The Movie Buffer

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Preview - Xmen: The Last Stand

Following in the shadow of the Da Vinci Code hysteria, X-men: The Last Stand has been building up some steam. There are now reviews of this film via critics and fans at the Cannes film festival where it opened on Monday. At Rotten Tomatoes ( they have certified it as “fresh” (which means the movies has been reviewed by 40 or more critics (including 5 critics from the Cream of the Crop) that score at least 75% or higher on the Tomatometer. A film remains Certified Fresh unless its Tomatometer falls below 60%. ) Ebert and Roeper gave the movie two thumbs up. They comment that this movie looks very much like a special effects extravaganza but it also shows some story telling elements like the arguments for and against genetic engineering. Devin at, who pulls no punches when it comes to a bad movie, has given it a so-so rating. This movie may just have some legs. If I had to put money down, I would say this movie brings in 60 million $ in the US market and about 210 million $ worldwide.

From clips found at the x-men site , I fear that this movie may incur the wrath of the fans of the comic books as well as fans of the first two films. The scope of this film, versus the comic book series, is so large some might find it a little ludicrous, the fact that Storm sounds like a preachy after school special rather than an intelligent person, the rushed introduction of both Beast and Angel and the clumsy way the Sentinels are presented will certain grind the gears of comic fans. Not to mention all the edits that the film makers have had to make to convert the comic book into a movie. The Jean Grey resurrection story arc is immensely important in the mythos of the X-men and the anti-mutant serum story line digs deeper than the movie could want to go and galvanizes the heroes and the villains. Inevitably much of the ground work for these story lines will be left out of the movie which may leave a non-reader out in the cold. Furthermore, adding more mutants to the story doesn’t exactly guarantee success. Since there are so many mutants in this movie, how could anyone care is a couple of them get “cured”? Two more would just spring up in their place.

I'm excited, but weary to see this film. Sequels are hard to do well and should be taken with a grain of salt. Ratner, the director, has experience with big budget action movies so it should at least look really flashy. I'm glad that the series is ending before it wears out its audience, with two sequels in the works, Wolverine and Magneto, they have to keep a few of us to pay the bills next time.


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