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File:Xmen 2 poster 2675.jpg

The second movie in the X-Men series involves mutants who are being mind-controlled somehow, starting with Nightcrawler attempting to assassinate the President; government operatives then kidnap Cyclops and Professor X. The X-Men investigate and find out that the two are related: the soldiers are under the command of Col. William Stryker (Brian Cox), who is using a mutant to project false images into other mutants' minds. By brain-washing Professor X into overpowering the "Cerebro" telepathy machine, he intends to kill all currently-living mutants. Magneto and his Brotherhood Of Mutants ally with the X-Men to stop this from happening (hence the subtitle of the movie: "X2: X-Men United"). Meanwhile, Wolverine delves into his past involvement with the "Weapon X" project, which (of course) Stryker was in charge of.

Not to be confused with the series of sci-fi videogames by the name X, whose second entry is entitled X2.

Tropes used in X2: X-Men United include:


  • Aerial Canyon Chase: Lacking a conveniently placed canyon with which to perform this, Storm uses her weather manipulating powers to create one from tornadoes, giving the X-Men a chance to escape. It has the added benefit of making sure the inevitable crashes aren't actually fatal for their pursuers, but also the downside of allowing a clean missile lock.
  • And I Must Scream: Look at the sheer horror on Deathstryke's face when the serum controlling her briefly wears off. Particularly when she looks at her hands and remembers the pain of being bonded with adamantium, likely because she was being controlled during that as well.
    • This applies to Jason as well, when one considers what his father did/does to him.
  • Asshole Victim: Mitchell Laurio. He's a thug who's shown to enjoy beating up an old man stripped of any powers that would allow him to fight back, so no one minds too much when Mystique sets him up for a death allowing Magneto to escape.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Kurt.
  • Bait the Dog: Just when you're starting to cheer on Magneto as he charges alongside the X-Men to Xavier's rescue, he has to go and use Xavier to try to wipe out most of the human race.
  • Blessed with Suck: Jones, one of many of the Xavier Institute's students. He can change television channels by blinking, but he never sleeps.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Various mutants (including Nightcrawler, Cyclops and Deathstryke), by Stryker. Also Xavier, by Stryker's mutant son Jason, who is himself Lobotomized and Crazy.
  • Call Back: When the mutants are flying to Alkali Lake, Magneto and Mystique sarcastically say that they like the white parts of Rogue's hair. Those parts were turned white by Magneto's machine during the climax of the first X-Men movie.
  • Creator Cameo: The security guards for Magneto's prison are all named after production staff. Director Bryan Singer gets his own pic, uniform and all, while the rest are given stock male photos.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Stryker takes one look at Wolverine, and realizes it's a fake.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Nightcrawler, despite his demonic appearance, is good-hearted and God-fearing.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Magneto to Stryker when he finally gets a chance to get some payback for his treatment in prison. Mind you, Stryker was already having his brain liquified by Cerebro, and Magneto felt like chaining him to a concrete slab anyway.
  • Dramatic Landfall Shot: The closing shot.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Dr. Henry McCoy A.K.A Beast appears briefly on TV in the bar.
    • And the guy who is arguing with him is Dr. Shaw. Who dies in First Class, showing the continuities are quite off.
      • Though it is possible Dr. Shaw in X2 could have been one of Sebastian's sons, and Hank could have found a way to revert back to human form before changing again fully. Or, more likely, it's just a case of people just having the same name.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: One of Stryker's mooks asks: "May I ask sir... why are we keeping the children here?"
  • Evil All Along: Magneto, who, right after saving the mutants of the world, can't resist seizing the opportunity to use Stryker's technique against humanity.
  • Evil Cripple: Jason Stryker, provided his father was telling the truth about him deliberately driving his mother to suicide, and that wasn't just Jason being unable to control his powers or unaware of what he was doing.
  • False-Flag Operation
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: William Stryker's computer desktop is a treasure trove of shout outs. You'll see folders marked things like 'Victor Creed', 'Omega Red', 'Maximoff (2)', 'Project: Wideawake', 'Franklin Richards', and so many more!
  • "Have You Tried Not Being A Mutant?"
  • Handy Cuffs: On Mystique; not that handcuffs of any type would have been useful on a shapeshifter. She was disguised as Wolverine at the time, and the cuffs would have worked very well on him, being designed in such a way that if he extended his claws he'd cut off his own head.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Jean Grey.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Stryker's mutant-killing machine is ultimately turned on humans instead, which naturally includes Stryker himself. It gets shut off before it can do the job, of course, but it was long enough to make sure Stryker never escaped.
  • Inferred Holocaust:
    • Someone must have been killed by Cerebro 2 affecting the whole world (people having surgery, in traffic, landing planes, etc.).
    • Storm setting off a bunch of tornadoes in the New England countryside.
  • Instant Sedation: Stryker's tranq darts (although Wolverine is understandably immune but momentarily dazed). All the kids hit by them go down in a snap.
  • Jerkass: Ronnie, Bobbie's brother, calls the cops on Bobbie and his friends under the pretense that they were holding his family hostage.
  • Manchurian Agent: In conjunction with Brainwashed and Crazy.
  • Market-Based Title: The film's simply called X-Men 2 in the UK, France, Brazil, Finland and several other countries.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Colossus' voice was dubbed, apparently to add to his Arnold Schwarzenegger resemblance.
  • No Matter How Much I Beg: It helps a shapeshifter is in the facility.
  • No Sell: Xavier is, understandably, immune to just about every telepathic attack imaginable. Now, if he were under the effects of a Power Nullifier and bombarded with illusions for two days straight...
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Stryker's embuing Logan with his adamantium skeleton is what allowed him to survive, and deliver the killing blow to, Phoenix in X Men the Last Stand
  • The Other Darrin: Jubilee and Shadowcat are played by different actresses.
  • Party Scattering: Prof. X and Cyclops are captured at the same time but taken to different areas where different things happen to them. Storm and Jean go after Nightcrawler and eventually run into Magneto. The government kidnaps several mutants and take them to their facility. Wolverine and a few of the students escape the mansion and hide out at Iceman's house for a while. They come back in the third act.
  • Psychic Radar: It's already been seen in the previous film that Cerebro amplifies Xavier's powers to give him greater range and accuracy. Here he uses it to allow him to track even a mutant who can teleport and it's further revealed that he can use it to sense the location of every mutant or every human on the planet. Concentrating hard enough will give them all a really serious Psychic Nosebleed.
  • Psychotic Wink: Magneto performs one after admonishing the (dead) guard for unwittingly aiding in his escape.
  • Taking the Bullet: Subverted when Colossus covers some young students from gunfire, telling them to escape. And then proceeds to kick ass.
  • Throwing Out the Script: The President discusses his speech as he walks down a hall with some staffers, then his speech is in the teleprompter, and he's going live when Professor X and the rest of the X-Men pay him a visit and provide him with documents from Col. Stryker's office. The X-Men leave, time resumes for the staffers, and the POTUS touches the file on his desk and begins to improvise...
  • Too Dumb to Live: So, you have a school for the members of a severely hated group, and this school possesses very advanced technology. Why on earth do you not have a security system? I mean, even if you don't do anything to stop invaders from just climbing over the wall and jumping through the windows, at least have an alarm so they don't catch half of everyone asleep!
    • To be fair, said soldiers may have disabled the security - it was mutant powers and Wolverine they weren't prepared for.
    • Actually they do have an early warning system, it's called Charles Xavier. Now if he were not at the school and got captured...
  • Pineapple Surprise: How Magneto takes out a squad of mooks.
  • Real Men Love Jesus: Nightcrawler kicks ass, and is a very devout Christian.
  • Sequel Hook: The Phoenix underneath Alkali Lake.
  • Ship Tease: Nightcrawler and Storm. It doubles in content if you read the novelisation.

