By Clint Morris
They are the next link in the evolutionary chain. Each was born with a unique genetic mutation, which manifested itself in extraordinary powers. In a world increasingly filled with hatred and prejudice, they are outcasts who are feared and loathed by those who cannot accept their differences. Yet despite society’s pervasive ignorance, the X-men and thousands of mutants across the wor….
….Screw the introduction, there ain’t no better way of saying the “X Men” are back than to shout “Sit down”, “Shut Up” and “Hang On”, because Marvel’s indifferent crew of uncanny power are back, and they’re bigger, badder and super-charged!
Let the fun begin. Again.
Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) is still in belief that a peaceful co-existence between humans and mutants can exist, while the imprisoned, evil Magneto (Ian McKellen) is adamant that humans should be completely taken out of the picture.
William Stryker (Brian Cox) is a man bitterly convinced that no good can come from a world where Mutants can co-exist with humans. After all, his son is a mutant and he can barely look him in the face.
So what’s the solution? Start with Xavier and his school of all-aged mutants.
With the students of the school, as well as Xavier and Cyclops (James Marsden), The X Men team with old foes Magneto and Mystique to make sure no one gets to the punch at this party before they’ve truly arrived.
What made “X Men” so enjoyable was the way it spoke to an audience. Yes, it’s a superhero movie, but as creator Stan Lee will tell you, he created the X-Men as not just another band of heroes, but those that have much more of a human element. In effect, the issues of their dilemma – being different and not being able to fit in – speak many different levels. They may be using the words “mutant” and “human” quite generally here, but they’re really flying the flag for anyone a little different to the norm.
The sequel again continues with this realistic theme, even more so, with the villains being single-minded humans, determined not to let anyone a little different share their soil.
In addition, the characters on screen are not merely puppets for a popcorn blockbuster, but a credible bunch of real people – with real feelings, real issues and real spirit. If anything pushes this and the first ”X Men” above the norm, be it this extra-real sense of character definition. Kudos to some of the fine actors – especially Jackman and Stewart – who give much welcomed life and flesh to characters like Wolverine and Xavier, who in any other superhero film, might be little more than set dressing for a laser machine.
But if it’s action, adventure and great special effects you’re truly after, you won’t be disappointed. The action in this film is much greater (sure the film takes a bit to get going, but once it does, the action is laid on thick and fast), and the effects absolutely mind blowing. The finale will have you in awe.
Sequels are known to hardly be a shade on the original film that spawned them, but in this case, “X Men 2” is not only as good a film as the first, it’s possibly a much better one. There’s more substance, more character development, several more outlandish action sequences and more duration to cover ground.
If only all follow-ups could chalk up second servings as well as this beauty has.
Blu-Ray Details and Extras
“X2” looks a tad bit better than “X-Men” on Blu-Ray – you notice it mostly in the the appearance of flesh tones (though arguably, the flesh-tones still look a bit more cerise than they should), and how much more detailed everything else on screen looks. The 1080p, 2.40:1-framed transfer is actually one of the better presentations I’ve seen from Fox. Even better is the lounge room-shaking DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack – it’s frickin’ amazing!
Among the extras – commentaries, numerous featurettes, interviews, deleted scenes, trailers, stills galleries and some other fun stuff.
Honestly, if I were to buy only one “X-Men” movie on BR, this’d be it.