X-Men: The Last Stand.
X-Men - A group of mutants fighting for mutant rights in a world that hates and persecutes them for being different.
The - Used before an absolute adjective.
Last - Said absolute adjective. Meaning final, climactic, definitive, terminal, ultimate.
Stand - "To Take a Stand" means to fight for what one beleives in. In conjunction with 'Last' implies a final battle of ideologies, to determine, once and for all, whoe right, and who is left.
Those were the parts and now for the sum. X-Men: The Last Stand - a terrific movie.
The third (and supposedly final) installment in Marvel's X-Men movie franchise hit theaters last week. Maybe the word 'hit' is not the right word to use in this context. To quote a certain ever-lovin'-blue-eyed individual the movie clobbered theatres last week.
In its first weekend the film made a record-breaking debut. But is it really that good?
The short answer is yes, it really is.
But we're not here for the short answer, are we? X-Men: The Last Stand borrows elements from various story-arcs in the merry mutants library. Strolling through the Claremont classic "Dark Phoenix Saga", and even borrowing from modern instant-hit "Astonishing X-Men" by Joss Whedon (of Buffy and Firefly fame). The storyline, in brief, talks about a so-called 'cure' for the mutant condition. Many disagreements insue, with the major players being, quite obviously, the X-Men and Magneto's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
On the blue side, the X-Men roster features veterans Wolverine and Storm, joined by new-comers Iceman, Kitty Pride (aka Shadowcat, though never called that in the movie), Colossus, Rogue and Beast (played superbly by Kelsey Gramer (Fraiser)). The Red side, Magneto's Brotherhood, sports old Mags himself, Pyro, Multiple Man, Juggernaut, Callisto, Arclight, about a hundred or so generic mutants used as cannon fodder, and the Brotherhood's secret weapon - Jean Grey, the Dark Phoenix.
While there are some very powerful scenes, containing tear-wrenching deaths, they will not be described here to avoid spoiling them for people who have not seen the movie.
(As a side note and a word to the wise: When the movie is over and the credits roll, stay in your seat, there is a scene after the credits which will blow you away.)
And now the bad stuff. I have two main complaints with this movie. The first is the lack of balance between characters. Wolverine and Storm dominate the film, and appear on screen for most of it, while fan-favorite characters like Colossus and Kitty Pride barely show up (Colossus had one spoken line in the entire film). One could also argue the use of Angel in the movie as totally pointless, and serving no purpose aside from being a catalyst to geth the "cure" storyline going.
The second gripe I have with the movie is the choice of villains. It's not that I haven a problem with Magneto or Dark Pheonix, on the contrary, I think both are excellent villains. It is just that each could have held the movie together individually. Using both is like using a flame-thrower to light candles on a birthday cake. You can't fully use either of them. This ends up resulting in seriousl down-playing Pheonix' role in the film, which is a shame becasue Pheonix is an excellent character, and a more intriguing villain than Magneto.
Aside from those two main comments, X-Men: The Last Stand is a good movie, and is truly worth watching, even if you do not read the comics. It is quite clear that we have not seen the last of the mutants on the silver screen. While the appearance of future X-Men films is unclear right now, it has been anounced that Marvel plans on making a "Wolverine" and "Magneto" films. Personally, I am looking forward to seeing both movies, and can't wait to find out more information about the two. But hey, that's just me...
Sunday, June 04, 2006
X-Men: The Last Stand.