X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

Review Date: May 25, 2006

Director: Brett Ratner

Writer: Zak Penn, Simon Kinberg

Producers: Avi Arad, Lauren Shuler Donner, Ralph Winter

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine
Halle Berry as Storm
Ian McKellen as Magneto


Despite the title making it sound like this will be the last X-Men movie, it certainly will not be, but it is the third in the series so far, with this one concentrating on the supposed “cure” for mutancy developed by regular human beings, and the negative reaction of mutants to this “cure”. Needless to say, the bad mutants don’t agree with the good mutants on how to handle this new threat, and what ensues is an apparent “last stand” for survival. The weakest of the three films so far, ensues.


As seen at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival

My least favorite of the three X-MEN movies, but definitely not a disaster by any means, with an interesting enough plotline to make for an okay bookend to the series (somehow, I don’t think this is the “last stand” though) and a pretty cool final 20 minutes of jam-packed action. Unfortunately, the film featured way too many negative points for me to dismiss, including the fact that this is likely the one X-MEN movie that I can’t see myself watching over again, as it doesn’t really have all that much coolness going for it, or anything original that we haven’t seen before, with only Wolverine sticking out as the continuing master of kickass in this one, while the rest of the bunch just sorta go through the motions. The plot, in fact, is one of the film’s lesser qualities as it does establish an interesting premise (there is a “cure” for being a mutant, i.e. being gay, different, etc… -- they’ve removed all of the subtext now, they’re now hammering it into our heads), but they stretch that shit out for about an hour, to the point that you’re just begging them to get it over with already (we know it’s all heading for a showdown, so let’s get on with it already). The film also runs a little over 95 minutes, so it’s easily the least developed of the three flicks, which is ironic since it also contains the most characters. And that was my biggest complaint of all. The film features way too many new “lame-duck” mutants, while it gets rid of too many of the cooler, better known ones.

I know people will always complain about what mutant is their favorite and so forth, but I’m not complaining about that. I’m saying that if you’re gonna be introducing so many new mutants into the equation, you better develop them a little, rather than tossing them a costume and a couple of one-liners. Also, why do all of the new “bad guy” mutants look like goth punks with tattoos and Prince haircuts? Lame-o. And Magneto’s new right-hand man looked a little too much like Jamie Kennedy, and didn’t seem to do much, other than stand around and ooze little charisma. Juggernaut was also extremely disappointing with Vinnie Jones trying his best in muscle prosthetics, but not even coming close to the massive powerhouse that his character is in the comics. Also, his line, “I’m Juggernaut, bitch!” was about as corny as they come. The film also included a couple of hokey sequences, like one in which Wolverine delivers a maudlin “pep talk” to his team before they go out to battle (“We’re the X-Men…”, blah-blah), but the stuff between he and Famke Janssen’s character was dead-on, as was anything between Professor X and Magneto. It also sucked that Halle Berry’s Storm character was given all of these extra lines and coverage in this round, as she’s actually one of the boringest mutants around. On the other end of the scale, slick mutants like Colussus, Iceman, Mystique, Angel and Cyclops are underused and given a couple of throwaway lines here and there (and where’s the awesome Nightcrawler?).

Wow, it seems like I’m complaining a lot about the film, eh? Maybe it wasn’t as “so-so” as I thought when I started to write this review. On the positive end, the special effects were solid across the board, there was one cool fight sequence between Juggernaut and Wolverine, the Phoenix storyline was worked in nicely and I like what ultimately became of Magneto. But all that said, I think my positive feelings about this movie have more to do with my nostalgia from the first two much better films, rather than anything new that was brought forth in this one. In fact, there wasn’t anything of the “new stuff” that particularly caught my fancy this time around, just elements from the older films that I continued to enjoy. Not many real action scenes either. All that to say, the series didn’t get messed up because of this latest entry, but the final installment was definitely the least developed of them all. I don’t really blame Brett Ratner so much, since his directing in the film is actually decent, but rather, the people behind the production who lost the great Bryan Singer for part three, and decided to go ahead and hurry things up anyway, so that they can hit their release date. In my book, that’s no way to make a good movie. That starts from a well-developed screenplay and game plan, which was obviously missing here. Catch this one on video and gimme my WOLVERINE movie already!!

