X2 (film)

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X2, released in 2003 is the second of a series of three films based on the X-Men comic series. It follows X-Men and precedes X-Men: The Last Stand In this film, the heroic team of mutants must form an uneasy alliance with former enemy Magneto to stop an obsessed military scientist from exterminating all mutant-kind. Based on characters from Marvel comics.

Directed by Bryan Singer. Screenplay by Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris, and David Hayter. Story by Zak Penn, David Hayter and Bryan Singer
The time has come for those who are different to stand united (Taglines)

Professor Charles Xavier

  • Mutants. Since the discovery of their existence they have been regarded with fear, suspicion, often hatred. Across the planet, debate rages. Are mutants the next link in the evolutionary chain or simply a new species of humanity fighting for their share of the world? Either way it is a historical fact: Sharing the world has never been humanity's defining attribute.


  • [After ripping off and throwing his dog tags at Stryker's feet] I'll take my chances with him.

Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto

  • [After stopping the X-Jet from crashing with his powers] When will these people learn how to fly?

Jean Grey

  • Mutation: it is the key to our evolution. It is how we have evolved from a single-celled organism into the dominant species on the planet. This process is slow, normally taking thousands and thousands of years. But every few hundred millennia, evolution leaps forward.

Colonel William Stryker

  • I was piloting black-ops missions in the jungles of North Vietnam when you were suckin' on your mama's tit at Woodstock, Kelly. Don't lecture me about war. This already is a war.


[Pyro and Iceman show off their skills in a museum, but the people caught by surprise at what's happening suddenly freeze.]
Rogue: Bobby, what did you do?
Iceman: I didn't do this.
Professor Xavier: [appears] No. I did. [to John] And the next time you feel like showing off, don't.

Colonel William Stryker: We developed the technology that built his plastic prison.
Senator Kelly: This facility is a school.
Stryker: Sure it is. [he sets photos on the president's desk]
President McKenna: What the hell is that?
Stryker: A jet.
McKenna: What kind of jet?
Stryker: We don't know — but it comes up out of the basketball court.

[Logan enters Cerebro holding a lit cigar]
Professor Charles Xavier: Logan, my tolerance for your smoking in the mansion notwithstanding, continue smoking that in here, and you'll spend the rest of your days under the belief that you're a six year-old girl.
Logan: You'd do that?
Xavier: I'd have Jean braid your hair. [amused, Logan extinguishes the cigar on his own palm] Welcome back.

[Professor Xavier learns that Colonel Stryker has been interrogating Magneto in prison.]
Professor Charles Xavier: Erik, what have you done?
Magneto: I'm sorry, Charles. I couldn't help it.
Professor Charles Xavier: What have you told Stryker?
Magneto: Everything. [Xavier and Magneto notice gas being released in prison] The war has begun.

Professor Charles Xavier: [Wakes up in Stryker's chambers] William?
Colonel William Stryker: Please, Xavier, don't get up!
[electronic static]
Colonel William Stryker: I call it the neural inhibitor. It keeps you outta here. (he taps his forehead)
Professor Xavier: What have you done with Scott?
Colonel William Stryker: Oh, don't worry. I'm just giving him a little re-education. Of course, you know all about that, don't you?
Professor Xavier: William, you wanted me to cure your son, but mutation isn't a disease...
Colonel William Stryker: (enraged) YOU'RE LYING! You were even more frightened of him than I was! You know, just one year after Jason returned from your 'school', my wife...! You see, he resented us, he blamed us for his condition, so he would toy with our minds, projecting visions and scenarios into our brains. Well, my wife, in the end she took a power drill to her left temple in an attempt to bore the images out. (contemptuously) My boy, the great illusionist!
Professor Xavier: For someone who hates mutants, you certainly keep some strange company.
Colonel William Stryker: Oh, they serve their purpose... as long as they can be controlled.
Professor Xavier (realizes, horrified): You arranged the attack on the President!
Colonel William Stryker: You didn't even have to read my mind. You know, I've been working with mutants as long as you have, Xavier...but the most frustrating thing I've learned is that nobody really knows how many even exist, or how to find them - except you. Unfortunately this little potion won't work on you, will it? You're much too powerful for that. Instead we'll go right to the source. Allow me to introduce mutant 143. The fluid secreted by his brain acts as a mind-controlling agent.
[Stryker introduces Jason, his son bounded on a wheelchair, who is also a mutant]
William Stryker: But that's only where it begins.
Professor Xavier (sickened): Jason. Oh, my God, William, this is your son! What have you -
Colonel William Stryker: NO, Charles! My son is dead... just like the rest of you.

