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
* 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
* 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.
* 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.
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