Top 365 Films – #138 – X2: X-Men United (2003)


Top 365 Films - X2 X-Men UnitedDIRECTED BY: Bryan Singer

STARRING: Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Brian Cox, Alan Cumming, Bruce Davison, Anna Paquin, Shawn Ashmore, Aaron Stanford, Kelly Hu, Daniel Cudmore and Michael Reid McKay

BUDGET: $110m

EARNED (Worldwide): $407.7m

AWARDS: None

 

SYNOPSIS

The X-Men band together to find a mutant assassin who has made an attempt on the President’s life, while the Mutant Academy is attacked by military forces.

 

Following up from the events of X-Men, the sequel begins with a mutant by the name of Nightcrawler infiltrating the White House and attempts to assassinate the President, setting off a chain of a chain reaction of anti-mutant measures by the Government, with a man named William Stryker leading an offensive on the X-Men mansion and the school, looking to discover its secrets, including Cerebro.

 

X2: X-Men United is not only a great sequel, it also happens to be one of my personal favourite superhero films ever made.With an already established cast from the first film (with a few of them taking a backseat for the story), the second deals with the story of not only having their right to privacy violated thanks to the White House attack and thus leading to the School attack, but also the sense of identity/purpose in the overall scheme of things, with Wolverine trying to remember his past, Pyro trying to figure out his place and Nightcrawler and Storm’s conversation on religion and humanity. Out of the new mutants it’s Alan Cumming’s performance as Nightcrawler that shines the most and it’s interesting that a character that’s left quite an impression hasn’t been revisited and won’t be revisited till X-Men: Apocalypse. While Charles Xavier takes somewhat of a backseat in terms of screen time, it’s still a great performance from Patrick Stewart and it’s when Xavier is out of the picture that Magneto gets to shine and Ian McKellen rises to the occassion in the role and Hugh Jackman also shines as Wolverine. Brian Cox is great as the antagonist William Stryker, a man obsessed with hunting and imprisoning mutants. With solid performances and a solid story with memorable scenes (White House attack, School attack with Wolverine going into rampage, Pyro’s balls of fire, Magneto’s Prison escape) X-Men is still one of the top comic book film adaptations around.

 

FAVOURITE SCENE: Nightcrawler infiltrating the White House still holds up perfectly well twelve years on. While that’s my favourite scene choice, worth nothing that Magneto removing the pins from the grenades is my favourite moment.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: ‘You are a god among insects. Never let anyone tell you different.’ – Magneto

DID YOU KNOW?: Professor Xavier’s wheelchair from the first X-Men (2000) movie was bought by a lawyer (who also works for the same law firm as Patrick Stewart’s attorney). When production began, the studio realized they had no chair anymore, so the lawyer rented it back to the studio – as Stewart said in an interview – “for a significant sum”.

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