Film: X2: X-Men United

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Film:

X2: X-Men United

Series: Part 2 of The X-Men trilogy
Director: Bryan Singer
Honors:
Genres:
Distributor: 20th Century Fox

The evolution continues in this “exhilarating thrill ride” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) that features the extraordinary original X-Men—along with amazing new mutants possessing fantastic powers that have to be seen to be believed. In the wake of a shocking attack on the President, the X-Men face their most dangerous mission ever. They must stand united with their deadliest enemies to combat a menace that threatens every mutant on the planet. But could this new alliance backfire and annihilate the human race? Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Hale Berry, Famke Janssen and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos star in this breathtaking, action-packed spectacle that “may be the best superhero movie yet made!” (San Francisco Examiner)

Reviews

Amazon.com

X2 does a fine job of picking up where X-Men left off, giving fans more of what they liked the first time around. Under the serious-minded custody of returning director Bryan Singer, the second film of this Marvel comics franchise ups the ante on Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and the superhero mutants from the first film, pitting them against a mutant-hating scientist (Brian Cox) who’s determined to wipe out the mutant race by tricking Xavier into abusing his telepathic powers. More a series of spectacles than a truly satisfying thriller, X2 introduces new mutant allies while giving each of the X-Men alumni—notably the temporarily helpful Magneto (Ian McKellen)—their own time in the spotlight. Well aware of the parallels between “mutantism” and virulent intolerance in the real world, Singer lends real gravity to the proceedings, injecting dramatic urgency into a continuing franchise that, in lesser hands, might’ve grown patently absurd. —Jeff Shannon

Barnes and Noble

This spectacular sequel to X-Men outdoes its predecessor in virtually every way, presenting viewers with a dizzying array of thrills while further developing previously established characters, introducing new ones, and setting the stage for an explosive conflict to come. Threatened in the first film with genocide, the mutants and their advocates—unofficially led by Dr. Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart)—find their right to privacy threatened by the newly proposed Mutant Registration Act, which enemies like General William Stryker (Brian Cox) hope to use as a means of tracking and eventually eliminating them. The noble Xavier and his team of X-Men still labor against evil, while the sinister Magneto (Ian McKellen)—although imprisoned—remains bent on subjecting humanity to mutant control. It wouldn’t be easy for any director to do justice to this film’s multiplicity of characters, relationships, and subplots, but director Bryan Singer is growing into the challenge: He hurls the viewer headlong into the narrative, which zips along at breakneck speed and pauses only to introduce such new characters as Pyro (Aaron Stanford) and Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), who falls for the beautiful but deadly Rogue (Anna Paquin). Halle Berry, returning as the weather-controlling Storm, doesn’t get as much footage as she probably deserves; nor does James Marsden as Cyclops or Rebecca Romijn-Stamos as Mystique. But Famke Janssen’s Jean Grey is showcased and plays a pivotal role in the proceedings, while Alan Cumming has a showy supporting part as the Scripture-quoting Nightcrawler. Judged on the basis of eye-popping special effects and spectacular action sequences, X2 would be an eminently worthwhile sequel, but the emphasis on characterization and underlying plea for tolerance make it more than a typical popcorn movie. As comic-book movies go, this one is, well, X-cellent in every way. Ed Hulse

Related Works

Album:X2: X-Men United: Original Motion Picture Score

X2: X-Men United: Original Motion Picture Score

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