X2 (often promoted as X2: X-Men United and promoted in the UK as X-Men 2) is a 2003 superhero film based on the fictional characters the X-Men. Directed by Bryan Singer, it is the second film in the X-Men film series. It stars an ensemble cast including Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Alan Cumming, Famke Janssen, Anna Paquin, Shawn Ashmore, Aaron Stanford, Brian Cox, Rebecca Romijn, James Marsden, Halle Berry and Kelly Hu. The plot, inspired by the graphic novel God Loves, Man Kills, pits the X-Men and their enemies, the Brotherhood, against the genocidal Colonel William Stryker (Brian Cox). He leads an assault on Professor Xavier's school to build his own version of Xavier's mutant-tracking computer Cerebro, in order to destroy every mutant on Earth. Development phase for X2 began shortly after X-Men. David Hayter and Zak Penn wrote separate scripts, combining what they felt to be the best elements of both scripts into one screenplay. Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris were eventually hired for rewrite work, changing characterizations of Beast, Angel and Lady Deathstrike. Sentinels and the Danger Room were set to appear before being deleted because of budget concerns.
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The opening sequence with Night crawler is one of the most amazingly choreographed fight scenes I've ever seen! The dialogue and plot are all an improvement on the first X-men.
I give this a Low 'R' because of the shape-shifters risque look (Painted nude) and some very intense violence in which Wolverine is stabbed multiple times by Lady death strike. Yeah yeah, he can heal, but it was still pretty grizzly.
Overall, a great action adventure in which characters grow and develop, ultimately triumphing over the immediate threat to all mankind. If you're a fan, worth seeing at least once.May 5th, 2011 · Details
At the risk of sounding repetitive, you can count the number of really good superhero movies on one hand. And you can count the number of really good superhero movie sequels on one finger "Superman II," which is, arguably, a better movie than the first "Superman."
Surprisingly, the action-packed "X2" (a k a "X2: X-Men United") might also be better than its predecessor, and that 1999 box-office hit wasn't bad.
In fact, "X2" makes a strong case for being the best superhero movie ever. It's exciting, thrilling and, best of all, it's got brains and a heart. And it never feels as long as it is, 124 minutes. (However, parents should be warned that the film is a great deal more violent than the first.)
"X2" finds the good mutants of Xavier's School for Talented Youngsters facing a number of different threats. While Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is in Canada, trying to uncover his past, the others are in search of Nightcrawler (nearly unrecognizable Alan Cumming), a blue-skinned mutant who has tried to kill the president.
As a result, the commander in chief has given free rein to William Stryker (Bryan Cox), a military scientist who invades Xavier's school and captures several students. But what he really wants is Cerebro, the device with which Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) stays in touch with every mutant on the planet.
That forces the good guys those who have managed to stay free, at least to join forces with their old foe, Magneto (Ian McKellen). Not that any of them should trust him. Especially since he's being aided by the shape-shifting Mystique (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos).
Kudos to director Bryan Singer here. He's managed to pull off quite a feat this time around, considering that he has nearly a dozen lead characters and an equal number of supporting characters.
Also, the complaints that some of this material is too inside are absolute hogwash. You don't have to understand every in-joke to enjoy the movie. But those who are well-versed in the comic will be delighted by each and every one of them.
Others will be thrilled by the terrific action scenes, some of which are pretty brutal (particularly the encounter between Wolverine and a clawed assassin played by Kelly Hu).
Like Singer, the cast is also assured, especially Jackman, who not only carries most of the action, he also gets some of the better wisecracks this time around. On the supporting side, Cox is effective as the villain-you-know, while McKellen is quite charismatic as the villain-you're-not-sure-about.
"X2" is rated PG-13 for wall-to-wall action violence (including gunplay, stabbings and explosive mayhem), occasional use of strong profanity, some sexual humor, brief drug content (use of tranquilizers), brief gore and brief partial male and female nudity. Running time: 124 minutes.
May 2nd, 2003 · Details