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CNN claims X2 "Better than the original"

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CNN claims X2 "Better than the original"

Old 05-01-03, 09:15 PM
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CNN claims X2 "Better than the original"

Review: 'X2' a superior sequel

More, bigger, better
By Paul Clinton
CNN Reviewer
Thursday, May 1, 2003 Posted: 3:46 PM EDT (1946 GMT)


(CNN) -- It's a rare occurrence indeed for a sequel to be anywhere near as good as the original film. But that's the case with "X2: X-Men United." In fact, the new film may be better than the original.

This time out there's more action, more character development, more special effects and a much bigger budget. The last item is no surprise: after all, the original made $157 million at the box office, and that's just domestically.

More important, however, the "X-Men" creative team -- led by director Bryan Singer (also known for 1995's "The Usual Suspects") -- is back, both in front of and behind the camera. There are some highly entertaining additions to the cast as well.

The X-Men are part of a group of mutant human beings, and as the first movie revealed, they're not always tolerated by the mainstream population. "X2" begins with a breathtaking action sequence in which the president of the United States is attacked in the Oval Office by a mutant, despite the fact that he's surrounded by Secret Service agents. This blatant act is just the motive needed by Gen. William Stryker (Brian Cox), a mutant-hating military man and scientist.

Stryker has a very complicated background involving the world's most powerful telepath, Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and his Xavier School for the Gifted, where mutant children find acceptance and learn how to use their unusual powers.

Picking right up

Other key players are exactly where there were when the original "X-Men" movie left off: Magneto (Ian McKellen) is still in his plastic prison; Mystique (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) is still blue and looking good while looking for ways to free her leader; Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) has just returned from a failed mission to uncover his mysterious past; and Dr. Jean Grey (Framke Janssen), Cyclops (James Marsden), Rogue (Anna Paquin) and Storm (Halle Berry) are all going about their "normal" routines at the school.

After the incident at the White House, Stryker attempts to use the president's fear to reinstate legislation for the Mutant Registration Act. He then convinces the government that Xavier's academy is really a mutant training center aimed at taking over the country -- and the world.

The general gets the OK to check out the situation, but instead secretly launches a full-scale military offensive on the school, and the stage is set for a full-fledged war between humans and mutants.

As the title suggests, all the mutants on earth -- including Xavier and his students and Magneto and his cohorts -- have to leave their deep differences behind and unite against Stryker and his evil plan. The best new character is Nightcrawler, played by Alan Cumming.

Raised in a traveling circus, Nightcrawler can teleport from one place to another and looks like a blue-skinned demon, with pointy ears, yellow eyes, hooves and a prehensile tail. He speaks with a German accent and is very gentle and extremely religious -- when he's not being controlled by a secret third party. Like Romijn-Stamos, Cumming was subjected to hours of intense make-up in order to transform into his character.

Other cast additions include Deathstrike, played by Kelly Hu, and a new student at the Academy named Pyro, played by Aaron Stanford. If his name doesn't tell you his mutant power, you're just not paying attention.

Lots of action -- and great hair

As the mutants battle for survival intensifies, the PG-13 rated carnage rages. That translates into lots of fight scenes, but very little stage blood. The result is a fast-paced slick flick that races toward a spectacular climax.

All the main themes are still firmly in place. "X2" continues the original's morality tale about prejudice and the fear of the unknown. Acceptance is still at the heart of the story. And yes, Virginia, the ending is a huge setup for "X3." Another sequel is more or less a certainty.

A word about "X2's" hair: Few movies have ever put so much focus on tonsorial splendor. Storm, Rogue and Jean all have great new 'dos, though Xavier is still bald and Wolverine's hair still looks like two miles of bad road. Fortunately, Stewart and Jackman have other assets.

And be sure to look for the letter X. Singer and production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas placed numerous subliminal X images throughout the film. The first one comes at the very beginning of the movie, with the logo of the studio -- 20th Century Fox.

