Thursday, March 21, 2013

X2 Film (2003) Review

X2 Film (2003) Review

X2 Film (2003) Review - 1

X2 (often promoted as X2: X-Men United, or internationally as X-Men 2) is a 2003 American superhero film, based on the fictional characters the X-Men. Directed by Bryan Singer, it is the second film in the X-Men film series. It stars an ensemble cast including Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Alan Cumming, Famke Janssen, Anna Paquin, Shawn Ashmore, Aaron Stanford, Brian Cox, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, James Marsden, Halle Berry and Kelly Hu. The plot, inspired by the graphic novel God Loves, Man Kills, pits the X-Men and their enemies, the Brotherhood, against the genocidal Colonel William Stryker (Brian Cox). He leads an assault on Professor Xavier's school to build his own version of Xavier's mutant-tracking computer Cerebro, in order to destroy every mutant on Earth.

Development phase for X2 began shortly after X-Men. David Hayter and Zak Penn wrote separate scripts, combining what they felt to be the best elements of both scripts into one screenplay. Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris were eventually hired for rewrite work, changing characterizations of Beast, Angel and Lady Deathstrike. Sentinels and the Danger Room were set to appear before being deleted because of budget concerns. Filming began in June 2002 and ended that November. Most of the filming took place at Vancouver Film Studios, the largest production facility outside of Los Angeles in North America. Production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas adapted similar designs of John Myhre from the previous film. X2 was released in the United States on May 2, 2003 and became both a critical and financial success, earning eight nominations at the Saturn Awards and grossing approximately $407 million worldwide.

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Plot (X2 Film 2003)


At the White House, agents escort few of the visitors through the building. One of them steps behind. The man starts to disarm the agents through the building, revealed to be Nightcrawler, a teleporting mutant, and tries to assassinate the President of the United States, but he fails and escapes after being shot by a Secret Service agent, leaving the note . Wolverine heads to Alkali Lake but finds nothing left of the base. Logan returns to the school, reunited with Rogue, her boyfriend Iceman, Cyclops, Storm, and Jean Grey. He is requested by Professor Xavier to watch over the children at the school, while Storm and Jean find Nightcrawler with the help of the professor and Cerebro.

X2 Film (2003) Review - 5

 Cyclops and the Professor visit Magneto in his plastic prison to see if he had any part in the attack on the President. Reading Magneto's mind, the Professor discovers that a covert government operative, William Stryker, has been extracting information from Magneto. A trap is sprung and Cyclops and the Professor are captured by Stryker and his assistant Yuriko Oyama. A military raid of the X-Mansion begins, with the soldiers sedating every student they find. However, the plan backfires when Wolverine strikes back and kills a large number of Stryker's men, while Colossus, Rogue, Iceman, Pyro, and most of the students escape through a series of hidden tunnels in the school. Wolverine confronts Stryker, who fails to shed any light to his past. Iceman returns, saves Wolverine by creating a wall of ice between him and Stryker, and they both escape through one of the tunnels. Stryker's soldiers had already succeeded in sedating six students and managed to break inside Cerebro.

Impersonating Senator Robert Kelly and Yuriko, Mystique gains information about Magneto's plastic prison and provides a means for him to escape, but also finds a plan about a Cerebro, and learns that Stryker is building a second one. Wolverine, along with Rogue, Iceman and Pyro head to Iceman's (Bobby Drake's) parents' home in Boston, where he reveals his powers to his parents. After a 9-1-1 call from Bobby's brother Ronny, the Boston Police Department arrive just as the group is about to leave. Pyro uses his fire manipulation powers to fend off the police, but gets carried away and is prevented from causing further damage by Rogue.

The X-Jet arrives to pick them up, and they are quickly targeted by two Air Force fighter jets. They manage to force the pilots to eject with the help of Storm and Jean; however, they are hit by a missile which threatens to crash them. 

Only due to the sudden intervention of Magneto do they survive. The X-Men then team up with Magneto and Mystique. Magneto has learned Stryker orchestrated the attack on the President to confirm a strike on the X-mansion, and has been experimenting on mutants, using a drug injected directly into the back of the neck to control them. Jean reads Nightcrawler's mind and determines that Stryker's base is located at Alkali Lake, inside the dam where he plans to kill the world's mutants by building a second Cerebro.

X2 Film (2003) Review - Character Picture 1

Through his son, Jason, Stryker gains control over the Professor. His son is able to project powerful visions in the mind, blinding a person to reality, and through this the Professor is brainwashed to use Cerebro to find and kill all mutants. Mystique is able to infiltrate Stryker's base by impersonating Wolverine as the X-Men followed. Storm and Nightcrawler search for the kidnapped students. Jean, Magneto, and Mystique are attacked by a brainwashed Cyclops while trying to rescue the Professor and in the process caused damage to the generators that keep the dam from collapsing. 

