'X-Men': We have burning questions

152745__anna_lSo it looks like everyone in the known universe elected to take the mutant cure this weekend. By now you must realize: Side effects include several burning questions. Most are too spoiler-y to be mentioned here. So allow me to play The Provocateur (my lame mutant alter ego) and kick off two larger thematic debates:

1. What was the thinking (maybe that’s too strong a word) behind sampling this web short in a feature film? Yes, I know crowd-sourcing  is all the rage in today’s imagination-leeched Hollywood. I know Lost is now as much an online fan conversation as a TV show, and I realize that half of Snakes on a Plane was written by freelance net ironists.

Honestly, though: As the trustee of a beloved franchise, do you reference a popular Web parody of said franchise just for the sake of referencing it? Do people applaud for the sheer familiarity? (Often, the answer is a big scary yes). Is it funny or off-key, like Batman suddenly breaking into a chorus of "Robin Laid an Egg"? Does it sell beloved characters down the river for a cheap laugh? Larger question: Is it disturbing or refreshingly democratic to have mega-budgeted Hollywood, er, juggernauts relying on no-budget Web trifles for inspiration?

2) The issue of "the cure": What divisive social issue does it allegorize for you? Of course, there’s the well-worn "queer theory" approach to X-Men, but reviews of The Last Stand have added abortion and even cochlear implants to the political/polemical mix. (Oh, and in case you’ve been missing the whole Malcolm X/Martin Luther King dynamic between Magneto and Prof. Charles Xavier, Mystique keeps it fresh by refusing to be called by her "slave name.")  So… when Rogue (Anna Paquin, pictured) agonizes over whether to take the "cure," what do you see? A young woman trying to decide whether or not to terminate a pregnancy? Or an innocently parasitic mutant who’d like to be able to kiss her boyfriend without draining his life force?

3) I know I said two, but… dude, still no Gambit?

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  • Paul U.

    I think the Juggernaut line was a hoot, and the audience in the first showing I saw seemed to love it too. the second showing, not so much. YES, I saw it two times this weekend…I thought it was great! nothing that holds up to great scrutiny like X-2…it’s simply about a cure for MUTANTS in an entertaining summer movie.

  • Aaron

    Thank you! When Rogue walked in to take the cure, I leaned over to my friend and said, “It’s like walking into Planned Parenthood!”

  • Jose

    Why waste the greatest X-Men story arc (and argueably the greatest comic book story arc of any comic) by reducing Dark Pheonix to the last 15 minutes of a below average movie? Why not leave Jean dead until part 4 and have part 4 be entirely Jean Grey/Dark Pheonix.

    • amber

      ALTERNATE ENDING***:
      Instead of killing her, Woverine injects the cure into Jean.

      HOW ABOUT THAT!!!!!

  • Jose

    AND RECAST STORM…PLEEEEEEASE!!!!

  • Finn

    Can anyone explain why it went from daylight to dark night when the Brotherhood walked over the bridge to Alcatraz? It couldn’t have been more than a few minutes, yet the sun disappeared entirely.

  • The Other Kyle

    Why must you critics on your high horses continue to bash this film?
    I’m a long time X-men fan and also a fan of the film franchise. I’m able to separate the comics, the 90’s cartoon, and the films as separate entities. And X3 is a well made action roller coaster ride that’s better than the first film but not better than the second.
    And I’ll admit, I laughed my @ss off at the Juggernaut line. Come on. How can you really be expected to take the character seriously? He’s a big doofus in the comics and the cartoons. He’s not even a mutant in the comics!!
    The movie needed comic relief. It’s a pretty heavy film. Much death and turmoil. Juggernaut is a pretty silly looking a character. And you know everyone who is in tune with pop culture was thinking of that online reference everytime they saw Juggernaut. My friends were quoting it all weekend. It was a quick funny shout-out for a character that really doesn’t have much to do in any incarnation of the X-men except bash and smash.

  • ???

    Scott Brown, I saw the movie just for fun. I have no idea what you are talking about.

  • jaime

    I loved it and can relate to it on the gay aspect. Im with Finn why did it get so dark all of a sudden? I leaned over to ask my bf and he asked me the same thing….. What was that about?

  • Scott

    To Finn: I turned to my friend and asked that exact same question when I saw the movie. Seemed like quite a glaring error in an otherwise entertaining movie.

  • Krushgroove

    The 2 videos that you link to have been removed by YouTube.

  • Vinny

    Gambit will have to wait for the sequel… X-Men: The Next Generation… when all the young ones and their pubescent problems take center stage.

  • Liz

    The only thing that came to mind with the Rogue storyline was the fact that she would possibly have had to face being called a traitor to her “kind” (their kind is “special” and doesn’t necessarily have to be cured) by both sides of the X-Men: those who were fighting against the cure totally, and our X-Men (who, call me dumb, didn’t seem totally opposed to a cure but didn’t necessarily endorse it; we know they didn’t endorse war, though).

  • Fatima

    hated hated hated the juggernaut line. No I haven’t seen the inside joke, but having such an esoteric reference is stupid because I saw it and the audience groaned. all the new villans were awful and he was such an awful awful actor in such an awful awful film.
    oh I need to watch the 2nd to get the aftertaste out of my mouth

  • Fatima

    on further inspection, I watched the internet video and found it incredibly stupid and offensive to women and the black race in general. its lowest common denominater humor for those who quote super troopers nonstop. It really does prove how much of a dumbass Brett Ratner is if he thinks that that passes for humor.

  • Laura

    Um, I saw Rogue as an “innocently parasitic mutant who’d like to be able to kiss her boyfriend without draining his life force.” I mean, her mutation doesn’t just make her look different or give her a power to control/do something special at will, like the other mutants. Her mutation causes her to unintentially kill people and/or cause them great harm just by them accidentally touching their skin. That’s more like a contagious disease to me.
    I mean, if she could control that power, and choose when she wanted it to affect people (like the other mutants), then it would be fine. But she has no control over it. So again, I say Rogue is completely different from the other mutants, and their allegorical representation of homosexuality, different races, etc, and therefore COMPLETELY justified in wanting to get “The Cure”.
    As for Juggernaut, the video won’t work, so I really don’t know what line you’re referring to. Can anyone help me out here?

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