(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian

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Viewing 1-10 of 26 User Comments
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Jun 11 2006, 11:35:39 AM

Even though the movie did not live to the expectations laid down by the wonderful X2, I still think it was a fun summer movie and will buy it when it comes out on DVD(here's hoping for a director's cut). Yes, the movie was rushed but oh well, at least we didnt get a Fantastic Four or some crap like that...

As far as people bitching that Ratner didnt know the comics/whatever...well, If i remember correctly Singer wasnt a comic book fan either.

Profile | E-mail | Buddy
Jun 8 2006, 6:29:14 PM

The last stand is kind of like making out with your crushes sister. The whole time i was watching "Ratners x-men" i was wishing it was "Singers x-men". The film did feel rushed and you didnt get to see what most the mutants were capable of. (Spoilor warning)If you expect to see some kick a$$ fight scence with angel, youll be dissapointed. All he does in the whole movie is fly around... and it isnt even cool looking. He flies like a little nancy angel.

Profile | E-mail | Buddy
Jun 3 2006, 1:04:51 AM

I think the director had very little time to put all the right elements ready for the films release date. Most of the things happen to fast for you to react,the music was over the top and personally they should've continued with Kamen's score from the first movie because it was darker.

Overall the film was entertaining but without any connection to the chracters. Atleast include a love scene or two next. Comic book geeks understand that movies cant really explore the chracters the same way as in books and would be pointless because comics have various interpretations of the characters as well....

Profile | E-mail | Buddy
Jun 2 2006, 7:14:26 PM

This movie was amazing. I myself, still think X2 is the best in the series, but X3 still delivered action packed sequences and fun the whole time around. There were some dissapointing moments though, but i will not share them. All in all, X3 is a must see for this summer! Go, Magneto, Go!

Profile | Buddy
May 30 2006, 12:13:21 PM

as many point out, the story was overexposed and underdeveloped. but even further, i think the entire film was. i've been an avid X-Men fan for most of my life and really felt that Ratner didn't know enough about the comics and/or had no respect for X-Men history. Bryan Singer expressed his love for the comic book which makes him prefect for a comic book film and did a great job at bringing them to the screen, but Ratner had every character out of character. there were parts and characters which i enjoyed, like Beast and Juggernaut(when he wasn't speaking), but i felt the rest were totaly used wrong if used at all. Wolverine getting his ass handed to him in the woods was not right. nor was Magneto, the master of magnetism, having a hide out in the woods. and crediting characters like Callisto, Siryn, and Psylocke and not using them was ridiculous.

Now i understand it's true that no one never really dies in comic book land but it was horrible to watch half of the characters either die or lose their powers. it was a failsafe for drama because the rest of the writing sucked. like Wolverine's big speach of standing united. a) Wolverine never talks like that, and b) he was only talking to five other people. or Magneto's giant army which consisted of 30 or so no-name, 20-something year old mutants.

i also thought the editing was horrible. right from the get go the movie was at fast pace and never slowed down. it made dialogs and monologues irriating to watch because there were too many cuts between characters. and again, characters were underdeveloped and underused, like Dark Phoenix who just stood off to the side for most of the film or Rogue, or Dr. Moira MacTaggart, or Cyclops, or Colossus or any other mutant that Ratner pinned a named to but never used.

it was horribly disappointed within the first 20 minutes of the film and it never got better. sure there were some cool parts which were great to watch, but that never saves a bad movie from being bad. i was hoping this would be the last of a trilogy, which i gathered from the subtitle The Last Stand, but i know 20th Century Fox and Brett Ratner with make another for money purposes and will drag this thing out until many of the fans ready to stab themselves in the ear with pencils. it will turn into yet another franchise that starts great and ends horrbily like the Supermans, Batmans or Star Wars' did, which is a shame because there are great stories and awesome characters in the comics to take from that are waiting for a great director to make, which is slowly happening. Marvel just needs to stop giving away character rights to directors without looking at their director filmographies first.

Profile | Buddy
May 29 2006, 12:01:06 PM

Ok, I finally saw X3!
My expectations were low, really under the radar... and maybe this is why I was already hanging to my chair after 30 mins.

The story of the cure was overexposed but underdeveloped, This means that they should have gone further, but they just repeated the same thing several times.
I think it was necessary to give the sense of back on the wall to Erik and make him fight again against Homo Sapiens (very well made his extermination speech).

