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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 33.46%
Average: 16.54%
Pretty Bad: 3.38%
Total Crap: 2.26%

13 reviews, 188 user ratings

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X2: X-Men United
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by Erik Childress

"X-erting. X-pansive. X-hausting. Just Not Terribly X-traordinary or X-citin"
3 stars

When the first X-Men film was over, I couldnít believe how short it was. Take away the credits and youíve got the equivalent running time of your average animated feature. So much exposition, so many origins to get out of the way and director Bryan Singer still managed to fashion a helluva flick that entertained and more importantly, had its fans asking for more. We wanted more Wolverine, more action, more everything. Surely, they could have fashioned another half-hour of material with such an expansive comic book universe. Sometimes its better to be careful for what you wish for as the sequel, while being reasonably entertaining, had me leaving the theater with the excess baggage of wishing for a tighter film.

Ostensibly picking up where we left off, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is still on his quest to find himself (and those who created him) while our fellow mutants are still having trouble gaining societal acceptance. After an attempt on the Presidentís life (in a spectacular opening sequence), General William Stryker (Brian Cox) has plans to raid Professor Xavierís school for the gifted and put a stop to this minority group once and for all. Meanwhile, the mutant in the plastic bubble, Magneto (Ian McKellen, having fun) has his shape-shifting blue cohort Mystique (Rebecca Romjyn-Stamos) running reconaissance to discover Strykerís true intentions and plot a means for his escape.

Wolverine has always been the breakout star of the X-Men universe and the first film reciprocated that status over to Jackman by putting him center stage with the best dialogue and most thrilling moments. His relationship with newly-discovered mutant Rogue (Anna Paquin) was a centerpiece into the understanding of the isolation these characters experience and provided a necessary humanity. X2 puts the focus more on the sexual tension between the talon-wielder and Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) who is already promised to Cyclops (James Marsden). Jackman and Janssen are standouts amongst the performances here and the few scenes between them work on that same level. But itís only part of the exorbitant exposition that doesnít particularly add much to the story or its lineage but only to add minutes that could have been better spent.

Itís a delicate balancing act for a filmmaker to know where to draw the line between pumping up the action and adding dimensional weight to his characters. Then itís also rare for a sequel to out-exposition its predecessor. (Star Wars naysayers, hold that thought.) X2 doesnít really hold any surprises for the viewers. Relative simplicity is obtained in knowing which way the story is headed for the non-comic book junkies and die-hards may find disappointment in the screenplay failing to capitalize on little details like the true ancestry of the teleporting Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming, adding another memorable performance to the mix.) and throwing the background of fire-controlling Pyro completely out the window.

The prevailing theme of profiling minorities who may prove a threat to the planet is given a warmed-over treatment that canít do justice to the discussion in the world without mutants. Some are terrorists. Some arenít. But is a random mutant check at the airport so troubling? I think any of us would find it cool to see someone shoot lasers with their eyes or freeze anything at will. But do you want to sit next to them on an airplane? In this day and age, you canít take tweezers onboard without getting strip-searched, how in the hell could Wolverine manage?

The action in X2 is pretty rousing in most parts but also disappointingly quick. Wolverineís Terminator-like battle with femme fatale equivalent Deathstrike (Kelly Hu) is a keeper and Pyroís destruction of a squadron of cops gets the juices flowing, but nothing touches that opening attack at the White House. The climactic skirmish at Alkali Lake becomes nothing more than an endless charade of which tunnel to run through, going on-and-on while we wait for the dam to break and someone, anyone, to attack. Just once it would be nice to fashion an action sequence in these films where all the X-Men team up to use their forces all at the same time, instead of Storm (Halle Berry) having a white-eyed unfair-weather moment or Professor X reading the universeís mind for the umpteenth time. Is that so hard?

I suspect the true X-Men followers will take away a lot more from the united front than I did. Cameos from Colossus, Shadowcat and Siryn will put a smile on their faces while most people reading this will be going, ďwho?Ē Even the filmís ending (shamelessly spoiled by the idiots at Ainít-It-Cool-News) will elicit respect and the promise of at least one more sequel before the Sopranos-esque habit of unresolved storylines peaks disinterest in those who donít understand what that reflection in the water means. Thereís so much to cover in a world that expands over several decades that it probably would have served the studio and filmmakers best to just announce they were making a X-Men trilogy then to take it one step at a time. Corners will be cut and angles will be missed that it becomes ironic that the 90-minute original ends up fulfilling a greater range of excitement than the 120-minute follow-up.

