X-MEN 3: THE LAST STAND
Reviewed by: JimmyO
What's it about
When a cure for mutants is discovered, they are given a choice to continue living with their powers or being “normal”. The controversial cure makes for the final battle between Magneto, the “goth kids”, Charles Xavier and the X-men.
Is it good movie?
Yes, this film has problems. A few main characters are completely wasted, most notably Cyclops (James Marsden) and Mystique (Rebecca Romijn). Aside from that, there are way too many other characters brought in that we just don’t give a damn about. It was a nice try to bring in as many mutants as you can, but the X-Men that they really pushed in the ads, Angel and Beast, played by Ben Foster and Kelsey Grammer are not used terribly well. What a waste, because Angel is a great character and they set him up early on that he would be a major player, which he really wasn’t. But what we do get is a really fun sequel that is better than most of these types of pictures. The action works very well and Hugh Jackman and Famke Janssen kick some major ass. This isn’t as good as the original in any way and it certainly doesn’t compare to the far superior X2 but I still had a blast, with a few exceptions.
I am a fan of this series yet I am not quite as attached as many of the X-Men fans out there so I think I was more forgiving for many of the issues that many have had. Yes, I saw them but I still had fun and that is the strength of Brett Ratner vision; he adds some great humor and an exciting look. Taking Bryan Singer’s place, Mr. Ratner keeps the same vibe going yet he tries too hard by adding too many characters and trying to make us feel for them; frankly, most of them we don’t, that REALLY irked me. But aside from a few wasted mutants, the special effects here are a blast. I dug the final climax with the Golden Gate Bridge and the many other effects that really work. This stuff looks fantastic and the original X-Men ace their roles here. This is a really good action hero flick but sort of a let down from what Bryan Singer created. It would have been nice to see what he would have done. And he might not have had all of Magneto’s peeps looking like the Goth Kids in South Park… what was up with that?
Video / Audio
Video: The Anamorphic Widescreen at 2.40:1 is nice and clear; a good transfer.
Audio: The 6.1 DTS ES and the 5.1 Dolby EX both sound terrific and makes for a great listen, I did like the score by John Powell.
It wouldn’t be a bad idea to wait for the inevitable two-disc set. Although the extras are not bad, they are going to get much better when they do the "double dip".
We begin with two Commentaries, one from Director Brett Ratner and Screenwriters Simon Kinberg and Zak Penn which is an okay listen, they keep it moving but add no real answers to the critics complaints. They just seem to like congratulating each other on a job well done.
The next commentary is the Producers, Avi Arad, Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter which is not worth listening to. Much too much quiet time and they seem to be a tad more interested in watching the movie than talking about it. Although they give some useful information but I it would have made a documentary and not dull commentary.
There are a series of Deleted Scenes and alternate versions. The most interesting include some moments involving Jean Grey/Phoenix. I especially loved the added footage when the two sides fight at her old house. There is an alternate version where you hear the battle between Xavier and Jean with no sound effects, just voiceover which is creepy... me like. But most of these scenes are the typical thirty second additions that they just cut. Still worth a look, and you can also watch with commentary from Brett, Simon and Zak.
Finishing up this disc is a whole bunch of Trailers including a first look at The Simpsons movie. There are two trailers for The Last Stand, Trailer B is the stronger of the two. There is a trailer for the 24 Season 5 DVD (:58), and we also have The World of Marvel which included trailers for Daredevil (2:22), Elektra (1:41) and Fantastic Four (2:23).
And in case you didn’t notice when you put the disc in, there are MORE TRAILERS including, “Ice Age: The Meltdown”, “Behind Enemy Lines 2: Axis of Evil” (yes, I’m serious) and “Thank you for Smoking”.
X-Men: The Last Stand is an exciting yet flawed sequel to one of the better super hero franchises around. Director Brett Ratner tries the, “throw everything in and see what sticks” approach, and it makes for an entertaining experience that every so often leaves you wishing they would have waited for Bryan Singer to come back. I do give him credit for keeping the atmosphere close to the first two and also for giving Famke Janssen the chance to really kick ass as The Phoenix. And all the other returning mutants, especially Mr. Jackman and Sir Ian McKellan seem to rise to the occasion while taking The Last Stand.