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X2 Excites
A review of X2
by J. D. Rummel

On my birthday my wife took me to see X2, the sequel to the first X-Men movie. As a comic geek I am not sure that I have the distance to review this film clearly. When it was over I found that I was very moved and excited by how incredibly well director/screen writer Bryan Singer had adapted the source material in relating an epic. My blood was racing in my veins through this film.

Director: Bryan Singer

Stars: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen

Rating: PG-13

Release: 05-02-2003

Time: 134 minutes

Buy Movie at What I loved: The brilliant effects that brought the Xtra powers of the X-Men to life. The movie has a gorgeous look and feels more expansive than the first. Despite the character crowding, there is some clear delineation of character in what is truly a film overflowing with people. Kudos to Alan Cumming for making his Kurt Wagner incredibly three dimensional in not much screen time. Ian McKellan as Magneto continues to make the figure extremely real to this viewer. Brian Cox as Stryker is superb. Hugh Jackman's Wolverine is compelling to watch.

What didn't work for me: Uh, why doesn't Bobby/Iceman freeze all that water at the end? How is it the X-men just go back to their school? Did Xavier alter a lot of memories?

Overall, this felt so natural, so RIGHT to this comic reader (I haven't read the X titles in many years) that I was swept up and in love with this film from beginning to end. When Pyro was blasting the ignorant cops (doing their duty) I was loving it, when Wolverine decimated the individual troops attacking the school my heart was pounding. This was pure, comic book action. It is the rare sequel that surpasses its predecessor.

As the credits rolled at the end my wife turned, looked sadly at me, and said, It's a B. Sorry honey. She clearly expected me to feel the same.

I was stunned and said to her, If you know the source material this is higher than that. And perhaps that is the clue. She said she was rather bored and did not make all the connections. I can only conclude from our exchange that Singer has fallen short of a Peter Jackson in bringing a certain world to the screen for everyone. Still, in terms of comic book adaptations, X2 is a landmark film.

It is a great time in history to be a comic book fan, because the comic films being made today are fantastic. But, the superhero flicks are all Marvel. When is DC doing to respond? No sign of Batman, and Superman can't get off the ground.