003797Reviews & Counting
X-Men: The Last Stand
DVD disk
09.15.2006 By: Quigles
X-Men: The Last Stand order
Brett Ratner

Hugh Jackman
Halle Berry
Ian McKellen


star Printer-Friendly version
After a cure for mutants has been created, Magneto recruits a force of powerful mutants to retaliate against the government in order to stop its release. Attempting to prevent a war with the humans, the X-Men fight back... And so begins the final showdown between good and evil.
X-MEN: THE LAST STAND (or as I prefer to call it, X3) proves a movie can be both infuriating and incredibly entertaining at the same time. One part of me wants to outright slam this movie with one star out of five and then rant about how much they f*cked it up, but the other part of me can't deny that, once you get over all the bad stuff, the movie is actually a pretty fun ride. Still, that doesn't make any of the intense anger directed at Brett Ratner (and the people at 20th Century Fox) just vanish. I don't consider this guy to be a poor director, but he's also not the best - especially when compared to Bryan Singer. I have no doubt in my mind that if those studio execs had held their water long enough to let Singer finish SUPERMAN RETURNS, X3 would've been the most kickass thing to happen to film since, well, X2. Now THAT was an awesome film. And so was the first for that matter. All X3 does is a put a huge dink in this so-called trilogy. And "The Last Stand"? It better f*cking not be. If it is, then I guess this series went out with not so much of a bang as it did a fart. A smelly one at that. (That's right, I resorted to a fart joke. I'm not proud, but it had to be done.)

My biggest gripe about this movie concerns all of the new characters (which are very poorly introduced). Angel has an unbelievably minor sub-plot that feels forced, as well as boring (C'mon! This is freakin' Angel!!!). Beast looks stupid, and barely adds anything to the proceedings (C'mon! This is freakin' Beast!!!). The new villains are just as boring and one-dimensional, worst of all Juggernaut, who might as well have been called Penis Head with that damn helmet he was wearing. I love Vinnie Jones, but he just came across as terrible in this role (C'mon! This is the freakin' Juggernaut, Bitch!!!). And then there's Phoenix, who could sort of be called a new character... well, she sucks too. After a great introduction and decent build-up, she basically just stands around and does nothing despite her ability to destroy everybody within seconds. Laaaame.

Finally, we have the characters from the first two movies. Most are fine, but I wasn't exactly happy at the amount of them losing their powers or getting killed off. Plus, the Rogue-Bobby-Kitty love-triangle subplot was really dull. And last but not least, screw Halle Berry. I love her as an actress, but the fact that she forced us to endure more time with Storm (who's quite likely the least interesting character from the X-Men series), gives off the impression that she thinks she's too good to just take a step back and let other people have the spotlight.


Man, that's a lot of ranting. But I'm not done yet...

THE SCRIPT. What the hell happened? The first two movies had perfectly decent screenplays, why is it that this one sucks so much? First, there's the main storyline. It's actually the best of the three films, and the possibilities involved with it are endless... but damn, what terrible execution. Everything in it feels forced, and the dialogue is horrendous at times (I was pretty much bawling when Professor X was talking about the "cocoon of telekinetic energy"). Even more annoying is how melodramatic it is, making me think about how well this series could work if it were a soap opera.

Ok, almost done. I swear.

If it sounds like I hated this movie it's because, in a way, I did. But that's only because X2 is one of my all-time favorite films, and to see this series degenerate into sequence upon sequence of poor dialogue and mindless action fills me with sadness. That said, if ranked merely on the "standard action flick" scale, X3 would get high marks all-around. For pure entertainment value alone, this movie succeeds at what it intends to do, and less dedicated fans of the X-MEN series will probably enjoy it just fine. There is plenty of action, which for the most part, is terrific fun to watch. Especially satisfying is the finale, which is basically used to signify the "final battle" between the good and evil mutants. As much as I may be pissed at the endless problems with the film, the action sequences save it, mostly because of the pure ecstasy that comes with watching mutants use their powers to pull off insane feats... like, say, the FASTBALL SPECIAL! (All those comic book fans will know what I'm talking about...)
The extras here are very limited, as well as lame. Pathetically, the best special feature available here is the work-in-progress clip from THE SIMPSONS MOVIE.

I'm reviewing the standard edition of the film. There's also a "Collector's Edition" (well, actually, it's "The Stan Lee Collector's Edition" - yikes) being released on the same day. The only difference between the two is that the edition I got doesn't come with a new 100-page X-Men comic book by Stan Lee.

Commentary (with director Brett Ratner, co-writer Zak Penn, and co-writer Simon Kinberg): This commentary annoyed the hell out of me. First of all, Ratner and the writers rarely sound like they actually knew what they were doing, constantly making comments revealing how indecisive they were concerning the production. Secondly, they don't discuss any of the interesting behind-the-scenes material (like Singer leaving, among other things). And lastly, they're just not that entertaining. Skip it.

Commentary (with producers Avi Arad, Lauren Shuler Donner, and Ralph Winter): This track is better then Ratner's, but it's still pretty disappointing. The speakers give a little insight into some of the workings behind various scenes, but they don't go into any of the interesting behind-the-scenes details about the production.

Deleted Scenes (9:46): There are 13 scenes, most of which are completely useless, as they're nothing more than extended/alternate takes. The only worthwhile ones are the extended fight scenes, which add just a tad bit more juicy material.

Also available are two Trailers for X3, four Previews (three for Marvel movies - DAREDEVIL, FANTASTIC FOUR, ELEKTRA - and one for 24: Season 5), a Sneak Peek at NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM, and a hilarious Preview Clip from THE SIMPSONS MOVIE (in animatic form).
I apologize for writing such a long review, but I had a lot to get off my chest. For those of you not interested enough to read so much material, let me sum it up for you here... Aside from the stellar action sequences and fact that it's a X-MEN film, THE LAST STAND disappoints in almost every way. Audiences going in with no expectations will probably enjoy it as much as any other standard action flick, but for people like me, try to stop from throwing your TV. And if you're considering buying the movie, I recommend waiting until FOX releases the inevitable 2-Disc edition (possibly with a brilliantly witty title like, "The X-citing Edition"?), because right now, the special features suck.
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