Monday, 12 November 2012

PREVIEW POST: X-Men: The Last Stand

Yes folks, Dru and Dave are back, and just in time for the American Presidential election!

Wait, what’s that? Already over? Last week?
OK, so we're a bit behind on the times, but our "Comics Go to Washington" series is still timely, right? Right?
Anyway, we are kicking the series off with the 2006 film, X-Men: The Last Stand! Hit the jump for more.

As the third film in the X-Men series, the film is significant for several reasons, starting with the fact that the film adapts not one, but two major storylines from the original comics. Driving the plot of the film is the idea of a cure for mutation, an allegorical idea which originally appeared in the story arc "Gifted," published in Astonishing X-Men #1-6 in 2004. The writer behind this story is a little known author by the name of Joss Whedon, director behind the 2012 indie film Much Ado About Nothing. Oh, and The Avengers.

The film also draws upon the famous and influential "Dark Phoenix Saga," a late 1970s/early 1980s story arc in which original X-Men team member Jean Grey becomes possessed by the alien Phoenix force, a powerful entity with the ability to destroy entire worlds. A massive success upon publication, the storyline has been adapted twice on television in the animated series X-Men and Wolverine and the X-Men, and figures into the storyline of the X-Men anime.

As hinted at earlier, X-Men: The Last Stand is also significant for the major changes behind the scenes of the franchise. Bryan Singer, the director who helped launched the franchise in 2000, stepped away from the series to take on another superhero project, Superman Returns, which was also itself released in 2006. Taking over the director’s chair after the brief reign of Matthew Vaughn was filmmaker Brett Ratner, director of the Rush Hour series…

…the Nicolas Cage Christmas film The Family Man

…and the abomination that is Red Dragon, a film which cannot hold a candle to the brilliance of Michael Mann’s vastly superior Manhunter, which is based on the same source material as Red Dragon. I mean, for goodness sake, it--
Ahem. Sorry about that. Kind of go into rant mode when it comes to Red Dragon.

Moving on, the film is written by Simon Kinberg and Zak Penn. Kinberg is the writer behind the high concept action film Mr. and Mrs. Smith, released in 2005, which lead to the creation of the pop culture phenomenon/gossip column fodder known as Brangelina.

Penn, whose career extends back to the 1993 action film Last Action Hero, has worked on various Marvel films both before and since The Last Stand. Penn is credited with the story on X2: X-Men United and The Avengers, and shares writing credits on Elektra and The Incredible Hulk.

So how does X-Men: The Last Stand hold up six years on from its release? Tune into the next episode to find out!

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