X-Men 2: I’ve never read an X-Men comic, didn’t think much of the first film as it just washed over me completely and so I really wasn’t expecting a great deal from this sequel. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised this time round and am looking forward to the third outing.
There’s a brilliant opening sequence which involves new character and baddie Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming) breaking into the Whitehouse and attempting to assassinate the President, making it all the more tricky for the bodyguards to capture him because he’s rather good at teleporting, but once he’s been rumbled and fails in his mission he goes into hiding. Storm (Halle Berry) and Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) go off to find him under the orders of Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart).
The real baddie of the piece, though, is William Stryker (Brian Cox), who wants to infiltrate the Xavier household and find out exactly what makes it tick, capture some of the mutants and adn kidnap Xavier while he’s paying a visit to Magneto (Ian McKellen). Stryker has his own personal reasons for doing this which will become clear along the way, but he needs Xavier to help him track down all the mutants around the world and kill them, testing out his own reproduction of Cerebro, which is like Yahoo Messenger for mutants. While Xavier’s ‘online’ he can be in contact with any or all mutants at the same time.
Pyro was always one for showing off.
And that’s the scene set. The film then takes its journey along until the end (a good, solid two hours before the end credits arrive) and you know that good will triumph over evil in the end, and while I could go into detail about it, none of it would sound sounds hugely original, but it is highly entertaining, which is more than can be said for the original.
Wolverine is forced to come to terms with his earlier life and how that ties with Stryker, however much he’d rather not be cajoled into remembering. There’s also the death of a major character, but I won’t say which one. And you knew Magneto would break out of his cell, but I didn’t think it’d be like that?!
In fact, in a strange twist of fate, Magneto puts it upon himself to help the good mutants get Xavier back and be rid of Stryker once and for all. This does make for an interesting storyline.
Overall, it’s a damn sight more balanced and enjoyable than the original. Here, each mutant does get to show off their own skills, but it’s done little by little – and often – rather than once or twice apiece in the first movie, which made that effort look like a series of set pieces with nothing of worth to connect it together.
Go to page 2 for the presentation and extras.
Anything Wolverine can do, she can do better…
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.