The force of Jean's telekinetic blast awakens Cyclops from his brainwashing, and Wolverine simultaneously finds Stryker in an adamantium smelting room, where he recovers his memory; 15 years prior, Stryker filled his body with adamantium, but also erased his memory, and he escaped. Stryker himself arrives, along with Yuriko, who is revealed to be Lady Deathstrike. Wolverine manages to defeat Deathstrike and then finds Stryker on a landing pad, where Stryker attempts to bargain Wolverine for his life with stories of his past. Storm and Nightcrawler find the children and break them out of their cell.

 Magneto and Mystique managed to kill the rest of Stryker's men by setting off their grenades, which causes a leak in the dam, and Magneto stops Jason and the Professor before the mutants are killed. While disguised as Stryker, Mystique uses Jason to convince the Professor to kill all humans; she and Magneto, along with their new initiate, Pyro, then use Stryker's helicopter to escape Alkali Lake, chaining Stryker to concrete rubble. Meanwhile, Nightcrawler teleports Storm inside of Cerebro where she creates a snowstorm to free the Professor from his telepathic illusion.

They all then flee the base as water engulfs it, only to discover that Magneto, Mystique, and Pyro - who had earlier been convinced by Magneto to join them - had escaped on the helicopter. Fortunately, Iceman and Rogue arrive with the X-Jet and everyone gets on board. The dam bursts completely, flooding the landscape and killing Stryker. A malfunction aboard the X-Jet prevents it from taking off; Jean sacrifices herself by leaving the jet and creating a telekinetic wall as a shield against the flood. She activates the X-Jet's primary engines before releasing the torrent of water down on herself, presumably killing her.

X2 Film (2003) Review - Pyro

The X-Men are able to supply the President with files from Stryker's private offices, and the Professor warns him that humans and mutants must work together to build peace or they will destroy each other through war. The next scene returns to the school, with Professor Xavier, Cyclops, and Wolverine talking about Jean's past. They are then interrupted by Colossus and a large number of the students who are supposed to be in their next class. While they leave, Wolverine tells Cyclops that Jean made a choice and that it was him, which relieves Cyclops a good deal. The film ends with a voice-over by Jean Grey on the process of evolution (a speech originally made by the Professor in the introduction of the first film). The camera floats over Alkali Lake, showing a vague shape of a 'Phoenix' flying above it, hinting at her survival.

