Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Movie Review: X-Men - The Last Stand

Surprisingly good. I enjoyed it as much as, if not more than, the first X-Men flick.

It's a comic book movie, so if you are expecting an air-tight plot or believable action, then it will disappoint you. But if you're satisfied with good special effects and standard super-hero battles, then it will exceed your expectations.

The plot keeps you guessing (at least if you're not a fan of the comic book, and don't know the story ahead of time) and the ending is actually satisfying. I'm not sure how long the movie was, but I was disappointed that it was ending...I wish it had lasted a bit longer...and that's not something I say often.

One of the more interesting conflicts in this series is between Wolverine and Magneto. Wolverine, the hero of the X-Men, is 100% helpless against the bad guy, Magneto, because of the metal grafted into his skeleton. Magneto could turn him inside out at any moment, but time and again chooses to spare him. This gives the villian significant more depth and complexity than usual comic book evildoers.

Spoilers to follow...

There's a twist on your standard morality play here...Magneto, while perhaps more extreme than necessary, is actually right. The humans offered the mutant "cure" as a voluntary procedure, but then made weapons equipped with it. The president says "I fear for democracy when a single man can move cities with his mind", clearly displaying a desire to impose this "cure" on all mutants. The "Office of Mutant Affairs" turns out to be a token agency, granted no real powers, and left out of the government information loop. And at the end, after the X-Men defeat Magneto's army, the human soldiers open fire on them anyway. If not for Jean Grey, recruited by Magneto, (indirectly causing the death of Dr. Xavier) then all of the X-Men would have returned to pure human form.

So yes, the X-Men were heroes, they won the day. But without Magneto, they'd be regular humans, at best. Surprisingly, this point is underplayed in the movie itself.

And the X-Men has romance too. Nothing says "I love you" like admantium claws thrust into your heart.


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