Wednesday, May 31, 2006

X-Men: The Last Stand

In two words, misspent potential. In more than two words, there was just too much going on here. After the phoenix tease at the end of X2, I was both expecting and excited about the next sequel being an update of the Dark Phoenix Saga. Obviously there wouldn't be any trips to the moon for our heroes this time around, but the idea that the power of The Phoenix was something Jean already possessed and that Professor X had placed mental blocks in Jean's mind to control it was a perfectly suitable explanation for the sudden power she would emerge with after her "death." And that's about all that works in this movie.

To begin with, there are two (three if you count the danger room sequence that mirrors some of the action in the Days of Future Past story arc) plots working in this movie that should have been pictures in and of themselves. The possibility of the X-Men taking on a suddenly powerful and malevolent Jean Grey practically requires it's own movie. Instead it's given short shrift as we watch her stand around looking tormented and vaguely bored for an hour and a half while the script tries to shoehorn in a second plot concerning a "cure" for mutants and Magneto's desire to destroy it. This, too, could have been a movie in and of itself. I always enjoyed the comic book because it routinely addressed social issues like prejudice and racism in it's pages, and were the "cure" plot fleshed out more it could have been an excellent metaphor but was instead just a reason for Magneto to get all huffy. Seperate, they would have been incredible. Together they form an entirely anti-climactic ending to what has so far been an excellent franchise. I'm not entirely certain if the "stunning" deaths and changes of several key characters (I won't spoil it for you, but I'm sure you'll figure it out) really do signal an end to the franchise or not since, like soap opera characters, mutants never really die, but from what I've heard this is all the X we get and it was a severely dissapointing end for me. Special mention must be made, however, of the casting of Kelsey Grammer as The Beast. This is probably the most inspired casting choice I've seen in awhile (who knew Frasier could be an action hero?) and he plays him perfectly.

If there is an X4, I demand Halle Berry wear the mohawk!


Blogger Nicole said...

I couldn't agree more. There was so much that could have gone right and absolutely none of it did. There were too many story lines and they barely scratched the surface of any of them.

In addition, they lost me forever when Magneto, et al. were crossing the GG bridge and it was absolutely midday. Then they cut to them exiting the bridge onto the island and it was pitch black.
Horrible! Absolutely horrible. There's no excuse

6:51 PM  
Blogger TNIRISHFAN said...

Todd, this is a great review you really hit the nail on the head. The wife and I were really upset with this movie. The movie was alright by itself, but as part of the franchise it fell flat on its face. or faces since it tried to be 3 movies at once. The wifes comment was "This better be a transition movie" or their better be a fourth and it better be good.

Good job Todd.

7:16 PM  

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