Sequels rarely achieve or better their original movies brilliance or originality, there are a few exceptions such as Aliens, Empire Strikes Back and Toy Story 2 to name just three. It really is a rare feat for a movie sequel to keep the franchise fresh and involving and thankfully Brian Singer has achieved this with X-Men 2.
The story starts off quickly by introducing a new threat to the mutants in the shape of a government official called Stryker, who will not rest until the mutants are wiped out. There is an attack on the president of the United States by an unknown mutant who seems to have the ability to transport himself through space avoiding bullets and able to fight, without the enemy knowing where he is going to appear. This mutant very nearly kills the president using a knife but is hit by a security guards bullet at the vital point. He drops the knife and disappears. On the handle of the knife are the words “Mutant Freedom Now”.
It is not long until Professor X hears of this attack but he quickly realises that Magneto is not behind the attack. Meanwhile normal humans are beginning to turn once more against the mutants, and this attack gives Stryker the perfect opportunity to put his plans into action. As we move into the story it is not long before Magneto and Professor X's pupils are fighting side by side against the Humans who want to wipe them all out.
Whilst I enjoyed the first movie very much I couldn't help feeling it was just used to set up the characters for a projected franchise. After watching this action packed adventure in the form of X-Men 2 that point of view is confirmed as this movie just rocks from the start. Everything about the film has moved up a gear with the CGI effects being smooth and believable, to the character development bringing new insights to our mutant heroes. I simply didn't notice the passage of time as the movie zipped along at full throttle and is enjoyable Sci-Fi action which is highly recommended.
This Japanese single disc edition is available now, a full two months before the US and UK two disc versions. The Japanese subtitles are switched off easily by the remote control, although the menus are Japanese text and are hit and miss until you find out what each option does.
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