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originally posted: 05/02/03 15:11:42
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User Comments

1/10/19 Jarod X2 is very excellent like x men 1 we'll done Bryan singer 5 stars
3/25/18 morris campbell solid ALOT better than the original IMHO 4 stars
9/02/14 Dude I love this one 5 stars
10/18/07 Beau A great sequel, very well made! 4 stars
8/16/07 johnnyfog Don't carry grenades around Magneto. 5 stars
3/23/07 David So much better than the third. 5 stars
3/21/07 man i liked it 4 stars
3/20/07 dude not nearly as good as Spider-man 4 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega Solid Sci-fi superheroics. 4 stars
2/13/07 johnnyfog Not enough Magneto! 4 stars
12/29/06 David Pollastrini very well done 5 stars
10/17/06 David Awesomes movie, best of the series. 5 stars
8/10/06 Dragon The Artist Same as #1, if not slightly better. 4 stars
7/19/06 Michael Best of the Comic Book movies. 5 stars
6/11/06 texas hold em poker online cheat at online party poker for free internet poker game texas hold em poker online 2 stars
5/30/06 Wanker It sucked 1 stars
5/26/06 drydock54321 great cast, super effects, love the x-men 5 stars
4/18/06 Dave Rarely does the sequel surpass the original, but X-Men 2 does just that. 4 stars
1/13/06 JM Synth surprisingly fun, better than the original 4 stars
9/30/05 Jonathon Holmes way better than the original 5 stars
8/29/05 Eden The best superhero movie since Burton's Batmans 5 stars
8/13/05 ES way to sequel= you can't go wrong 5 stars
7/21/05 Brandy Harrington Boooorrrring. ...Nightcrawler is coll though. 3 stars
5/28/05 DM Anticlimactic ending, overstuffed plot, but man, what action scenes! 4 stars
3/29/05 Lyn Better then the 1st! and the 1st was great! 5 stars
3/27/05 Victor Toledo So much better than the First film. Excellent. 5 stars
1/07/05 Yowza! WAZZZZZAAAAPPPP?!?!?!?! 4 stars
12/09/04 Kristina Williams when I saw the final shot, I yelped in the theater. 5 stars
9/13/04 psycho dwarf Shows the X-Men their powers, their acceptance, & their security. 4 stars
8/27/04 Aaron Smith much better than X1; greatest comic adaptation ever 5 stars
8/09/04 Lucas average 3 stars
7/12/04 Daveman A film that unquestionably entertained me but left me feeling cold, see Spidey 2 instead. 3 stars
5/08/04 Jeff MacIver Captures the comic book feel better than most adaptations. 4 stars
4/06/04 Dean Some plot gliches 4 stars
3/31/04 Alex One of the best movies of the summer. 5 stars
3/30/04 Faustus Better than its predecessor, which already set a high standard. Excellent! 5 stars
3/10/04 sky really good 5 stars
2/21/04 Denise Duspiva Not as good as the first 4 stars
2/19/04 me the best 5 stars
1/28/04 y2mckay Like it better the second time, but that third act still drags like a motherfucker 4 stars
1/05/04 Ed Parry A fabulous film! 5 stars
12/29/03 y2mckay Starts out strong, laft half hour fizzles, not enough Wolverine or Lady Deathstrike 3 stars
12/22/03 Spikey Great entertainment, needs MORE WOLVERINE 5 stars
12/04/03 purchkiller a great dumb movie. A comic book screwup though 4 stars
11/28/03 rouge its a great movie 5 stars
11/20/03 No Spider-Man had both gloss and substance. This just has gloss. 2 stars
11/14/03 Littlepurch Fantastic! Better than the gr8 first! Shame they killed off a main character tho! No need. 5 stars
11/07/03 ADAM GREAT MOVIE 5 stars
10/20/03 Mitsaso Even better than the first film! 5 stars
10/17/03 Josh Standlee Very freaking awesome, but I still like the first "X-Men" movie the best! 5 stars
9/22/03 Jacques another comic book screw up! Action is good though 4 stars
9/18/03 Samuel Justus Not as good as part 1, but good! 4 stars
9/11/03 Kooler lose 3 of the 5 endings and then we'll talk. . . 3 stars
