by a teleporting mutant called Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming), the President sees this as an act of aggression on the part of all mutants & orders Willaim Stryker (Bran Cox) a military General to tighten up on mutant security. However it is in fact Stryker who was responsible for the attack & with the President's authority as well as some forged documents he sets out on his own personal crusade to rid the entire world of mutants, Stryker learns from Magneto (Ian McKellen) that Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) runs a school for mutants & the existence of the Cerebro machine in which Xavier can telepathically communicate with any living creature on the planet. Stryker intends to force Xavier to make contact with every mutant on Earth & telepathically kill them all...

Directed by Bryan Singer who also has a small cameo in the film as one of the security men in Magneto's plastic prison this was the sequel to the original X-Men (2000) film the huge financial success of which pretty much got the whole Marvel superhero comic book adaptation thing going with such large box-office returns, the likes of Spider-Man (2002), Daredevil (2003), Hulk (2003), Elektra (2005), Fantastic Four (2005), Ghosr Rider (2007), the Blade trilogy & Iron Man (2008) duly followed to cash in on the cinema going publics craze for these superhero flicks. To be brutally honest I've never really been that impressed with the genre with the notable exceptions being the excellent Blade films & the fun Spider-Man flicks & the silly titled X2 (why not X-Men 2?) does nothing to change my overall opinion. I think one factor is these larger than life superhero character's with all manner of odd abilities were designed for a 2-D comic book rather than a 3-D film & with a few expectations they look better as a comic strip than a live action character, the basic mechanics & demands of a full length feature film are just very different than a simple comic strip. The script by Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris & David Hayter is really weak, the character's are poor & lets not forget that not everyone will have read the comics or seen the original film, the story is also very poor. It feels very slow & pedestrian, most of it takes place between mutants in imaginary settings & therefore I found it very hard to think of the film taking place in reality. I know it's pure sci-fi but for it to work it needs to be grounded in some sort of recognisable reality otherwise where's the threat coming from? Also the X-Men themselves are too powerful, between them they can do just about anything including Wolverine who can get shot on the head yet heal himself. You just always felt they would be able to overcome any situation they find themselves in & it just kills any excitement or tension. At well over two hours X2 feels like it goes on forever, there aren't that many memorable set-pieces & as a whole I think X2 is one of the poorer Marvel superhero comic book films.

Director Singer does alright but there's not much here that really stands out, there are a few forgettable fights, some exploding cop cars, a bust dam spewing water & a few flashy CGI computer effects. In fact I was quite surprised at how bland & routine feeling the action scenes were considering the budget. I also didn't like the way this was filmed, the scene at the end when Xavier & the rest of the X-Men turn up in the President's office with lightening flashing outside is truly embarrassing. I suspect that it was meant to be sinister & atmospheric but I just thought it looked awful & over dramatic. The special effects are generally very good but like most CGI computer effects you just 'know' what your watching is an effect.

With a supposed budget of about $110,000,000 one has to say X2 is well made with high production values & that big budget Hollywood look & feel to it. I personally thought the acting was awful, the scenes at the end as they mourn Jean Grey are embarrassing, the shots around the camp fire as Magneto fills the rest of the X-Men in on Stryker's plans & they all try to look worried & concerned is another cringe worthy moment as is Rouge's 'scared' reaction when she lands the jet plane at the end. Hugh Jackman can't act, Halle Berry can't act (how did she ever win an Oscar?) although she does look good in tight leather & even great actors like Ian McKellen & Patrick Stewart seem off colour.

X2 was a big disappointment to me, I was expecting lots of action & great effects but what I ended up with was a passable superhero comic book adaptation & nothing more. The story is very weak, the character's are weak & the action is forgettable. Followed by X-Men: The Last Stand (2006).
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6/10
A Little Better Than The First One.
jerekra25 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
FOr the most part I thought the first X Men film was OK. I thought there could have been more action and a little more character development. I think that "X 2" did a little better at character development and had a little more action.

Wolverine is in this film about as much as the first film. I guess he is the most popular X Men member so he gets the most screen time. Wolverine does get in some more solid action in this film but I wonder with how much he is in these X Men films how much more they can show in the upcoming Wolverine film.

