director: Bryan Singer
writers: Zak Penn, David Hayter, Dan Harris & Michael Dougherty
starring: Hugh Jackman, Famke Jansen, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen
genre: Action | Comics
released: 28 April, 2003 (U.S.)
Lets start off, by stating how stupid the title of the film is. Why was it called X-2: X-Men United? The X-Men don't unite in this film. The good and evil mutants unite. It would have made more sense to be called X-2: Mutants United or just X-Men 2. I guess common sense not only dosen't apply to movie making, but also movie titles. For as whimsy the title is, the film sure isn't.
No matter the title, X2 showed off some the best action in a comic book film and had some of the biggest thrills a action film could offer. Surprising action moments and very well thought out scenes and events. It does still have its faults, and it would have been better if changes here and there were made. Though, it still managed to make us love the X-Men even more and still holds up as a great action film extravaganza.
In the first film, Senator Kelly's Registration Act failed and the X-Men managed to stop Magneto's devious plan. Now mutants face yet again confrontation, after a mutant attack on the President. With a attack on him, the President orders his close mutant adviser William Stryker (Brian Cox) to take the mutant situation and do whatever needs be done. The X-Men now face the U.S. special forces and plan to eradicate all of mutant kind.
What I love about X-Men 2 was not only, its entertaining action packed moments. But that it also opened up possibilities for many future stories. Either that be X-Men sequels or spin-offs. Now that didn't work out, as many might have had hoped for. Only the Phoenix and Wolverine stories were picked up and continued and nobody can be really ecstatic about the conclusion of both.
As a action film, its a non stop rollercoaster. It delivers more than the original, in effects, set pieces and of course Wolverine berserker rage. Where it fails, is in character development. As a ensemble cast film, it has do deal with a lot of characters and sub plots. This is where the film loses focus and mismanages the X-Men story.
Where the X-Men franchise success was making people love Wolverine. And when I mean love, I mean adore every second of his presence on the screen. That came with the sacrifice of other characters that could have been fleshed out. Most notably Cyclops, who when the third film comes around is completely forgotten of, the supposed leader of the X-Men.
The films play more to the effect of getting a emotional reactions out of the audience and a way to get a action scene combined with it. Instead of thinking who needs big moments and who doesn't. Teen Iceman, Rogue and Pyro get screen time with emotional and action scenes. Where as Storm, Cyclops and co are called upon only when action is needed and scene progression.
No matter the faults, X-Men 2 is a great action film. It provides some of the best action, some very good humor and a great Wolverine story. So if your fan of Wolvie, X-Men or just action. Check it out.