8/23/03 Britney Spears I loved it !!!!!!!!!!!! Wolverine is so HOT! 5 stars
8/13/03 Nancy295 Greatly enjoyed this - looking forward to the next one! 5 stars
8/07/03 marc_ian_a Excellent ! (5 stars) :) 5 stars
8/05/03 I Would Behold! The new generation of moviegoers' idea of a "good story". Please! Spare me! 2 stars
7/18/03 Chris I really didn't care for the first one but the second was much better. Flawed but fun. 4 stars
7/17/03 Katie Roberts I love this film, it's just a bit of fun! 5 stars
7/08/03 kz very disappointing...the end left me with a bad taste in my mouth 2 stars
7/08/03 Young critic CRAP...a true X fan would never see such hogwash 2 stars
7/06/03 Morpheus As long as Brian Singer exists, the X-Men will never be free. 2 stars
6/23/03 MJM103171 I enjoyed this...good story, good action 5 stars
6/23/03 Paul Rapisarda More indepth of charcter, better than the first 5 stars
6/18/03 Zesty this movie sucked i wasted my money. 2 stars
6/17/03 Timothy Wudiyono THERE IS NO MANY MUTANTS! 4 stars
6/16/03 Lush Somebody fire Bryan Singer from this franchise. He can't do superhero movies. 3 stars
6/14/03 Darth Haggis Wolvie Killing people brought a tear to my eye 5 stars
6/11/03 Brannie Herez Brannie, This movie looks sooo bad that i wont even bother to pay for movie tickets. 1 stars
6/09/03 Christian Harding Best Maravel Comic Movie Made Yet and Probably Forever!!! 5 stars
6/08/03 Ripper Better than the first one, Brian Cox rocks!!! 5 stars
6/05/03 J.J Average movie. AOTC doesn't even come close to whoever compared this to that. 3 stars
6/04/03 movieboy Great from start to finish 5 stars
6/02/03 Jareth Poorly characterised and unimaginative, but still feels more complete than the first film. 3 stars
5/28/03 Jim Good spin on "God Loves, Man Kills"; sets up the story X-Men fans have been waiting for 5 stars
5/26/03 Obi Wan More Logan, add Danger Room, Beast, Psylocke, Gambit next installment please! 5 stars
5/24/03 Dead Ringers FX Rule! great fucking movie!!! mold of action, STORY, and F/x!!! 4 stars
5/24/03 Ubu the Ripper A very very good film. After AOTC and ST:X, this movie is a godsend. 5 stars
5/23/03 burton miller polished, smooth and cool 5 stars
5/22/03 Todd a good sequel to the best comic franchise...but the music was CHEESY! 4 stars
5/22/03 snowconehead Don't like the adaptation of the plot, but at least its consistent 4 stars
5/22/03 Desert Rat A tiny step up from the first, but still kinda lame. 3 stars
5/21/03 Brian Grindrod FINALLY! Hollywood has figured out how to make a great super-hero film. 5 stars
5/21/03 Flounder A very entertaining popcorn thriller that will keep you glued to your seat! 4 stars
5/21/03 Nancy N. Seriously, people? 2 stars
5/20/03 Troy Entertaining 1 stars
5/20/03 Rod Hmmm...GREAT 5 stars
5/20/03 spacecowboy it had an interesting start but became weak towards the middle 4 stars
5/20/03 your worse goddamn nightmare Will likely lead into the Dark Phoenix saga... But you all know that... 4 stars
5/20/03 elizaveta so much fun and so damned cool! 5 stars
5/19/03 ajay I liked this one as much as the first. 5 stars
5/18/03 alien assassin Just as exciting as the first 5 stars
5/18/03 Fairy Princess Sneaky Awesome movie!!!!! I hope there is an X-Men 3 5 stars
5/18/03 Obi Wan Bring me Pyslocke, Gambit, Beast and will the real Rogue&Iceman please stand up!!! 5 stars
5/17/03 Turtle The best of 2003 thus far! Great sequel! Awesome writing! I LOVED IT!!!! 5 stars
5/16/03 KingNeutron Cyclops sucks, Mystique+Wolverine+Magneto ROCKS - but 1st film was better. 4 stars
5/16/03 MF Not as good as the first, but still a fun time 4 stars
5/16/03 michelle laumb i think this movie was awesome although i think the first xmen was better. 4 stars
