Stephanie's Favourite Films: X2: X-Men United
I love comic book movies (well, most of them), and I thought i would show my love for them by reviewing my favourite installation of my favourite film series, X2: X-Men United. This is a great comic book film that benefits from many things, including it's great special effects, well-told story, and great ensemble cast. As much as I like the first one, this is definitely a step up, and in following, X-Men 3 was a big step down from this one.
The large ensemble cast does incredibly well, especially the Sirs (Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen) as Professor X and Magneto, and a new character: Alan Cumming as Nightcrawler. Alan was by far the best character in this movie, and I have a feeling that X-Men 3 would have been so much better if he was in it. The young actors did really well too. By "young" I mean Anna Paquin, Shawn Ashmore, and newcomer Aaron Stanford as Rogue, Iceman, and Pyro respectively.
The returning cast, both old and young alike, all keep the essences of their characters while building on them at the same time. I really enjoyed the character development in Jean Grey, where her psychic walls are starting to erode and her character in this film segways into her character in X-Men 3 incredibly well.
The action scenes are fantastic, and they give great buildup to an exciting and satisfying climax at Alkali Lake. The ending is also fantastic, with Patrick Stewart's voice and the lake backdrop with the shadow of the Phoenix reflecting onto the lake. It was just beautiful and provides sufficient foreshadowing to the third movie. The rest of the action and story was great too, even if some aspects of it were way too wolverine-oriented. I mean, it was interesting to go into some of the origins of Wolverine, but some of it was a bit too much.
Another thing I liked about this movie was that it had great CGI without being dependent on it. My favourite use of CGI in the film is the beginning fight scene with Nightcrawler when he tries to kill the President (don't ask, watch the movie). It kept me on the edge of my seat while still not being mindless and stupid.
If you haven't seen this movie, you only really should if you are a fan of the series or the comics. If you are a fan of the series and haven't seen this movie, I urge you to see it now. It truly is the best in the series and one of the best comic book films of all time. All in all, a must-watch for comic fans, watchable fun for everyone else.