Saturday, May 27, 2006
X-Men: The Last Stand Review, Part One
Spoiler Alert: This review contains plot elements from the movie.
It’s not that it’s bad, it just isn’t good.
Here’s the short of it: If you are a comic book geek, there is plenty for you to enjoy, from spectacular fight sequences, to insider’s satisfying moments (Hank McCoy saying “Oh my stars and garters” is for us geeks.)
If you are not a comic book geek, most of this movie is laughable – and not in a good way.
The most glaring problem is the dialogue. My wife suggested that Final Draft come up with a feature that marks clichés – much like it does a spell check. But the software would overload on this movie: no cliché went unturned, and no scene went without and overwrought speech.
The language drained the cool out of the movie.
Of course, Marvel comics has always been known (since Stan “Excelsior” Lee) for overwrought, dense dialogue, so it is no surprise that the movie would catch the disease. But it seems less condescending on the page than in the space between the speakers and the audience’s ears. And the more folks like Wolverine speechify, the less power of mystery they hold.
Let me rewrite a scene for you, to make the point. In the latter part of the movie (did I mention the spoiler alert at the start of the column?), as the team is about to go into battle, Bobby Drake points out that there are only a handful of the good guys going against an army of evil mutants. Wolverine then makes a speech about those that died before this moment, and holding on to their dream, and making things count and blah de blah blah. And he follows it with a “who’s in” altar call. Which might have been a moving moment if it was the first such speech.
How about this instead: Bobby points out how outnumbered they are, and how impossible their mission is. And Wolverine replies. “Yep. Let’s go.”
I’d rather follow that guy into battle than the talky guy. But that’s just me.
Just my thoughts,