"X2: X-Men United" opens nationwide on Friday, May 2, and is rated PG-13.
Old 05-01-03, 09:24 PM
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CNN claims X2 "Better than the original"
Considering the first had too much time to set up the characters to the general public and the second is able to focus on story more.. I would say that there claim is true, X2 is better then the original.
Old 05-01-03, 09:27 PM
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Originally posted by Jackskeleton
Considering the first had too much time to set up the characters to the general public and the second is able to focus on story more.. I would say that there claim is true, X2 is better then the original.
I really hope so. I've been an X-fan for 25 years, and was kinda disappointed with the original (although it was awesome to see the characters finally come to life on the big screen!).
Old 05-01-03, 11:03 PM
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OH MY GOD!! CNN says it's "better than the original"! It"s not very smart to believe anything you hear from anyone before you see the movie for yourself
Old 05-01-03, 11:21 PM
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Originally posted by Dudikoff
OH MY GOD!! CNN says it's "better than the original"! It"s not very smart to believe anything you hear from anyone before you see the movie for yourself


That's me, the lemming that believes everything I read.

You're not being very excellent to me.
Old 05-01-03, 11:30 PM
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I've seen a number of reviews (Variety, Gannett...) and they've all said that it is better than the first.
Old 05-02-03, 12:05 AM
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Not in the least bit surprised. The first one was okay but could have been much better. The ending was more or less muddled and it had some serious pacing issues throughout. The X2 trailers look excellent. I've always been a huge Nightcrawler fan so his introduction to the franchise alone scores some major points with me.
Old 05-02-03, 01:07 AM
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DVD Talk's The Aisle View say's it's better than the first as well:

http://www.aisleview.com/index.html
Old 05-02-03, 02:31 AM
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whew! just got back from the midnight screening and it definitely lives up to the hype. It was much better than the original and I loved the orignial as well. Simply amazing. I'm definitely seeing this one a couple more times.
Old 05-02-03, 02:45 AM
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I just saw it also and it was amazing. I'm speechless!
Old 05-02-03, 03:28 AM
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Originally posted by Dudikoff
OH MY GOD!! CNN says it's "better than the original"! It"s not very smart to believe anything you hear from anyone before you see the movie for yourself
I have seen it. And I think it's better than the original in ways, and not better in others. Speaking of the ending which some have commented on, I liked the ending in X1 much better. The movie had what I like to call a climax moment. That is when Wolverine sacraficed himself to save rogue. It was accompanied by some tear jearking music and was a very artistic moment. X2 in my opinion doesn't match. It does have a moment, and some might like it better than I did. But it doesn't compare to my opinion of that moment in X1.

X2 did have a little more action. But not as much more as I was expecting. A few of the action moment were alot more intense as we see Wolverine really let loose and some good cooperation from the good guys. But it also had alot of the tongue in cheek humor of the first, which was followed by more of the slow story telling segments we are familiar with from the first also. I just couldn't settle down back into that after a few minutes of edge of your seat action. Yes it was a great movie. But in a way I like the pacing of the first better. On a whole, I do not think fans will be dissapointed with this movie.
Old 05-02-03, 03:30 AM
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Just saw it last night as well and it was great. Even the cast and director said that part one more more of an introduction compared to the sequel. Much better pacing, action and character developement.

I do have a couple of gripes though.

Spoiler:
In the first movie the good guys had numerous battles with mistique and that toad guy, but when they meet up again in X2 they act as if they've NEVER seen each other before. There is no 'What are YOU doing here??!!' parts, instead they are 'Who/What are you???' scenes. It kinda bugged me cause in the first movie they were supposed to be enemies but in the second movie they become friends almost strait away.


Also

Spoiler:
I don't understand why Jean Gray had to die? It seemed a bit forced considering the talents that all the characters had. Eg, Ice Boy could have just stuck his hand in the lake and formed an ice wall to stop the water, while Jean Gray levitated bits of the dam back into place. And at the end when Logan and Cyclops are mourning over her death, Logan says 'She didn't make the decision, you did.' What is that supposed to mean??


