Looking past the action scenes that are expected in an X men movie, the main thing that jumped out at me throughout the course of this movie is the portrayal of Alcatraz. Although the island plays a lesser role in the movie when compared to other films we have watched, it serves a unique purpose contrary to that of its former role in history: “This site, which once was a famous prison, will now be the source of freedom for all mutants who choose it.” Previously home to the most dangerous criminals in our society, Alcatraz was now the site of a highly sophisticated lab. It is at this lab that a pharmaceutical company used a mutant to create a “cure” for the mutant X-gene.
They chose to create Worthington lab on Alcatraz because it was the safest location they could find. Now, instead of using its location to prevent criminals from escaping, Alcatraz is now perfectly situated to prevent the much-regarded cure of this disease from getting out to the public. Because of its highly potent and supposedly irreversible power, the medicine must be safely kept in the hands of those who created it. Like the prisoners who were formerly kept in cramped cells, if the medicine were to get out, it could pose a great danger to society. For this reason, the limited accessibility of Alcatraz makes it the perfect venue to safeguard this important medicine.
Similar to its past, Alcatraz is again the site of a major battle. Like we saw in The Birdman of Alcatraz, there is an attempted takeover of the island. Magneto and his brotherhood of mutants wish to destroy the lab and the child who helped create the cure for the mutant gene. In viewing their invasion, we are reminded that no matter how impenetrable Alcatraz was considered, it always seems to be the location of major, unanticipated conflicts.