[While Kurt prays, Ororo stumbles to him and look at Kurt's markings in his face]
Storm: So... what... are they?
Nightcrawler: They are angelic symbols passed on to mankind by the Archangel Gabriel.
Storm: They're beautiful. How many do you have?
Nightcrawler: One for every sin. So quite a few.
[Storm smiles]
Nightcrawler: You and Miss Grey are schoolteachers?
Storm: Yes. At a school for people like us, where we can be safe.
Nightcrawler: Safe from what?
Storm: Everyone else.
Nightcrawler: You know, outside of the circus, most people were afraid of me. But I did not hate them: I pitied them. Do you know why? Because most people will never know anything beyond what they see with their own two eyes.
Storm: Well, I gave up on pity a long time ago.
Nightcrawler: Someone so beautiful should not be so angry.
Storm: Sometimes anger can help you survive.
Nightcrawler: So can faith.

Magneto: His name is Colonel William Stryker, and he invaded your mansion for one purpose; he wanted Cerebro, or enough of it to build one of his own.
Dr. Jean Grey: But that doesn't make any sense. Stryker would need the Professor to operate it.
Magneto: Which I think is the only reason my old friend is still alive.
Storm: Oh, my God...[She, Jean, and Magneto exchange worried looks]
Wolverine: What are you all so afraid of?
Magneto: While Cerebro is working, Charles's mind is connected to every living person on the planet. If he were forced to concentrate hard enough on a particular group-let's say, mutants, for example-he could kill us all.
Storm: [incredulously] Wait a minute. How would Stryker even know where to find Cerebro in the first place?
Magneto: [ashamed] Because I told him. I helped Charles build it, remember? Mr. Stryker has powerful methods of persuasion, even against a mutant as strong as Charles.
Jean Grey: So who is this Stryker, anyway?
Magneto: He's a military scientist. He spent his whole life trying to solve the 'mutant problem'. If you want a more intimate perspective, why don't you ask Wolverine? [to Wolverine] You don't remember, do you? William Stryker: The only other man I know who can manipulate adamantium. The metal on your bones. It carries his signature.
Wolverine: But the Professor—
Magneto: The Professor trusted you were smart enough to discover this on your own. He gives you more credit than I do.

Pyro: So they say you're the bad guy.
Magneto: Is that what they say?
Pyro: That's a dorky-looking helmet. What's it for?
Magneto: This "dorky-looking helmet" is the only thing that's going to protect me from the real bad guys. [grabs Pyro's lighter with his power] What's your name?
Pyro: John.
Magneto: What's your real name, John?
Pyro: [collects a flame from the lighter and juggles a small fireball.] Pyro.
Magneto: That's quite a talent you have there, Pyro.
Pyro: I can only manipulate the fire. I can't create it. [closes his hand, extinguishing the flames]
Magneto: You are a god among insects. Never let anyone tell you different.

[Wolverine stops Stryker from escaping and forces his claws up into his armpit.]
Wolverine: How did it feel, bub?
Colonel William Stryker: Why did you come back?
Wolverine: You cut me open! You took my life!
Colonel William Stryker: You make it sound as if I stole something from you. As I recall, it was you volunteered for the procedure!
Wolverine: [Pauses] Who am I?
Colonel William Stryker: You are just a failed experiment. [Wolverine forces his claws up into his armpit even further, causing him to scream in pain] If you really knew about your past, what kind of person you were, the work that we did together...People don't change, Wolverine. You were an animal then, you're an animal now. I just gave you claws.
[An alarm sounds, distracting both men]
Wolverine: What the hell is that? What is it?!
Colonel William Stryker: The dam's ruptured. It's gonna flood water under the spillway. It's trying to relieve the pressure. It's too late. In a few minutes, we'll all be underwater...Come with me, and I'll tell you everything you wanna know. You can't help your friends. They're as good as dead, Wolverine. You're a survivor--always have been.
Wolverine: I thought I was just an animal. With claws. [Holds his claws up to Stryker's face] If we die, you die.
[He pulls out his claws from Stryker's armpit, then forces his back against the wheel of the helicopter and chains him up before running off]

[Wolverine approaches Stryker, who was chained to the chunk of the dam by Magneto earlier, while carrying Artie in his arms.]
Colonel William Stryker: Who has the answers, Wolverine? Those people, or that creature in your arms?
[Logan doesn't respond and turns to Artie, then turns back to Stryker]
Colonel William Stryker: Huh? Huh?!
[Wolverine puts down Artie, then yanks off his dog tags and throws them at Stryker's feet]
Wolverine: [picks up Artie] I'll take my chances with him. [walks away]
Colonel William Stryker: One day, someone will finish what I've started, Wolverine! One day! ONE DAY!!!
[While Wolverine walks away, Artie turns to Stryker and sticks out his lizard tongue at him]

[Professor Xavier has handed the President classified documents detailing Colonel Stryker's activities.]
President McKenna: Where did you get these?
Professor Charles Xavier: Let's just say I know a little girl who can walk through walls.


  • The time has come for those who are different to stand united.
  • Get ready for the return of the Evolution.
  • Evolution Continues.
  • The ones we fear most, will be all that can save us... again.
  • In this world wide conspiracy the only thing you can count on... Is the X factor.
  • First, they were fighting for acceptance. Now, they're battling for survival.
  • X-Men United.


