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) 2016 Berge Garabedian

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Average Rating:
5.7/10
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Viewing 1-26 of 26 User Comments
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8/10
Crsnglb
May 26 2006, 10:22:53 PM

It's only Friday, May 26th, the day of X-Men 3's release, and I have seen this film TWICE already. As an X-Men fan of both the comics and the movies, I may have some bias, but this movie shows what the X-Men is all about: mutants fighting for their cause. There are plenty of familiar characters and storylines to play around with. I wasn't bored for a second and was very satisfied once the credits rolled...about that, STAY AFTER THE CREDITS! All in all, I recommend it as a fun action-packed movie to start the summer off.

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6/10
Phatmaster
May 26 2006, 4:13:15 PM

Well the hype for this movie on me has come and gone faster then you can say Ratner will ruin the X-Men franchise. But come to find out that he didn't totally destroy everything we hold dear and that he actually delievered a entertaining comic book ride from start to finish.

This film follows our heroes as they and the rest of the mutant community try to cope with the discovery of a cure to their mutant powers. The mutants struggle with the decision to get rid of their powers and become human or decide once and for all if they want to stay as they were. The humans on the other side feel otherwise, they see the mutant gene as a disease and want the cure to be mandatory. But this merely adds as a backdrop to the real problem plaguing everyone-- Jean Grey didn't die at the end of the second film and she's a whole different woman now.

The main problem I had with this film is there is just too much trying to be accomplished here. It's just not all the different mutants, there are two main stories intertwining with each other the whole way through and not once did I ever become interested in any of it. I didn't care too much whatsoever about Phoenix and her problems, and I sure as hell didn't care about the "mutant cure". The cure is introduced and then that's it, we never see the emotional tug it has on the world. We just see political heads wondering how it will all play out. We needed the film to focus on one of these aspects, not try to nudge both of them into the cracks. That leads me to the mutants themselves. There are so many new mutants that they are given little to do. Beast I'm sorry to say was just blah as they come. I loved the Kelsey Grammer casting job but he should of been given more screen time. Hell at times I forgot that there were more then just Storm and Wolverine on the X-Men. Colossus, Rogue, and Iceman had nothing memorable to talk about, and Angel has to be the most underused character since Darth Maul. There is no excuse for any of this, and I'm pretty sure the studio pressure to meet the release date had a lot to do with it. The new brotherhood mutants were lame, they all had piercings and tattoos to make them seem like they were cool, but they were surely not. The only new villain that I appreciated was Juggernaut. Vinne Jones own this role like no other, and delivers one classic line towards the end that I will soon not forget (had the whole theater rolling). Oh and is it me or does this film make Wolverine seem like a total wuss? Like seriously, some of those one-liners had to go.

On the positive side of things, the special effects were great. Along with the set pieces they never looked better, the FX team did a outstanding job. Ratner's directing was good, you could tell he followed Singer's style of the series but none of the substance. The emotional involvment was barely there and it seems like character deaths were created to stand in place of dramatic storytelling. In light of this the climax was very nice and I liked where this film left off.

All in all X3 is a highly enjoyable flick. Is it the finish we all wanted out of this franchise? No, but this movie sure isn't the disaster we all thought it would be.

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8/10
Miller1119
May 26 2006, 1:50:48 PM

I honestly have far less complaints about this movie. It was short, no doubt about it. They were jamming the storyline in as they could with that time slot. Character development was very scarce, but it needed to be, most of the characters were previously introduced and the new characters weren't that enthralling. The effects of this movie were breathtaking. The story was excellent, the phoenix story was examined as closely as it needed to be, any more time devoted to that part would have seemed a little too much. The Juggernaut had the funny one-liner, "I'm the Juggernaut, Bitch". I personally found that line hilarious, mainly because I saw a YouTube thing with people doing voice-overs for the X-men cartoon and it reminded me of it. The plot twists of this movie were far from predictable, and it kept me entertained the entire 103 minutes. The only reason I give this movie an 8 is because of its short run-time and disposable new characters. Give Me My Gambit!!!

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7/10
Jedi
May 26 2006, 7:10:20 AM

It compares better to the FIRST X-Men film (which I thought was just good) but it is very inferior to X2. I guess I'd be repeating what everyone else's said about underdeveloped characters and not-so-interesting story-line, but I think the action and CGI completely saved this film because they were really top-notch. A solid summer movie (compared to MI3 and Poseidon? this is a masterpiece).

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7/10
ReelyBigFishFan
May 26 2006, 3:20:17 AM

comin in to this movie, i expected to see just what i thought, a decent flick. You could tell it wasn't gonna be as good as the first X-men or the great X2. Phoenix was pretty awesome ande i do agree with walken that that should've been the main plotline. Last to say, Beast was bad A$$ and Juggernaur was... mmhm okay, wish he was about 5 feet taller.

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5/10
ChrisWalken
May 25 2006, 2:25:46 PM

I find myself feeling the same way about this movie as JoBlo. It realy wasnt anything special. Some characters I was itching to see in action had one scene maybe two and then was never heard of again. And yes, the Pheonix story was great, but it was shoved to the side for the more boring storyline about "the cure" (which I find to be IMPOSSIBLE and outragwous that anybody can cure mutancy but thats beside the point). This movie could have been tons better if they made the Pheonix plot the "main" story and showed a little more character development instead of just making a movie to have a large fight at the end of it. I give it a 5. Don't get your hopes up.

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