Monday, June 05, 2006
X-Men to the World: Take Us Seriously!
Godzilla – Monster-sized Movies that can’t be ignored
The Golden Gate Bridge rises off its moorings and levitates across San Francisco Bay. Cars fly across mountain highways and burst into flames. A winged teenager crashes through a skyscraper window and soars above the city skyline. The perpetrators of these fantastic feats are the costumed heroes and villains of “X-Men: The Last Stand,” the third movie blockbuster based on the popular comic book.
The X-Men formula of mutant teenagers with fantastic powers, one controls the weather, another can move through walls, battling baddies with their own superhuman skills is rock solid action formula.
“X3,” directed by Brett Ratner, has sold $175.7 million worth of tickets in the U.S. in its first ten days of release, meaning that a lot of teenage movies goers are returning again and again.
“X3” may also have just enough thrills to please that ardent art-house film buff in need of a movie void of any intellectual engagement.
“X3,” boasting a villain named Juggernaut who crashes through cement walls like a human bulldozer, offers a sugary rush at all its best moments but there are some who look beyond the explosions.
On a May 30 “National Public Radio” story, commentator Mike Pesca says the “mutantism” in “X3” represents real-life issues ranging from dwarfism to deafness and sexual orientation. He’s not the first person to place sociopolitical issues atop the film’s constant special effects. “X3” actors have been discussing the film’s human rights philosophy during their pre-release publicity appearances. Halle Berry, who plays the X-Men leader Storm, flashes eerie white eyes that match her dyed hair whenever she uses her powers to manipulate the weather. Toss in Berry’s body-hugging leather jumpsuit and it’s almost impossible to take her seriously. Sometimes, a comic is simply a comic. Any political debate around “X3” feels like an awkward stretch.