Only really minor gripes for quite an entertaining movie.

Last edited by fmian; 05-02-03 at 03:33 AM.
Old 05-02-03, 03:47 AM
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Originally posted by fmian

Spoiler:
I don't understand why Jean Gray had to die? It seemed a bit forced considering the talents that all the characters had. Eg, Ice Boy could have just stuck his hand in the lake and formed an ice wall to stop the water, while Jean Gray levitated bits of the dam back into place. And at the end when Logan and Cyclops are mourning over her death, Logan says 'She didn't make the decision, you did.' What is that supposed to mean??


Only really minor gripes for quite an entertaining movie.
Spoiler:
Jean Gray had to die because they want X-Men 3 to deal with the Phoenix Saga. I think this is a really bold move and in interesting direction in which the movie[s] seem to be headed. From the first time Jean's eyes flashed with fire I was hoping for some full-fledged Phoenix action but I guess that will have to wait until next year. I liked the phoenix shadow in the water though in the end. It had the desired effect for me. Kinda spooky, kinda exciting.
Old 05-02-03, 03:54 AM
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Originally posted by schizopak
Spoiler:
Jean Gray had to die because they want X-Men 3 to deal with the Phoenix Saga. I think this is a really bold move and in interesting direction in which the movie[s] seem to be headed. From the first time Jean's eyes flashed with fire I was hoping for some full-fledged Phoenix action but I guess that will have to wait until next year. I liked the phoenix shadow in the water though in the end. It had the desired effect for me. Kinda spooky, kinda exciting.
Oh right, I'm not up to speed on the X-Men universe. I'm looking at it all from a newbie perspective. I guess that kinda makes sense, but it still seemed a bit forced.
Old 05-02-03, 04:06 AM
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Originally posted by fmian
Oh right, I'm not up to speed on the X-Men universe. I'm looking at it all from a newbie perspective. I guess that kinda makes sense, but it still seemed a bit forced.
it was definitely forced in the end but still i enjoyed the movie too much to complain much. fans of x-men will enjoy the little hints.
Old 05-02-03, 08:35 AM
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Originally posted by Brak55
I've seen a number of reviews (Variety, Gannett...) and they've all said that it is better than the first.

Most of the reviews on rottentomatoes.com say the same thing. And at this time, out of 73 posted reviews, 64 are positive. Giving it a 88% on the tomatometer reading
Old 05-02-03, 09:53 AM
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Originally posted by fmian


I do have a couple of gripes though.


Spoiler:
I don't understand why Jean Gray had to die? It seemed a bit forced considering the talents that all the characters had. Eg, Ice Boy could have just stuck his hand in the lake and formed an ice wall to stop the water, while Jean Gray levitated bits of the dam back into place. And at the end when Logan and Cyclops are mourning over her death, Logan says 'She didn't make the decision, you did.' What is that supposed to mean??


Only really minor gripes for quite an entertaining movie. [/B]
Spoiler:
That's not what Logan said at all...He said " She did make a decision, and it was you" He was letting Scott know he had "won" the battle for her love.


Bruce

P.S. This Movie was the BEST Comic Book Movie Ever Made...I thought it would be hard to top Spider-Man...But this had it all. The characters all behaved just as they should....
Old 05-02-03, 10:51 AM
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An easy "A-". It is better than the original and X1 is one of my favorite comic movies. I'm defiantely seeing this more times, just to catch everything (I seen the midnight showing).
The only MINOR complaint I have is that the film is wonderfully long, but just once in a while I wanted it to slow down when certain characters talked. I wanted to know more about Nightcrawler, I wanted more interaction b/w Pyro, Iceman, and Rogue, ect. Even though I'm a huge live-long X-fan, seeing these characters on screen talking, I just wanted to hear their stories more.
Seems the X-films are two of a kind: The first one, was the first movie in history where the audience wanted it to be longer. The feeling holds true, for me, w/ X2.
Old 05-02-03, 11:56 AM
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I heard Colossus makes an appearance. Does his Sister Majik make an appearance as well?
Old 05-02-03, 02:33 PM
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I just got back from it. Not going to say if it was better or not because it's been a while since I last saw the 1st one. Both were very good though. I'd say this one was a little darker at points
Spoiler:
the opening with nightcrawler was awesome. cyclops' new visor was much better. the 'cameos' by some of the other mutants was also good.
and I guess logan was wrong about needing a few more years to get uniforms, rogue and iceman were both in the x-men suits at the end


they did recognize Mystique, they even
Spoiler:
had the scars as a reference to the fight with wolverine


