Release Date
May 2, 2003
Director
Bryan Singer
Screenplay
Michael Dougherty
Dan Harris
David Hayter
Bryan Singer (Story By)
Zak Penn (Story By)
Based On The Comic Books By
Jack Kirby
Stan Lee
Distributed By
20th Century Fox
Budget
$110 million
Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Thriller
Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action/violence, some sexuality and brief language
133 minutes

X2: X-Men United

“X2: X-Men United” is the definition of an effective sequel, taking the key players from the original film and using them as a backdrop for the new characters and new situations. In “X2”, we see the mutant wars continue, with a perfect prologue in the form of an assassination attempt on the President by a mutant. Nightcrawler, the assailant, is one of my favorite characters from X-Men lore and not only are his visual effects captivating but Alan Cumming delivers one of the best performances of his career. After this attack, we meet our villain of the film, William Stryker (Brian Cox), a man responsible for more than just raiding Dr. Xavier’s (Patrick Stewart) school for the gifted in the middle of the night, in fact, his ties to some of the X-Men go back to their origin.

Setting this feud up on a personal level and completely knocking the X-Men down, makes for an entertaining story arc where everything is at stake. All the while, Magneto (Ian McKellen) is locked away in one of the best set pieces of the series, a glass box with no metal allowed. Focusing on the machine Xavier and Magneto built together, called Cerebro, we’re taken one step further into the X-Men lore, creating a sequel that never spoon-feeds and directly builds on top of everything established in the original. Crafting a darker nature than most comic book films around this time and gifted in handling multiple story arcs at a time, Bryan Singer produces yet another effective X-Men film.

 

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