Saw X-Men II over the weekend and also saw Matrix Reloaded the week before that. So I guess I'm all caught up on my summer movie watching for awhile, at least until Finding Nemo comes out next week.
I give both movies a thumbs up. The Matrix sequel did not disappoint on the special effects action sequences and I thought the story line was advanced in an interesting direction with a particularly enticing tease at the end of the film that should be resolved in the final chapter.
Don't listen to the movie critics who are panning this film. Most of them probably panned the first film when it came out, but now hold it up as the gold standard and bash the sequel by comparison. I don't think you need to compare the two films any more than you need to compare two chapters of the same book. Which one did you like better? What does it matter? The only thing that matters is whether or not you like the book.
X-Men II on the other hand was not like the next chapter of a book so much as the latest issue of a comic book series and for my money it was a better movie than the first. Perhaps that is because the characters were already established for me and they could dive straight into the narrative of the story without any long detours to flesh out background details. Whatever the reason, I was entertained by the film and look forward to No. 3 which is undoubtedly in the works.