Thursday, May 01, 2003

Movie Review(X2: X-Men United)...

X2: X-Men United

I have never read an X-MEN comic book, so any knowledge of these characters came from the early 90’s cartoon series. I really enjoyed the first X-MEN film. It wasn’t perfect, but it was strongly written, and catered for both a casual audience and those who grew up reading the comic books. The main problems included unfinished effects work, and a couple of under-developed characters in Storm and Cyclops.

X2 has all the strengths of the original film and few weaknesses. This time, director Bryan Singer has been allowed to re-team with his Usual Suspects collaborator, John Ottman. His score is a vast improvement upon the first, and adds so much to the proceedings. Singer's direction is more confident and it makes for an easy film to become involved in. This movie is, at the very least, the equal of its predecessor.

The opening sequence involving a new mutant called Nightcrawler is fantastic. Herein lies one small problem with this movie. How are they going to top that? Inevitably, they don’t. Don’t get me wrong. There are some incredible set pieces, which are superior to anything I have seen lately, but this is not what X-MEN2 is all about.

To focus solely on the way this movie looks would be to completely miss the point it is trying to make. The thing that makes the X-MEN movies so interesting is the message it’s trying to send to it’s audience. On the surface it looks beautiful and there is plenty of action and eye candy, but that is just an attractive façade. These movies are about discrimination, racism and sexism and how it feels to be an outsider. These movies explore the harsh reality of what it is to be different. To feel unaccepted or hated. Everyone has, at some point in their life, felt this way. These are universal themes, which is why these movies need to be made. It works brilliantly. The filmmaker is allowed to tell the story they want to tell, while at the same time keep studio bosseshappy with huge box office grosses.

Roll on X-MEN 3.

4 out of 5