X2 - X-Men United Cover There is an old saying that goes – keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer. However, this only applies if you comply with both sides of the equation – as demonstrated in this film, Directed by Bryan Singer; and Starring: Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, James Marsden, and Rebecca Romijn. It was made in 2003, and lasts for 133 minutes.

X2 - X-Men United

Now guess who comes’ knocking at the X-Men’s door, just as Storm (Halle Berry) and Jean (Famke Janssen) go off to track down a unknown mutant – Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming) – whom previously attacked the president?

Magneto (Ian McKellen)? No – it is not him – he is presently in prison, and being tortured by William Stryker (Brian Cox) for the location of the X-Men’s compound.

OK, so what about Mystique (Rebecca Romijn) then? No – it is not her either – as she is currently trying to find the location of the prison where Magneto is being detained.

So who is it, huh? Well, simply put, the answer is Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) – because he wants Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) to ascertain from his mind, why he cannot remember his past – which, funnily enough, is a problem that Nightcrawler vocalises to Storm and Jean, when they eventually find him.

However, guess whose the person is that screwed up Wolverine’s and Nightcrawler’s mind in the first place, huh? Correct – William Stryker – the same person who next gets his aide, Deathstrike (Kelly Hu), to capture Professor Charles Xavier and Cyclops (James Marsden), when they go to visit Magneto later that same day. William Stryker – the same person who then orders his men to invade the X-Men’s compound not so long after that. And William Striker – the same person who finally provokes Wolverine, Rogue (Anna Paquin), Pyro (Aaron Stanford), and Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) to flee the X-compound, and seek shelter in Iceman’s family home.

Thankfully, though, after a brief tête-à-tête with the police, Wolverine and the kids, meet up with Nightcrawler and the girls, and together, they all fly off to find out what has happened to the Professor and Cyclops. Though, it isn’t until they reluctantly join forces with Mystique and Magneto (who by this time has ingeniously escaped from prison) do they discover what that truly is – Stryker wants to control the Professor (via his mad-minded son, Jason) to use Cerebro (a mutant tracking device) to kill all of Mutant-kind.

And do you think that Stryker will manage to successfully complete his master plan? Errr – no, not saying – but what I will say, is that what then transpires is a rather turbulent time for all involved. As Wolverine finds out how he was made – the Professor is a person who is doubly played – and the framework for X-Men 3 is carefully laid.

Oh! And somebody dies too, OK?

When I was the kid, I hated the X-men. At the time, I just thought that this was something to do with me being a DC fan, as well as surmising that this band of mutants were nothing more than a rag tag team of wannabe heroes, who wanted to be hipper than the Justice League. Obviously, I didn’t not know what the f*ck I was talking about as a kid – and I now blame all of this on me eating sugar from a bag.

Nightcrawler in X2 - X-Men United
But do I still blame the sugar now? Now, that I have watched ‘X2’ for the third time in three months, and think that it is a good film? No – that would be stupid of me – because presently I eat sugar from a bowl instead, ha!

Seriously, though, this film is a hoot to watch from start to finish, because like the first instalment of this comic book franchise – aptly titled ‘X-men’ – it told a tale, teased the fans, and made everything look good without it seeming like a picture post card moment.

OK, I have to admit, some of it looked liked a picture post-card moment – especially the scenes where the boys or the girls struck a pose, as if they wanted to go to the bathroom or something. But apart from that, this is a fairly solid film, with only one minor flaw – continuity.

X2 - X-Men United Poster

You see, in places, some of the characters appear to go missing for no apparent reason what so ever - only to reappear again as if someone just remembered them. Granted, this only really happens at the end of the film – when Magneto does a dirty on the X-Men – as well as during the previous battle sequence with Wolverine and ‘the kids’ in the compound.

Now, for me, this slight nag does put a slight dampener on ‘X2’ – as if editorial edict somehow had something to do with this ‘mishap’. 

X2 - X-Men United Wallpaper

However, overall, this film is a great one to watch – as you get to see the development of Wolverine as a character – you get to see Rebecca without her blue make-up on – and you get to see a more expansive and thought provoking film than the first one was. Well, personally speaking, if I put ‘X-Men’ and ‘X2’ side by side, this one did amp the ante up where character and a cohesive through line is concerned – except for Cyclops and Storm. Moreover, there were more little gems sprinkled about all over the place – such as cameos (Colossus and Co.), introductions (Nightcrawler, Iceman, and Pyro), plus a message too (never let your past haunt you). Also, lets not forget about the action sequences – as they were heightened more so than previously, and not in a overtly dramatical way either. Oh! And of course, all the actors did great to boot – particularly Alan Cummings and Shawn Ashmore, whom carved out their own roles very well I thought.

Therefore, if you are a fan on the X-men, or maybe you just want to watch a great action movie with people wearing Halloween costumes, then this is a film defiantly for you. A great film – a nice film – and a better film, in my opinion, than the first instalment (click here) or the last instalment (click here).


X2 X2 Reviewed by David Andrews on December 09, 2011 Rating: 5
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