Last Saturday, Hazel, Scarlet and I went to watch “X-Men: The Last Stand” at SM Megamall. After having lunch at Almon Marina, and dropping Gabby off at My Playroom, we caught the 2:15 p.m. showing.
One of the challenges for me in watching the “X-Men” movies is to control my urge to feel troubled at the number of changes the moviemakers wrought. After all, the movie is different from the comic book; even the comic book’s current continuity is convoluted to me. So, I was able to approach the movie with a more open mind. Not too open, but open, nonetheless.
It wasn’t a totally bad movie, but it wasn’t a particularly good one either.
One of the main problems was the plot. It seemed that whoever crafted it wanted to cram as much as he/she could into the movie. As a result, the movie is choppy, and full of too many storylines to follow, some of which appear to have been dumped in to cover all the bases. But, covering all the bases is simply not possible within the confines of a 2-hour movie.
The impetus is that there is a so-called cure for mutants, culled from the genes of one mutant. This spurs both the X-Men, and Magneto to action: the X-Men to protect the young mutant, and Magneto to crush what he sees as the start of a mutant genocide.
The other main storyline is that of Jean Grey, last seen drowned in the second movie. Here, she’s alive and well, but greatly altered, and highly dangerous.
The story is based on one of the all-time X-Men stories, “The Phoenix Saga,” with a little bit of “What If?” thrown in for good measure.
Other minor storylines, such as that of the Angel, and that of Rogue wanting to be human, seemed contrived, and didn’t really add to the story
The other problem is the number of characters present, which makes trying to adequately develop all of them a real challenge.
For major players such as Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), Mystique (Rebecca Romjin), and Magneto (Ian McKellen), it wasn’t too difficult, for one, the movie revolves around them, and two, they’ve been doing this since the first movie, and have their characterizations pretty down pat.
For other veterans such as Storm (
), Rogue (Anna Paquin), and Cyclops (James Marsden), the script didn’t give them much to work with. Thus, their performances were pedestrian, at best. Halle Berry
I liked the casting of Kelsey Grammer as the Beast, although he probably should’ve been introduced earlier, considering that, in the comics, the Beast was one of the first X-Men.
I didn’t realize that the speedster/mutant detector was Callisto (Dania Ramirez), because neither speed nor mutant detection is her power. I should’ve guessed from the way she was going after Storm. The movie makers, at least, kept that part from the comic book.
For the others, Pyro (Aaron Stanford), Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page), Angel (Ben Foster), Leech (Cameron Bright), and Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) seemed to have only one facial expression available to them; in Kitty’s case, she was in a state of perpetual no expression.
I would’ve liked to have seen Colossus (Daniel Cudmore) have more depth to his character, but, unfortunately, the movie isn’t focused on him, except to execute the famous “Fastball Special” with Wolverine. It would take another movie to do this.
The Juggernaut (Vinnie Jones) was just plain dumb.
Reading the credits, I think I'd like to watch the movie again, just to spot some of the other characters mentioned; there was just too much to take in the first time. Apparently, Artie, Siryn, Omega Red, Psylocke, and Jubilee make appearances, but I missed out on spotting them. Next time.
Lastly, what happened to Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming)? After being the focal point for the second movie, one would think that he’d at least be mentioned by name somehow. But he seems to have disappeared completely out of the storyline.
What annoyed me was that one of my co-teachers told me to stay until after the end of the credits, where something extra would be shown. Imagine our dismay when nothing happened. I was told later by my sister that there was something at the end; once more, the profit-oriented, customer service-lacking SM Management decided that it would be more profitable to cut it out, so that they could squeeze in more showings.
“X-Men: The Last Stand”, in the ranking of comic book-based movies, isn’t greatly stellar, like “Batman Begins” or “Spider-Man 1 and 2”. It’s better than “Daredevil” and “Elektra”. Compared to the two previous “X-Men” movies, this was not a satisfying way to end the series. But, then again, the ending clues us in that there might be a fourth movie.
So stay tuned.