The X-Men are back in the 2nd film in the series with X2. Again with Brian Singer at the helm this time with a budget increased from the original’s $75m to $110m. The screenplay this time was by a combination of Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris and David Hayter.
There’s a large returning cast with all of the key members from the original returning to reprise roles including Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen and of course Hugh Jackman in the role that he is most famous for.
Adding to the roster of mutated humans with strange gifts include Alan Cummings as ‘Nightcrawler’ and Kelly Hu as ‘Lady Deathstrike’.
The team are re-united with the return of Wolverine after he went in search of his past at the end of the first film, at a time of great tension after an attempted assassination of the President of the United States.
Together they find themselves in a new battle, this time with a Colonel William Stryker (Brian Cox) who has plans to address the mutant ‘problem’ once and for all. Furthermore, he may have links to the very secrets of the past for Wolverine that he craves.
In a debate that will sometime appear in the form of ‘which sequels are better than the original film’, X2 is always an easy answer for me. It builds on the work that the original delivered in introduction to the world of the X-Men and delivers a fast paced action thriller of a comic book movie.
Jackman again stands out in his career role of Wolverine but Brian Cox is outstanding as the bad guy of the piece.
Its a hell of a sequel and the ending sets up a third film very well (whether it delivered against that set up is a different discussion). If you liked the first, you will love the second.
PS. I know its technically the same score as the original but that very much a case of a 7.6 and an 8.4 leading to the same rounding