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X-Men: The Last Stand

Director Brett Ratner's 2006 film that marks the end of the first "X-Men" film trilogy.

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The weakest of the series, but a fine film nonetheless

  • Aug 12, 2006
Rating:
+3
Fans gasped when it was announced that X-MEN and X2 director Bryan Singer was leaving X-MEN III to make SUPERMAN RETURNS - and he was taking his crew with him. Singer told 20th Century Fox that, if they would wait until he completed SUPERMAN RETURNS, he would make X-MEN III as well. Fox decided to go ahead without Singer, bringing numerous directors on to the project before settling on Brett Ratner. This worried fans ever more, as they realized that Ratner's previous films included RUSH HOUR, MONEY TALKS, and THE FAMILY MAN. What many fans forgot is that Ratner also directed the superb RED DRAGON. Personally, I was optimistic. Ratner's work on both RUSH HOUR movies and on RED DRAGON had impressed me, and I thought that he could do a nice job on the film.

I was right - sort of. Ratner does a fine job, but he tends to favor shots that are either very close or very far away. Because of this, he creates a sort of claustrophobic feeling which hung with me throughout the film. Also, he can't wring great performances out of the actors like Bryan Singer can. On the plus side, Ratner does create some stunning visuals (with lots of help from the special effects team) - namely a sequence involving the Golden Gate Bridge. Though Ratner is potentially a very good director, he is nowhere near as talented as Bryan Singer.

Three other new additions to the crew are screenwriters Simon Kinberg (MR. & MRS. SMITH) and Zak Penn (BEHIND ENEMY LINES, ELEKTRA) and composer John Powell (THE BOURNE IDENTITY). The script is good, though it feels like the events in the film are rather rushed. Perhaps editors Mark Goldblatt, Mark Helfrich, and Julia Wong - taking over for John Ottman - are to blame for this. I also noticed that some of Wolverine's lines seemed forced; they didn't seem natural like those from the previous films. I must say that the ending, however, is very clever. Very clever indeed.

Then we come to the matter of the soundtrack. John Powell's music fluctuated between being grand and atrocious. It's a sweeping score, but it seems a little too over-the-top. It's not as good as John Ottman's score for X2 or Michael Kamen's score for X-MEN, but it will suffice.

The cast seemed far less stellar this time. At her request, Halle Berry's part was expanded. Though I've always thought that Storm was an interesting character - and Berry did very well as her in the first two films - her performance seems rather weak in this film. Hugh Jackman is still excellent as Wolverine, but even his performance isn't as wonderful as it was in the previous films. Then we have Ian McKellen, who is just outstanding as Magneto. He shines in each and every one of his scenes. Famke Janssen is great, although she doesn't get many lines. Also great is Kelsey Grammer as Hank McCoy (a.k.a. Beast), Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde, and especially Vinnie Jones (LOCK, STOCK, AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS, SNATCH.) as Juggernaut. Juggernaut is a hulking character whose special ability is plowing through everything and everyone with no difficulty whatsoever. Jones turns Juggernaut into an extremely amusing character. His scenes are the most fun of any in the film.

As both a comic book fan and an avid moviegoer, I enjoyed this film very much. However, the comic fan within me wishes that we'd learnt the origins of Hank McCoy (which I've also found very interesting) and seen Gambit, one of the major X-Men characters from the comics (LOST's Josh Holloway, a perfect choice, was offered the part but turned it down). Though it does seem rushed and a little short (it clocks in at 106 minutes, compared to X2's 133 minutes), I had a ball throughout the movie. I'd have liked to see Joss Whedon or Matthew Vaughn as director (both of whom were attached to the project at one time), but Brett Ratner did a good job. X-MEN: THE LAST STAND isn't up to par with Bryan Singer's X-MEN and X2, but it's a fine film nonetheless.

