Several months have passed since The X-Men defeated Magneto and imprisoned him in a seemingly impregnable plastic chamber. One day, a mutant by the name of Nightcrawler infiltrates the White House and attempts to assassinate the president, setting off a chain reaction of anti-mutant measures by the government. Meanwhile, Logan is trying to discover his past. As scientist named William Stryker discovers Professor X's secret school and Cerebro, Magneto's partner, Mystique, is planning to break her leader out of prison. But when Professor X's school is attacked by Stryker's forces, Logan, Rogue, Iceman and a few are lucky to escape. Those who remain meet in Boston, where they form an uneasy alliance with Magneto to stop Stryker and rescue Professor X. Written by
Bryan Singer insisted that the writers do proper research on what would happen if a dam was breached. Remarkably, they found plenty of information about that on the Internet. See more »
(at around 24 mins) Magneto's real name is Eric Lehnsherr. On Stryker's computer that Mystique hacks, the name is misspelled as "Lensherr." See more »
Mutants. Since the discovery of their existence they have been regarded with fear, suspicion, often hatred. Across the planet, debate rages. Are mutants the next link in the evolutionary chain or simply a new species of humanity fighting for their share of the world? Either way it is a historical fact: Sharing the world has never been humanity's defining attribute.
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This is the first X-Film in the series to use the Marvel comic-book logo. See more »
They've done a hell of a lot right. That's my response to Singer's X-Men films; they're slick, funny, emotive and a real blast to watch. Without overdrawn character introductions and explanations, X2 launches right into seventh gear and doesn't let up.
Admirably, the film allows the majority of its characters a genuinely engaging storyline amongst the bigger picture, and although the story is not without its fault (using Cerebro as a major plot point two films in a row is like building the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi; been there, seen it before) it is certainly worthy of high praise. It's amazing that in just two films we already have a real appreciation for the relationships between such a considerable group of characters, and it is for the continued development of these relationships - and not the cool story line and action sequences - that makes me look forward to another X-film.
I would love to say that it's the casting that makes the films so brilliant - and it's true, the casting is great - but a couple of these characters have been woefully miscast. Iceman stood out for me, bringing an uncomfortable Backstreet Boy vibe to the role, and although his role in X2 is small, James Marsden just doesn't seem to have it in him to hold a commanding and authoritative position among the X-sters as Cyclops. In the first X-film he managed to at least stand beside the Wolverine with some great gags, but he's been left in the gutter for X2, and in the single scene toward the end of the film where Marsden is allowed to genuinely act, his emotional response feels awkward and forced. I am sure he is capable of more than this, and hopefully when X-Men 3 comes around he'll have more to work with. I've never been happy with Halle Berry as Storm, and she looks bored out of her skull in this film. I hope not to see her return.
Thankfully, most of Singer's new cast are admirable. The recast Pyro is great and Nightcrawler is fantastic. In fact, Alan is the only actor in the film who comes close to matching the quality of Jackman's Wolverine and McKellen's Magneto. These wonderful actors all appear to genuinely revel in portraying their characters. Janssen steps her performance up a notch too and it helps the film no end. I really hope to see her in the next film.
Ultimately, there are just a few slip-ups here in an otherwise classy and supremely entertaining film. With such an established canon of characters everyone is going to have their own opinion on how particular character should be portrayed, and for the most part X-2 does the job. Hopefully the bugs will be ironed out and we'll see a sequel of equal or greater quality in a few years. I'm certainly excited at the prospect.
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