"The Limits of Power"
What You Need To Know:
The dialogue in X-MEN: THE LAST STAND is a bit corny in at least two scenes. Also, the plot leaves a little to be desired. The script problems result in a major plot problem at the end, which the filmmakers are unable to resolve morally. Despite these flaws, THE LAST STAND is quite entertaining. Despite brief immorality, the movie has a very strong moral worldview overall. It teaches throughout that great power must be controlled. Power should be used responsibly and wisely, the movie argues. This positive moral theme is couched in a tale of good versus evil.
(BBB, C, PP, H, Ev, O, PC, LL, VV, S, N, A, D, M) Very strong moral worldview with some redemptive qualities advocating that power should be used responsibly and controlled, and arguing that it's not always good to follow one's nature, but that there's a higher law, or there are things that are more important, a strong pro-American nod to the ability of the United States to reconcile conflicts between groups, and one or two humanist, pro-evolution comments, plus some references to mutants who can use telepathy and move objects with their mind, which is usually an occult concept, but the concept is put in a moral context where mutations produce superheroes who are admonished that great power must be controlled, and some possible politically correct implications concerning "tolerance" and other vague issues; nine obscenities and two light profanities; strong action violence with a little blood sometimes includes man pierced by corkscrew claws but he has superpowers that can heal him, man uses his steel claws to slash and kill villains, man slices off another man's arms but other man can immediately grow back new ones so there is no blood, woman whips up storms to fight villains, vehicles wrecked, innocent bystanders threatened, a couple people's necks are broken, some martial arts type fighting, property damaged, man bursts through many walls, and powerful mutant is able to explode people into dust and tries to strip flesh off one man who has powers to heal himself, plus boy tries to cut off his budding wings; one attempted fornication scene that is cut short when male mutant human realizes the woman is not herself and cannot control her super powers, and a couple other light sexual references; brief upper male nudity and blue mutant woman is nude but she has blue scales that cover up the inappropriate parts of her body; brief alcohol use; brief smoking of two or three cigars; and, a major plot problem at the end is not resolved happily or morally.
The third X-MEN movie, THE LAST STAND, is an entertaining, fun popcorn movie that will enthrall most moviegoers. It doesn’t have quite the depth or jeopardy of the second movie, but its moral elements are stronger and suffer less from the evolutionary, occult implications of its superhero roots.
The third movie opens with two flashbacks. Professor Xavier and his future nemesis, Magneto, visit a little girl known as Jean Grey, who later gave her life for the other X-Men in the second movie. Jean is a powerful telepath with super kinetic powers she has trouble controlling. In the other flashback, a father searches for a cure for his son, a mutant boy who’s growing wings.
Cut to the not so distant future. The father has developed a cure for mutant powers by using the blood of a mutant who completely leeches the powers from other mutants. The government offers a voluntary program of cures for the mutants, but the evil Magneto is gathering an army of mutants to destroy the cure and take over the planet.
While this is happening, Cyclops, the grieving boyfriend of Jean Grey, discovers that Jean has somehow used her powers to survive the tons of water that swallowed her up in the second movie. She has changed, however, and can’t control her powers, which appear to kill Cyclops.
Professor Xavier tries to help Jean re-establish control over her powers, but she runs away after a dramatic scene with Wolverine. Another mutant leads Magneto to where Jean has disappeared, but Professor Xavier, and the mutants Storm and Wolverine, are also there. Another tragedy results in Jean deciding to join Magneto.
A battle for the planet begins. The X-Men must make a final stand against the evil Magneto. Can Wolverine, who also loves Jean, appeal to her better nature?
The dialogue in X-MEN: THE LAST STAND is a bit too corny in at least two scenes, and the plot leaves a little to be desired. In one scene, for example, Professor Xavier gives a goofy, ad hoc explanation for why Jean Grey survived. About the same time, he also reveals to Wolverine Jean has always suffered from a “split personality” where she has needed his special telepathic powers to keep her well and in control of her own vast, dark powers. The split personality plot is a hackneyed device. It also creates a plot problem at the end which the filmmakers are unable to resolve happily or morally. These problems will bother some people more than others.
Despite these problems, however, X-MEN: THE LAST STAND is very entertaining. It also has a very strong moral worldview. The movie teaches throughout that great power must be controlled. Power also should be used responsibly and wisely, the movie argues. This moral theme is couched in a tale of good versus evil. In the morality tale, the bad guys are the guys who believe in survival of the fittest and who believe that Nature should always be followed without question, no matter the possible consequences.