By Fred Topel | Image property of 20th Century Fox
X-Men: The Last Stand
Sure, the X-Men movies are full of kick ass action and special effects. But what separates them from the usual crop of bandwagon comic book movies is the political subtext. X-Men: The Last Stand has the deepest metaphor yet and fully explores the ensemble cast’s reactions to it.
X-Men: The Last Stand Movie Review
X-Men: The Last Stand deals with Jean Grey returning from the dead. Professor Xavier reveals that she’s always had this Phoenix persona, which he taught her to control, but now it seems like Phoenix is the dominant, nay the only personality left. She kills some popular characters and becomes a tool of Magneto in his revolution.
Magneto is responding to the government’s introduction of a cure for mutations. While the good X-Men are quietly debating the moral and political issues, he leads his brotherhood in a full on attack against the government.
Talk about getting into the characters, the opening prologue lets us see Patrick Stewart walking as young Xavier. The introduction to young Angel trying to clip his wings in the bathroom while his father bangs on the door is an all too familiar metaphor for young boys. We’re experiencing life moments here. Everyone has them, even mutant superheroes.
New additions shine in this story. Kelsey Grammar still plays the intellectual as Hank McCoy the mutant ambassador. It’s a thrill to see him bring his savoir faire to big blue Beast and later see him in action. Juggernaut is the best big, dumb lackey we’ve seen since Jaws.
Grammer's Beast makes an appearance in X-Men: The Last Stand.
But our favorites are still here and some get even juicier parts. Finally, Storm gets equal weight to Wolverine, as the voice of sound thought to his animal instinct. Wolvie is still a badass, walking through a battleground like it’s nothing. Magneto is the most sympathetic and respectful villain I can think of. Showing civility before the inevitable battle is a true class act.
The use of language is brilliant. Talk of slave names hits the metaphor while giving it a practical application. “Homo sapien” is an insult. The puns fly with lines like “You’re quite an animal” and “You know how fast the weather can change,” speaking to both character’s powers and their reactions to world events. However, the best is a mournful eulogy on a cured mutant.
Visually, The Last Stand revels in character poses like glorious Angel or the balletic arm flailing of Magneto. Everyone gets a chance to look cool.
It’s a hotter, more passionate X-Men with no less than four sexual relationships. Jean Grey and Cyclops, Jean Grey and Wolverine, Mystique and Magneto (more mature, but still) and Rogue and Iceman. In addition to some face sucking and heavy petty, there are loving shots of Famke Janssen’s long legs and Rebecca Romijn’s blue ass.
X-Men: The Last Stand captures all of the political, social and character interests of the series at its greatest. The action and special effects are there to match, but it is the film’s heart that makes it kick the most ass.