Friday, May 26, 2006

Box Office Poison reviews "X-Men III: That's all they can stand, they can't stands no more!"

The id and I - "X" marks the spot!

The film season shines down on "id island" again as the summer movie-machine spews out another "juggernaut" suitable for framing (and reviewing) - "X-Men III: The Last Stand."

The marvelous mutants are back with a vengeance for this third (and final?) installment of this comic book franchise with an extra chromosome. The premise: "A cure" is discovered for the mutants this time around and our friendly, sometimes furry, folk have to grapple with whether or not to "drink the Kool-Aid."

When we last left The X-Gang, mutant hottie Jean Grey got swept away in a wave of glory trying to save her friends (including boyfriend, Cyclops, and the the wolf she'd LIKE to find sleeping in her bed, Wolverine).

Cyclops is left alone in his room, sulking for his fallen sultry supergal, probably listening to old "Level 42" songs and drinking spare Heinekens he has on his nightstand (Beer: In case of emergency, break glass).

Meanwhile, on the other end of the mansion, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Storm (Halle Berry) and Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) are left to pick up the pieces as their old fancy boy foe, Magneto (Ian McKellen), rants away - seeking to wage a war on humankind.

A lot of "new" characters are introduced, including "Angel" and "Juggernaut," along with "The Beast" (played with great delight by Kelsey Grammer who returns home to the mansion "where everybody knows his name...").

But it's Halle Berry as the stylish Storm - and Jackman as the snarling, sarcastic Wolverine - that bring "a touch of class ...and classlessness" to the third installment of this fabled comic franchise - and they are the mutant cornerstones that hold this fantasy foundation together.

When Jean Grey returns from the dead as "Dark Phoenix" the sexual chemistry between her character and Wolverine rages out of control ("There's no sex in your violence ...there's no sex in your violence ...THERE'S NO SEX IN YOUR VIOLENCE!") while Charles Xavier and Magneto produce their own amount of philosophical friction as they ping-pong back and forth between their own ethical mutant debate ("Everything Zen ...everything Zen-? I don't think so!").

Although I'm more of a "Green Lantern kind of guy" (McEditor's note: Why can't he make a river of green beer with that ring!), I find the story of "The X-Men" mostly entertaining, and engaging, enough. There's just something about misunderstood, misguided, mutants who are disgruntled and torn between using their odd powers for good - or evil - that fascinates me (but, keep in mind, I worked in the world of journalism for several years! My mutant name was: "Acid Tongue").

And thankfully, this time around, "the politics" are toned down a bit in "X-Men III" - as no one shackles the blue-haired Beast and imprisons his furry liberal ass down in Dick Cheney's "Democracy Dungeon" ...for simply wandering into a red state.

That being said, "X-Men III: The Last Stand" is a fun little romp through the realm of cinematic comic books, despite it's anti-climatic ending.

And it's quite a refreshing change of pace from that OTHER big box-office movie that has everyone talking about it's attempts to discredit and crush the Catholic church: "Mission Impossible III."

"X-Men III: The Last Stand" - Grade: B (For Beast-iality!)


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