X2: X-Men United

A Film Review By Jason L. King

Rating:Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action/violence, some sexuality and brief language
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patric Stewart, Ian McKellen
Directed By:Bryan Singer

Final Grade:

When I was little I always wanted to be a superhero. I’d have the super powers that would let me save any girl from distress and save the world every day before bed time. I was really young then, and by the time I grew up out of my superhero t-shirt and underwear sets (come on you all had them) I realized I was never going to see through walls, fly or have superhuman strength. Therefore I live my fantasies through film, watching the superheroes I dream of becoming on the big screen itself.

Now to be honest, I am not I can’t name off every comic book superhero by name when they appear on the screen, but I do know a good superhero flick when I see one. This week, I got a chance to see one, X-Men 2.

After the success of the first flick, X-Men 2 (X2) made it to the big screen after a long wait for fans. And they made sure they didn’t let fans down. With the return of the original cast, combined with a few more newcomers help make this flick a success.

Acting as always is great when you have a star studded cast filled with the likes of Hugh Jackman, Ian Mckellen, Patrick Stewart and the over hyped Halle Berry. Jackman brings so much to the screen as the lone warrior Wolverine, and I continue to look forward to his work in X3. Jackman helps exhibit the true depth to everyone’s raging hero, making the character a success. Patrick Stewart still shines as Professor X, McKellen as Magneto and Robecca Romaijn Stamos as shape shifting Mystique are all wonderful. Our villain, Sgt. Stryker (Brian Cox) does a wonderful job as well, but seeing him on the screen with Patrick Stewart for some screwed up reason, I kept thinking his role would have been better (or at least more ironic to star trek fans) if it was Played by William Shatner. But irony aside, Cox was a nice addition to the flick. On the other Hand, Halle Berry yet again proves to me that she brings nothing to the screen that I find enjoyable. Berry wants to add more depth to her character, Storm, in the next flick but in all honesty, there wasn’t anything important to Storm’s role in this flick, and I don’t really think the fans want to shift gears and focus on her when Jackman steals the screen.

The plot follows suit with the typical sequel idea where the heroes must team up with their enemies and combine their powers to fight an evil power. How many times have you seen this and seen it fail? I know I haven’t seen it work that many times, but surprisingly enough it works in this one. The plot however only works because of the cast and the special effects that make the flick a visual success as well as just a popcorn flick fan pleaser.
The end result for X-Men 2 is that it is just as good as if not better than the first one. What it lacks in plot, it makes up for in special effects and all around fun. The nice thing about X-Men is that it all isn’t “save the world” but has some nice depth and underlying plots as well, which make the films more enjoyable. I know personally I enjoyed X2 more than I enjoyed the Original X-Men. In my mind it seemed as though the actors had honed their super powers and stepped up to the next level. Where they go from there we will have to see, but I’m guessing with this franchise as long as the cast doesn’t drive each other insane, they will continue the franchise success even if the plethora of Superhero flicks that are being made nearly kill the franchise. As for me, I plan on continuing to live my superhero fantasies through the films I watch, and I’m glad I have flicks such as X2 to help me do that.

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