As of just a few weeks ago, I had never seen X-Men--any of them; and not without reason. In my teens, I even pillow-censored Star Wars (for those of you who don't know what pillow-censoring is, I define it as the act of holding a pillow between your eyes and the television during the creepy parts. For those of you who don't know what Star Wars is... well, I'll have to refer you here.)
Anyways, I outgrew most of that a couple years ago; probably when I saw The Patriot, closely followed by Gladiator, which violent (and beautiful) films became the first two movies I ever cried over.
Those two movies didn't quite cure me of my ideas about most of the action genre, however. So when Brandon wanted me to go see X-Men III with him, I hadn't seen the first two, and I told him that. Which meant that we brought the first one back to my place and watched it.
To my surprise, I didn't just like it--I found it passionate, deep, haunting and powerful. So we watched the second one, which I liked even better. Brandon filled in the story with history from his knowledge of the comic books, TV shows, etc., and by careful cultivation grew a healthy X-Men fan.
Be forewarned from here, if you haven't made it to the theater for the third movie yet: if you know enough about the first two, you might be able to piece together a spoiler from the rest of this blog. And--if you haven't seen it, stay till the credits are over. Trust me on this one. Don't leave, like everyone in the cinema did tonight except for me and Brandon and two or three other astute folks in the back.
Tonight, we drove up to Sunset Square and watched the third. The Last Stand left me feeling bittersweet, for several reasons. First of all, Wolverine and Rogue have been my favorite characters from the start. Wolverine ended the series as a hero, but it cost him unimaginably; one couldn't ask for a more heartwrenching scene than his final confrontation with the Phoenix. Rogue made a choice that cost her deeply as well, and would change not only her life but the lives of others around her. But I cannot blame her for what she did. Rogue, of all the characters, faced the most hellish dilemma--to love, and never be able to touch.
"Let the punishment fit the crime" accurately describes Magneto's fate. I don't for a minute deny that he deserved it. Something in his character always caught me, though; held out some small hope of redemption; perhaps his friendship with Xavier. Instead, one of the stallions in the story with the greatest potential for nobility chose viciousness instead; and, despite the evil, it was a shame to see that strength gelded.
Here's the question that will dog the mental footsteps of X-Men fans for... ever, I guess: What made that chess piece wobble?