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X2: X-Men United

Reviewed by Ogre3000

X-2 is of course the sequel to X-Men, the first movie about Marvel's best known & loved mutants. Welp, X-2 blows away the first movie, tops it in about 15 to 20 minutes out of its 2 hours & 15 minutes. I have seen it twice (the 2nd in IMAX) in 24 hours if that tells you anything. The story picks up shortly after the original (which they call "The Liberty Island Incident"). It begins with an attack upon the President of the USA that no protectors can withstand, a teleporting mutant that makes a shambles of the Secret Service & is barely stopped, the Prez literally was inches away from death. He is stopped & vanishes in a *BAMF!* of smoke.

Meanwhile, Wolverine finds the base that is in his memories, but it's an empty ruin near a dam & he returns to The Xavier School. And before he arrives, we see the students on a field trip to a museum where Iceman & Pyro almost get the group in trouble before Prof. X intervenes. Then, later that night, Wolverine arrives. The tension between him, Scott (Cyclops) & Jean resurfaces. But not much time for that, Prof. X & Scott go to visit Magneto & Storm & Jean are assigned to find the mutant that attacked The White House after being located by Cerebro. What they do not know, a former military leader, Stryker, has gone before the President & gives the green light for an assault on the X-Men Mansion. But, Mystique, disguised as Senator Kelly learns of the plan & where Magneto is held & plans his escape.

Later that fateful night, Wolverine awakens from the nightmarish visions that have plagued him & he wanders the mansion, finally beginning to bond a bit with Bobby in the kitchen..... then figures out, they are under attack! Well, this is what I have waited to see, Wolverine unleashed! Almost too fast to keep up with, Wolverine tears into the invaders with both sets of claws, an X-Fan's dream! Some of the children are captured but most escape thanks to Wolverine & the older mutants. But, in a blinding moment, Logan comes face-to-face with Stryker, who knows Wolverine & his secrets. But, he is denied as Bobby puts up a wall of ice & Rogue begs him to help them escape. And comming up in the garage they do, of course in Scott's brand new car! They make for Boston where Storm & Jean are & Bobby's hometown.

Back in DC, Scott & Prof. X visit Magneto but.... it's a trap! The most powerful mutant in the world is captured! Scott mixes it up with Lady Deathstrike but looses & Prof. X is now in the hands of his enemies.

In Boston on Storm & Jean's mission for the teleporting mutant assassin, they find an abandoned church with a frightened mutant that should be well-known to all X-Fans, Kurt Wagner aka Nightcrawler. He tells them of how he couldn't remember anything since the Berlin circus (he was a circus performer, an acrobat & high-wire artist, in the comics anyway) until he attacked the President against his will, then he escaped to the church. They take them with him & in flight discover no one is answering from the X-Mansion.

Later, Mystique learns where Magneto is held & brilliantly sets up a plan to free him from his plastic prison. It's one fantastic escape that I would have never imagined & it has to be one of the best moments in the film. Brian Singer & the writers should be lauded for incredible imagination & understanding of the characters' abilities.

Back in another part of Boston, Wolverine, Rogue, Iceman & Pyro meet Bobby's parents & brother whom learn the truth about The Xavier School. Finally, Storm is able to reach Wolverine on a car phone they found in Cyclops' car. He tells them about the school attack & to pick them up quick. Bobby's brother finks on them to the police & a wild confrontation with a bullet in the head & exploding police cars tears apart Bobby's quiet neighborhood. The Blackbird arrives & a quick escape is made by the X-Men.

Then, the real battle for the future of humans & mutants begins. Well, I don't want to give away much more. Everyone gives 110 percent in this movie. Every performance is great, the new villain Stryker is a bigger threat that brings both the X-Men & The Brotherhood of Mutants together. The new characters of Nightcrawler, beefed-up versions of Iceman, Pyro & Mystique (who I liked much better in this movie) & the addition of Lady Deathstrike as a foil for Wolverine, really sometime to see! The story's better, the action more intense & the SFX are just damned amazing.

And to the complaint dept.: Only a few seconds of Colossus, The Beast was only as Dr. Hank McCoy on TV & not an X-Men & there had been rumours of other villains showing up (but to be fair, in the original stories, Rogue & Pyro were introduced as in the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants back in the '80s). Other than that & that's a fanboy complaint, it was a perfect 5 out of 5...

 

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Director
Bryan Singer

Screenplay
Michael Dougherty
Dan Harris
David Hayter

Released
May 2, 2003

Cast
Patrick Steward
Ian McKellen
Hugh Jackman
Famke Janssen
Anna Paquin
Halle Berry
James Marsden
Rebecca Romijn
Brian Cox
Alan Cumming

Full Credits at IMDb

Available on DVD and Blu-Ray