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

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

plot:

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.

critique:

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) 2015 Berge Garabedian

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Average Rating:
5.7/10
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Viewing 1-20 of 26 User Comments
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5/10
Deftoners
May 28 2006, 2:51:37 AM
JUGGERNAUT LINE

I read Joblos review. I just saw the movie tonight. The only thing I can backup about what he wrote was about the juggernaut cheeseball line. It's actually a huge inside joke that started with this GI Joe like spin off a few months back. Someone caught foot and was clever enough to put it into the movie.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=
-3934651591022114445&q=juggernaut

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4/10
mrorange
May 27 2006, 11:57:32 PM
SUBOPTIMAL

Yeah, I gotta say this whole flick was just a rushed waste. And 95 minutes? Jeez. It's like they lost a whole movie when compared to X-Men 2, which was stellar.

Plain and simple? Brian Singer fights for characters and good stories. Ratner fights for big effects and cool 'little moments' such as the Juggernaut line.

This movie was SUCH a let down :(

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3/10
bob020787
May 27 2006, 8:45:34 PM
CHARACTERS MAKE MOVIES

I believe that character development is the key to a good comic book movie. In my opinion Batman Begins is the best comic book movie becasue it deals with a great ensemble cast, and develops all of the characters. This movie didn't compare. "This one had X-Men kicking ass and taking names. And really, that's all you can ask for." Really, then why did Batman and Robin suck? What made X2 so good (because it is almost unanimously agreed that it the best in the series).

Characters are what comics are based on. "Angel who played the Nightcrawler part of window dressing" What are you talking about? Nightcrawler was extremely well developed for an ensemble movie. Did you actually watch X2? Angel wasn't developed at all, and that was the biggest flaw of X3. The Angel premise was so, good and had so much potential, that it just hurt so much to see Brett Ratner ruin it.

At least we have Superman Returns, directed by a real director (Singer has X1, X2, and The Usual Suspects as opposed to Brett Ratner who has directed Rush Hour, shit, and Red Dragon, shit.) to soothe our Comic Book Movie appetite this summer

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8/10
GavinE
May 27 2006, 7:36:44 PM
MY FAVORITE X-MOVIE

while a lot of you make valdi points and the character development parts were rushed, Ir eally enjoyed this installment. I persoanlly hated X2 as I found it drawn out and boring to be quite honest. This one had X-Men kicking ass and taking names. And really, that's all you can ask for.

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7/10
Lucien12
May 27 2006, 4:37:53 PM
SAME AS X-MEN, WORSE THAN X2

It had problems (some that are deep rooted in the series) but overall I had a good time. It's main weakness was poor character development. But then again X-Men and X2 suffered from exactly the same problem. X2 far less than the other two which is what lifts it above the rest.

Cyclops was terrible from day one. Poor casting, terrible writing. Storm was much improved over the two previous entries where she was an annoyance. Phoenix was splendidly realized as was Beast and Angel who played the Nightcrawler part of window dressing. The narrative was a continuation of the first two so it was no real surprise in thematics being similar.

There was just too much to geek over (Which admittedly seemed too much a times). Iceman's full transformation, the Magneto/Pyro car bombs, Magneto crushing the follow cars and showing off with the bridge, Prof. X's death, the Kitty/Juggernaut chase sequence and the stunning Phoenix and Wolverine showdown. It was a veritable geekfest for X-Fans. Personally I was never a fan of the Morlocks in the comics so their big screen versions didn't really bother me too much.

Technical problems were everywhere though due to the short production time span. Some bad editing (Though sometimes I think it was MPAA enforced) and very grainy shots here and there. The story also flew by without taking a moment to develop characters they clearly wanted to develop. If this was 30 minutes longer focusing on some juicy character/narrative bits it would've challenged X2 for the crown...For now X2 remains king of the comic book genre, roll on Superman...

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3/10
bob020787
May 27 2006, 2:08:05 PM
RATNER SUCKS

I was a fan of X-Men when I was younger, and enjoyed both of the previous movies. I also thought that some of the premise for this movie had so much potential. I saw the film at midnight on thursday, and it sucked.

I really couldn't find anything to be pleased with in this movie. The plot was underdeveloped, it had NO feeling whatsover, the script sucked (I laughed out loud at many of Halle Berry's lines), but most importantly every character was underdeveloped.

Obviously we don't need to spend more time with Wolverine, but we did and it was too much. Angel, Beast, Colossus, Kitty Pryde, and Cyclops needed more character. Colossus had like 1 line in the whole film. Angel was in like four scenes, and there was so much that could have been done with his story. Beast was completely underused. They could have done more with the Mystique storyline. The Iceman-Rouge storyline was barely touched upon and you had to infer what was going on.

Also, the bad mutants were all lame, and needed to be condensed into one or two bad mutants that had some sort of character at all. Why couldn't Wolverine have fought Juggernaut in the forrest? Why did we need so many new mutants that were just there? This was one of themost dissappointing movies ever.