Cast

  • Patrick Stewart as Professor Charles Xavier
    A tremendously strong and powerful telepathic mutant who uses a wheelchair as he cannot walk. He founded a School for "gifted youngsters"; Xavier is a pacifist who believes humans and mutants can live together in harmony. He uses the Cerebro device, built by Magneto and himself, to track and locate mutants across the world. Xavier is regarded as an expert on genetic mutation.
  • Hugh Jackman as Logan / Wolverine
    A mutant who has no memory of his life before he was grafted with an indestructible adamantium skeleton. Wolverine is a gruff loner, he is also a father figure to Rogue and has a love connection with Jean. He wields three blades that come out of each of his fists, has keen animal-like senses, the ability to heal rapidly, and is a ruthless and aggressive fighter.
  • Ian McKellen as Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto
    Once Xavier's ally, Magneto now believes mutants are superior to humans. Magneto wields the ability to manipulate metal magnetically, as well as the ability to create magnetic fields. He wears a helmet that renders him immune to Xavier's and all telepathic-based abilities. Imprisoned after his scheme in the first film, he is drugged by William Stryker for information on Cerebro, before making his escape and forming an alliance with the X-Men to stop Stryker. He has demonstrated sophisticated knowledge in matters of genetic manipulation and engineering. The character's helmet was slightly redesigned as McKellen found wearing it uncomfortable in the previous film.
  • Halle Berry as Ororo Munroe / Storm
    A mutant and teacher at Xavier's School who can control the weather with her mind. Storm befriends Nightcrawler. Berry dropped out of Jennifer Lopez's role in Gigli to reprise the role.
  • Famke Janssen as Dr. Jean Grey
    A teacher at Xavier's school and the X-Mansion's doctor, Jean has begun to experience vast and at times uncontrollable growth in all of her telepathic, empathic and telekinetic abilities since Magneto's machine exploded and thus unlocked or mutated her psionic abilities in the first film. She is Cyclops' girlfriend, beloved sweetheart and fiancé.
  • James Marsden as Scott Summers / Cyclops
    The field leader of the X-Men, and a teacher at Xavier's Institute, he shoots uncontrollable beams of concussive force from his eyes and wears a visor to control them. He is in quite a strong and close romantic relationship with Jean. Cyclops is taken prisoner by Stryker.
  • Anna Paquin as Marie / Rogue
    A girl who can absorb any person's memories and abilities by touching them. As she cannot control this absorbing ability, Rogue can easily kill anyone and thus is unable to be close to people. Her love interest is Bobby Drake/Iceman.
  • Rebecca Romijn-Stamos as Mystique
    Magneto's henchwoman, she is a shapeshifter. Mystique is blue, naked and covered in scales, and she acts as a spy. She injects a prison guard with metal, with which Magneto makes his escape, and also sexually tempts Wolverine. Romijn's makeup previously took nine hours to apply, however, the make-up department was able to bring it down to six hours for X2.
  • Brian Cox as Colonel William Stryker
    A human military scientist who plans a worldwide genocide of mutants using Xavier and Cerebro. Stryker has experimented on mutants in the past, including Wolverine, and uses a serum to control them. Singer opted to cast Cox in the role as he was a fan of his performance as Hannibal Lecktor in Manhunter.
  • Alan Cumming as Kurt Wagner / Nightcrawler
    A kindly German mutant with a strong Catholic faith, yet ironically he has the appearance of a blue demon. Nightcrawler was used by Stryker in an assassination attempt on the President of the United States and gives help to the X-Men. He is capable of teleporting himself (and others) instantly from one location to another. On his body are many scarification marks, one for every sin. Cumming had always been Singer's choice for the role, but Cumming could not accept the part due to scheduling conflicts. Ethan Embry had been reported to be in contention for the role, but the film labored in development long enough for Cumming to accept the part. Singer also felt comfortable in casting Cumming since he is fluent in the German language. The drawings of Adam Kubert were used as inspiration for Nightcrawler's makeup design, which took four hours to apply. For the scene where Nightcrawler has his shirt off, Cumming went through nine hours. To best pose as Nightcrawler, Cumming studied comic books and illustrations of the character.
  • Aaron Stanford as John Allerdyce / Pyro
    A friend of Bobby and Rogue, Pyro has anti-social tendencies because he is very angry at humans for how they treat the mutant community. He has the ability to control (although not create) fire. Magneto tells him that "You are a god amongst insects; never let anyone tell you different." The filmmakers cast Stanford in the role after they were impressed with his performance in Tadpole.
  • Shawn Ashmore as Bobby Drake / Iceman
    Rogue's boyfriend, he can freeze objects and create ice. His family is unaware that he is a mutant and simply believes he is at a boarding school. After returning home, Bobby reveals to them what he actually is, much to his brother's derision.
  • Kelly Hu as Yuriko Oyama / Deathstrike
    A mutant that has a healing ability like Wolverine's, and is controlled by Stryker. She wields long adamantium fingernails. Only her first name is mentioned in dialogue.
  • Michael Reid McKay as Jason Stryker / Mutant 143
    William Stryker's son. He was sent to Xavier's school in an attempt to "cure" his ability to create illusions. Returning home, Jason tortured his parents until his mother committed suicide. His father lobotomized him and uses a fluid from his brain to control mutants. Xavier's mind is too strong for the fluid, however, and Jason is instead used in order to manipulate him in Stryker's genocidal scheme.
Although the character of Senator Robert Kelly was killed in the first film, Bruce Davison reprised the role for scenes where Mystique uses his persona to infiltrate the government. Also, Katie Stuart appeared as Kitty Pryde, a girl who can walk through walls, Bryce Hodgson as Artie, Kea Wong as Jubilee and Shauna Kain as Siryn, who is able to emit loud screams that alert the students to Stryker's attack. Also in the final scene with Xavier, a girl is seen dressed in a Native American style jacket, as well as a blond haired boy dressed in blue, played by Layke Anderson. These were confirmed to be Danielle Moonstar and Douglas Ramsey. Daniel Cudmore appeared as Peter Rasputin / Colossus. Cudmore was set to use a Russian accent, but Singer dropped the idea for unknown reasons, and onset rewrites minimized the character's importance to a cameo.

X2 Film (2003) Review - Character Picture

Jubilee, Psylocke and Multiple Man were to have cameos for the scene when Stryker and his troops storm the X-Mansion. Beast, Gambit and Marrow were to have appearances during the Dark Cerebro sequence. Gambit's cameo was actually shot, but the footage was not used in the final cut. Beast's scene was to show Dr. Hank McCoy transforming into his notable blue fur while Marrow was to be seen lying on a ground in New York City. Hank McCoy appears on a television during the scene where Mystique drugs Magneto's prison guard. Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris, the film's writers, cameo in scenes of Wolverine's Weapon X flashbacks as surgeons. Shaquille O'Neal wanted a role in the film but was ignored by the filmmakers.

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Title: X2 Film (2003) Review; Written by GTS Baskoro; Rating: 5 dari 5

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