Mystique is in this film a lot. She really is pretty important to the film. It is kind of cool how she is completely naked other than having some sharp patches on her and being blue. Magneto is kind of on both sides in this film as far as being both a good guy and a bad guy.

I was hoping to see a lot of my two favorite X Men, Colossus and Ice Man. Colossus was awesome as he gets a brief scene where he attacks some guys who break into the X Mansion but that is it. He does not show up really at all after that scene. Ice Man is in this film a marginal amount and he got to show some dramatic scenes where he expresses his love for Rogue as well as how he tells his family that he is a mutant. But I was disappointed with how little he used his abilities. Could have been "cooler" but at least he was a developed character.

Jean Gray is pretty cool in this film also. Storm was OK, but I do not know something seems to be missing with her character. I also liked Nightcrawler and he is very important to the film and is developed correctly. Cyclops once again did not seem as cool as he was in the comics and does not get to do that much.

I think the film does a good job of picking up where the last one left off. It has pretty good flow and there is a lot happening. But there is a lot of good action about a half hour into the film in the X Mansion scene but that is the best action part of the film. THere are other action scenes but nothing as good as that part so after the X Mansion scene there is nothing as good as that. I expected a better final showdown at the end of this film against Magneto, better than the one in the first film but there was NO SHOWDOWN with Magneto in this film. The ending I thought was kind of boring.

THere could have been more action but what they had was pretty good, not great. THey do a good job with certain characters portrayal though and that is a big improvement from the first film. A little better than the first one but still has some flaws. I recommend it over the first one.
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6/10
Fun, but very overrated.
freddyjoyce18 September 2008
I'll keep this short and to-the-point. I am a life long reader of comic books. I love them and passionately anticipate and enjoy most of the recent motion pictures based on them. DC and Dark Horse comics have always been my favorites, and aside from The Punisher and Ghost Rider, I do not care too much for Marvel. However, despite that, I enjoyed the original X-Men very much. I think Bryan Singer is one of the most talented directors of his generation (see The Usual Suspects.) Yet, I was really disappointed by this sequel. Don't get me wrong, X2 is a very well done comic book adaption when compared to shameful misfires such as Hulk and Elektra, yet I do not believe it to be nearly as wonderful as everyone says. The whole film just feels so muddled and pointless to me. The ending drags on forever, and doesn't really have much of anything new to offer. Perhaps I missed something, but other than the addition of the awesome Nightcrawler character, this felt very routine and meaningless. I can't say I have very high hopes for X3 either. I do highly recommend the original X-Men, but I don't feel either of these films come close to the real masterpieces in the genre, such as Batman Begins, Hellboy, V For Vendetta, or Sin City.
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9/10
The best comic book movie I've seen
Bergmaniac16 July 2004
X-2 is alongside the first batman movie in a class of its own compared to all the others comic book movies out there. It has smart script that doesn't make you groan because of the stupidity of the screenwriters half the time as most of the other superhero movies do. It's really entertaining, lots of humor, magnificent fighting scenes(the opening sequence will forever remain a classic in that department IMO - astonishing combination of creative special effects, fight choreography and totally fitting great classical music), actors who are really good and concentrated on their job(especially Ian McKellen, who is once again awesome as Magnetto) and even some actual message behind all the fights and superpowers, that really works. It also has what is always most important for a good movie and that's a smart director who knows his job. Bryan Singer is showing his talent here, getting good performances from all of his actors despite the CGI scenes being aplenty(but they are really well done, much better than Spiderman 2 for example) and also creating a visual feast and an unique feel to the movie. And I've never even read the comics before, but I really felt close to the characters and easily got engaged in the X-Men universe.

Lastly, but definitely not least important, is the fact that this movie has one of the greatest looking female cast ever assembled in a mainstream movie. Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Famke Janssen, and the ultra-gorgeous Rebecca Romijn Stamos(who even has a short, but memorable appearance without the blue paint that goes with her Mystique part) - it doesn't get better than that. And all those lovely ladies can act pretty well too. Not that their parts were difficult, of course, but in comparison with the pathetic failures we so often see by the pretty actresses in the blockbuster movies it's really refreshing to watch a bunch of pretty women who can act decently enough.

I highly recommend this movie to pretty much everyone. It's even better than the excellent first part.
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