Let’s just put it this way: “X2: X-Men United” makes the first X-Men film look really dull. The current mutant movie is like its name — two times as good.
To start, this film had an awesome villain. Col. William Striker is played by Brian Cox (you’ve seen him in a million other movies including “Braveheart”) is excellent. He is a real racist. He wants to wipe out all mutants and he has the brains, the skill and the power to do it. He scares the crap out of the X-Men and their enemies, so much so that they have to join forces to stop him. Cox is really convincing.
This film also showed the X-Men’s vulnerabilities. They are powerful, but also weak. For example, Wolverine (played again by Hugh Jackman) takes a bullet to the skull. Now, he survives, because his head is made from a nearly indestructible alloy, but he is knocked unconscious for a while.
This movie pointed out that while they are supreme, regular humans could rise up and destroy them, just as Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) fears, thus confirming his drive to make mutants tame. This film made the mutants … more human.
Comic fans will enjoy the cameos by X-favorites like Kitty Pride, Collosus and the introduction of the furry Nightcrawler (played by Alan Cumming).
The plot is great. The twists are unexpected. The villains are fantastic and Wolverine’s battle with his nemesis (Deathstrike) is better than any battle in the first “X-Men.”
Aside from the “Star Trek 2” ripoff ending, this was a great action/science fiction flick. We will most certainly see a sequel and possibly an end to the X-films, but for now this installment is a must see, even for those of us who read different comics growing up, or even none at all.
This article was originally published in The Flagship military newspaper.