Above all I was surprised of what happened at the Canadian lake, excited about the scene in the lab, thrilled about the scene at Jean’s house and kind of sweating for the final sequence.

Rogue did not exist as a character… I know Anna Paquin (thanks to your recent interview Joblo!) was kind of busy and made this movie at the same time of another one, but maybe it would have been better to put her completely aside… She did not even behave in this movie like the Rogue of the previous two episodes!! No continuity from this point of view in my opinion. This was the biggest mistake! (D)

The best thing Rogue did in the whole movie is turn metal thanks to Piotr, which, as someone already said…. turn into Pete… was not Russian anymore, and basically was in the school just to move TV, furniture and to throw hairy mutants with claws! What a waste. I totally understand this guy was just met in a gym by one of the producers… but he was perfect and could have had some more space! A lot of wasted potential. (C)
Kitty was ok. I felt she had the right amount of time on screen (B)
Storm was good even if she talked a little too much, but if that’s the price to have Ms. Berry in the project, that’s fine with me. (A-)
Iceman, this is the first time we really see him in action… not even close to the comic character, which should have an attitude similar to Johnny Storm. He was not funny and way toooo romantic. Seemed strange to see him with Kitty…. why did Colossus let him hug her like that! ;-) The only good part was his fight with Pyro in which there is one of the few one-lines I would save.(C+).
Beast was very very nice… a liked his way to talk and how he interacts with Wolverine. (A-).
Logan, very good performance, maybe not as good as X2, even if in the last scene I was totally into him… very emotional, maybe also thanks to the great piece of soundtrack! (A)

Big upset about Mistique usage… but I thanked God when she was laid on the back of the truck. Rebecca Romjin is one of the 5 most beautiful creatures in the entire world… (B)
Jamie Madrox was a funny character with a nice face and a great costume (clear reference to the comic). (B+)
The Juggernaut had to be as big as Hulk, but I guess that CGI was wayyyy tooooo expensive for that! (C+).
Pyro has to be mean and not pleasant. Nice when he makes BBQ cars! (B-)
Calisto was too cute to be Calisto! (C+)

Charles… I have sensed a slight change in him, he was willing to make compromises if necessary… someway closer to the comic character, thus this a step forward from my point of view! (A)
Magneto is the best, as always... (A+)

As I said before, no expectations made me enjoy the movie and get involved with it immediately, from the very first prologue (BTW nice lifting on Patrick and Ian there).
The film clearly had some pressure from the studio in terms of due date. That rush is evident and affects the depth of the story.
They had a good plot, they had good ideas but they just did not fully squeeze them... that sucks, but I am satisfied of what I have seen.
The franchise in my opinion is far from over... they need just need a great story to be developed with its full potential! I Wish for an X4, no doubt about it!!

Let's hope the boxoffice convinces them too...

Stay until the end(less) credits!


Profile | Buddy
May 29 2006, 5:55:17 AM

I was hoping for so much more than this movie offered. Granted if i just looked at it as a summer movie, it would of probably got a higher rating but there was too much wrong with it for me to simply brush over it. AS been said a million times why cant they ever develope anything more about the characters. Yes I know there are a lot of X-men but come on, spend an extra 5 minutes and say something about them anything for christ sakes. This movie also lacked a driving story, and yet felt rushed. It had great potential but fell about 30 yard shorts of a good movie status. There are high points of action, which mostly consist of Hugh Jackman's Wolverine,and a scene with Magneto and a truck convoy, other than that it was stale, the only real rewarding segment if long after the movie ends and the slew of disappointed fans already left.

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May 28 2006, 8:48:50 PM

I liked the final action sequence, as it showed what some of the mutants were capable of that we hadn't had full opportunity to see before, but too many story lines going on, and they committed the mistake of removing too many key characters by movie's end, though it appears at least 3 will be given opportunity to return if the last 30 seconds of the movie comes to fruition (like they wouldn't set up a possible X-Men 4?). However, (SPOILER AHEAD if you haven't seen it) you've killed off all but 2 of the "primary" X-Men. Its the Wolverine and Storm show now... in order to make another one work, you'd have to develop Beast's role (something they didn't do, he just more or less appears, talked of a backstory which they didn't fill you in on either), or feature more of the animated series X-Men that the casual fan is aware of (Rogue, Gambit, Jubilee, and Beast), you will start to possibly lose the average fan's interest and start to cater to only the fan-boy (and girls) out there.

