Thursday, May 18, 2006

X-Men 3: The Last Stand

Next Thursday sees the release of the much-anticipated third and final film of the Marvel Comic's X-Men Trilogy.

The comic's concept is to do with genetic mutation and the development of the 'X Gene', a rare mutation manifested during adolescence that gives the recipient unususal abilities. These 'mutants' are feared and shunned by society, who resent their powers and are apprehensive regarding their often bizarre appearance.

There is a schism in self-opinion by the mutants however; those led by Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) - who runs a school for 'gifted' youngsters - believe mutants can live side-by-side with humans, whilst those led by Magneto (played by Ian McKellen) believe they will never be accepted, thus are 'at war' with humans.

The previous films have dealt largely with stigma and acceptance issues, and controlling mutation, but the plot of this third and final film involves the development of a 'cure' by a pharmaceutical company, and the chance for some mutants to finally have the opportunity for anonymity, at the expense of their super-power.

Admittedly this is a big-budget Hollywood blockbuster, with a greater emphasis on special effects than medical issues of disease and cure, but I think the ideas behind the story are fascinating. We can extrapolate the analogies of diseases providing some kind of ability down to examples such as sickle-cell trait giving protection from malaria, and the preceeding and subsequent Darwinist natural selection. The film focuses on good versus evil (the age old comic book theme), but these are represented by individual's own perceptions regarding their status, as well as the average human's opinion - are mutants freaks?

If anyone is interested in the movie or has seen the previous films (or watched the cartoon like I did in my youth), I'd be keen to hear what you think.

You can see a seven-minute trailer for the new film here, or check out the film's official website.

1 comment:

Taz said...

Funnily enough, being a fan of the original cartoon series and the latest blockbuster movie series, I have never thought of X-Men in this context. The idea of finding a cure for something which may not be envisaged as a problem for many is one of the challenges of medical ethics, particularly with the development of preimplantation genetic diagnosis and IVF therapy. Is "curing" a trait which is perceived by many as normal going too far? The familiar issues of choosing the sex of a potential child, and designer babies spring to mind.

I am really looking forward to the film (sadly the last in the trilogy) and now have another (more academic) reason to watch it!