X-Men 2


Current Reviews
DVD Reviews
Old Reviews
Crystal Ball
About the M.R.
Photo Gallery
Celebrity Interviews





"Sadly, the Masked Reviewer is forced to admit that he is the target audience for this film.  That's the only thing he didn't like about it."


X-2: X-Men United
The Masked Reviewer

The Masked Reviewer was absolutely beside himself in rage when he discovered that the title for this sequel to X-Men (2000) was changed to X-2: X-Men United because of a secret deal between 20th Century Fox and United Airlines.  Isn't it bad enough that big companies have bought out most of the classic sports arenas, like the Fed Ex Orange Bowl and the Staples Center?  Do they have to buy our movies for their relentless marketing schemes?  What's next, Spiderman 2: Battle for StarbucksWhen Harry Met Sally II: Ford Motor Company?  The Magic and Howard Story: Johnson & Johnson?  House of 1000 Citicorpses?  Terminator 3: Rise of the International Business Machines?  The Last Temptation of Chrysler?   At least they could've picked a better corporate sponsor, like X-2: X-Men Exxon (and on)

Of course, the Masked Reviewer's rage eventually subsided when he realized that United Airlines had nothing to do with the film.  They weren't even the official airline of X-2.  The Masked Reviewer hopes this slight oversight won't result in a wiping out of his frequent flier miles.

X-2: X-Men United is based on the Marvel comic book, the X-Men.  The marketing department touts the film as X-2, which might make things confusing when the next film comes along.  X-3 is too much like XXX.  What will they do? 

People who loved X-Men are going to love X-Men 2.  Why?  It's more of the same.  Since most of the main characters were introduced in the first film, they can get right into the action.  And, they do.  There are a few new characters that are introduced, but we find out enough about them through the course of the film.  There's no need to stop and chat -- X-Men 2 is about stuff happening.  And it does.

People who didn't like X-Men might want to pass by X-Men 2, since it's very similar in many ways, including most of the cast from the original and a similar theme.  If you found the characters in X-Men to be dull, uninspired, and their super-powers to be  not quite up to snuff ("I think that guy's super power is the ability to find good parking spaces at the mall..."), you may want to pass on X-2

Readers of the comic books will have a better grasp of what's going on, and will be more likely to enjoy the film than readers of, oh, let's say "Mary Worth".  Of course, some rabid fans of the comics will do nothing but gripe about the inconsistencies and divergence from the comics, chanting "worst adaptation ever!"  but they should realize that no one cares what they think (unless a hard drive needs replacing).

Sadly, the Masked Reviewer is forced to admit that he is the target audience for this film.  He read the comic in his youth, and the film reminded him of happy times.  That's the only thing he didn't like about it.    It made the Masked Reviewer look in the mirror, and see the nerd he is.  But, at least he's not alone.

There are several new characters introduced, all of whom will be familiar to fans of the comic books.  For the casual fan or people only familiar with the first movie, this might be a lot to keep track of, but they do a fine job of keeping track of which mutant does what.

Fans will appreciate that Wolverine in this film is much more like the bad-ass comic book version.  He uses his claws.  What's the point of having an animalistic troublemaker with an indestructible skeleton and razor sharp claws if he's never going to hurt anyone?   

It seems like someone is missing out on a good promotional package by not releasing these films in late December.  "X-Men 3 : X-Mas."  In fact, if they could get themselves an X rating (preferably for a little girl-on-girl-on-girl X-plicitness between Famke Janssen, Halle Berry and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos), that would be most X-cellent.  X is an often maligned letter, and it's nice to see it getting it's fair shakes. 

The action in X2 is good, and the plot moves along punctuated by some fine action scenes.  The  special effects are good, though nothing new.  

It does feel at times that there are too many characters in the film.  It's clear that efforts were made to give everyone some screen time and equal importance to the plot, but there are more than two dozen principle characters.  Most of the focus is on Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, but that's okay with me, bub.

The downsides of the film would have to be the opening credits and music.  The music from the first film was not memorable at all.  It lacked a catchy tune.  It may be the same theme this time around, it's hard to tell, because it's entirely forgettable.  The credit sequence was similar to the first film as well.  Fans of the comics or the first X-Men should check out this sequel.  If you missed the first one but have to check out X-2, rent the DVD first. 

People who are expecting a kids' movie should be aware that there's a bit of violence, but nothing too bad.  Actually, billions of people almost died at one point, but it's okay, they didn't.  Not to ruin anything.  You knew that wouldn't happen. 

Those of you with delicate sensibilities and who are easily offended should know that the "s" word is used when someone says "Holy shit".  Also, at one point a character holds up one finger, for a purpose other than to  indicate "one".  But relax, already.  If you can watch people getting shot in the head and slashed and blasted, you can handle someone making a gesture and saying something that happens every day (especially if you're a cab driver in Vegas, number 43C21...use your turn signal, moron!).

