A Cure Procured

Perhaps a war movie would’ve been more appropriate to watch during the Memorial Day Weekend, but I don’t regret watching “X-Men: The Last Stand.” For every BBQ I’d been to, it was the watercooler issue. Granted, I got dragged in with friends on an impulsive Friday night. I had no time to gather bias or gauge my expectations. I don’t consider myself a fan of X-Men. I’m the guy on the wayside, listening intently on the discussions between friends with X-Men expertise. Last year, I was in the same freaking position, but the film at the time was something called “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.” I don’t feel dumb, just less nerdy.

Due to my lack of my knowledge, I can only write about the sole thing I know: the movie. First off, the plot is undeniably good. It immediately sets the film apart from your average comic book movie. It has a lot of interesting things going on. Courtesy of a mutant boy named Leech (Cameron Bright), humans rightly become formidable with the discovery of a mutant “cure.” When injected with this, a mutant is said to lose all of his/her mutant powers. Some mutants favor this, like Rogue (Anna Paquin) – who wants to be able to touch her boyfriend Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) without hurting him. Magneto (the great Ian McKellan), on the other hand, sees this as the wiping out of the mutant race. Having been a survivor of the Holocaust, he is enraged and thus, gathers the Brotherhood of the Anti-Cure to procure the cure. Meanwhile, back at the Xavier School For the Gifted, a X-Men thought to have been lost returns with unsound mind and uncontainable powers. This becomes a personal undertaking as the Professor (Patrick Stewart), Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Storm (Halle Berry) and the rest of the X-Men gang have to deal with one of their own kind.

The complexity of the plot is what makes the movie special. It aspires to be more than the good vs. evil format. I think there are three groups in conflict: X-Men, Magneto’s Brotherhood, and humans. And even within these groups, there are occurrences of dispute. As if this isn’t enough of a juggling act, the movie still manages to deliver plenty of action and introduce new characters (Yay Beast and Archangel!). If the movie is guilty of anything, it’s excess. But come on, there are so few movies like this. I could do less with movies, drought of ideas but have deluge of time.

I admit this crowded movie doesn’t give room for character developments, but for someone to label that as the movie’s crime isn’t looking at the big picture. The developments in “X-Men: The Last Stand” occurs in groups, not in characters. The X-Men gang considerably develops as certain key figures are taken out of play. Now, I neither know what happened in the comics nor the faithfulness of the film’s adaptation. But judging on the film itself, it’s satisfying and dare I say it – Brett Ratner did a good job, considering the unfair predisposition against the man. And for those comic book fans angered by the story treatment, I say let the movie mutate its own mutant of a story. Who are you to fix things by your own brand of cure?

Grade: A-

Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, Anna Paquin, Kelsey Grammer, and Rebecca Romijn
Screenplay by
Zak Penn
Simon Kinberg
Directed by
Brett Ratner
Rated PG-13