Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Movie / X-Men: The Last Stand

Think of a comic book, about 3/4 inch thick, targeted at boys 9-12 years old, with many characters (the mutants) having a wide assortment of super powers, a whole army of them in fact. Judging from the record Memorial Day box office gross, that audience might include about half the world.

Critics fume that the plot has little meaning, but I enjoyed it. Many stars (led by Ian McKellen and Halle Berry), dozens of characters, hundreds of extras, mega-millions worth of CGI effects, and ample comic book level sex and violence. It confronts all the issues of life, love, psychology, politics, law and order, etc. when humanity evolves to having super powers -- and resolves none of them -- but who cares? Just take a team of great screen writers, milk every comic book plot device to the max. The super-hero comic book genre is very mature, so there is plenty to work with.

The mutants' problem is that their super powers come with no instructions, so many of them are weirded out by and/or ashamed of their magic abilities, and want to live a normal life. But rather than directly address the philosophical, scientific, or ethical problems posed by super-powers, these simply spin out of control, causing lots of destruction. Then a drug company comes up with a cure, which turns rampaging mutants back into normal humans.

You are not going to this movie for its profound plot, but rather to see an animated comic book with great special effects and many decent comedic takes on super hero issues. I was later told there is a bonus scene after the lengthy credits. I did not see it, but you might want to sit through them to the bitter end.


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