Welcome to sequel summer when just about every week your local multiplex will
feature a follow-up to some movie that Hollywood has made money on in the past.
In case you have one of those old fashioned calendars that places the beginning
of summer in June, be advised that the studios have long since moved the date up
to the first Friday in May. In the first of this never-ending stream of
sequels, the live action version of the comic book X-Men returns in X2, which
you can expect to set a box office record of some sort.
A saga of mutants trying to peacefully co-exist with humans while fighting the
evil members of both species, the story this time starts off with a bang as Kurt
Wagner invades the Oval Office. A mutant known also known as the Nightcrawler,
Wagner is played for much needed comic relief by Alan Cumming (JOSIE AND THE
Although frequently inventive and fun, X2 too often gets bogged down in long
ponderous scenes. A frustrating film, it suffers a bad case of bloating, as if
the director felt obligated to make the sequel bigger, more complex and more
expensive than the first film. Just when you are ready to write off the picture
entirely, it comes right back to delight you with some sizzling scene of mutant
violence or comic book action. But every time you're ready to cut it some
slack, the story starts drifting aimlessly again.
What works consistently this time is an even larger number of cute creatures,
er, characters. There are so many that the studio could make considerable money
by selling programs in the lobby so that viewers could keep track of the actors,
the characters and their associated special powers. From freezing people to
walking through walls, every mutant has his or her own trick.
Even if movie has some spectacular moments, it would probably best be viewed on
video when you can fast-forward past the dead spots.
X2 runs too long at 2:15. It is rated PG-13 for "sci-fi action/violence, some
sexuality and brief language" and would be acceptable for kids around 11 and
My son Jeffrey, age 14, and I really split on this movie. Whereas I only
enjoyed it sporadically, he thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it, saying that
he found it better than X-MEN. He especially liked all of the extra mutants and
the way the movie had more of a comic book feel than the first one. It was a
full **** experience for him.
Copyright © 2003 Steve Rhodes