Film and Plot Synopsis
X2: X-Men United begins after Magneto’s defeat in X-Men. A mutant teleporter named Nightcrawler wreaks havoc in the heavily guarded Oval Office; triggering a military assault at Professor Xavier’s school for mutants. Bent on annihilating all meta-humans, the religious fanatic and scientist, Colonel William Stryker, abducts Professor X in hopes of using his brain in conjunction with a mutant-detecting device called the Cerebro to search and destroy every superhuman. With Professor X’s life in danger, the remaining X-Men have no other choice but to join forces with Magneto to have a fighting chance at survival.
‘X2: X-Men United’ Movie Summary
At Xavier’s school for mutants, Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) has been having premonitions and is having difficulty maintaining her focus to keep her powers under control. Despite her difficulties, Xavier sends her and Ororo “Storm” Monroe (Halle Berry) to Boston to capture Nightcrawler whom the Professor tracked using his mutant detecting machine Cerebro. Wolverine returns to the school just as they are leaving. Xavier and Scott “Cyclops” Summers (James Marsden) are also leaving to question Erik “Magneto” Lehnsherr (Ian McKellen) about the attack. Magneto is currently imprisoned in a glass cell at a secret government facility. This leaves Wolverine to take care of the kids at the school.
Meanwhile, Colonel William Stryker (Brian Cox) is meeting with the President in an attempt to get his approval to investigate Xavier’s school for potential mutant activity. During the meeting, Senator Robert Kelly (Bruce Davison) walks in and suggests caution in light of the fact that there are children in the school. Senator Kelly is actually shapeshifting mutant Raven “Mystique” Darkhölme (Rebecca Romijn) in disguise who is attempting to discover information concerning Magneto’s location.
With the President’s blessing, Stryker leads an attack on the school to detain all mutants. His forces invade the school and begin tranquilizing all the students until Wolverine begins leading a counter attack made up of himself and Peter “Colossus” Rasputin. While Colossus leads a bulk of the students to safety, Wolverine stays to fight the soldiers. However, when he encounters Stryker, the Colonel indicates that he knows the lethal mutant. Rogue (Anna Paquin), Bobby “Iceman” Drake (Shawn Ashmore), and John “Pyro” Allerdyce (Aaron Stanford) plead with Wolverine to stay with them rather than go with Stryker, which Logan finally does.
Meanwhile, Mystique is able to infiltrate Stryker’s facility and discovers information about Magneto’s detention facility. She also finds blueprints and schematics for a second Cerebro machine. At the same time, Xavier and Cyclops are captured by Stryker’s forces while visiting Magneto in prison. Prior to their capture, Xavier discovers that Stryker has been using some sort of mind control over Magneto to gain information about Xavier. Shortly thereafter, Mystique is able to finally break Magneto out of the glass prison.
Wolverine takes Rogue, Iceman, and Pyro to Iceman’s parents’ house in Boston. Once there, they meet up with Storm, Jean, and Nightcrawler, who has also been under Stryker’s control for some time. While the mutants attempt to leave the area in their plane, the Blackbird, they are attacked by fighter jets. One of the jets is able to shoot the Blackbird down and the plane spins out of control towards the Earth until it suddenly stops in mid-air. Magneto has saved them with his magnetic powers.
Magneto explains to the group that Stryker has built the second Cerebro to telepathically kill every mutant on the planet, and now that he has Xavier, he has the one mutant with the power to do it. Magneto also reveals that Stryker is using his own son, Jason (Michael Reid MacKay), who is a mutant with mind control powers. Magneto reveals to Wolverine that Stryker was the person who gave him his adamantium skeleton as well as his amnesia. Magneto has Jean read Nightcrawler’s mind to determine that Stryker’s base is under the dam at the abandoned Alkali Lake facility.
The group flies to Canada. Mystique, disguised as Wolverine, is able to infiltrate the base and allows the rest of the mutants into the base. Magneto and Mystique go to disable the second Cerebro before the brainwashed Xavier kills all the mutants on Earth. Storm and Nightcrawler free all the captured students, while Jean is forced to battle her boyfriend Cyclops, who is under Stryker’s control. Wolverine tracks Stryker to an adamantium smelting lab, which brings back some fragmented memories. Stryker has his personal bodyguard, Yuriko “Lady Deathstrike” Oyama (Kelly Hu), fight Wolverine. Wolverine is shocked to see Deathstrike also has adamantium claws as well. Wolverine kills Deathstrike and continues to pursue Stryker, who he eventually catches and chains to the wheel of a helicopter. Meanwhile, Cyclops’ blasts during his battle with Jean have weakened the structural integrity of the dam, which begins to rupture.
Magneto is able to get into the second Cerebro. He has Mystique impersonate Stryker who tells his son to have Xavier telepathically kill all the humans on the planet. Realizing the dam is getting ready to collapse, Magneto and Mystique leave using Stryker’s helicopter. Magneto leaves Stryker chained to a wall in the forest. Nightcrawler and Storm work together to stop the brainwashed Xavier. Nightcrawler teleports Storm into the Cerebro chamber where she lowers the temperature so low that Jason can’t maintain his control over Xavier.
The X-Men flee the dam just as the water engulfs the area, including the wall where Stryker was bound. They board the Blackbird so that they can get out of the way of the rushing water, but the plane won’t start. Jean leaves the plane and uses her now blossoming power to restart the engines of the plane and keep the rushing water away. As she uses her power, flames erupt from her body. She uses Xavier to telepathically say goodbye to her friends, before allowing the water to overtake her, presumably killing her.
Despite their grief, the X-Men fly to Washington D.C. where the President is about to give a speech about the mutant threat. Xavier uses his power to telepathically freeze everyone in the Oval Office while Nightcrawler teleports the entire X-Men team into the building. Xavier reveals to the President that Stryker was the true enemy, and warns him that humans and mutants must work together for both to survive. Once Xavier releases all the minds of the frozen staff and the mutants have teleported away, the President looks uncertain as to his next course of action.
Back at Xavier’s school, Xavier, Cyclops, and Wolverine mourn the loss of Jean. Wolverine, who was in love Jean, reveals to Cyclops that she chose to be with Cyclops. Xavier begins to teach a class, but stops suddenly as if sensing something in the distance. He smiles before resuming his teachings. The scene cuts to Alkali Lake where the fiery image of a Phoenix begins to appear under the water.