Thursday, May 5, 2016

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) Through a Kid’s Eyes

Interesting, they dropped the sequel number on this one.  I never noticed because every piece of advertising had Wolverine’s claws extended in a giant, pointy Roman Numeral “3.”

This is the one X-men film my daughter had seen before…at age three.

That, “Little Warren cuts his wings off” moment is pretty visceral isn’t it.  That’s probably why she remembered it from way back then.

She also responded to him denying the cure and the last minute by blasting out of his wings and flying out the window the same way she did at age three, “Whoah. Awesome!”

The film is nowhere near as good as the first two, but as part of the series, it does have some merits. 

Someone giving Halle Berry a comic book between X-men United and this one definitely helped.

Hank’s big speech about morals and ethics sums up pretty much the core of the whole X-series, and increased my daughter’s already being considerably offended at the thought of mutants being a disease.  The more I see her incredible outrage at racism, the more I can’t wait to see what happens when we get to Blazing Saddles. (Aside from the occasional angry letter from school, I mean.)

The whole idea that Professor X can be a scheming jerk a great deal of the time is also a core to the comic book X-series, and used pretty well in this outing.

Magneto comes off as a truly charismatic leader - a crazy powerful, charismatic leader.  He does have several moments that remind everyone that he is a villain, yet how much he cares for Charles is still always apparent.

He also pulls off some “unleashed” moments that are at least equal to Wolverine.

Beast unleashes pretty impressively his blue furred self as well.

In the unfortunate tradition of Marvel women not being able to handle their powers, Jean’s unleashings blow everyone else’s away as they cross into the realm of uncontrolled.

In fact, her powers blow absolutely everything away, except the most indestructible substance in the universe…

Wolverine’s pants.

In a universe where her hospital gown is a little black dress, that is to be expected.

Again, while not as good as previous efforts, it still captivated my daughter.

She was excited by the reunion between Jean and Scott, and impressed that she could stop his eye beams.

She was less impressed when she disintegrated him, especially when my answer to, “Where did he go?” was, “He went to make Superman Returns.”

Much like any sane person, her reaction to a “telekinetic cocoon” as Jean’s reason for not being dead was, “That makes no sense.”

I also have to agree with her that the Juggernaut saying he needs to pee is far funnier than it should be.

The return to Jean’s home may be the key moment of the story. While not as flashy as the final, army sized battle; the stakes are much more personal and emotional.  All the actors played their parts to the hilt, and while my daughter was disturbed by the outcome, the power of it all was visible on her face. 

Storm and Wolverine’s silent bonding moment following Phoenix unleashing Charles all over the walls was one of the few examples in the movies of the strong, platonic connection between those two that the comics often highlight so well.

The opening Danger Room scene, and later one’s with Rogue perfectly demonstrated the two sides of Logan when relating to the younger mutants.

His complete and total lack of patience makes Wolverine a lousy teacher.
However, his massive amount of heart makes Wolverine a perfect mentor.

My daughter is always quick to pick up on mundane uses of powers.

For the girl “magically” taking notes, she asked, “Is that all she can do?  And they let her in the school?”

While Bobby’s demonstration of creating ice skates for him and Kitty was supposed to prove that boring uses of “gifts” can be awesome, doing it while Rogue was watching proved something else to her:
“He’s a jerk.”

There was a similar two sided view of young Pyro:

I felt that Pyro represented followers of a cause who embrace the fight without comprehending the principals behind it.

On the other hand, my daughter felt Pyro was a “Stinkpot McPatootie Head.”

She did, however recognize the Beast’s catchphrase, “Oh my stars and garters!” and laughed appropriately.  Since he isn’t in the comics we’ve read together, she either remembered that from the 90’s cartoon that I unsurprisingly own on DVD…or from me.

She also laughed inappropriately at a few points making me an excessively proud papa!

It was more of an evil chuckle when Calisto got electrocuted by Storm.  Bonus points for Storm avoiding any “witty” remarks this time.

It was a straight out belly laugh, after admitting it was disturbing as, once again Hugh Jackman gets a pass from her for inappropriate behavior.

This would be during the scene where the guy kept growing back limbs as Wolvie sliced them off.

So he simply fell back on a long distance field goal style kick to the mutant’s man mangoes, followed up by:
“Grow those back.”

As a conclusion, I’d like to point out The Last Stand also had the first post credits scene of this franchise

With a musical sting so scary and sudden, it startled my daughter out of noticing Erik moved the chess piece.


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