I actually saw X2 (is X-Men United really the subtitle? I didn’t see it in the movie)a couple of weeks ago, so some of the details have faded – but hre is another mini-review. Summation – a good sequel.
X2 picks up pretty much exactly where X-Men left us – Rogue is at the school, Logan is searching for his origins, Magneto is in his plastic-and-glass prison, and Mystique is alive and impersonating Senator Kelly. We are quickly introduced to two new characters – Col. Stryker, a presidential advisor very much against the mutants, and Kurt Wagner (a.k.a. Nightcrawler), a blue-skinned, religious mutant with the ability to transport himself from place to place. After a failed attempt by Nightcrawler to apparently kill the president, Stryker gets permission to attack the school and take the residents prisoner.
A few other of the X-Men we see this time are Pyro (we see him briefly in the original, a bit more in the excerpts on DVD), a lot more of Iceman (as Rogue’s boyfriend), Colossus (briefly in a couple of scenes at the school), Lady Deathstrike (with a cool knives-fight scene), and a few “cameos” by students Jubilee (not showing any abilities), Shadowcat, and Siryn. Probably a few more I don’t know the names of. And, in a cameo I missed, Dr. Hank McCoy (a.k.a. Beast) on a TV in the background (but I don’t think he was big and blue…)
Primarily this was still about Wolverine. I would have liked to see another character focused on as well, but we did need to get behind the Wolverine character. We find out a lot more about him, but I think they tried to leave something open – but I can’t think of what it would be.
We did get a bit of insight into Iceman’s family – and their reaction to finding out he’s a mutant. Some humorous lines from his mother appear here.
In terms of characters, Pyro to me was unconvincing in the role he played, especially for the result. Storm also seemed to have taken a step back as a leader to a more even role, and just didn’t have the powerful presence of the first movie. Nightcrawler was at least interesting, in conflict with his religious believes and his abilities. Iceman and Rogue were so-so. Wolverine was good.
For Jean Grey, I’m not sure. I think there was something missing in the character supposedly gaining power. As for the end – well, I don’t want to spoil it, but that’s the hook for X3…
Special effect were passable. I think there were times where it could have been done better. The action scenes were quite good, especially the fight between Wolverine and Lady Deathstrike.
Overall, I think the movie was very well done. I haven’t seen Matrix Reloaded yet to see who won the kick vs. slice deathmatch yet, so I’ll have to hold off on that.