If you are just joining us and you haven't read my first review, click here. It explains everything as we wait to see "X-Men: Apocalypse". This review is more going to try to explain the back story than the last one. Now, let's continue on!!
X-Men 2 (2003)
We leave the first "X-Men" film with such high hopes of what they would pull out next. Magneto's in a plastic cell, Mystique is on the run, Wolverine is off to find out about his past, and the X-Men seem to be just fine. So, we open with Professor X (Patrick Stewart) giving another explanation about mutants right before the opening credits begin. You know, in case you haven't watched the first one. And it's not even an explanation about the mutant gene this time, it's just a brief piece that mutants are different from humans and thus, feared by many.
Then find ourselves in the White House in the middle of a speech from a tour guide talking about Abraham Lincoln and what I presume is a speech from his first inaugural address. This then leads to a 3 minute sequence of the introduction of Nightcrawler (played by Alan Cumming) as he BAMFs around the White House, beating up guards and leaving a note on a knife next to the president that says "Mutant Freedom Now". The effects that they used to have Nightcrawler to teleport around was not too bad, but there a few brief moments where you can see that they didn't bother to paint him around the neck (at least for now) and overall in this first instance of meeting him, Alan Cumming seems to play him as a creepy little creature, taking sick pleasure when he is about to stab the president. I'm not that big of a Nightcrawler fan, but I don't remember him being THAT creepy.
Then we switch scenery to Wolverine in the snowy wilderness that leads him to some abandoned industrial park. But we don't stay there long as it then jumps to Storm giving a lesson about cavemen at a museum. And it's funny because she completely has a new voice in this. Like she just didn't want to do it anymore. The other X-Men are there as well, and Jean Grey seems to be having problems controlling her telepathy. She hears everyone's thoughts and makes television screen flicker. And as that is happening, Rogue and Iceman, are in the cafeteria with other new classmate and bad boy, Pyro (played by Aaron Stanford) who decides to show off his fire abilities by lighten up a punk who takes his lighter. Iceman cools him off, but with everyone now seeing them use their powers, Professor X uses his telepathy to freeze everyone in the museum to give them a stern talking to about using their powers in public. That's when they learn about the attack on the White House.
We then go through a whole mess of interactions to help further both the main plot and several little plots. The White House where William Stryker wants to invade Xavier's school, Wolverine comes back has a little spat with Cyclops and Iceman because both of their girlfriends seem to be really into him. You know, the important plot points. And then the tracking of Nightcrawler
The main story that happens in Stryker breaks into the school and takes the children, while also kidnapping Professor X, and on top of that, decides to take stroll down memory lane with Wolverine, as he was involved in the past of Wolverine that gave him his adamantium skeleton. As Wolverine, Rogue, Iceman, Pyro, and a bunch students escape, Stryker takes over the school and breaks into Cerebro to understand it's workings. That way, he can build his own to hunt down mutants.
It's at this point where they are trying to get all the story lines to try and match together, but it gets so muddy. Professor X is being interrogated, Nightcrawler, Storm, and Jean are on their way back to a now deserted school, Iceman decides to come out to his family as a mutants, and by the way, Magneto escapes. Which then leads to this huge mess of cops showing at Iceman's parent's house, then escaping on the blackbird with Jean, Nightcrawler, and Storm, and then meeting with Magneto and Mystique. Sidenote; in the comics Mystique is Nightcrawler's mother and they are complete strangers in this (but there will be more of that in "X-Men 3").
We now are at the climatic conclusion, the invasion of the base to free everyone and destroy the 2nd Cerebro. Wolverine faces off against Lady Deathstrike (played by Yuriko Oyama), in a place that seems like it was the original origin place of Wolverine.Which is super pointless because she too is indestructible. That is until Wolverine shoves a funnel of hot adamantium liquid into her stomach. And Jean Grey fights a mind controlled Cyclops. With the Jean fight, it's super short and we get to see glimpses of the Phoenix Force that is inside her. (More on that in the "X-Men 3" review). The main climax is everyone escaping out of the base that houses Cerbro 2, but the Blackbird is damaged, so Jean risks her life to save everyone else, by being hit by a flood.
Overall, this film, much like the first, has many terrible actors. The new members in this cast didn't help build anything. Nightcrawler, Lady Deathstrike, Pyro, even Colossus. They were just there to show that there are more mutants. And it's not until now that I realized they make remarks about Shadow Cat in both 1 & 2, Senator Kelly saying that there is a mutant that can walk through walls in "X-Men" and Professor X saying "Let's just say I know a girl who can walk through walls" to the president in the second. And again, the whole plot of this film is pretty solid, but there is no real resolution and it's more about how much back story of Wolverine can we have without calling this a Wolverine movie. This particular film was a little bit stronger than the first, but not by much. They had too many side stories happening. I didn't need to know the relationship of Iceman and Rogue. We know there is a huge love triangle between Wolverine, Cyclops, and Jean. We get it. Stop it. I give this movie a 5.5 out of 10. Now..I can't wait to do "X-Men 3: The Last Stand".