'X2: X-Men United'
(Patrick Stewart, Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman, et al / PG-13 / 135 mins / 20th Century Fox)
Overview: Already living in a society that mistrusts them, the mutants are faced with even more discrimination after an unforeseen enemy — who may be a mutant with extraordinary powers — launches a devastating attack. The news of the assault causes a public outcry against mutants, including renewed support for the act that would require them to be registered, and William Stryker, a military leader rumored to have experimented on mutants (possibly including Wolverine), is among the most vocal supporters of the legislation. Stryker puts into motion a plan to eradicate the "freaks" and begins an offensive on the X-Men mansion and school. Magneto, having escaped from his plastic prison, forms an unlikely alliance with Professor Xavier to stop Stryker. Meanwhile, Wolverine heads north to investigate his past.
Verdict: 'X2: X-Men United' is a lavish, reasonably intelligent, well-acted sequel with kick-butt effects that outdoes its predecessor in almost every department. Sleek and sexy, filled with delicious characters and effects, the flick actually sparkles with a lightness of spirit that was missing from 'X-Men.' Basically, 'X2' a lot of good, clean fun, full of vibrancy and memorable comic book antics, but ultimately an exhausting running time could kill the spirits of many a young fan. Luckily, 'X2' succeeds pretty well in rising to the challenge that most sequels face in this precarious day and age!
Reviewed By Russell A. Trunk