Xpress, the Coolest Section of the St. Petersburg Times, is the home for features, news and views of interest to young readers. Most of the work in Xpress, which appears on Mondays in Floridian, is produced by the Times' X-Team. The team of journalists ages 9-17 from around the Tampa Bay area is selected every year at the end of the school year to serve during the following school term. The current team of 12 was chosen out of 150 applicants. Watch for X-Team application forms in Xpress during the month of May.

Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

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Movie Review

Mutants unite for an 'X'-cellent sequel

Published May 12, 2003

Pyro of the X-Men
[Photo: Twentieth Century Fox]
Pyro, played by Aaron Stanford, uses his power to control fire to fight off police in X2: X-Men Unite.

Movie: X2: X-Men United

Rating: PG-13

Summary: A lone mutant makes an attempt to kill the president, and that changes the nation's view of mutants. A military general named William Stryker (Brian Cox), who created Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), is determined to wipe out the mutants. So despite their differences, all the X-Men unite to protect their race. Even Magneto (Ian McKellen), who was once the arch enemy of the X-Men, after escaping from his plastic prison, joins in the fight.

My View: What fun! The "teamwork" element of this movie truly separates it from other superhero flicks - Spider-Man, Batman, Superman. Those are all fine, but it's extra fun to watch this team of mutants work together to reach a common goal. The effects sequences far surpass those in the first X-Men. They are more riveting and dazzling. Alan Cumming's character, Kurt Wagner the Nightcrawler (the character that attacked the president), is highly amusing. He is well-developed, with a unique personality that starkly contrasts what you expect after viewing the violent opening scene. Looks like X2 is going to fair quite well in theaters!

Recommendations: You don't have to be a Marvel comic fan to understand and appreciate the movie. It's one of those you can just kick back and enjoy. There are some scenes that are quite violent, so keep the PG-13 rating in mind.

Grade: A

- Billy Norris, 15, is in ninth grade at Seminole High School, and is a former member of the Times' X-Team.

[Last modified May 9, 2003, 12:57:45]

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