Pin It

DVD Review 

by Marty Demarest

Technically, the title of this movie is X2: X-Men Unite, but many have taken to calling it X-Men 2, or just X2. Fortunately, the title is the only confusing thing about the movie, which is so slick and clever that, if you take away the comic book characters, action-oriented story, massive special-effects budget and celebrity cast, it could pass as a serious art film.

OK, maybe that's a stretch. But this past summer, when X2 hit theaters, it managed that rare double-whammy: Both critics and paying customers liked the movie. Returning director Bryan Singer didn't mess with the formula that worked the first time around. But he also didn't assume that everyone who likes a stylish Hollywood action film was an idiot. And so in giving audiences more of what they were craving, he also gave them more complex characters, an edgier plot and a few challenging hidden messages.

The film boasts some heavy-hitters like Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, along with the Oscar-luminous Halle Berry. Finding these people in a summer sequel at all is a sign that the characters have a solid complexity that most Hollywood films avoid. McKellen, as the imprisoned villain Magneto, is both wearier and warier than he was the first time around. He exudes a fatalistic bemusement that is as much due to the film's script as it is to McKellen's performance. Even Hugh Jackman, who could easily get by playing the razor-fingered Wolverine as nothing more than a hunk of manflesh, gets to explore the character's more paternal side. (Never fear, he also explores his rip-apart-the-hot-enemy-chick side as well.)

Another surprise is the way that Singer and his cast present the idea of tolerance. Singer bravely works this into X2 by having one of his mutants "come out" as a mutant to his parents. The joke is obvious, and tastefully presented. And it's followed through to its logical conclusion when the passionately Christian Nightcrawler defends his faith as an essential part of his character when his fellow mutants criticize his belief system. Tolerance is a big issue in X2, and no amount of special effects (which are all excellent, by the way) can undermine that. It's the work of a confident director and cast, and deserves to be seen by those who are too "smart" to see a popcorn flick. If only the Oscar-hopeful flicks hitting theaters this season were this well made.

Publication date: 11/27/03

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Crash > Click > Cash
  • Crash > Click > Cash

    Lawyers and chiropractors already have your name, your address and the police report from your car accident — and they want you to hire them
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Starting Small
  • Starting Small

    A village of tiny houses in Spokane Valley could serve as a model for fighting homelessness in the region
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Drastic Action
  • Drastic Action

    Spokane among seven school districts sued by State Superintendent of Public Instruction; plus, trio of police-chief finalists are in town
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri

TEDxCoeurdAlene @ Human Rights Institute

Sat., July 23, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Marty Demarest

  • The Cowboy's Cowboy
  • The Cowboy's Cowboy

    A Canadian sings about the life —  not just the lifestyle — of the new West
    • May 15, 2013
  • Completing the Trilogy
  • Completing the Trilogy

    Mass Effect has finally arrived
    • May 23, 2012
  • Minecraft
  • Minecraft

    Adventure and survival too often give way to mindless crafts in this building-block simulator.
    • Feb 8, 2012
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Lane Ends Ahead

    Spokane wants to improve a mile-long section of Monroe — but that means taking away two lanes
    • Jul 7, 2016
  • Too Smart for School

    What happens when a 12-year-old prodigy tries to go to college in Spokane?
    • Jun 30, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

green zone



election 2016

trail mix

Readers also liked…

  • The Selfie Generation
  • The Selfie Generation

    Ambitious and independent, we millennials are defined by no one but ourselves. Now please love us
    • Dec 3, 2014
  • The <i>Real</i> Rachel Dolezal
  • The Real Rachel Dolezal

    The story goes far beyond just a white woman portraying herself as black
    • Jun 17, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation