The summer of 2003 saw sequel after unnecessary sequel, but only
one proved to be a worthy successor, “X2.” All of the
major players from 2000’s “X-Men” return in this
action packed blockbuster.

Mira Levitan
(Courtesy of 20th Century FOX)

Unlike most big-budget action films, “X2” does not
try to entertain solely through special effects. The plot centers
on General Stryker’s attempt to destroy mutantkind on behalf
of the government. The fight between mutants and humans has reached
a fever pitch and only an alliance between Magneto and Xavier can
save mutants. Themes of prejudice and tolerance surface
throughout.

Where “X-Men” lacked much of the personality of the
comics, “X2” features a storyline ripped straight from
the comics’ pages. Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of
Wolverine captures the ferocity of the most popular mutant while
maintaining the compassion that fleshes out the character. Even
Halle Barry’s Storm is not a liability to the action as she
was in the first film; thankfully absent is her cheesy dialogue. Of
the new mutants, Nightcrawler teleports onto the screen and easily
steals most scenes in which he is featured.

“X2” has impressive visual effects, and the picture
successfully brings every explosion to the small screen. Enhancing
the experience is the Dolby Digital audio track, which features two
commentaries in addition to the film’s standard audio.
Featurettes present on this set include insights into the effects
used to create Nightcrawler’s teleportation and the staging
of the epic confrontation between Wolverine and Lady Deathstrike.
The extended scenes do not really add much to a pretty complete
film. The theatrical and television trailers are also present in
this two-disc set.

Comic book films are the rage in Hollywood, but there would be
no complaints if every film could be as satisfying as
“X2.” Though the movie rewards die-hard fans with
cameos and references from the rich history of the comics, it is
worth seeing by everyone.

 

Movie: 4 1/2 stars.

Picture/Sound: 4 stars.

Features: 4 stars.

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