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So, continuing on with the theme week, we have a sequel that improves upon the original in ways that are quite significant. As I’m sure you’re aware, I recommend you see the movie first. With that out of the way, let’s press on.

STORY

The idea of Magneto and the X-Men uniting against a common enemy is likely nothing new (especially where the comics are concerned), but this movie does it well, and considering that the audience is likely frightened out of their skin by this common enemy, it seems like it’s within their best interests in every way, even if Magneto inevitably betrays the X-Men’s other interests. On top of that, the cast is given more refined personalities and comes together better as an ensemble than the first movie. (Still waiting for Storm to earn her place, though.) In conclusion, color me impressed.

Story Grade: 95% (A)

CHARACTERS

With the unfortunate exception of Storm, every character is more developed here. On top if that, I think I’m gonna put all my cards on the table: Stryker is the scariest “X-Men” villain I’ve ever seen. The level of spite he has against mutants is quite frightening, and the lengths he’ll go to to see his warped world vision come to fruition are very disturbing. This area is much better than the first in every way.

Characterization Grade: 95% (A)

SCRIPT

Very solid.

Script Grade: 95% (A)

DIRECTION

Singer’s much more assured here than the first, to the point where I might just consider this movie among his best work (not counting the other things he’s done I haven’t seen). Color me impressed.

Direction Grade: 95% (A)

ACTING

Dock ten points for Halle Berry as Storm (seriously, what’s wrong with you, Singer, wasting the talents of an Oscar winner?), but that still leaves…

Acting Grade: 90% (A-)

ACTION

Bigger, badder, and surprisingly more brutal than the last film. Aside from the overly long climax, I’m impressed.

Action Grade: 85% (B)

EXECUTION

It’s all well-done, to the point where I might consider it among the best superhero movies I’ve seen.

Execution Grade: 95% (A)

FINAL THOUGHTS

Let’s jut calculate it.

Final Grade: 94% (A)

Okay, next time, we’ll be reviewing “X-Men: The Last Stand.” I’m not too thrilled with that, not even when it comes to the inevitable thrashing. Why? You’ll find out tomorrow. See you then!

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