X-Men 3

X-Men 3: The Last Stand was not that good. Why? It was not because of the utter lack of consistency regarding the mutant world (who has what powers and can do what when, but doesn’t), that only affects the nerds, but because of the utter lack of consistency regarding the human one. X-Men 3 is a fantasy about neoconservatives attempting to eradicate difference. It was the opposite of radical. As if the problems in contemporary societies were those of accepting difference?!?! On the contrary, it needs difference!

Most of the social machinery of today is an expression of the neoliberal market rationality of exploiting the differentials of age, class, gender, ethnicity and so on. The State enters into synergistic relations with business, not to produce a ‘cure’ that rids the world of ‘difference’, but to legislate certain markets into existance that capture differences, and splay them out like singular patterned animal skins that are slowly treated, worked and turned into leather. Why would it suddenly change with the rise of mutants, as if their differences were not worthy of being exploited?

(On the tension between US neoconservatism and neoliberalism rationalities listen to Wendy Brown’s lecture.)

So to combine neoliberal market-political rationality with the neoconservative moral-political rationality where difference is not so unproblematically ‘good’, what sort of film would this be? Would it be a boring, soul-destroying film without any super heroes about how mutants are exploited for their special talents by the machinery of neoliberal capitalism? Maybe. However, it would’ve been an awesome film if ‘difference’ itself had been the problematised tension. Sure have the brain candy of the Magento-cure plotline for action-hero simpletons, but then back it up with a much more subtle critique and plot line. How about mutant kids being pursued by ‘talent scouts’ and written into contracts by their parents. How do you fight against a decentralised business? In a less spectacular manner than the stupidities of Magneto, that is for sure. The 2000s equivalent of the 1950s absence in cinema of toilets and bodily movements is the absence of capital and the tangles of commercial interest that wrap themselves around everything.

Please, movie people, get some better writers for the next one.

4 replies on “X-Men 3”

  1. I haven’t seen it yet but i loved the first two. I checked out Wendy Brown’s lecture. Wow, she’s great. There are so many applicable aspects to Australian politics and it in some ways explains the question “where did this neo-conservative force in Australia come from?” Of course, it is produced at the same time as it emerges.

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