The human government develops a cure for mutations, and Jean Gray becomes a darker uncontrollable persona called the Phoenix who allies with Magneto, causing escalation into an all-out battle for the X-Men.
In the 1960s, superpowered humans Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr work together to find others like them, but Erik's vengeful pursuit of an ambitious mutant who ruined his life causes a schism to divide them.
When bitten by a genetically modified spider, a nerdy, shy, and awkward high school student gains spider-like abilities that he eventually must use to fight evil as a superhero after tragedy befalls his family.
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
Angel and Beast were part of the original script, but were dropped, as it was felt that there were too many characters, and saved for X-Men: The Last Stand (2006). See more »
While in flight towards Boston, the name of Massachusetts' Hanscom Air Force Base is mispronounced as "hans-CAHM." The correct pronunciation, as used by locals, is "HAN-skum." 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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SPOILER: The X-Films' title sequences features a weapon used by the villain of each film, backed by the X-Men's Cerebro device. In this film it is Stryker's Dark Cerebro sphere. See more »
In the American version of the movie, Wolverine asks for "something other than chocolate milk" and receives the reply "There should be some Dr Pepper..." In international versions, the replay is "There should be some soda...". In both versions, the bottle is still a Dr Pepper bottle, only the audio is altered. See more »
Flawed but better than the usual no-brain summer blockbusters
Following an assassination attempt on the President of the USA by a mutant, General William Stryker is ordered to take action against the mutants. Using information gleamed from Magneto, he attacks the X-mansion, taking some prisoners and scattering the rest. Wolverine, just returned from the hunt for his past, escapes with Pryo, Iceman and Rogue and sets out to meet up with Storm and Jean. As the full extent of Styker's plan becomes clear, the X-Men have no choice but to join forces with Magneto to defeat him.
I have to be honest I say that every year I get sucked in by the hype machine that surrounds the summer blockbusters. Most of the time I am let down (Jurrasic Park 3, Planet of the Apes the list is long). This summer looks different with this and the Matrix films to look forward to and X2 was the first one I came to. I enjoyed the first film and immediately noticed that it's strength had been lost in this sequel. Here the running time is over two hours and the central plot includes a lot more side issues than the first. In one regard this is good because there is much to hold the interest. However it also means that the film doesn't all work most of it does but a lot of it feels abandoned or incomplete. Wolverine no longer is the focus as he was in the first, and this is a loss. His story is the most interesting to many people but he isn't allowed as much as he deserves. However he fares better than Rogue and Cyclops who barely have anything to do.
The central plot is good and has enough twisting to keep you entertained only the odd subplot appears to be on a hiding to nowhere. The action scenes are good on the whole. The opening assassination attempt is very exciting and the storming of the mansion is solid. The climax of the film with Wolverine is a little disappointing thanks to MTV style editing making the fight unclear. Although some people have complained about it being action light, I think that is missing the point. The film is more about the plot and the characters than just the action. So we do have lots of dramatic scenes without action but they still work as they are building a wider story.
The film is a lot less funnier than the first and hence a little less enjoyable on a surface level. Mostly this is due to the shift of focus off Wolverine and his lines. There is still some humour but too much of it is ill-judged (in the middle of Iceman `coming out' to his family an emotional point his mother says `have you tried NOT being a mutant' didn't work for me). Happily the darker side of the film is stronger and makes this change of tone feel deliberate rather than a loss of humour. Singer directs well overall and uses his budget well only the fight between Wolverine and Oyama was one part where I felt he had over stretched his reach a little. He has nice touches as well like including stuff for the harder core comic fans (eg Colossus at one point). Also there are modern day parallels to be had in the script that are a little bit less than flag waving.
The cast really help this film though. Jackman may not be the central focus for this film but he is the centre of every scene he is in. Stewart and McKellen both do very good work here and really contribute to the feeling that this is more than a dumb blockbuster. Berry is OK but on at least one occasion her breasts seemed to be used to greater effect than her character. Janssen comes on a lot and her struggle with her changing powers is well portrayed. Romijn-Stamos has a much bigger role and her character is used well. Paquin and Marsden are AWOL even when onscreen but Cumming is a good addition. Cox is the film's greatest addition and he doesn't allow Stryker to become a carton bad guy at any point. I really like Kelly Hu and was sad t see her have little to do. In fairness she manages to make a good impression without more than a line in the whole film but her final fight is a little disappointing.
Overall this is a superior summer blockbuster. The way it tries to carry so many subplots and side characters causes it to become very weak and times and not all of it works very well but it is still good for what it is. The change in tone from the first film will put some off but I enjoyed it and found the story to be well supported however for X3 I hope that this ensemble feel is cut back a little and a smaller core of characters allowed to develop well rather than a lot of them developed a little.
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