Friday, 30 May 2014

X-Men: The Last Stand

X-Men: The Last Stand is full of coke writing, by that I mean characters are twisted in antithetical, arrogant ways to serve the next plot progression. It's easy to imagine Steven E de Souza, or similar, cooking this up between lines. Genesis blaring in the background. Previously established characters shed nuance, mutating into ciphers who act only to facilitate the next action scene. This kind of approach can work - witness Schwarzenegger - but only if the script also engages with something resembling a sense of humour. X3 does not. Professor X is especially mangled by this shorthand. A previously regal figure is reduced to a creepy stepfather who has spent decades psychically abusing his young charge Jean Grey in an effort to squash what she expresses as her sexuality.

In X3, Xavier has specifically infantalised Grey, building layer upon layer of false personalities into her brain in an attempt to stop her assuming her superstate. When Grey does finally ascend she's violent and capricious, a malformed identity apparently stunted by Xavier's suppression. Grey isn't allowed to shoulder her great responsibility, Daddy was too busy making sure she stayed pretty. Paternalism bleeding in from a usually dignified source leaves a sour taste, as does the sudden predilection for the casual use of the word bitch. These missteps make you appreciate the inclusionist vibe Bryan Singer brought to the series. The director may well prove to be a predatory rapist, but at least he doesn't hate women.

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