X-Men: The Last Stand seemed like a good idea at the time. For the most part, it's at least entertaining and at times even manages to turn you on a little, get your juices flowing. But the end is the King Kong classic of cinematic blue balls.
King Kong is a perfect example of a movie that gave fans everything they wanted and more. We got to see Kong fight a T-rex, a brontosaurus stampede, beetles and bloodworms and ether (oh my!). But The Last Stand leaves you unsatiated, desperately longing for more. Or even some. Sure it's a challenge to cull through decades of storylines for enough material to fill a theater without alienating fans; but that also means you have dozens and dozens of storyboarded screenplays. In other words, there's little excuse for clunky dialogue, clunky ideas, and a real problem with inter-series continuity. Here are the more agonizing elements:
- Where the hell is Nightcrawler? I seem to remember something about him, oh, I don't know, trying to kill the President, something we can all vicariously appreciate. What about saving Jean Grey when she fell from their groove-jet? Nightcrawler is absent from the film (though present in the video game, as Luke Y. Thompson industriously notes in our paper), though they've managed to stick in every other vaguely identifiable mutant they can. Look, it's Collossus! Might that be Jubilee? Anyone catch Gambit? But no Nightcrawler. Bamf and he's gone.
- Um, Angel. Yes. Most poorly constructed character since Nixon. But Mr. Y. Thompson puts it best - the less said, the better.
- PG-13? My ass! And Famke Janssen's ass too! Hot damn but the number of young children forced out of the theater by shocked parents belies the ridiculousness of this film's rating. You like to watch Wolverine dry-humping a rather limber Jean Grey on a hospitable bed, her black hot pants nigh-invisible, don't you, bitch? Plus, Mystique really doesn't need to morph from a naked blue shapeshifter to a naked human Rebecca Romijn (slowly, in front of our eyes, while writhing). In fact, that particular scene was so inappropriate I'm going to have to study it several more times to figure out just how inappropriate it is. Baby.
- It's a bit unnerving that no one's yet mentioned any possibility of Mystique being Rogue's mother, as in the comics, but when you turn Juggernaut from Professor Xavier's brother into a British football hooligan, you're pushing it. Still, much love to Vinnie Jones. "I'm the Juggernaut, bitch!" We haven't heard the last of that line.
- My major beef: where's the fucking phoenix? When Jean Grey fully releases her powers in the comics, she becomes the raging heart of a giant flaming bird, talons and beak extended in attack. It's basically the ultimate orgasm of the Marvel Comic Universe. At the height of her evil powers, Dark Phoenix eats a bloody sun. They allude to this firebird at the end of the last film; as the camera scans over Alkali Lake, what at first seems a trick of the eye soon looks quite like an enormous bird. Those bastard sons of a tease were saying, "Hey, come to the next film, we'll show you more!" But they don't. We think we're about to see it a few times, but uh-uh, honey. Not this time. She's got a headache. And true X-men (or at least Phoenix) fans leave the theaters with the emotional and spiritual equivalent of a ballache.
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Ain't no fortunate sun