, , ,

A teleporting mutant tries to kill the President,
Which makes them think all mutants maybe have the same intent.
A Colonel William Stryker gets the President to rule
That he can send a team into a certain mutant school.
Professor X, meanwhile, visits his magnetic foe
And learns that Stryker questioned the imprisoned Magneto.
It seems that Stryker has a drug that mutants can’t withstand.
Magneto stated everything the Colonel would demand.
As Cyclops and Xavier are being apprehended,
Professor X’s school is being raided and defended.
Though Stryker’s soldiers capture some before their blitz is seen,
They’re quickly overwhelmed when they encounter Wolverine.
Most kids succeed in getting out, but Logan tries to stay
For he remembers Stryker, although how he cannot say.
Yet Logan flees with Rogue and Bobby, her new icy beau,
As well as John, whose fire powers dub the lad Pyro.
Meanwhile, Storm and Jean are searching for the teleporter,
And find him very different from a mutant rights supporter.
A Catholic called Nightcrawler, he has no desire to kill
And was compelled to strike the President against his will.
When Wolverine and friends drive up to Bobby’s family,
His parents learn their son’s a mutant who can freeze their tea.
Police arrive and so does Jean to spirit them away
To locate Stryker’s fortress, but to missiles they fall prey.
They’re rescued by Magneto, whom Mystique had shrewdly freed,
And the foes combine their forces to prevent the villain’s deed.
For Stryker’s used his son to brainwash Charles with a show
That will make him kill all mutants with a copied Cerebro.
As the mutants make their way inside a dam, where lies his lair,
They split up to search the place and find opponents waiting there.
Once Wolverine remembers Stryker gave him metal claws,
He’s forced to fight his bodyguard while Stryker then withdraws.
Jean also battles Cyclops, who has been brainwashed as well,
While Nightcrawler and Storm save captured students from their cell.
Magneto finds Xavier and changes things a bit
So he will target humans with a worldwide mental hit.
Storm and Nightcrawler prevent this as Magneto gets away,
Taking Pyro as an ally who will fight another day.
Stryker’s injured and abandoned by the Wolverine he made,
And the good guys try escaping as the dam starts to cascade.
When the jet cannot lift off, Jean goes outside to help it rise
And aids her friends’ escape before her final sacrifice.
They fly to meet the President to tell him not to fear.
There is evil on both sides, but still the good is also near.
(They all think that Jean is gone, but there’s a chance she’ll reappear.)

Considering how much I love comic book movies, it may seem odd that all the X-Men films are fairly close together and rather low on my list. The X-Men are a memorable superhero team, but their world is one of very realistic strife, which, while timely, sometimes detracts from the fun of watching people with superpowers. They’re also more edgy and violent than Marvel’s other properties. Nevertheless, this sequel to the first X-Men is the best of the bunch with many layers to the plot and characters.

Director Bryan Singer pulls off an amazing balancing act as he crams so many characters into one film. There’s Professor X (Patrick Stewart), Magneto (Ian McKellan), Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), Storm (Halle Berry), Cyclops (James Marsden), Mystique (Rebecca Romijn), Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming), Rogue (Anna Paquin), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), Pyro (Aaron Stanford), Lady Deathstrike (Kelly Hu), and a sinister Brian Cox as the bad guy William Stryker. Compare this list with any other superhero film’s cast, and one cannot help but admire the skill it took to handle such an expansive and varied ensemble. While some stand out more than others, every character is given a scene to shine, from Wolverine’s awesome showdown with his female counterpart to Pyro’s flame assault to Jean’s climactic sacrifice. (For the record, Cyclops remains the least developed, having little personality other than his unremarkable relationship with Jean. The third film didn’t help that.)

The filmmakers also made some laudable decisions in what they included. Stryker was originally a mutant-hating reverend in the graphic novel God Loves, Man Kills, but they avoided religious demonizing by making him a rogue military man instead. Plus, religion actually gets a good word from Nightcrawler, who follows an inexplicable mention of angelic symbols from Gabriel with a praiseworthy defense of faith.

The movie admittedly feels very long, but it builds to a marvelous cliffhanger that made everyone look forward to the next film. That next film was X-Men: The Last Stand, which I consider one of the worst movies I’ve seen, offering extremely unsatisfying conclusions for three separate characters (though one has been resurrected for Days of Future Past). Needless to say, you won’t see Last Stand on this list, but X2 remains an impressive achievement among comic book films and the best X-Men film so far (though I’ll be seeing Days of Future Past soon).

Best line: (Nightcrawler) “Someone so beautiful should not be so angry.”
(Storm) “Sometimes anger can help you survive. “
(Nightcrawler) “So can faith.”


Artistry: 7
Characters/Actors: 6
Entertainment: 8
Visual Effects: 8
Originality: 7
Watchability: 6
Other (violence): -3
TOTAL: 39 out of 60

Next: #229 – Brave Little Toaster

© 2014 S. G. Liput

113 Followers and Counting