X-Men: The Last Stand

This movie is definitely an example of an adaptation where familiarity with the source material can diminish your enjoyment. The previous two films made some significant changes to the Marvel canon--most notably the characters' ages and relationships. With that sort of setup, this one could hardly be different--in fact, the changes in this film are arguably even bigger. What was surprising was that although the film's overall storyline departs so radically from Marvel's chronology, some of the details were extremely accurate. For example, the scene at the lake with Cyclops and Jean Grey was directly lifted from the Dark Phoenix saga. In any case, some people will hate the changes and some will love them. As for me, I loved the comics but I also recognize that one of the truly great things about comic book universes is that they allow for real freedom to explore themes. In that respect, I think that even though the issues underlying this film--mutation as a metaphor for race or, perhaps, sexuality--are dealt with in a relatively crude manner, it's possible that films like X3 will be a stepping stone in the growth of speculative films. After all, the X-Men comic itself was also pretty heavy-handed and clumsy in its execution, but it was part of the movement that led to some of the more nuanced graphic novels we have today. As this review is getting rather lengthy, I'll go ahead and rush through the rest: the acting was mostly adequate with a few good moments and a few particularly bad ones, the effects and action were quite good, the dialogue was unsurprisingly mediocre, and the film was, overall, pretty good.

Viewed: 5/26/2006 | Released: 5/25/2006 | Score: B

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