An attack against the American President by a teleporter named
Nightcrawler renews political and public ill-will against
mutants. Former army commander William Stryker is determined
to turn this event to his advantage as he sets out to capture
or destroy all mutants, including the students at Charles
Xavier's school for the "gifted"...
Am I the only reviewer in the world who thinks that the original
X-Men film was better than X-Men 2? There may
be bigger bucks on screen this time, with an array of exciting
set pieces including Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler's (Alan Cumming)
assault upon the White House, John Allerdyce/Pryo's (Aaron
Stanford) fiery display of temper, and a vicious battle between
Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and Yuriko Oyama/Deathstrike
(Kelly Hu). However, the overall plot is somewhat less satisfying.
is largely because the threat to humanity - and to mutants
- is not as clearly defined this time around. It is a mental
threat rather than the more tangible one posed by Eric Lehnsherr/Magneto's
(Ian McKellen) mutation device in the first movie, which had
the added advantage of being demonstrated for the audience's
benefit. Another disadvantage is that poor old Ian McKellen
is stuck behind bars for the first half of this movie, though
his eventual escape is admittedly ingenious.
previous film had hinted that Magneto's plastic prison wouldn't
contain the villain forever. It also warned that Professor
Xavier's (Patrick Stewart) school might one day face an attack
from hostile forces. Both of these events come to pass in
were also promised some resolution concerning Wolverine's
origins. At first, Logan's search for clues appears fruitless,
and I was a little concerned that writers Michael Dougherty,
Dan Harris and David Hayter were trying to back out of the
situation that had been set up (a bit like the beginning of
Back to the Future - Part II in which Jennifer is hastily
written out). But fear not, this movie does not renege on
its predecessor's promise of answers, but merely postpones
them until later on in the story.
The full cast of good guys from X-Men return, with
the young students Ice Man (Shawn Ashmore) and Pyro playing
more substantial roles this time around. However, Patrick
Stewart is once again written out for large chunks of the
story, as the Professor falls foul of the Cerebro apparatus
for a second time.
very pleased to say that Magneto's scantily clad accomplice,
Raven Darkholme/Mystique (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) is also back
on the scene. She comes across rather more sympathetically
this time, tending to only lash out at characters we dislike.
The shape-shifter seems quite honourable as she explains why
she chooses not to simply live her whole life in disguise
- she doesn't believe that she should have to hide who or
what she is. Watch out for a brief glimpse of Romijn-Stamos
in her true form, without the blue make-up.
2 can be viewed with a choice of two audio commentaries
on disc 1, which is available individually for £15.99.
movie is also being released as a two-disc set, with an array
of features on the second disc. There are numerous featurettes
and longer documentaries on every stage of the production,
from the concept's comic-book origins to the composition of
John Ottman's score. Not surprisingly, many of the features
concentrate on the new character Nightcrawler, including a
multi-angle view of the White House attack and time-lapse
footage of the lengthy make-up process that actor Alan Cumming
had to endure. There are also 11 deleted or extended scenes,
though none of these is very long, and, disappointingly, cannot
be "branched" into the movie, as was possible with the X-Men
and X-Men 1.5 DVDs.
both a movie and as a DVD product, X-Men 2 is not quite
as x-cellent as its predecessor... but it's still pretty darned