I am a huge fan of the X-Men film franchise, which has delivered some fantastic films since we were introduced to X-Men back in 2000 with Bryan Singer at the helm.



Three years later, Singer was back in the director's chair with X2, which was bigger and darker than the first film. For me, X2 remains the best in the movie series and it is this film that we are going to look back on today.

There were plenty of familiar faces on the cast list of X2 as Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, and Rebecca Romijn all reprised their roles.

Brian Cox and Alan Cumming were the big new additions to the cast list as we were introduced to the characters of William Stryker and Nightcrawler for the very first time.

When an assassination attempt on the U.S. President by a mutant fails, Professor Xavier and his school for gifted youngsters are blamed and targeted in a military raid. The team must come together to find the mutant behind the attack, save the school children who were taken during the raid and prevent humans from turning on the mutant community. Logan continues to try and uncover the truth about his past... will a man named Stryker hold the answers that he is looking for?

It is not often that a sequel is better than the first film but, every so often, a film comes along that bucks that trend. X2 is bigger, more ambitious and has the advantage of having a much bigger budget than its predecessor.

More money does mean bigger set pieces and even more fancy CGI-driven moments... but Singer never forgot that story and character is what makes this franchise so popular. He strikes the perfect balance of making this a terrific popcorn movie with developing the storylines and backstory of the main characters further - especially the story of Wolverine.

Singer masterfully keeps multiple storylines - both past and present spinning - as he continued to weave and intriguing web stories and develop further fascinating characters who were already much-loved by comic book fans.

This really is what the first film would have been if Singer had had the budget to make it but it is a fantastic follow-up that would elevate this franchise further.

For me, Singer has been the best director for the X-Men franchise and he only improved on the groundwork that he did in X-Men with X2.

X2 may be bigger and more action-packed, but the character development, humour, and great special effects that I loved in from the first film have been wonderfully carried through to this great sequel.

Singer was one of the first filmmakers to really take the comic book film genre seriously and he has blended this seamlessly with elements of the political thriller. Themes of acceptance and tolerance ran through X-Men and is a theme that is widened and explored further with X2, giving the story even more depth.

X2 was a critical hit and went on to be a big box office success - grossing $407.7 million by the end of its theatrical run. It ended the year as the ninth highest-grossing film, behind the likes of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Finding Nemo, and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

X2 secured the future of the X-Men franchise and we have seen X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past and two solo Wolverine films hit the big screen.

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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