Originally posted by fmian
I do have a couple of gripes though.

Spoiler:
In the first movie the good guys had numerous battles with mistique and that toad guy, but when they meet up again in X2 they act as if they've NEVER seen each other before. There is no 'What are YOU doing here??!!' parts, instead they are 'Who/What are you???' scenes. It kinda bugged me cause in the first movie they were supposed to be enemies but in the second movie they become friends almost strait away.


Old 05-02-03, 03:54 PM
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Originally posted by jonpeters

The only MINOR complaint I have is that the film is wonderfully long, but just once in a while I wanted it to slow down when certain characters talked. I wanted to know more about Nightcrawler, I wanted more interaction b/w Pyro, Iceman, and Rogue, ect. Even though I'm a huge live-long X-fan, seeing these characters on screen talking, I just wanted to hear their stories more.
X2 was without a doubt the best superhero sequel that has been made so far.
i'm not ready at this point to say it was better than the first film.
unlike the majority here i would guess, i thought the first film was excellent in its economy ,structure, character development and pacing.
X2, on first viewing, seems to have little to no character embellishment/development to me, and also seems to a little more roughly paced. the film is filled to the gills with great moments, but i didn't have the satisfying feeling i have at the end of the first film. ( to be honest though, it took me a while to appreciate the true charms of the first film).
X2 has a helluv a lot more action and incident, but the first film had a 'soundness' to it.
X2 is like 24 chinese acrobats trying to balance on top of one another and flailing wildly w/ some falling off, while the first movie was like a strong man lifting 400 lbs.
they are both impressive, but one seems more common and easy to dismiss.
Old 05-02-03, 06:33 PM
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I liked X1 and i'm sure I'll like X2.

I don't need CNN, Roger & Fill in the blank, or anyone else to tell me what entertains me.

Last edited by Giantrobo; 05-02-03 at 08:40 PM.
Old 05-02-03, 08:15 PM
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Well, most reviews I've read, Roger Ebert, my local newspaper and on the net have said it's much better than the first. That really gets me excited since I loved the first flick.
Old 05-02-03, 08:36 PM
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So X2 finally shows up to get the pre-summer kicked off.

I thought it was a good overall followup to the first film. The fight sequences were intense, but hampered by the PG-13 rating and quick edits, so I was okay with the action scenes.

The character moments tended to drag the narrative down just a bit, but when the action got cranked back up, the screen comes alive with plenty of energy.

For such a long running time (around 135 minutes), I thought we got less plot than we should have, so I feel just a little cheated in that department.

The special effects were pretty good all around, and I dug the realization of Knightcrawler's "BAMF!" sound effect during the display of one of his primary talents. Magneto got in many good lines in the film.

I did think the writers had a fun time finding ways to use many of the characters' powers in everyday use and during combat.

If you're a fan of the first film, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

I give it 3 stars, or a grade of B.

Last edited by Patman; 05-02-03 at 09:13 PM.
Old 05-02-03, 08:41 PM
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First, let me just say, I love "X-Men". Didn't catch it in the theatres. But rented it from Netflix. I loved it so much, I went out and bought it the next day. It immediately jumped to the head of the queue as my favorite comic book movie of all-time. So, I was hesitant about the sequel. Thought it was be good. But nowhere near as great as the first. I was wrong. Just got back from "X-Men 2". WOW! Fantastic sequel. Surpasses the original. Two thumbs WAY up here. And I'd give it **** out of ****. Grade: A

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