X2 is a significant improvement over its predecessor, 2000's eagerly awaited and highly anticipated X-Men. It gets right everything that the previous film had trouble with. Its level is much grander. The only thing the first film did right was highlighting the difference between mutants and humanity's inability to deal with it. This film remains razor-sharp throughout the sequel, giving it a meaningful edge that so many action-oriented summer blockbusters lack. .
If you"re going to see X2, you need to either be familiar with the comic book series on which it's based or have seen the original film. One of the reasons the sequel is better than the first film is that it isn't saddled with all the strictly controlled explanation needed to set the stage and introduce the mass amount of characters. This time around, screenwriters Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris assume that everybody's up to speed on what's happening, and returning director Bryan Singer takes it from there and runs with it. .
In X2, the stakes have been raised so that our heroic mutants are fighting against the mass annihilation of all mutants on earth. This is the diabolical plan of William Stryker (Brian Cox), a military scientist who has studied mutants for decades and is obsessed on either detaining or destroying all of them. It doesn't help that his own son is a telepathic mutant, and one of the film's most disturbing undercurrents is the way Stryker uses him as a captive weapon against other mutants. .
Dr. Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), a powerful telepath who runs the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters in an attempt to train young mutants to harness and control their vast abilities. With their mentor and leader in captivity, it is up to Xavier's mutant students and fellow teachers, including Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Dr. Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), Storm (Halle Berry), Cyclops (James Marsden), and Rogue (Anna Paquin), to save the day.