Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Magneto's right: there is a war coming. Are you sure you're on the right side?

X-men The Last Stand.

What to say about this flick?

Yeah, SPOILERS, whatever...

As a summer movie I enjoyed it. It hit all the right marks: tons of action and special effects- a couple of which were literally jaw-dropping for me- cheesy/ funny throw-away lines ("Let's see you grow those back,") and mutants with superpowers doing mutant superpowery things.

As the third (and last?) movie in a series I think it did some things a little better than the last two films (action, pacing) by sacrificing some of the things it could have used a little more of like character moments and just plain emotion in general. The main characters that die, particularly the first one that happens annoyingly off camera, do so with little emotional impact on the other characters. The "family" built in the first movie just doesn't appear to be present here.

There are characters that are mysteriously absent (Nightcrawler) and characters that might as well be since they end up background or off the screen through most of the movie anyway (Cyclops, Colossus, Rogue, Angel and even Professor X himself.)

As an X-Men movie I can't speak to the mythos as I never read the Dark Phoenix saga which has been apparently botched judging by the number of fans going apeshit over at Ain't It Cool News, but I will say that I did feel this film took a radical and perhaps fatal turn from something that's always been at the heart of these comics: mutation as an allegory for racism. The X-Men comics I DID read as a kid always seemed to be commenting on our prejudices.

The first two films captured that awesome pathos of the comics deriving from the fact that the X-men were despised by the very people they saved again and again just because they were different. What Last Stand seemed to be saying is those humans that despised the mutants, the General Strykers of the world, were right all along. Mutants can't be trusted.

Ultimately I think it was worth the admission and I'll probably by the film when it comes out on DVD but it could have been better, IMHO.


Don Snabulus said...

Yep, it was definitely bigger on action. I think the focus change was to play on terrorism fears to add dimension to the movie instead of character development. It was entertaining, but it didn't reach in to my psyche very far.

Dean Wormer said...


Did you have any hang-ups about the movie?

The Cyclops death thing really bugged me for some reason.

Don Snabulus said...

Not really, but mainly because I am not X-Men knowledgeable.

Anonymous said...

I liked it, I agree that the emotional impact of the serious events was not dealt with enough. I know nothing about the Dark Phoenix saga and so I thought the deaths made perfect sense and were the type of bold choices that you never see in an actual comic book even if the story demands it. This is one of the reasons comics become stagnant. I saw a lot of parallels to current issues like the NSA wiretapping, stem cell research, and the war in Iraq (We've got to fight the mutants over there so we don't have to fight them here) - so I think this movie succeeded in touching on current issues, although maybe not as obviously as the first two. The second and third movies in a "trilogy" are much harder than the first, I say this was a success.

My girlfriend didn't like the Magneto chess piece moment at the end.

Dean Wormer said...

I saw a lot of parallels to current issues like the NSA wiretapping, stem cell research, and the war in Iraq (We've got to fight the mutants over there so we don't have to fight them here)

I like that line.

One of the things that kind of bugged me I think the movie did a great job of bringing up those issues at the start and then sort of dropped them.

This may be because they took to wildly different story lines from the comic and mashed them together. The "cure" stuff was created by Joss Whedon for the X-Men comics recently.

The more you know...