Friday, May 26, 2006

X-men III: The Last Stand…or is it?

This I tell you: Blessed is he who sits through the closing credits in honor of the production staff and crew for he shall be rewarded.



X-men III: The Last Stand is not for the faint of heart. The two previous X-men movies will not prepare you for Scott, The Professor, and Jean’s death. (Yes, Jean dies again and unless she does not turn off the Phoenix in her, I hope that her death is for good this time around.) Nor will they prime you enough on how brutal mutant-human war can get. I never really like wars so a war with multiple superhuman “talents” involved is a bit too much for me to handle. Mutants having seizures who end up powerless, humans disintegrating to thin air—those are a bit too much for me. Wolverine’s tush tight in his black leather tights though—that I can handle.

The movie brings us back 20 years before the not too distant future where a walking Charles Xavier (The Professor) and a headgearless Eric Lehnsherr (Magneto), despite the differences in their opinions, still hang out together. They visit an extra special mutant—probably the only class 5 mutant they know—Jean Grey. (Magneto is a class 3 so you can just imagine how great a class 5 probably is.)

Fast forward to ten years before the not too distant future where we see a little boy desperately attempting to stop his mutation. He cries as he apologizes to his dad for his being a mutant. A kid sincerely saying sorry for something not his fault simply pinches my heart. Then seeing him hurt because of it makes me want to cry. His case later pushes his dad to come up with the mutant cure, thus the main ingredient of the third X-men movie.

Now we go to the present. Life went on after X-men 2 in the Professor’s mansion except for Scott Summers who was an utter mess to say the least. (I say this with Simon Cowell’s accent). I refuse to refer to him as Cyclops because he never lives to wear his Cyclops suit. He accidentally resurrects Jean Grey who, after lip-locking with him, extinguishes his optical powers and, as assumed, extinguishes his life too. There goes the first tomb.

Meanwhile the supposedly non anti-mutant President conspires with science to cure all mutants. He does this behind the back of his mutant diplomat ally, Hank McCoy a.k.a. The Beast or fur ball. See the danger posed by argumentum ad ignoranciam. Everyone assumed that the president was pro-mutants simply because he is not anti-mutants—a very dangerous logical fallacy we must learn from the movie. It is therefore important to remember that if a future presidential candidate declares that s/he is pro-poor, it does not follow that s/he is NOT anti-poor. It is possible that s/he is pro-poor and anti-poor all at the same time.

Then we witness young love among Marie (Rouge), Bobby (Iceman), and Kitty (Shadow Cat)—probably for a breath of fresh air as Paula Abdul might put it. Rouge has problems with not being able to touch her boyfriend, Bobby. On the other hand, Bobby (Blooper: I just typed “Booby”) goes out of his way to be extra sweet with new X Mansion resident, Kitty. Rogue renounces her mutant powers by taking the cure not for some boy, she says, but for herself, she likes to believe. Anyway if it doesn’t work with that “some boy”, she can snag another especially now that she no longer is a mutant-power/human-life sponge.

Back to the story. Professor X tries to convince Jean to suppress her subconscious (I can hear Sigmund Freud say, “Duh!”) while Magneto plays the Devil’s advocate. The professor’s effort to guide Jean opposite the dark side enrages her powerful subconscious self leading to her second kill. Hence the second tomb. Surprisingly, even Magneto was shocked with the Professor’s disintegration.

I swear, Jean creeps me out every time she’s angry! She looks possessed! I was waiting for her to say in the American twang, “Papatayin ko siya!” If that happens, I don’t think John Constantine will come to the rescue. He must have retired the day he saved his soul. Besides that’s another movie.

Magneto builds his army against humans and keeps Jean as his unstable weapon of mass destruction. The war is waged. Mutants were bombarded with syringes-full of the mutant cure. If I were in the middle of that war, I would have lost consciousness at the sight of numerous syringes. But that’s me. Humans were effortlessly obliterated by Jean who would rather be called, Phoenix. At that point you can cry, “Asteeeg!” then subtly return to the good guys’ side

The war made heroes out of the formerly depicted weak, Storm; the reluctant, Wolverine; the peace-lover, The Beast; the cool boyfriend (of course he couldn’t be prefixed with “two-timing”—what would you expect from a male dominated production?), Iceman; the persistent, Shadow Cat; and the mute (he’s mute isn’t he?), Colossus. However it was Wolverine, of course, who shinned in the end. Again, he did this with the help of his team. After officially taking side, the X-men’s side, he finally realized his need to work with a team. He even emphasized this in the X Mansion, after suiting up for the war. His saying “we are the X-men” bothered me though—in a Brokeback-kind of way.

Wolverine carries the burden of choosing between the lesser evil and ends up killing the love of his life, thus delivering us the third tomb. I have to note that Wolverine being stripped off of his X-men suit while going face to face with the furious Phoenix is inarguably VERY organic in the movie. The script simply calls for him to show his nicely-buffed bod.

Wolverine carries out his task and no matter how hard that may be for him, he can get consolation in the thought that it was Jean’s will, she smiled after he stuck his claws in her gut, the world is safe, and he is alive. We all know that he is going to be OK because, as Scott said, Wolverine heals fast.

The world rotates with less mutants after the war. Other than the mutants contained in the three tombs, the roster of no-longer-mutants include a big fraction of Magneto’s army, Mystique who risked her life for Magneto but to no avail, and the big magenta man himself, Magneto. The movie leaves us breathless, not to mention sleepless, by showing us that Magneto is training for non-metal magnetism and that there is hope for The Professor—the reward in my self-formulated beatitude.

I am an X-men fan so I don’t question the characters’ fashion. They can wear capes in public or helmets or queer scarves or screaming costumes and I wouldn’t care. I would let the unpolished special effects pass, the glitch in time, and whatever hackneyed lines the characters dropped. I like the story and I like the movie.

I do assert however that The Last Stand gets away with the typical fault of trilogies. It manages to preserve its magic even up to the last minute. It succeeds in offering abundance in climaxes leaving the viewers glued and, again, breathless in their seats.

I am very much partial to the principle the movie is working on—discrimination and power. I like the way it shows how both the D and P words affect relationships among friends, families and, ok, lovers. I appreciate how much such truthful theme is imbedded in what may probably be today’s fiction and tomorrow’s facts. I admire the cast from Magneto to that guy holding the water hose in the Grey neighborhood. As I have stated I am a fan.

My final word? Bitin!

Although the three tombs may represent a goodbye to the three X-men movies, I wouldn’t mind an X-men 4: The Final Last Stand, or perhaps, a Bi-ag ni Wolverine spin-off.


dhel last full show ang pinanood namin.. wala ng patience pang hintayin na matapos ang credits, di na namin nakita ang "reward".. bakit kse late ko na namang nabasa ang blog mo?
miss you sis!
Posted by: Win and Wah | May 29, 2006 06:33 AM

habang pinapalutang ni Jean ang mga cars sa neighborhood nya si Stan Lee (writer at creator ng XMen) ay nagdidilig ng halaman, habang si Christopher Claremont (longtime and major writer of the Xcomics)ay naglo lawnmower.
Magneto's powers may be stronger - he seems to have begun to retain them - the drug's effects may not be as permanent as its makers believe.
does Bobby come across as two timing? i think he was just being nice to the kid (who seems younger than he is, which lessens the possibility of romance?)
Posted by: Poli | June 12, 2006 08:08 AM

Hehehe. Lalaki talaga!
Nice, Bobby! Nice.
Posted by: Tyrene | June 16, 2006 06:29 AM

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