 Nightcrawler: I'm not going anywhere, Ororo.

Storm: I like it when you say my name...

Nightcrawler: I like saying your name...

  Magneto: Mr. Laurio, never trust a beautiful woman. Especially one who's interested in you.

  • Shown Their Work: Some dam-blowing research was made.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Jean, to Wolverine: "Women like to flirt with a dangerous man. They don't marry him. They marry the good guy."
  • Sickly Green Glow: Stryker's base.
  • Slipping a Mickey: Mystique slips a drug into Magneto's guard's drink in order to knock him out so she could inject enough metal in his body for Magneto to sense and manipulate to break out of prison.
  • Standard Snippet: Mozart's Dies Irae plays during the opening scene where Nightcrawler is bamfing through the White House, and it's arguably the most memorable music moment in the entire series.
  • The Stool Pigeon: Magneto was a Lacerated Larry in the beginning: It is strongly implied that Stryker had arrived at Magneto's cell beforehand and injected him with the same brainwashing serum from his son to get him to lure Professor X into his prison so X could be captured.
  • Trouble Magnet Gambit: Mystique pulls one on one of Magneto's prison guards.
  • Viewers are Morons: Originally, Xavier's hallucination of him returning to the mansion was much more convincing, with scenes of him teaming up with Jason to free Scott and hypnotizing a guard into helping them escape via a helicopter. The problem was, the screening audiences mistook the hallucination for the reality of the movie and were confused by how later scenes conflicted with that.
  • What Could Have Been: Originally, Ray Park was to return as Toad and get into a fight with Nightcrawler, however, schedule conflicts prevented this.
  • While You Were in Diapers: Stryker to Kelly (amusing, as "Kelly" is actually Mystique, who is significantly older than Stryker).
    • And of the two actors, Brian Cox is actually only about three weeks older than Bruce Davison (Who admittedly doesn't look his age at all)
  • Window Love: Wolverine and Stryker, through a wall of ice.
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