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X-Men: The Last Stand

I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed. I had reservations going in, and they were justified. The movie felt very much cobbled together and somewhat dumbed-down (Magneto's little comment to Wolverine about being able to smell his adamantium a mile away smacked of the Exposition Fairy, for example).

Note: if you haven't seen it yet and intend to do so, stay until the very end of the credits, and don't read any further.

Good performances from the cast helped to improve things a bit, but if this is the last one, then I think that the second remains the winner. The two plots didn't seem to integrate well: I felt we got far too little time with Jean after her resurgence.

D. was a bit frustrated by the complete disregard for canon. I was surprised by some of the slapped-together editing and caught at least one continuity error. I usually never catch those, so for me to notice, it must've been pretty blatant. Mystique's makeup was worn off on the bottom of her foot when she was breaking out of her cell. Also, the edit on Magneto at the end seemed very jumpy. Maybe they'll fix this in the DVD.

D. mentioned the ethics of Xavier's decision at the very end, and I'm certainly not sure what to think of it. Even if it's a clone, one has to wonder a little: if he always had that route, why retain his disability? Don't get me wrong: I think that was one of the best uses of end-credit time I've seen, and I was happy to see his return, but it raises many questions, some of which seem inconsistent with what we know of Charles Xavier. On the other hand, this wouldn't be the first time that the movies have portrayed Professor X in a way that differed from his depiction in the comic.

I really didn't see the point of including Angel. He seemed a decorative cameo at best. Kelsey Grammer, on the other hand, was enjoyable as Beast, and I thought Ellen Page certainly portrayed Kitty Pryde's vulnerability, although she didn't get much screen time to give us much more than that. Ian McKellen just has so much presence, and I'm apparently not the only one who loves him as Magneto, given that there's apparently a Magneto project in the works.

I still wish Nightcrawler had been in it. I was glad to see Pyro return, because he works well for me as Emperor Magneto's blunt lackey on the Dark Side of the Force.

We got a little teaser for Snakes on a Plane; it was playfully self-aware, and definitely suggests that they've got the marketing angle right. We also got a trailer for Superman Returns. I know I'll see it, but I've disliked the feel of every single trailer for it. I hope Singer knows what he's doing. More and more, I'm thinking that he shouldn't have left X-Men. My Super Ex-Girlfriend looks totally lame from the trailer. Joss, hurry up and cast Wonder Woman, already.

I've got my list of coming attractions, but so far we're almost halfway through the year and V for Vendetta remains the best movie released in 2006 that I've seen.

My X2 review is here, for anyone who's interested.

EDIT, 5/27/2006, 10:04 pm: Comments contain spoilers.

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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
arafel
May. 28th, 2006 01:32 am (UTC)
We didn't stay to the end of the credits. What did we miss?
pointedview
May. 28th, 2006 02:09 am (UTC)
Professor Xavier is alive. Remember that tabula rasa man that was hooked up to the respirator that he used during his little session with the students about ethics? In the end credits, we see the man wake up, and speak with Xavier's voice. His consciousness is there now, and he's apparently being cared for by Moira McTaggart, who says "Charles?".
mumpish
May. 28th, 2006 10:39 am (UTC)
Exposition Fairy? How about 'her powers must have wrapped her in a cocoon of telekenetic stasis,' uttered without a shred of irony, to which none of Xavier's companions responded 'oh, come on.'

I'm intrigued by the high profile of death in this film. I haven't watched the first two in quite some time, but it strikes me apart from a few key characters, nobody really dies in the first two films. Toad and Sabertooth might die in the first film - at best it's unclear. The senator definitely does. Brian Cox's character and a couple of chief baddies die at the end of the the second film; Logan probably kills a couple of the school invaders at the beginning of the film. But the third film ratchets up the violence considerably, to the point of large numbers of people literally being blown away; there's a highly violent scene with Logan as well, and Magneto could not have pulled off the bridge scene without deliberately killing plenty of innocent and uninvolved bystanders. In men-in-tights fiction it's highly unusual, to say the least. Usually the dire threat, whatever it is, remains a threat.

Not that that particularly bothers me. I'm aware (mainly because David says so) that Magneto's duality in the films is not canon, but it works for me. So well, in fact, that I don't think he's a villain at all - in all three films I've morally identified with him - that is, if the reality of the film truly existed, I think his position is the only one that makes sense. Magneto, whatever his lack of concern for human life, understands human nature.

We walked out after the chessboard scene. What happened at the end of the credits?
catarzyna
May. 28th, 2006 05:26 pm (UTC)
I actually enjoyed the movie, in fact I think they did a good job. I don't think that Wolvie had to kill Phoenix/Jean because they had Leech. Why didn't they think to use Wolvie as a distraction then bring the child closer to her and neutralize her powers? Unless they are using this as another means for her to 'rise from the ashes' so-to-speak. I'm thinking that there is going to be some interesting plot twists in the next movie. Anything that Phoenix/Jean did will be undone and/or those who were 'cured' were only temporarily blocked from their powers. I see this as a transitional movie more so than anything else. I feel that they are setting the stage for larger developments. Kudos to Kelsey Grammer for playing an awesome Beast!
catarzyna
May. 28th, 2006 05:43 pm (UTC)
My Super Ex-Girlfriend looks totally lame from the trailer. Joss, hurry up and cast Wonder Woman, already.

I agree on both counts!

Who do you want to play WW?
twr
May. 28th, 2006 10:50 pm (UTC)
One of the things I really *did* like is that Professor Xavier will get all high and mighty and preach about ethics, but when push comes to shove, he can do some very cold things. I (of course) can't think of any examples from the comics, but I know he has done some decidedly un-ethical things.

In the movie, I feel his establishing mental blocks for Jean's powers were a good example of this, so it's not so surprising that when she's going to pull him apart into his component molecules that he'd send his conciousness into another body with no higher brain functions--so sure, that route was always there--but taking over another body, even one with no conciousness is a big deal, and not just something he'd do to get rid of his disability. It also bears thought that he may very well have come to identify himself with his disability, and so--even with this option availible, wouldn't WANT to take it as long as his body, paralysis and all, was still availible.

But . . . Callisto. Whaaat!? Calbian was the one who could sense mutants and their powers, and the only super-speedy mutant I can think of offhand is Quicksilver. But then, as far as I remember, Callisto had no real powers. Like . . . maybe she was slightly stronger and faster than normal people--but not really superhuman. I believe Storm beat her in a duel in the comics without using her weather powers.

But I digress. I actually quite liked this movie . . . though did anybody think that maybe at the end, Magneto's strategy could've been a little bit better? I mean, of the six opponents he was facing, TWO of them had powers dependant on ferrous metals. Why didn't he just pick up Wolverine and Collosus and toss 'em into the bay? Silly super-villian.


















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