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X2: X-Men United /

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Famke Janssen, Halle Berry, Brian Cox 

Directed by: Bryan Singer 

Produced by: Lauren Shuler Donner, Ralph Winter, Avi Arad 

Written by: Daniel Harris, Zak Penn, Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris 

Distributor: 20th Century Fox

 

Movie Image

Movie Image

Movie Image

     X2: X-Men United does everything but make mutants look cool. It does, however, leave us with a variety of thoughts about them. Iíd like to share a few of mine with youóstupid, corny, peachy, and lame. Sure, I did think a few of the women-mutants were good-looking, but that was probably the most positive comment I have about them. This is not an interesting movie, it is an ugly one. I walked into the theatre prepared for an action-packed, summer-movie extravaganza. Hold on there, did I say action-packed? X2 actually has very little action, and is chocked-full of mind-numbing dialogue. And, hey, wait a minuteódid I say it was a summer movie? 20th Century Fox ought to check theyíre calendars. This film was released on the second of May!

     The entire cast is back, with many new stars along with them, for the sequel to a movie that never deserved to be continued on. But, the interesting concept, following after the plot of one of my favorite comic books, led me to believe that I should give the series another try. I went into the theatre with open expectations, regardless of the bad impression X2ís predecessor, X-Men, left with me. Unfortunately, X2 turned out to be just as dull as X-Men, and sometimes even more so. On the flipside of things, there are some reasons why some people should check it out. A great performance by Patrick Stuart, some revolutionizing special effects, and the appeal of Alan Cummingís interpretation of his Nightcrawler, earn X2 a solid two buckets. With caution, Iím going to suggest that everyone rent it, just because of the campy and likeable cheap thrills.

     The direction is crappy; just awful. Brian Singer tries to light the entire piece in a very odd way, which makes the film unblinkingly, hard to focus on. The video is so grainy and bizarre, it looks like he is trying to make it appear as if the film were shot in digital video. I wouldíve believed that it was, if it hadnít been for the miraculously stunning special effects, which ultimately make this the movie that it is. X2 is always all over the map. The plot is jumbled, the dialogue is everywhere, and to top it all off, the characters are improperly introduced (viewers who havenít seen the first X-Men will have a hard time following it for the first 15 minutes). This aspect factored in, in a very odd way. It led me to, at times, love the film; and at others, hate it.

     Using the information Iíve just provided you with, itís not hard to guess that next, I will be criticizing the writing. I have read quite a few editions of the X-Men comic books, and they are much more creative that X2. The stories in the comic are exciting and fun, while both of the films (and the third one thatís obviously on the way), are ridiculously mediocre. This is one of the most dreadful adaptations, descending off of a Marvel creation, so far. Donít misinterpret the point that Iím trying to get across, though. Not all of X2 is murky and disappointing. Some of the joy that readers are brought when reading the comic book is carried over, when putting it onto film. Unfortunately, not enough of this joy is saved for X2 to, on the whole, be a worthwhile trip to your local cinema. The gigantic running length is mostly to blame for this. Itís extremely hard to make a two hour and fifteen minute film, let alone, try to make a full-blown, always-entertaining action-flick, is almost unheard of.

     Sure, teens will fall for it, and it will do abnormally well at the box-officeóbut X2 is just not worthy of a theatre trip. Itís proficient in the visual effects department and has some cool scenes and great performances. The problem is that it can never break away from the world of science-fiction clichťs. There is potential in the material it provides us with, but I will be surprised if it is ever executed well. Iím about to see X2ís rival competitor, The Matrix Reloaded, in about two hours. I hope it will be much better. Right now, as it stands, the dreary year for film continues on. Hopeless films will continue to leave me unimpressed when walking out of the local theatre. I wonít go as far as to say that X2 is as bad of the other disasters Iíve seen this year, but it certainly isnít what I would call ďgood.Ē Iíve seen twenty-one films this year. Iíve liked eleven of them. You do the math.

-Danny, Bucket Reviews

 


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