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Sweet Hollywood! Thank you for X2
5.15.2003 by Scott, every Thursday.

So I got around to seeing X-Men 2 this weekend. I was anxious to drag my butt there, but I also have been swamped at work as of late. But the trailers and ads for it kept taunting me, so I finally forced myself out of the office and into the theatre, or rather some friends of mine dragged me there.

Just as a note for readers who haven't seen this movie yet, this review will probably contain spoilers, so if you haven't seen it, and don't want it ruined, the jist of the article is: “Way cool, go see it!”

To continue. The movie features no less than 13 characters who feature somewhat prominently in the film. Director Bryan Singer manages to get them all enough screen time to let the audience get a good feel for each of them. From the teen mutants Iceman, Rogue and Pyro, to the villains Stryker, Magneto and Mystique, they all get their say, and they all come across on the screen well. As well, this being the sequel, their powers are used much more subtly than in the first. Where in the first movie, for example, Wolverine's healing factor was spelled out for the audience, in X2, the audience is given a little credit and is expected to know what each mutant can do. (The one exception to this is Pyro, who was barely in the first one, and thus needed a bit of an explanation.)

Good performances by Sir Ian McKellen as Magneto, Sean Ashmore as Iceman, and Brian Cox as Stryker back up Hugh Jackman's place as the central character, Wolverine. Alan Cumming as Nightcrawler is a scene stealer, but is pushed to the background by the climax. McKellen is always great, so that was no surprise, and Cox is a seasoned vet, but Ashmore was a pleasant surprise for me. He had a small role in the first movie, and was invited back for more in X2. He looks like a “Dawson's Creek” type pretty boy actor, but he has a cool (sorry) feel on the screen. He just looks relaxed in the role, and in doing that really made the character seem real. He wont win any awards, but his performance was good enough for me to notice.

The movie itself has tons of things for x-fans to look for. Appearances by Artie (of the X-Terminators), Syrin (X-Force), Colossus, Hank McCoy (the Beast), Kitty Pryde and Jubilee can be seen, and mentions of others are aplenty. In once scene, while going through mutant files, you see the names of other heroes listed there; Jamie “The Multiple Man” Maddrox, Kevin “Proteus” Mctaggert, etc. The plot in the movie touches on three classic X-Men stories of days of yore; “The Rise of Phoenix”, “Weapon X”, and “God Loves, Man Kills”.

This film is long, over 2 hours, but it never drags on. It's full of action, moving from epic battle to crazy escape and back again. The effects are slick, and the sets in the movie are gorgeous. From the White House to Xavier's Mansion, Magneto's prison and the Military base in Alaska, they all sweep you into the scene.

Fans will like this movie. The cool factor is way up there, it's loyal to the fans of the book, and the story is pretty sound. Heck, even my mom liked this movie. Why haven't you seen it yet. If you have to choose between this and the new Matrix sequel, I'd advise you to go for the mutants. I'm a comic geek, it's true, but I'm also usually quite cynical. I still loved this movie.

-Scott MacIver

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