X2: X-men 2

You know all those dangerous mutants you hear about in the news? I'm the worst one.

A review by Mike Shea   Movie Rating: ( * * * * · )    DVD Rating: ( * * * * * )

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Xmen 2 is the best superhero movie since Superman. It is smart, treats its material and the audience with respect, has a very powerful and original story, and some of the best acting in any action movie. Do not miss it.

There is a inner party of suits in Hollywood that is convinced that all people are mindless idiots. It is this party that puts out movies like Bad Boys 2 and Armageddon. It is this party that removes the budget from movies like Narc and Equilibrium. Every so often, however, a mainstream movie slips by that is really good. Xmen 2 is one such movie. There are no idiot plots here. They don't wrap everything in nerf to sanitize it for children. The characters never throw out a mindless quip and wink to the camera. Above all else, Xmen 2 treats you with respect.

Eric what have you done? What have you told Stryker?


Here we have Ian McKellan, knighted by the queen and one of the best actors on the planet having a dialog with Patrick Stewart who was doing Shakespeare when Kirk was riding Spock around like a horse. To see two actors of this caliber in such a powerful bit of dialog is beyond even my expectations for this movie. Like the holocaust scene in Xmen, it brings an air of seriousness to what could have been mindless and idiotic like the Hulk. When Stryker wheels in his own son, now surgically modified and lobotomized, you see true motivation for a villain. Like Magnito, Stryker has a reason for his evil ways. He isn't some mindless bad guy who went insane when he was mutated by a green liquid. He is a sworn enemy of the mutants because they caused the death of his wife and the loss of his son.

The movie doesn't shy away from the violence either. Watching Wolverine rip through special forces mutant hunters is something every fan has wanted to see and we finally get to see it. Magnito's escape from his all-plastic cell is another excellent and original scene that doesn't try to hide the violence.

The movie isn't without faults, though they are very small when compared to the rest of this excellent film. The love story gets a little tired even with the twist at the end. Magnito's reasons for the modification of the second Ceribro isn't real clear either. I know he thinks there is a war between mutants and humans, but is he really so evil as to kill every human being? Is he so willing to be like the Nazi's that shaped his existence? They probably could have cut about 10 to 15 minutes near the end of the movie and not lost much of the power. The beginning and the middle are the real strengths. These small bits aside, the movie is outstanding.

Like the original, X2 is an excellent DVD. It has a beautiful 2.35 to 1 16x9 enhanced picture and both Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks. There is a second disc full of background material and a directors commentary. For the collector and at the price of $15, it is a steal.

X2 is proof that not all big budget Hollywood summer blockbusters have to suck like the Hulk did. Give some room for a good story and don't try to dull the hard edge a movie like this deserves. It is a wonderful original movie and an excellent DVD. Don't miss it.