5/15/03 Zach Can't wait for 3. Beast was originally planned for 2, but didn't make it. Hopefully in 3! 5 stars
5/13/03 Koitus I liked the movie. BUT - exactly HOW do you "kill" Wolverine?!? Unrealistic lab ft. scene 4 stars
5/13/03 Chrissam Fun movie but somewhat unsatisfying. Give Professor X something to do next time! 3 stars
5/13/03 Remon WONDERFUL! But where's Gambit and really wanna see Psylocke. Not like in their history man. 5 stars
5/12/03 Jareth Definitly surpasses the unsatisfying first film but still doesn't come close to Spidey. 4 stars
5/11/03 GWhooya didn't really followed comics but cool still 4 stars
5/11/03 nick2k its was interesting/good...but my experience was hindered with the A/C being on freeze. 4 stars
5/10/03 JL This movie kicked ass! Wolverine is sexy! 5 stars
5/10/03 Obi Wan Very good, but where's Gambit? Beast? Danger Room? ArchAngel? More Colossus? ROGUE FLYS!!!! 5 stars
5/09/03 Amanda I really like this movie.......its a kool show i watched it like 3 times so far 5 stars
5/09/03 Brian Cool... 5 stars
5/09/03 Ayla ok, not amazing 3 stars
5/08/03 Phuong Lam Very good 5 stars
5/08/03 bob liked it better than the first one 4 stars
5/08/03 Jessel If you don't like this, you're too old... 5 stars
5/08/03 Trammie Very cool! Need more love scenes between Wolvie and & Jean. They look awsome on-screen. 5 stars
5/08/03 Dada Like the 1st, an action flick with good plot and character development 5 stars
5/07/03 Jerry Once again, Magneto en Mystique were absolutely fabulous! 5 stars
5/07/03 leroyjones good review scott and donna...x3 def needs to have more colossus,jubilee,beast...sentinels? 4 stars
5/07/03 Jamie Madrox fuck you matrix!!WOOO 5 stars
5/07/03 Ben The Movies lacked Gambit, Morph and Beast. In 3 Triple H should play Sabertooth. Still Good 4 stars
5/07/03 Gaiia i loved it! 5 stars
5/07/03 ajay very good for a comic book sequal. by law it's *supposed* to be shit. 4 stars
5/06/03 pablo this film is a let down, it suck, halle berry was crap, bryan singer can suck my ass 1 stars
5/06/03 Waiting for Matrix This movie passed my criteria: I never checked my watch once. Sheer fun! 5 stars
5/06/03 Matt GREAT reward for the comic fans at the finale... 5 stars
5/06/03 k it's almost too good... 5 stars
5/06/03 neil I'm a X-Men fan for years. Got most of the early comics. This was X-Marvels best time. 5 stars
5/06/03 malcolm the 1st was better. i wanna see the sentinels. yes, one mutant can freeze a whole lake. 4 stars
5/06/03 Jon Lyrik Heaps better than the original. Never boring, unlike the first. 4 stars
5/06/03 Mitsaso Hey! Can one mutant freeze a whole lake?I don't think so... 5 stars
5/06/03 Human Shield It's the kind of movie you want to see again just for the action. 5 stars
5/06/03 y2mckay Wolverine and Nightcrawler - good. Cerebro, Stryker, and dull finale'- bad. 4 stars
5/06/03 Sandy Cormack I find it odd that a superhero TEAM isn't allowed to exhibit any TEAMWORK. 3 stars
5/05/03 Obi Wan Wow....Cannot wait for the Phoenix Saga! 5 stars
5/05/03 Jack Bourbon We didn't need the 3 climaxes and 2 epilogues, but a good movie 4 stars
5/05/03 cal The ending is to setup the coming of Phoenix 5 stars
5/05/03 Shaun beats the original by a long shot 5 stars
5/05/03 James Witherspoon Great Movie, True to the comics. 5 stars
5/05/03 Vicious I hoped for more carnage, but otherwise flawless. 5 stars
5/05/03 Eeon Great action, watchable story. 5 stars
5/05/03 Damian Go like the third week so you can get a seat in the theater 4 stars
5/05/03 yes this is a great movie-go see it sometimes campy or awkward, but ultimately rewarding, and, oh yes...Phoenix!!! 4 stars
5/05/03 JimatForemat AICN is quite chock full of idiots, but the purpose of the site is to spoil. 4 stars
