X2: X-MEN UNITED

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
JULY 28, 2013

“X2: X-Men United” is the definition of an effective sequel, taking the key players from the original film and using them as a backdrop for the new characters and new situations. In “X2”, we see the mutant wars continue, with a perfect prologue in the form of an assassination attempt on the President by a mutant. Nightcrawler, the assailant, is one of my favorite characters from X-Men lore. Not only are his visual effects captivating, but also Alan Cumming delivers one of the best performances of his career. After this attack, we meet our villain of the film, William Stryker (Brian Cox), a man responsible for more than just raiding Dr. Xavier’s (Patrick Stewart) school for the gifted in the middle of the night. His ties to some of the X-Men go back to their origin.

Setting this feud up personally and completely knocking the X-Men down makes an entertaining story arc where everything is at stake. All the while, Magneto (Ian McKellen) is locked away in one of the best set pieces of the series, a glass box with no metal allowed. Focusing on the machine Xavier and Magneto built together, Cerebro, we’re taken one step further into the X-Men lore, creating a sequel that never spoon-feeds and directly builds on top of everything established in the original. Crafting a darker nature than most comic book films around this time and gifted in handling multiple story arcs simultaneously, Bryan Singer produces yet another compelling X-Men film.

RELEASE DATE
May 2, 2003

DIRECTOR
Bryan Singer

WRITTEN BY
Michael Dougherty
Dan Harris
David Hayter
Zak Penn

BASED ON
“X-Men”
by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

STUDIO
20th Century Fox

PG-13
(for sci-fi action/violence, some sexuality and brief language)

ACTION
ADVENTURE
SCI-FI

THRILLER
134 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Newton Thomas Sigel

COMPOSER
John Ottman

EDITOR
John Ottman

CAST
Patrick Stewart
Hugh Jackman
Ian McKellen
Halle Berry
Famke Janssen
James Marsden
Anna Paquin
Rebecca Romijn
Brian Cox
Alan Cumming
Bruce Davison
Shawn Ashmore
Kelly Hu

PRODUCED BY
Lauren Shuler Donner
Ralph Winter

BUDGET
$125 million

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