X-Men: The Last Stand begins with images of Angel (Ben Foster) as a distressed young boy trying to mutilate his angel-like wings - the source of his mutant powers. Angel’s father, billionaire industrialist Warren Worthington II (Michael Murphy), is unable to accept his son’s mutation. Several years later, Worthington develops a cure that will turn mutants into ‘normal’ human beings. He has used a mutant child, held in a facility on Alcatraz Island, as the source of the cure.
Some mutants are attracted to the idea of having a normal life. For example, Rogue (Anna Paquin) only has to touch to kill. But the darker side of the mutant population led by Magneto (Ian McKellen) believe the government will use the cure as a weapon against mutants who pose a threat.
Magneto’s fears are realised when Mystique (Rebecca Romijn), a mutant close to him, is injected with the cure by a shot gun that removes her mutant superpowers. In response to the threat of a cure, Magneto gathers together an army of renegade mutants. He intends to use the army to destroy the source of the cure.
The only ones able to stand against Magneto’s army are the X-Men – Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), Cyclops (James Marsden), Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Storm (Halle Berry), Beast (Kelsey Grammer), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) and Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page). But Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), who was killed off in the second X-Men movie, is reborn as the evil Dark Phoenix, and joins Magneto’s army.
This movie contains frequent, stylised action violence with low-level blood and gore. For example:
- Mystique strangles a guard with her feet.
- Dark Phoenix uses her mutant powers to suck the life out of her victims.
- Magneto crushes cars and throws trucks around like toys.
- Dark Phoenix throws Wolverine against walls and a ceiling like a rag doll.
- A female mutant smashes Storm’s head into a glass table.
- Two female mutants smash each other against walls.
- Dark Phoenix burns the flesh off the Professor and then disintegrates his body.
- A mutant sets a building on fire and then blows it up.
- A mutant with horn-like spikes impales Wolverine.
- Wolverine brutally stabs and slashes his victims to death with his knife-like claws.
- Magneto hurls Wolverine hundreds of metres through the air, smashing his body into some forest trees.
- Beast brutally pounds other mutants with his fists and throws others through the air.
- Storm calls lightening to electrocute her attackers.
- Mutants throw balls of fire at soldiers.
- Dark Phoenix disintegrates numerous soldiers.
Content that may disturb children
- There are many mutant monster-like creatures, both good and evil, with frightening physical appearances.
- The movie shows several physical transformations. Dark Phoenix undergoes a demonic transformation. Her eyes, facial features and skin tones take on an evil, menacing appearance.
- Juggernaut - a large, scary-looking and intimidating mutant - threatens some adolescent children, crashing through walls in his attempt to kill one of them.
Children in this age group could also be scared by the violent and scary scenes described.
Children over the age of 13 will cope better with the onscreen violence. They could still be concerned by the more brutal examples.
- Rouge says ‘Boys only want one thing’.
- Wolverine, frustrated by a mutant’s ability to grow back arms that he has severed, kicks the mutant in the groin, and says, ‘Grow those back’.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
The movie contains no drug or alcohol use. But the ‘cure’ itself is a drug, and is inflicted upon numerous mutants without their consent. This results in physical and emotional pain and suffering.
Nudity and sexual activity
- Magneto’s ally Mystique (Rebecca Romijn) is shot with a cure bullet and reverts to a non-mutant form. This leaves her naked on the floor, although only her side is shown.
- Some mutant females wear tight-fitting, black leather jumpsuits.
- Dark Phoenix acts in a sexually seductive and erotic manner towards Wolverine. She wraps her legs around his waist, pulls him onto a table and kisses him strongly on the lips.
There is infrequent coarse language in this movie.
Ideas to discuss with your children
X-Men: The Last Stand is the third instalment in the X-Men series. Its main message is about conformity and prejudice. It shows the pressures placed on people to conform and avoid persecution. It shows the prejudice that results from people not knowing or understanding what is different, and perceiving it as a threat.
You could discuss and encourage the altruistic and self-sacrificing qualities of some of the X-Men and women. For example, they are willing to sacrifice their own lives for the sake of humanity, regardless of the prejudices displayed towards them.
You could also discuss the concept of treating individuality as a disease, and whether those who are different from the majority need to be ‘cured’. You might want to talk about the unrealistic nature of the comic book violence presented throughout the movie. For example, what would be the real-life consequences of using violence to resolve conflict?