Patrick StewartProfessor Charles Xavier
Hugh JackmanLogan/Wolverine
Ian McKellenEric Lehnsherr/Magneto
Halle BerryOroro Munroe/Storm
Famke JanssenJean Grey
James MarsdenScott Summers/Cyclops
Anna PaquinRogue
Rebecca RomijnRaven Darkholme/Mystique
Brian CoxWilliam Stryker
Alan CummingKurt Wagner/Nightcrawler
Bruce DavisonSenator Kelly
Aaron StanfordJohn Allerdyce/Pyro
Shawn AshmoreBobby Drake/Iceman
Kelly HuYuriko Oyama/Deathstrike
Katie StuartKitty Pryde
Kea WongJubilation Lee/Jubilee

About X2

  • "X2: X-Men United" is the kind of movie you enjoy for its moments, even though they never add up. Made for (and possibly by) those with short attention spans, it lives in the present, providing one amazing spectacle after another, and not even trying to develop a story arc. Having trained on the original "X-Men" (2000), i tried to experience the film entirely in the present, and the fact is, i had a good time. Dumb, but good.
  • Like all the characters in the Marvel Comics stable, the X-Men have psychological or political problems; in the first movie they were faced with genocide, and in this one their right to privacy is violated with the Mutant Registration Act. Of course there will be audience members who believe mutants should have no rights, and so "X2" provides a valuable civics lesson. (How you register a mutant who can teleport or shape-shift is not explained.)
  • Odd, then, that Wolverine is one of the dominant characters even though his X-Acto knuckles seem pretty insignificant compared to the powers of Pyro or Cyclops. In a convention borrowed from martial arts movies, "X2" pairs characters with matching powers, so that when Wolverine has his titanic battle, it's with an enemy also equipped with blades. What would happen if Pyro and Iceman went head to head? I visualize the two of them in a pool of hot water.
  • Since the earliest days of "Spider-Man," Marvel heroes have had personal problems to deal with, and there's a classic Stan Lee moment here in the scene where Iceman breaks the news to his parents that he is a mutant. The movie treats the dialogue as a coming out scene, half-seriously, as if providing inspiration for real-life parents and their children with secrets.
  • "X2: X-Men United" lacks a beginning, a middle and an end, and exists more as a self-renewing loop. In that it is faithful to comic books themselves, which month after month and year after year seem frozen in the same fictional universe.
  • On the first film, the studio was worried about the lead character stabbing people. We were like, “Yeah, okay, but he has nine inch blades that come out of his fists. People are going to get stabbed.” You can’t do what they do in the cartoons having him open doors or be the world’s most dangerous can opener. When we started to do X2 one of the first things I said to Bryan [Singer] was we needed to see Wolverine cut loose and just go on a rampage. We also knew we want the mansion be invaded. I think it was Bryan who said the others should be out of town and it should just be Wolverine watching the mansion, then you can see him tear into those people. We made sure the soldiers he was attacking were faceless. They got masks on, so you can stay in a PG-13 relm and murder a bunch of people. That’s what my 15-year-old self wanted to see from Wolverine.
  • When I first read this installment of the script, because I've been talking to fans, and if there's one thing they've said to me it was, 'You don't kick enough ass. Let's see that berserker rage!' I kind of thought about that, and I was like, 'Jeez, you're right.' When I went back to X-Men I, there really wasn't a lot there. I had a huge fight scene with Mystique, where I ended up on my back, knocked out, and there's a bit at the beginning, there wasn't a lot of that berserker rage. So, when I read the script, I thought the relationships were better, I thought it was funnier, I thought there was more action, but I still said, 'We've got to get even more action.' I kind of fought for a little bit more in the mansion scene sequence, particularly. That was a little more berserker rage there than was originally. But, apart from that, I thought the script had a great balance. I think it works for Wolverine's story. It's not like he's in the corner crying. He's at a crisis point where he's about to find out everything he's ever wanted to know, and as liberating as that would be, it's frightening as all hell. So, he's on edge. He's having these nightmares. So, it all kind of works in together with the action.
  • With the movie coming out in the aftermath of the military action in Iraq, Singer was asked if the troubled times made him nervous about people's reactions to the war theme in this film. "No, not at all, because the soldiers working in this film, they're not even working in the United States. They're working up in Alberta, in a secret base. They're working for a person who's completely rogue from the government. The President of the United States is very on the fence and very concerned, justifiably about issues. There are mutants who possess incredible power and who are terribly violent and dangerous to the human society and mutant society. I view these as henchmen, and in terms of fighter airplanes getting dogged and police getting dogged, no one in that sphere is really harmed. It's not about bullying the authority. I personally have tremendous faith and support of our authorities and military ... Having shown it to friends of mine in the military, they get a kick out of the fact that these soldiers are a bunch of rogue, dirt bags that get what's coming to them. And we see that. We definitely see that. This guy, Stryker, he's operating in his own universe. He's tricking the President, he's conning the President into his operation, so it's quite the opposite if anything. He's more of a terrorist."

See also

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