5/05/03 Josh Absolutely terrific sequel, builds its characters and wows us with inventive effects. 5 stars
5/05/03 Zeitgeist Entertaining, yes, but couldn't Professor X or IceMan prevent them from drowning? 4 stars
5/04/03 Zefram Mann I'm righting a letter to Australia thanking them for giving us Wolverine. 5 stars
5/04/03 KingNeutron I'll see it again, but using Storm to fix Xavier problem=goofy- and so was not using IceKid 4 stars
5/04/03 bullit16 Outstanding ... and a setup to one of the greatest tales in X-Men history for X3 5 stars
5/04/03 George Jung Much better than the first film. Worth the money to see on the big screen. 4 stars
5/04/03 x-menADDICT Story was great, but Cyclops has an unusually limited screen time, which was the downfall.. 4 stars
5/04/03 maximus X-Men fans may love it, but I thought it was boring - and that's being kind. 2 stars
5/04/03 ubu the ripper great flick! great freakin' flick!!! nightcrawler is da bomb and sp. fx awesome!! 5 stars
5/04/03 Stefwhit Excellent ride from begining to end! 5 stars
5/04/03 Creepy Crawler one of the few "adaptation" movies that stay true to it's roots 5 stars
5/04/03 andrew padilla new characters with not enough action for thier special abi;ities 3 stars
5/04/03 JesseL Great sequel 5 stars
5/04/03 Mario Way much better than the first one, the film fandom was waiting for!! 5 stars
5/04/03 Will pretty cool 5 stars
5/04/03 Garrett This artical was totally accurate in it's beliefs. 5 stars
5/03/03 GWhooya Spidey was better than daredevil. X-men 2 was a good film though. 4 stars
5/03/03 ashanti rad movie dude 5 stars
5/03/03 Jackson62 Better then Spidey but no Daredevil. 4 stars
5/03/03 Philip Bennett X2: X Men United excludes people who are different and is no more than a Minstrel Shows 1 stars
5/03/03 mr. x yay! cool intro of Phoenix Saga--possibly an X3 5 stars
5/03/03 MaG Kick ass 5 stars
5/03/03 Warren The rare sequel that's better than the first. 5 stars
5/03/03 srburns Great movie. Lots of clevage shots!! 5 stars
5/03/03 Strong Guy Fan Singer, you are my god. Construction of the temple in progress. 5 stars
5/03/03 Daedalus What happened to the well-needed FUCKING AWESOME? Did we go PG-13 here? 5 stars
5/03/03 Andrew Carden Janssen & McKellen Carry This Overblown, Confusing Sequel. Good Effects, Bad Screenplay. 3 stars
5/03/03 NeonBlack69 Ridiculously awesome...Possibly the coolest movie I've ever seen! 5 stars
5/03/03 Jamie Madrox unbelievably MASSIVE improvement from the first movie..this even matches *gasp* spiderman 5 stars
5/03/03 bluebeena grew up on x-men and this movie didn't disappoint. very fun to watch. 5 stars
5/03/03 Mystique wow....GREATTTTTTTTTT...Magneto rocks 5 stars
5/02/03 Chicodude Great fucking movie 5 stars
5/02/03 Smalls Somehow, the best superhero movie ever made AND a courageous stand against the gulf war. 5 stars
5/02/03 The Bint Much Better than X1, much more exciting and in-depth 5 stars
5/02/03 nexu56 Harry Potter for adults, with better performances 5 stars
5/02/03 Nicole Pretty good for the genre 4 stars
5/02/03 chris dewberry slow parts still appeal to fans, and action is extremely awesome 5 stars
5/02/03 dee not bad could be better 4 stars
5/01/03 Rushdan Rashid Glory, glory X-Men UNITED! 5 stars
5/01/03 GT An X-Men comic TRULY brought to life. Jean's Red Eyes gave me goosebumps. 5 stars
5/01/03 Model Awesome 5 stars
5/01/03 Bloody Vixen I don't know yet maybe when I have finally watched the movie... 5 stars
4/30/03 Matt Watson Easily better than the first 5 stars
4/30/03 Cash Bailey The best comic book move ever! 5 stars
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  02-May-2003 (PG-13)
  DVD: 25-Nov-2003



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