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Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

X Men 2 - United

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Judy Thorburn

X Men 2 - United

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Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

“THE “X MEN 2 - UNITED” IS AN  “X”PLOSIVE FOLLOW UP

The mutants have returned. Three years after the blockbuster hit the X Men, the live action version of the Marvel comics characters are back on the big screen in a follow up that should make their die hard fans happy.  Back in the director’s chair is Bryan Singer, who, with a larger budget than the original, delivers a darker, deeper story with a new villain and an introduction to some additional “extraordinarily gifted” characters.  At 135 minutes, this adventure is full of slick special effects, action sequences and a theme that is especially relevant, considering the problems of intolerance and prejudice that is ever present in our world today that creates wars.

And what a supercharged way to open the film!   A security breech in the White House has allowed an assassination attempt on the President in the Oval office by a highflying, wall bouncing, blue hued mutant named “Nightcrawler”, who evaporates into thin air, but not until leaving a note attached to his knife that reads “Freedom for Mutants”. Viewing this as a threat and fearful of the mutants growing population, the President calls in government scientist, General William Stryker (Brian Cox) to take care of the problem, unaware that he is the man behind the incident. Stryker has an ulterior motive, and has spent most of his life dedicated to a plan that he hopes will eliminate all mutants from the face of the earth. With the military as help, he kidnaps students from Xaviers School for Gifted Youngsters in upstate New York and heads for their leader, Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) to gain control of his powerful headgear device, Cerebro, that enables communication with, and the power to destroy, every mutant on earth.

The assault unites the X Men and brings about an alliance with Magneto, after he escapes from his high tech plastic enclosed prison with the help of his naked snake skinned aide, Mystique (Rebecca Romjin-Stamos), who has the chameleon-like abilities to morph into any other being. Together they set out to find Stryker and stop his threat to their existence.   Little do they know that he also has a powerful and beautiful mutant, Yuriko Oyama, also know as Deathstrike, along as his aide.

Leading the pack against their enemy is Login/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), the mentally tormented, cigar smoking hunky man/animal with incredible self healing powers and adamantium claws. Searching for clues to his past, he finds the answer in his disturbing connection to Stryker. He is the center of the film.  Besides looking gorgeous and muscular, he has developed a character with emotional depth, angst, and humanity, and does a bang up job.  The supporting cast are all good. But, it is Jackman who carries the load.  Halle Berry is back as Storm, the platinum haired femme, capable of creating nasty weather conditions. Famke Janssen is the lovely telekenetic, telepathic, Jean Gray, involved in a love triangle with Wolverine and her fiancée, Cyclops (James Mardsen). And we can’t forget Rogue (Anna Paquin), who has the ability to breath the life out of anything she touches.  No longer harboring a crush on Wolverine, she has moved on to a boyfriend her own age, Bobby/Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) who possesses the ability to freeze anything he touches. New to the team is Pyro (Aaron Stanford), a cocky, unpredictable teen who can manipulate fire, not create it. His actions place him as a plot device for the next installment.

At the Mutant Academy we are introduced to other mutants with extraordinary powers, such as a young girl whose ear piercing scream sounds like a siren, a super strong bare-chested young man who transforms (literally) into a man of steal, and another young girl who can pass through matter. However, their characters are just briefly seen and never developed.

Especially intriguing and a welcomed treat is Kurt Wagner/the Nightcrawler, as portrayed by talented movie and theatre actor, Alan Cummings.  Although wearing the skin, and look of a demon, his German accented creature is a spiritual bring with the heart and soul of an angel, sending home the point that you can’t judge a book by its cover.  It was also nice to see more of the Mystique character, which Romjin Stamos handles quite well.  She even gets to look herself, in a segment that shows her character morphed into a hottie at a bar.   Brian Cox is a believable villain and Ian McKellan returns true to form as the conniving, dangerous Magneto who wants revenge on humans.

X Men 2 is a bit more complex, but with lots more special effects and dynamite action sequences. Most impressive is the explosive and well-choreographed confrontation with the mute, but dangerous Death strike, who makes it appear like Wolverine has met his match. Too bad we won’t get to see her again in the future.

You don’t have to be a fan of the Marvel comics to enjoy the X Men film installments.  If Bryan Singer can continue this franchise with another interesting story that encompasses dazzling special effects, action, and a message to boot, he’ll be on a winning streak.  As for me, I can’t wait for the next evolution of this MARVEL-ous series.