If they had pared it down to say oh, maybe even 2 story lines, added another half hour for better character development and eliminated some of the cheeseball lines, this movie could have been far better.

It is by far the weakest of the 3, but it is still watchable... its not Batman & Robin or anything.

Profile | Buddy
May 28 2006, 5:10:22 PM

I spent most of the movie holding my head in my hands as Brett Ratner personally took a shit on the franchise.

* The drama. Only someone as untalented as Brett Ratner can make me not give a shit when such dramatic and possibly tear-jerking events happen. There are at least four huge moments in the script that are supposed to shock and create an emotional response in the audience... I just sat through them wondering if they were a joke. In fact, during one scene at Jean Grey's home (if you've seen it, you know the scene I'm referring to) something very important happens, and I literally thought that it was going to wind up being some sort of dream sequence, or trick to fool the audience. Not because I didn't want it to happen, but because it was done so poorly. There seemed to be no setup, no reasoning behind it, and no purpose for it in the movie whatsoever. Dramatic devices with no payoff make for a bad film.
* The characters. It seems like Ratner spent about five minutes on each new character, and that was it. Rogue was in the movie for what, three scenes? And what happens with her at the end of the movie was tacked on, like they realized at the last minute "oh shit, right, we forgot about her."

And how about Angel? They feature him prominently in the trailers, but he's in three fucking scenes as an adult that I can remember. He may as well have not been in the movie whatsoever. They didn't even resolve his conflict with his father, not that the story had been established enough to make me care in the first place.

Then you've got Leech. A profoundly tragic figure, being utilized to knock out the powers of his fellow mutants all the while being forced to sit and stare as these amazing things happen outside his window. But do we ever get an ounce of character development beyond him putting his hand on the glass and looking sad? No. Why bother, we've got 8 other new characters to not develop properly. Let's move along.
* Jean/Phoenix. If you're going to make the movie about Jean Grey, and her completely rewritten backstory... how about putting her in the fucking film!?!? If they were going to paint the picture of a tragic backstory of a character, it should have been Wolverine or Storm considering they were the only mutants besides Magneto that had any kind of decent screen time.
* The stunt work. I'm nitpicking now, but all of the wirework looked ridiculous. Every time Storm flew and did her spinny bullshit, or Beast leapt through the air, I laughed.

It seems like Ratner was more interested in giving fanboys a bunch of wet-dreamlike moments (fastball special, stars-and-garters, Iceman's...iceness) rather than spending time on the actual plot. Not to mention the fact that he was developing about 8 different plots, and didn't give proper time to a single one of them. You've got Jean's story, Warren's decision to stay a mutant, Rogue's difficulties with Iceman, The team's inability to work together effectively (this lasted a minute, and was brought back at the very end), Leech and his sad existence, Storm being groomed as the new leader, the future of the school, Cyclops and his struggles... it's just too fucking much. All of these seemingly major plot devices are pared down to about ten minutes apiece and served up like a dinner comprised entirely of appetizers.

Profile | Buddy
May 28 2006, 9:36:08 AM

X-Men: The Last Stand - 5/10 or **1/2/***** stars

As I walked into the theater, I had zero expectations for the film I was about to see, mostly because there were several things that worried me. The final result? X-Men: The Last Stand has its moments of entertainment, features Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellan and Famke Janssen in top form as their respective characters, and ends with a visually spectacular action sequence, yet it is nonetheless the weakest X-Men installment. A number of things frustrated me to no end. First, the film is overloaded with story and characters, and at a mere 105 minutes, it feels terribly rushed. Second, the fates of a few characters are devoid of any genuine emotion, which is a shame, considering how much I like said characters (I doubt I'm the only X-Men fan that feels this way). Third, there's virtually no character development to speak of for any of the new characters (i.e. Beast, Angel, Juggernaut, etc.); neither the new characters nor the actors who play them are given a chance to shine. Last, but not least, the biggest problem I had with X-Men: The Last Stand is how the "Dark Phoenix" saga is handled; it's treated as only a subplot, when it could have worked as the film's primary story. X-Men: The Last Stand is not a disaster by any means, but it is mediocre, and ultimately, an unsatisfying, anticlimactic conclusion to what could have been a great trilogy.


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