8:00 PM, 9th August, 2003
Time is running out for Mutants as William Stryker (Cox), a wealthy former Army commander, is planning an attack that could wipe them from the face of the planet. The opening scene (which, I must say, is unbelievably good) features an attack in the Oval Office by mutant fundamentalists, and the response is extreme. With an attack pending on the school, plenty of people plotting against them and their forces spread thin, the mutants are definitely in trouble. The movie does not waste much time with back story, it just lets the characters and action tell you what's going on ? but it succeeds tremendously as a whole.
The special effects are fantastic, and the characters behind the effects and powers are believable ? which makes this movie. I find myself leaning towards ranking this higher than its predecessor, but both are great. X2 just plain works. My only complaint is that I didn't want it to end ? I wanted more ? and one mutant just doesn't get enough screen time (I felt sorry for them), but all in all this is one hell of a film.
10:00 PM, 9th August, 2003
Built on the success of Shanghai Noon, Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson star in this typical action/comedy flick that follows the two heroes on their quest for revenge upon the murderers of Chan's father. Shanghai Knights is more of the same in the new and exotic setting of Victorian England. The trite Hollywood fluff that is now used to replace plot and substance is worth tolerating to see some excellent fight sequences, choreographed to perfection and with a sense of humour that is idiosyncratic of Chan. This reviewer's particular favourite is the fight scene stylized after Mary Poppins (rather anachronistically, I suppose), but with other nods to the contemporary legends of the day such as Jack the Ripper and Arthur Conan Doyle, this film is certainly worth watching. It seems that Jackie Chan can rescue almost any film from the depths of Hollywood murk.