Im the Juggernaut, bitch!|
by Jon, published on Thursday, June 01, 2006 at 8:57 PM
Few topics can so quickly reduce a generation of working adults into frothing, comic book-reading, bickering fanboys as the final installment of the X-men movie franchise. Grossing over $120 million in four days (making it the fourth highest-grossing weekend film ever) X-men: The Last Stand has proved to be one of the most highly anticipated pop culture films since Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Well, with great hype comes great expectations, and unfortunately this is one stand that fails to deliver.
The film is set sometime after the events of X2. Jean Grey is dead, and the remaining X-men are struggling to go on with their lives in the wake of this tragic loss. Meanwhile, it is apparent that a change has taken place in the political landscape regarding the mutant phenomenon. A new President, who is friendly to the mutant cause is in power, and employs Beast (played by Kelsey Grammer) as a member of his cabinet. The primary conflict and underlying conflict of the movie involves a purported cure that has been developed which allegedly suppresses the mutant genome, effectively rendering any mutant a normal, powerless human.
On the surface, the film appears to incorporate a great deal of characters and situations that fans of the franchise have been clamoring for since the first movie. The stage is set for the final battle between Professor X and his X-men and Magneto and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Previews showcased heavy action scenes and situations that seemed to be saturated with X-men lore. Sadly, what we are treated to is little more than two hours of a mindless action movie casually set against the backdrop of the Marvel Universe, penned by individuals who obviously have no familiarity with the series or its rich history. Characters that have been developed over the past two films suddenly lose their edge and crispness, making the scenes that are not over-the-top action and explosions (of which there are precious few) bland and uninteresting.
Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of this movie is the reintroduction of Jean Grey in the form of the Phoenix. While I do not have any major objections to the way in which this aspect of the character was adapted for the movie (it would have been impossible to follow the comic exactly, as the Phoenix saga spanned a huge amount of time and featured an incredibly complex storyline) the way in which it played out in the film seemed almost an afterthought to the primary plot. Famke Janssen spends most of her limited screen time either unconscious or staring off into space in the background. This severely crippled character serves only as the central figure in the movies two most climactic events: the final battle between the X-men and the Brotherhood, and highlight if you want spoilers Xaviers death.
In summary, if you enjoy Michael Bay-style movies that feature non-stop action at the expense of characters you can feel for, by all means see this movie. However, if you are at all a fan of the franchise (comic or otherwise) and have the smallest hint of a discerning taste, be prepared to be let down.