Review by Ross Anthony

The specially powered mutants are back on the big screen and this time, they've got to pull together to save their kind from a mutant-hating high-ranking government official.

Yes, there's action. Yes, there's fun. Yes, there's even some well-earned tension. But X2 is simply lacking the gel, the magic, the super-power of the first film "X-Men" which I raved over and would still strongly recommend. This go-round, the characters are less developed. The assumption dominates that all of us understand each X-person inside and out (no doubt some in the audience will); consequently very little time is spent getting to know them outside of their special little powers. Understandably, with an all-star team of twelve or so mutants, there's not enough film on the reel to sit and have a meaningful chat with each. The filmmakers attempt to make one mutant their focus child -- the half-man, half-metal Wolverine. While the Wolverine character (played smashingly well by Hugh Jackman) artfully drew sympathy from wowed audiences in the first film; here the attempts to make his internal struggle the lead mutant story -- miss the mark. And to be fair, each character seems to be given his or her 3-5 minutes of touchy-feely screen time to garnish for themselves our human sympathies. It's just not enough, and somehow the effort emphasizes the miss even further.

X2 The ability to draw in the viewer, to make us believe and ultimately care about these mutants and non-mutants is also wanting. After the two opening scenes: Nightcrawler's presidential attack, and Stryker's strike on the mutant school (which are both very good visually and emotively), the film drives straight into a simplified "Power Rangers type" cartoony plot, that while twisty at times, fails to compel on a more mature level. (The Scott/Logan jealousy bit is less amusing, fitting awkwardly into this picture.)

That said, two (what I will assume are) die-hard X-Men comic book fans sat next to me. They were laughing and cheering the whole time. I suspect, if you bring to the film a great deal of back story/knowledge of the characters, you may have more fun watching "your friends" on screen than those of us who only have the first film (or less) to draw on.

Loved this quote though: "Sharing the world has never been humanity's defining attribute."

[ Click here for Interview with Hugh Jackman ]

  • X2. Copyright © 2003.
  • Starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Rebecca Romijin-Stamos, Brian Cox, Alan Cumming, Bruce Davison, Anna Paquin, Kelly Hu, Arron Standford.
  • Directed by Bryan Singer.
  • Screenplay by Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris.
  • Produced by Lauren Shuler Donner, Ralph Winter at 20th Century Fox/Marvel.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:41:20 PDT