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9/10
DiscipleofONE
May 27 2006, 1:51:55 PM

I was pumped for this movie from the moment they first posted the teaser poster. I have always been a huge fan of the X-Men comics, and when the first film was made it was a joyous day indeed. I feel that Ratner did a much better job on X3 than most people would like to give him credit for. Granted, he is no Singer but you have to admit he did much better than expected. I thought that the new characters were good, and that develpoment was not necessary due to the fact that they were most likely Morlocks (i.e. Callisto) and didn't need much development. They were supposed to be secondary to begin with, and Juggernaut's personality was done very much like it was in the comics and the animated series. He was always an arrogant villian. I thought the Phoenix storyline played out nicely, as well as the "cure" storyline. I loved this film from start to finish (after the credits!!!), and will probably go see it 2 or 3 more times. I will admit it was no X2, but it still did very well. Bring on X4!!

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6/10
bigred760
May 27 2006, 12:38:05 PM

I believe Riff from West Side Story said it best: "Boy, am I a victim of disappointment in you." This was the most anticipated movie of the summer as far as I was concerned, and I walked out of the theater thinking "That could've been so much better."

For starters, the movie has no clear direction. You've got one very powerful mutant, a mutant cure, a bald kid, and Magneto still kicking ass. Each scene trying to explain what the hell is going on is poorly written and underdeveloped. Apparently just a quick statement or two is enough to get into the next scene that is just as bland as the one before it.

A lot of the "development" of the story seemed to be done out of convenience. You've got Prof. X, Wolverine, and Storm getting out of a car talking about something and then Magneto pops in from offscreen; apparently he's invisible to our heroes (not to mention his gang of mutants) until he comes onscreen. Poorly done.

But . . . the movie does have some positive attributes to it. It does continue to deliver great characters, like Magneto and Wolverine, and the actors, like McKellan and Jackman, continue to deliver awesome performances. Magneto is such a cool villain; in this installment you see how far he's willing to go for his cause and what he's willing to sacrifice. Same thing with Wolverine - he's still a kickass hero with a bad attitude; but he also goes through a lot to protect his friends and loved ones. He also continues to deliver some great one-liners - good times.

The special effects also provide the audience with something to enjoy. From watching Magneto crush SUVs to a showdown between Iceman vs. Pyro - it really is a fun spectacle to watch. Plus the battle at the end of the movie is really freakin' cool. Seeing all these mutants and what they can do in battle versus multiple opponents made for good action.

But the letdown just falls on how little detail was spent on the story and individual scenes that tried to further the story. Sure the subplots of the cure, Rogue & Iceman, and the events' effects on our heroes and villains were interesting, but you didn't get to spend much time with it because each scene didn't last long. And some just seemed out of place - like every single scene involving the President. Wasn't quite sure what his role was in the movie.

There were some what I like to call "groan" moments, which include a pep talk by Wolverine and a death scene for one of our heroes. And while it was cool seeing all of these new mutants, a lot of them were still underused and could've had more screentime if the movie had actually been longer. I really liked the final scene with Magneto playing chess, and the Wolverine/Jean Grey relationship continues to be a hot item in the series. Not a bad movie, but definitely not a great one.

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5/10
pagoda8
May 27 2006, 11:55:22 AM
BETTER THAN EXPECTED

It definately was a better movie than I expected it to be, given my expectations were pretty low that isn't saying much.
*Things to like about Xmen3*
-The way Magneto gets to show off his powers and his the way they handled his demise.
-The wolverine Jean Grey relationship.
-The scary Dark Phoenix voice.
-Seeing Rebecca Romin naked in the back of a truck.
-Wolverine kicking ass.
-Beast's character blowing away my expectations, he was awesome. Not just a blue Frasier.
-Scott Summers just letting his optic ray let loose. noooooo Jeeeaaaannnn!!!
-Ratner's direction, yes he directed the movie very well and the faults that do exist are not his fault, they belong to the writer's and producer's.
*Things to not like about Xmen3*
-The pacing of the movie was awkard to, I remember yawning and being bored for a long stretch.
-To much talking about nothing important ot nothing that they hadn't shown us already.
-The ice skating scene. Right in the middle of all of this boring shit and you don 't think that it can get any worse and all of a sudden Kitty is homesick, leave it to ice man to save the day and freeze a pond. puking in mouth...
-All of the fcking one liners. This one really chapped my ass. Mystique actually said "I told you so" after she killed some scmuck. Lame. They only needed to have the line where Kitty called Juggernaut a dickhead because that was funny.
-Where the hell was Nightcrawler? I have a bad memory but did Sabertooth and Toad die in the second movie?
-Still not enough Colossus. He wasn't even Russian. All he did was lift a TV down the hall and throw wolverine around a couple of times.
-I couldn't figure out if one of the evil mutants was a guy or a girl. Friggin ugly looking though.
-Still no Gambit, Forge, Bishop, Banshee, Scarlet Witch, Jubilee, Blabk Queen, Sauron, Apocalypse or Mr. Sinister. Plenty of good options for number four.

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7/10
Snowboy
May 27 2006, 2:06:58 AM
SURPRISINGLY GOOD.

My lowered expectations definitely served me well, as I quite enjoyed this film. It's nowhere near as good as the first two films, but it did give me most of what I was looking for.

The emotional subtleties of the first two films are definitely gone, but what we're left with is a visually spectacular ride. I especially loved Jean Grey. Oh dear God. She was quite scary here. I have to commend Mr. Ratner, as his direction really surprised me here, despite the writers abandoning the heart of this series.

All in all--entertaining. Not a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but most definitely not a bad film.

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