X-Men 2 (2003) – movie review

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Movie Review by EDF

Starring: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry

Director: Bryan Singer

Time to make yourself comfortable, popcorn in one hand and soft drink in the other. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the start of this year’s blockbusters. Kicking us off is the sequel to X-MEN and those that enjoyed the original will be in for a treat. Where the original could be best described as a starter for a meal, X-MEN 2 is more than a satisfactory main course.

At the end of the first movie, we found the evil Magneto (Ian McKellen) in a non-metallic prison, rendering him powerless to escape. The shape-shifting Mystique (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) is still at large under the guise of a US Senator. Meanwhile Logan (Hugh Jackman) travels to Alaska hoping to find out more about his past and the experiment that turned him into Wolverine.

In the meantime a mutant, Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming), breaks into the White House and attempts to kill the President but is wounded by his bodyguards and escapes, leaving a message behind declaring “Mutant Freedom Now”. Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) tracks down Nightcrawler and sends Storm (Halle Berry) and Dr Jean Gray (Famke Janssen) to Boston to pick him up. When they catch up to him, it turns out that someone had drugged Nightcrawler, so he had no control over his actions.

Xavier suspects that Magneto had something to do with the attack on the President and visits him in prison, taking Cyclops (James Marsden) with him. Meanwhile, the President calls in General William Stryker (Brian Cox), a military scientist who informs the President that he has the location of a mutant base pretending to be a private school for the gifted. Stryker’s forces raid the school, capturing half a dozen mutants. Wolverine, having returned, helps the rest of the mutants escape but not before he confronts Stryker who informs him that they have a connection. Wolverine joins some of the escaped mutants where they eventually rendezvous with Storm and Dr Jean Grey. They try to contact Professor Xavier and Cyclops but there is no response from either of them. What could have happened to the Professor and how does Stryker know so much about Xavier’s base?

Where the first movie introduces the characters, surprisingly enough the second finds enough room for more character development. Most of them seem to have their own agenda, which leads to some very interesting twists in the story. The action sequences are tight, suspenseful and are well executed, and there are also the odd genuine humorous moments. X-MEN 2 is one of those rare cases where you don’t get bored waiting for the next adrenaline rush. This is definitely a sequel that is miles better than the original, which means that other big event sequel movies released this year will have a lot to live up to.

6 out of 6 stars