My review yesterday was focussed on my own thoughts after coming out of the cinema. Today I want to specifically reply to one or two points raised by some of the other bloggers I linked to then.
Many people have noted links between mutants and gay people, mutants and the Jewish, etc. I’ve done so myself previously. Jim Roeg had a problem with how it was handled in X-Men 3; Mark Fisher thought it was done well. I didn’t mention it yesterday because I think that we all put too much freight in the metaphor. But on further reflection I think the problem is we cast the links as metaphors, when (following Marc Singer’s brilliant post) they might be more fruitfully thought of as metonyms: mutants don’t symbolise difference, they are different.
Looked at this in this way, there’s no need to worry about what the mutant cure logically equates to if mutation equals being gay. Mutants have some problems like those faced by gay people/plur; some like those faced by the black-skinned; some like the Jewish; some like pubescent teenagers; some like pregnant women seeking abortions. But their problems are not the coded problems of those groups. (This also solves the problem of how to regard Rogue’s power in even the Bryan Singer movies.)
Secondly, I’ve got to disagree with all this invocation of Jar Jar Binks as a negative image—even by people who liked X-Men 3 (note the spelling of his name, Thomas).
Thirdly, I’ve got to disagree with anyone who thought the special effects or costumes weren’t up to scratch—even by people who liked X-Men 3. I question Thomas: I thought Beast looked great. You know, there’s no movie with effects of any ambition that couldn’t be picked on. Whether one thinks things look fake or absurd or not is mainly a matter of taste and willingness to suspend belief, I think.
Fourthly, the chess piece did move.
Finally, the microcosmic scene of the film, for me, was Juggernaut chasing Kitty through Alcatraz. Kitty here is an exemplary member of the X-Men, passing through mundane concerns until she is forced to consider them by another mutant. Meanwhile Juggernaut is a fine soldier of Magneto, all about breaking down perceived barriers destructively. Both revel in their powers. Both are uncanny. The dark side of humanity: “Don’t you know who I am? I’m the Juggernaut, bitch. I’m not the kind of guy to play hide and seek with.” The surprising and delightful response: “Who’s hiding, dickhead?”—followed by an imaginative trick. (A squeal of feedback as X-Men inspires Buffy inspires X-Men.)