X-Men 2


The law of diminishing returns states that sequels will always be inferior to the originals - - which clearly isn't true, as Aliens and The Empire Strikes Back prove. X-Men 2 is a further exception to that rule, director Bryan Singer himself stating that the first movie was merely a "trailer" for this deeper delve into Marvel Comics' mutant superhero team.

Despite expanding an already crowded cast, Singer manages to balance his attentions and keep things taut and pacey (only Halle Berry's Storm loses out), all the while delivering the kind of action set-pieces that X1 cried out for. But it's in the quieter, more dramatic moments that the sequel really gets under the skin, whether it's Wolverine's (Hugh Jackman) ongoing quest to uncover his background, the tense build-up to the X-mansion invasion, or the wonderful `coming-out' scene in which Iceman's (Shawn Ashmore) obtuse mom asks, ""Have you ever tried not being a mutant?""

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