X Men: The Last Stand (2006) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
The Last Stand concludes the X-Man trilogy, or perhaps I should say
the FIRST X-Men trilogy, in spectacular fashion. Humans have found a
"cure" for the mutant gene. They offer it to the mutant community.
Magneto and his minions are offended, and declare war against
humanity. The X-Men end up siding with the humans. It all comes to a
head in a spectacular battle sequence on Alcatraz Island, which has
been made easily accessible by Magneto's having relocated the Golden
The wild card is that Jean is no longer presumed dead, and has morphed into a stronger incarnation of herself called Dark Phoenix, the most powerful mutant ever, possessing powers which Professor X had previously hidden in her subconscious, but which her near-death experience has brought to the surface. Both Professor X and Magneto are interested in her, each for his own set of reasons.
The film really has only one major weakness. It allows the usually brilliant and calculating Magneto to become less than what he has been. No longer is he the leader of an oppressed minority. Now he's a genocidal maniac, the same thing that he once accused humans of. He's not even rational. At no time in this film do the normal humans ever suggest that the mutants are required to take the magic potion. They are simply offered a choice. If the screenplay had been developed properly, Magneto would have first become paranoid that humans would eventually make it mandatory, and would then have been set into action by some foolish human actions which confirmed his fears. Instead of following that course, the film has Magneto become offended that science would even create such a concoction in the first place. Frankly, that's bullshit. The concoction offered mutants the choice to stay mutants or to become human. Many of the mutants (Rogue and Jean, to name two) were unhappy as mutants and considered their powers a curse. Others considered their mutated genes to be an intrinsic part of their nature, and a step in human evolution, and were happy with their status. In theory, the magic potion left them all free to pursue their own destiny, their own happiness. The only mistake made by the humans was to call the elixir a "cure," thus implying that mutants were merely sick humans rather than coexisting equals. That was certainly offensive to the mutants, but they over-reacted dramatically. After all, if some mutants would rather be human, well, why should the other mutants prevent that? In fact, if they liked the power involved in being mutant, they should encourage as many mutants as possible to turn human, because that would leave the remaining ones with more power, relatively speaking, since there would be fewer powerful beings to oppose them.
If the film had been concocted from a recipe a bit more to my liking, it would have had fewer characters and more screen time for the important, eloquent and amusing main characters. Wolverine could have been sassier, for example, and Magneto more thoughtful. But I think it's fine as it is, just not exactly as I would have preferred it. It actually out-performed the previous two at the box office, so movie audiences obviously took to it.
For some bizarre reason which I don't really understand, but obviously unrelated to the quality of the movie itself, there is a dedicated cadre of X3 haters out there. Check out these IMDb scores:
4.3% of the voters, nearly 2000 people, have decided that the proper score for X-Men 3 is 1/10. What is that all about? Are they people who have never seen any other movies? Are they Bryan Singer's relatives? Are they people who just have to hate? Are they hard-core comic fans outraged that the film didn't follow the same storyline as the source material? Who the hell can say. The one thing you can conclude is that they are simply not rational thinkers. They have allowed some emotional issue, whatever it might be, to cloud their reason.
The final chapter in the X-Men saga is more or less indistinguishable from the previous two. As you can see from the "percentage of tens" in the table above, it inspires about the same amount of true love as the second one, and much more than the first.
The complete summary chart for the series is as follows:
I guess I'm about in the same boat as Ebert. I don't see any dramatic decline from #2 to #3, and I like both of them better than the first one. All three are more than simply genre pictures, but are good entertainment pictures in general.
Is this really "the last stand"? Of course not.
Look for a Wolverine solo film, and as many other X-Men films as the cast will agree to.
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