Ossus Library Index Science Fiction Movie Index

X2: X-MEN UNITED

Directed by Bryan Singer (2003, 20th Century Fox)
Starring Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, and Anna Paquin

The X-Men unite with their nemesis in order to rescue Xavier from a man who would force him to kill all mutants.

 

 

4 stars

May 21st, 2016 on DVD for the 3rd time  
   

Getting ready for the newest installment with the new cast. I wonder if they'll have a kidnapping of Professor X (or having him incapacitated) as a main plot, as they've done in all three of the original X-Men movies. He needs better security!

 

 

4 stars

January 7th, 2006 on DVD for the 2nd time  
   

There is not much to add to the review below. I definitely liked this movie just as much as last time, and much more than the first movie. The characters were all much deeper in this sequel, and there were so many different kinds of mutants. I still wish Rogue would get more screen time, but Wolverine seems to be the main reason behind the series. I suppose that it's the severe situations that they have been through before and after that point, but Rogue doesn't seem to harbor any feelings of malice towards Magneto for what he did to her in the first movie at Liberty Island.

Of course, by now I've heard a little bit about the third X-Men movie, so I know about Phoenix. At the end of this movie, it is actually foreshadowed as we pan across the waterway where Jean Gray died, and we see what could be interpreted as a bird of fire moving just below the surface. I look forward to the next movie in this series, and wonder what they will come up with next.

 

 

4 stars

August 10th, 2003 in the Theatre  
   

This was a really good movie, with a great plot, some good acting, and awesome special effects.

While the first X-Men movie had to introduce the characters, as well as the motivations and secrets of various characters, this one was able to delve right into its own plot. What was really interesting, however, was the way the first movie was a setup for the second one. There were many background characters in the first X-Men, who we didn't get to meet, yet who appeared in this movie as full-fledged characters.

The plot begins with a bang, with probably the most awesome character in the whole movie, Nightcrawler. Along with the cool effects when he does his stuff, I love the concept of a teleporting mutant. I also think it's funny that Jean Grey and Storm aren't amazed by the fact that he can do this. She says, simply, that he can move from one spot to the next in an instant, as if it's something that a lot of people can do! Nightcrawler is being mind-controlled, but we don't know that at this point. He attacks the US President, nearly killing the man. The awesome fight sequence between Nightcrawler and the secret service men was quite exciting (and reminiscent of The Matrix), but I wonder why the mutant didn't finish the job when he was shot in the arm.

I figured right from the start that Stryker was a bad guy, and that he was trying to start the war with mutants prematurely. I wonder why he was also made to be the creator of Wolverine's metallic skeleton. His hatred of mutants was enough to compensate for this, but now that he is dead, who will be the bad guy for Wolverine in the eventual next movie?

I liked the fact that Wolverine was able to find out about his past, and about the experiments that were done to him. I just thought it required a little more emotional punch. On one hand, I like the fact that the source of his information was taken away from him just as he learned a bit of the truth. But how will he find out anything more? I suppose Stryker had colleagues... and all because his son couldn't be "cured" of his mutant ability to project life-like illusions into other people's brains.

So the plot has Professor Xavier kidnapped (wasn't he out of the action for the last movie, as well... is he too powerful to centre a movie around?). Stryker then uses his son's illusion powers to control Xavier's mind. The one part of the movie that I don't really like was the use of Cerebro. The device was fine in the last movie, because it was barely used. It is too powerful for a movie like this. Xavier has the ability to kill anybody and everybody from inside that machine! He can focus on mutants, and kill them all, which is what Stryker wanted, and then he was altered to strike out at non-mutants. Even though I don't like the use of the machine, if anything he should have killed small groups at a time. I don't like the fact that he is so powerful that he could contact every mind on the planet at once.

Regardless, this movie is really about the group of mutants who try to rescue Xavier. The professor was captured when he went to visit his old friend, Magneto, in prison. Magneto was also mind-controlled into giving specifications for Cerebro and for infiltrating Xavier's school. Once Mystique figured out where Magneto was, she used a really cool trick to rescue him. Instead of impersonating the guard, which would have simply stranded both of them within the cell, she injected the guard with an iron solution, giving Magneto something to grab hold of when he was fed. It's amazing to watch him glide across the empty expanse on an iron plate made from the concentrated iron in the guard's blood!

On the side of the good guys, the main action sequence for the first half of the movie takes place in the infiltration of the school, where the mutants show how dangerous they could be if there ever was a war. An armored man helps get the children out. Wolverine defeats most of the invading troopers by himself, with a little help from Iceman and and the firestarter. My main complaint was the lack of action for Rogue. I also loved the way that young girl could send herself through matter (like through the bed when the dart was fired).

Rogue and Iceman are now dating, though she still feels romantically tied to Wolverine, which is nice potential setup for another movie. I liked her kiss with Iceman, leaving her with cool (minty?) breath! I liked her outfits (okay, her nightgown, with the director focusing on plenty of cleavage!), especially the way that she gets an official X-Men uniform by the end! I really hope she gets the focus of the next movie -I'd love to see so much more of her.

The fight through the dam was typical action, but well presented, and logically paced. It was inevitable that the fire guy would end up with Magneto -we could see that coming from his temper and attitude, especially when he deals with the police outside Iceman's home. Xavier's rescue in the nick of time was also expected. Totally unexpected was Jean Grey's sacrifice to prevent the wall of water from submerging the jet after Rogue half-crash-landed it (lack of pilot experience, which is a great change from heroes who know how to do anything in a moment). That love triangle between Jean, Wolverine and Cyclops came to an unexpected end.

Why couldn't Iceman freeze the huge wave? I suppose it took him long enough to make a wall of ice at the school. How long would it have taken him to freeze all that water? Too long, I'd say. At least Nightcrawler got to do some teleporting at the end, though that little girl would have been able to walk right through the wall to rescue Xavier, if she had been there. Rogue would have been useful dealing with the illusion guy: she could have used his mind control to better ends!

The last fight comes in the form of Stryker's aide. It was amazing to watch her fight Wolverine, since she was subjected to the exact same procedure as he was, but with fine, sharp needle fingers, instead of a few knives. She was also mind-controlled. It's too bad that he had to kill her, because they could have been lovers -both with the same mutant trait of self-healing. I think I saw that on Wolverine's face, as well. He once again came so close to having somebody who could understand him, but had to kill her. Amazing.

There were a lot of really good character moments, a lot of good action sequences, and some cool special effects (yet another scene that comes to mind is the battle of the jets, with Jean and Storm taking out the fighter aircraft and missiles, and Nightcrawler rescuing Rogue in empty air).

I can see lots of potential setup for another film. I just hope it is as good as this one. I'll definitely see this one again.

 
   

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