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X-Men: The Last Stand?
June 4, 2006

Just got back from seeing X-Men: The Last Stand. I don’t have anything much to say that others haven’t already, so some bullet points:

Kelsey Grammer as Beast

Kelsey Grammer as Beast

* Much as I love Hugh, forget the Wolverine movie, I want a Beast movie! Kelsey Grammer was terrific in capturing all the elements of the blue furball: dignified, smart, tough fighter, sense of humor. Others have mentioned the stars and garters line, but I liked “I can’t believe this used to fit me” when he’s gearing up in the leathers.

* Speaking of blue fur, where was Nightcrawler? (I know: on Broadway. I mean the character.)

* Lots of characters who weren’t clear or recognizable unless you knew the comics, which meant that lots of times, instead of oohing or gasping, KC and I were laughing at the big reveals.

* I sympathize with those who’ve been disturbed by what happens to the female characters. It does seem like a lot of them are depowered or told what to do by the men around them, an unwelcome change to a group with a traditionally strong cast of powerful women.

Eric Dane as Madrox

Eric Dane as Madrox

* Loved loved loved! seeing Jamie Madrox, played by Eric Dane.

* Halle Berry still isn’t right for Storm, and she’s one of the weaker elements of an overall decent ensemble.

* If that kind of bodycount is what passes for summer entertainment, maybe comics aren’t pushing the boundary for violence as much as I thought.

* Angel’s powers are the best visualized yet. It’s just so beautiful seeing him flying.

* When Magneto’s moving the bridge (way cool and powerful!) I kept wanting to say “Ian, you hammy old queen!” (but in a good way). He’s so obviously getting into what the role needs and enjoying himself that he’s a pleasure to watch throughout. When he and Charles go to get Jean in the flashback, they seemed to be almost a couple. Another great scene with a very different mood is when he stares down tattooed mutant-spotter girl about why he’ll never have another mark.

* Jean as Dark Willow, down to the same eye and skin effects: eh. KC came up with a much better ending than the one we got (highlight for spoiler): There are three big bad mutants left, right? Pyro, Magneto, and Jean. There are plenty of good guys: Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Iceman, and Beast. There’s a pack of four power-killing darts. Wouldn’t it make more sense for each person to get a dart and take out all three bad guys? That way Jean wouldn’t have to die… but then she wouldn’t be punished for killing all those people. Even if they weren’t asparagus.

X-Men 3 movie poster

* I found it odd that throughout the film I was sympathizing with the “terrorists” aka the Brotherhood of Mutants. They wanted to be respected and left alone instead of having the basis for their identity termed a disease. Seems like the right position to me.

Wow, I guess I had more to say than I thought. Overall, I’d give it an okay rating. It was what I expected, an enjoyable couple of hours in which I laughed and thrilled, but not something to rush out for or recommend highly.

I am most disappointed by the lack of further adventures of these characters, though. If I want to read more, I’ll probably look for fanfic instead of trying to figure out which comics to read. The earliest ones are too cheesy, the Claremont/Byrne are too stuck in their format, and the current ones are too far removed from what I like about the characters. By “stuck in their format” I mean that they were written to be read two months apart several decades ago, so they don’t make a satisfying experience when read in large chunks, in my opinion. At least I have X-Factor.

Similar Posts: Marvel Spinner Rack: Lockjaw & Pet Avengers #1, Iron Man #13, Wolverine vs. Hulk #5, New Mutants #1 § Marvel X-Men Cartoon Series § The Uncanny X-Men Omnibus § Good Superhero Comics: Week of June 27 § Stand-Alone Works Don’t Sell

11 Responses  
Ragnell writes:  

Is the cartoon out on DVD? Beause the cartoon was better than the comics and the movies.

 
Johanna writes:  

Interesting, I hadn’t even thought of yet another medium. :)

 
Sarah writes:  

If that kind of bodycount is what passes for summer entertainment, maybe comics aren’t pushing the boundary for violence as much as I thought.

I know a lot of people I’ve talked to were really troubled by the gratuitous slaughter involved.

In X2, people killed when it was necessary and in-character; it made the stakes seem high and the bad guys credible threats. Here, both name and minor characters were offed almost as asides. It really left a bad taste in my mouth.

 
James Schee writes:  

Sigh hopefully I can see this movie sometime this week, I’m in the middle of a 12 days without a day off shift. That guy playing Madrox looks fun!

I think the animated series is on DVD, the animation was a bit flaky at times but they had a few nice storylines. (other times it required a PHD in X-history to get I thought)

You are right in how there isn’t an X-series for movie fans to go to. I had hopes at one time for the U. X-Men title but that fell to pieces in the first issue. Whedon’s doesn’t have that feeling either, despite some nice moments here in there in the first arc.

I wonder if the X-Men novels follow the movies or comics more?

 
J.D. @ Four Color Comics writes:  

I didn’t mind the movie except for the Phoenix storyline. I thought the first half hour was the best thirty minutes of any X-Men movie, and the Phoenix storyline had potential. But after she encountered Xavier at her home, she suddenly turned into a non-entity. She just stood there the rest of the movie. Lame. I think this storyline would have been better if Jean Grey was simply Phoenix for this film and then all of the fourth film could be spent on the Dark Phoenix storyline.

 
Dwight Williams writes:  

That “too much crammed into too small a film” complaint seems one of the biggest I’ve seen. Not entirely sure it’s a wrong complaint to make, either.

As for Grammer getting a Beast movie to himself…hmmm. Interesting idea, there.

 
Dwight Williams writes:  

Before I forget, my theory re: Kurt? He’s either back in Europe with his circus, or dealing with the legal paperwork for doing so in the wake of clearing his name with the US authorities. Seems like a safe enough bet.

 
Lyle writes:  

I thought I read that the X3 video game reveals why Nightcrawler isn’t in the movie. It’s annoying, though, if they don’t hint at it in the movie itself, that just reeks of stupid commercialism. (I’m cool with an anciliary product telling an untold part of the story, but the appeal shouldn’t be “you won’t find out otherwise”… a game should expand on the story not make up for an omission.)

 
Used DVD Bonanza at Hollywood Video » DVDs Worth Watching writes:  

[...] — I sort of feel like I have to have a copy of this on the superhero movie shelf, plus I didn’t hate this as much as others seemed to. I even liked Kelsey Grammer as the Beast. Any movie where I can watch [...]

 
To Terra… Against Hubris » Manga Worth Reading writes:  

[...] fear mutants (called Mu) and want to exterminate them echoes themes found in the X-Men comics and movies. Takemiya even speaks of mutants as a superior race of beings that will replace normal humans [...]

 
The Wolverine » DVDs Worth Watching writes:  

[…] Although the Wolverine miniseries by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller was one of my earliest Marvel comic reads, I didn’t recall much of it. It serves as the basis for a lot of this film, although the creators are wrongly uncredited. (Not even a “special thanks”.) I did remember that Mariko (Tao Okamoto) was one of the special people in Logan’s life. Most of the film is accordingly set in Japan, after Wolverine’s sacrifice of Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) during X-Men: The Last Stand. […]

 
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