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X-Men 2 – E4

Hugh Jackman leaps into action as Wolverine

An action-packed comic-book sequel. 4/5 stars

Using a maverick mutant's attack on the White House as his excuse, malicious US government man Brian Cox declares war on Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and his mutant community. Xavier is taken captive, but the sharp-clawed Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is soon organising a spectacular fight back.

Wolverine's extended clash with a female opponent of similar powers is just one of the many outstanding action scenes, but it's the fact that Ian McKellen's villainous Magneto is, at least temporarily, on his side that gives the story its biggest boost.

Magneto's sultry sidekick Mystique (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) stirs up some standout shape-shifting suspense and Alan Cumming is a hoot as the mild-mannered German mutant Nightcrawler. A perfect movie comic book.

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.