X2: X-Men United
Review by Jon Waterman
The mutants are back and ready for more action. The normals still don’t understand the abnormals. One non-mutant in particular, William Stryker, is hell-bent on destroying every last mutant on the face of the earth. It’s up to the same cast of characters (along with a couple of fresh – and deformed – faces) to work together and maybe save the day…if they’re lucky.
If you are an established fan of the comic series, this movie will be nothing but thrills and excitement and “I can’t wait for the next one, because I already kinda know what the plot line will sorta be and it’ll be cool!” If you’re like me, and you never read an issue. You’ll be entertained. You’ll sit there and admire the action sequences and the (actually) really good work with the special effects. You’ll take it as a reasonably acceptable action flick. However, you will also notice how long you’ve been sitting there and you’ll start checking your watch for the last 45 minutes or so of the 2 and a half hour running time.
Other things I noticed. The best acting came from the new characters, Stryker (the nearly always incredible Brian Cox) and Nightcrawler (the nearly always incredible Alan Cumming). Nightcrawler is by far the best character in the film. He’s funny and the most fun to watch and isn’t used nearly enough. I found myself not caring one bit about the Wolverine back story that dragged the movie down considerably, but wanted to see everything about Nightcrawler’s origin.
Speaking of mutants. There were a lot of points in the film where we cut away to some tiny scene or there was a little dialogue build up that was created just to show off the mutant powers of a certain character. I know it’s to be expected, but it was done way to frequently for a cheap laugh, and I didn’t find it humorous at all. If you’re going to include such things, show us new characters and new powers from more of the hundreds of kids at the academy. Don’t show me the ice guy freezing another thing. That’s boring. The movie was just showing off its budget.
As far as the story goes, like I said. It was bogged down with too much fluff and pointless backstory that did nothing to further develop the intentions of the characters or move along the main narrative. I found it very tiresome. The main story line was okay. By that, I mean I didn’t notice any major holes in it, nor did I laugh at anything I wasn’t supposed to laugh at. It was all the supplemental stuff that made me care less.
Most of you are familiar with everything associated with this movie, because most of you saw the first one. However, if you did not see “X1,” don’t think you need to avoid numero dos. Are there other things you should probably see instead? It depends. If you’re out looking for a mind-enriching experience: yes. If you want a lot of action with a decent storyline: maybe not.