X-Men Trilogy: Part 2

By: Oberst von Berauscht –
How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) – Four Beers

Humans have developed a drug that takes away Mutant powers.  While some mutants take this as a blessing, others feel offended at the assumption that their powers could be seen as a disease to be cured.  The time has come to choose sides, with some mutants following Magneto and his army bent on humanity’s destruction, and others following the X-Men, wishing to live in harmony with non-mutants.

A Toast

While many have dismissed this as the weakest entry into the X-Men series, I didn’t find it a terrible movie.  It has some serious flaws, certainly, but it also brings the series full circle to refreshingly daring ending.  Few superhero movies make the bold move of definitively killing off so many beloved characters.

*Spoilers!*

It wisely dispatches the uninteresting Cyclops and gives Jean Grey some dimension with a dark change in personality.

*Safe*

Sir Ian McKellen once again is fantastic as Magneto, and in this film gives him moments for some generous scenery chewing and quiet moments of emotion.  I also rather like the novel casting choice of Kelsey Grammer as Beast, who is more Bureaucrat than beast.

I just blue myself

Beer Two

The uproar the occurs over the discovery of a mutation cure parallels the real life gay pride movement in that most of those who have mutations feel they were born with it, that it is just as natural as breathing.  If the filmmakers were trying to make a statement about acceptance, then they should not have insinuated that the “mutant cure” is effective.  Science has never and most likely will never find a cure for being gay, as it is simple tendency.

I have a tendency towards Keira Knightly; her bodyguards have a tendency towards violence.  It’s all genetic you see?

Not being a reader of the comics, I can’t say whether this parallels the source material, but the hypocrisy in the message is obvious.

Beer Three

For a film with so many serious moments, there are some ludicrous events that seem to exist merely to make the film more action oriented.  Wolverine seems to have a catch phrase for every action scene, Magneto sends waves of mutants to certain death for no reason, and the Juggernaut is (as the internet tells me) the juggernaut… bitch!

Beer Four

Wolverine seems to have lost any trace of his Antihero status in this film.  In both X-Men and X2 he had a dark side that manifested in moments of selfishness, instead here he becomes the archetypal good guy.  It is a mistake that cripples his character.

Verdict

Not nearly as strong as X2, and lacking the emotional highs and lows of either of the first two films, X-Men: The Last Stand is saved from mediocrity by strong performances, well-choreographed action, and some genuinely interesting plot twists.

 

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

The origin story of Wolverine, probably the most popular character in the X-Men series, is finally told.  He spends his formative years fighting in every American conflict of the 20th century, up to his work in the black ops post-Vietnam and his attempt to leave it behind.  Also, somewhere in there he sucker-punches a tank, and participates in the My Lai Massacre.

You mean that only happened in the first 5 minutes?

Later, he fills himself with metal and sucker-punches everything else, but forgets he does it… the end.

A Toast

This movie is definitely a piece of action-entertainment, with plenty of fights, explosions, and enough badass credentials to make John Wayne look like Marion Morrison.  Danny Huston is a suitably menacing villain, and Hugh Jackman is as tough as nails.

Beer Two

Of course, everything ends up feeling like a wasted effort.  Part of the problem is with the nature of Wolverine’s power, which makes him essentially invincible.  At no point does it legitimately feel the stakes are high enough to care.  Without any real weakness, Wolverine becomes just another venue for a very standard vengeance plot.  The other X-men films managed to conceal this fatal problem by focusing on various characters and settings, but it becomes impossible to ignore here.

Beer Three

The editing of the film is at times incoherent, with many of the action sequences leaving me unsure who was winning.  I also would like to take issue with the lack of blood in these movies.  Wolverine’s claws beg to leave a gory legacy, but instead the editors seem to cut out every violent slash.  When I’m promised blood, I want there to be blood.

Otherwise bad things will happen.

Beer Four

The movie is proof that some things are left unrevealed.  It is a classic Star Wars Episode 1 scenario, where no matter how cool you’d imagine it would be to go back into the past and see what happened before the events of the first trilogy, it ultimately is impossible to satisfy expectations.  They instead opt for mindless action.  Had the previous X-Men movies not existed this would probably be acceptable.  Despite the flaws of the trilogy, all three previous films managed to tell an interesting story, which is absent here.

Verdict

Watchable numbness

 

X-Men Franchise Drinking Game

Take a Drink: anytime someone talks about how hard it is being different

Take a Drink: when a Mutant uses plot-convenient powers

Take a Drink: whenever Wolverine defies gravity (and suspension of disbelief)

Take a Drink: every time Wolverine snarls, growls, or howls

Take a Drink: anytime “X” anything gets mentioned

Take a Drink: when Magneto does something that magnets can’t do

Down a Shot: when Cyclops does anything useful

 

You can read the previous Part I at X-Men Trilogy: Part I

About Oberst von Berauscht

Oberst Von Berauscht once retained the services of a Gypsy to imbue in him the ability to accurately describe the artistic qualities of a film up to seven decimal points. To maintain this unique skill, he must feast on the blood of a virgin every Harvest Moon, or failing that (and he usually does), he can also make a dog do that thing they do where they twist their heads slightly (you know, when they’re confused about something) at least a few times a week. I’ve gotten way off track here… The point is, Oberst is one of the website’s founders, so… yeah

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