Some have said that the X-Men are so popular as comic book heroes because they tell stories that matter, using the hatred of mutants as a metaphor for prejudice and racism in our society.  The first X-Men had a mutant in a World War II concentration camp, which some people found to be a tad objectionable.  At least 6 million people didn't die for nothing; it was an important plot point in the film.

A side note for those of you who enjoy all the superhero movies: it should be a matter of concern that The Fantastic Four, scheduled for release in 2005, is slated to be directed by Peyton Reed.  Peyton Reed directed Bring It On and Down with Love, in addition to several short-lived TV versions of films (like Love Bug, Back to the Future, and Grosse Point Blank).  Peyton Reed ain't no Bryan Singer.  Hopefully it'll be okay. 

They can keep banging out action packed sequels as far as the Masked Reviewer is concerned.  No great cinema here, just fun diversion.  Rumors that the Masked Reviewer will be joining the X-Men can not be confirmed at this time.


Expectation from the Title: The prequel to XXX or the true story of whiskey jug labelers in the 20's.  Or, maybe some spin-off of Malcom X.

Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):  It's nice to see a group of people sticking together and helping each other out.

The Pros: It's fun and exciting and does everything it tries to do well.  Exciting, easy to follow plot, lots of mutant powers being used. 

The Cons: The music and opening credits. 


Home | 28 Days Later | The 40-Year-Old Virgin | 50 First Dates | A Lot Like Love | A Man Apart | A Mighty Wind | Adaptation | After the Sunset | Against the Ropes | Alexander | Alien versus Predator | Along Came Poly | Anchorman | Anger Management | Anything Else | Around the World in 80 Days | Bad Boys II | Bad Santa | Batman Begins | Be Cool | Beauty Shop | Beyond Borders | The Big Bounce | Blade: Trinity | The Bourne Supremacy | Brother Bear | Bulletproof Monk | The Butterfly Effect | Cabin Fever | Cat in the Hat | Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ( not Willy Wonka ) | Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle | Chronicles of Riddick | Coach Carter | Collateral | The Cooler | The Core | Corpse Bride | Cradle 2 Grave | Criminal | The Dancer Upstairs | Dawn of the Dead | Daredevil | The Day After Tomorrow | Deuce Bigalow: European Gigalow | Dirty Pretty Things | Down with Love | The Dukes of Hazard | Dumb and Dumberer | Elektra | Elf | Envy | Eternal Sunshine | Fantastic Four | Fever Pitch | Flight of the Phoenix | Flightplan | Freaky Friday | Freddy vs. Jason | Gigli | Gothika | The Haunted Mansion | Hero | Hidalgo | Hitch | Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy | Hollywood Homicide | The Hulk | The Hunted | I, Robot | Identity | IMAX Matrix Reloaded | The Incredibles | Intolerable Cruelty | Irreversible | The Island | The Italian Job | Jeepers Creepers 2 | Jersey Girl | Johnny English | Kill Bill Volume 1 | Kill Bill Volume 2 | King Arthur | Kung Fu Hustle | Ladder 49 | The Ladykillers | Land of the Dead | The Last Samurai | League of Extraordinary Gentlemen | Legally Blonde 2 | Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou | The Longest Yard | Lord of the Rings: Return of the King | Lord of War | Love, Actually | Madagascar | Man on Fire | The Macnhurian Candidate | Master and Commander | Matchstick Men | The Matrix Reloaded | Matrix Revolutions | The Medallion | Meet the Fockers | Monster | Mr. 3000 | Mr. and Mrs. Smith | Mystic River | National Treasure | Ocean's Twelve | Once Upon a Time in Mexico | Ong-bak | Open Range | Out of Time | The Pacifier | The Passion of the Christ | The Perfect Score | Pirates of the Caribbean | Pool Hall Junkies | The Punisher | Resident Evil:Apocalypse | Runaway Jury | Sahara | School of Rock | Seabiscuit | Secret Lives of Dentists | Secret Window | Serenity | Shark Tale | Shaun of the Dead | Shrek 2 | Sideways | Sin City | Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas | Sky High | Something's Gotta Give | Spanglish | Spellbound | Spider-Man 2 | Spongebob Squarepants Movie | Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith | Starsky & Hutch | The Station Agent | Stepford Wives | Stuck on You | Surviving Christmas | Suspect Zero | SWAT | Taxi | Team America | Terminator 3 | Timeline | Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life | Troy | Underworld | Unleashed | Uptown Girls | Van Helsing | The Village | Walking Tall | War of the World | Wedding Crashers | Welcome to Mooseport | The Whole Ten Yards | Without a Paddle | Wrong Turn | X-Men 2 | XXX: State of the Union | Action | Comedy | Documentary | Drama | Family | Epic | Family | Horror | Romance | Sci Fi

This site was last updated 09/22/04

Copyright 2003, Michael D. Lynn