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More X-Men: The Last Stand reviews
review by . May 02, 2011
one spoiler      I actually don't mind this film, contrary to the majority of the moviegoing population. Yes, there are a lot of things wrong with it, but so sue me, this is a guilty pleasure of mine. This was actually my introduction to the X-Men, and now I love the two first films better, but like I have a soft spot for Scream 3, I have a soft spot for X-Men 3. There are cons, but the movie is just entertaining enough to warrant a 60. However, the change in directors is …
review by . May 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I've been pleased with the X-Men series overall, and X-Men United is a fitting end to the trilogy. The plot is a bit far-fetched - Jean Grey being an all-powerful super mutant - but it does up the ante (including one memorable death scene). My only complaint is that I wish it had been longer - it seems as if the film is rushed in only 100 minutes. Otherwise, if you liked the first two, you'll love this one.
Quick Tip by . August 05, 2010
Short changes it's characters in a bad way and introduces some we don't care about but does take the "mutant civil rights" issue onto the screen in a way that makes sense to be the analogy of real world issues that X Men is supposed to be.
review by . May 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I've been pleased with the X-Men series overall, and X-Men United is a fitting end to the trilogy. The plot is a bit far-fetched - Jean Grey being an all-powerful super mutant - but it does up the ante (including one memorable death scene). My only complaint is that I wish it had been longer - it seems as if the film is rushed in only 100 minutes. Otherwise, if you liked the first two, you'll love this one.
review by . April 29, 2009
I have seen all the movies that have been put out by Marvel over the last 6 years or so and was never a big fan of the X-Men films though the first 2 were passable. This movie has way too many characters in it! Some of the characters are pathetic looking such as the Juggernaut and The Beast (who looks and sounds like they dyed a gorilla costume from the Planet of the Apes movies). They waited to the last installment to introduce The Beast and the Angel who were original X-Men in the comics (X-Men …
review by . September 07, 2007
This would be a good movie IF it were not called X-Men. They have completely sabotaged the X-Men storyline from the comics. They came up with new stories, which is sometimes ok, but not here. Jean Grey is barely used, Storm looks weak and undecisive, and Scott, why did they even have him there? THe movie left too many things unexplained, changed the X-men Universe and forgot to give some depth to the characters. This is just an action film and only that. Only Wolverine saves the day and the movie. …
review by . December 31, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
'X-men,' I thought reading reviews, would be like a high-tech sci-fi "Calvin Ball". That is I thought the evolution of the movie's rules and causality would change by whim. Instead, we get a "rock/ paper/ scissors" approach. Each superhero has their own connecting powers, like one has fire and another has ice. In this installment, the mutants find there is a cure for their powers, which some make into a crusade, others a curse. There is a societal divide; one that breaks out with signs and protestors, …
review by . December 27, 2006
I have seen all the movies that have been put out by Marvel over the last 6 years or so and was never a big fan of the X-Men films though the first 2 were passable. This movie has way too many characters in it! Some of the characters are pathetic looking such as the Juggernaut and The Beast (who looks and sounds like they dyed a gorilla costume from the Planet of the Apes movies). They waited to the last installment to introduce The Beast and the Angel who were original X-Men in the comics (X-Men …
review by . October 24, 2006
X-Men, The Last Stand is not a perfect movie, but it is better than the reviews led me to think it would be. The issue here is that a "cure" has been found for the mutations, but many of the mutants do not feel they need to be cured. Good things about the movie included some terrific interaction between Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan and a superb performance by Famke Jannsen, who had been underutilized in the previous films. Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry turn in their usual good performances. There …
review by . October 09, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
My husband and I love the first two installments of X-Men. We were in a Stuff Mart over the weekend, and I suggested buying X-Men 3. My husband asked "Are you *sure*?" I replied "Well, we loved the first two installments. With Jean Grey returing as The Phoenix, it should be great!"    We watched it last night and were stunned. We were both silent--in shock--at the end of the movie.     SPOILER ALERT: Phoenix--resurrected Jean Grey--ends up killing Cyclops …
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Tom Benton ()
Ranked #353
Aspiring high school English teacher with dreams of filmmaking and a strong taste for music.
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X-Men: The Last Stand is the third installment in the popular superhero franchise, and it's an exciting one with a splash of fresh new characters. When a scientist named Warren Worthington II announces a "cure" for mutant powers, it raises an interesting philosophical question: is mutant power a disease that needs a cure, or is it a benefit thathomo superiorenjoys over "normal" human beings? No surprise that Magneto (Ian McKellen) and his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants resist the idea that they need to be cured, and declare war on the human race. But it's a little tougher for the X-Men, led by Professor X (Patrick Stewart), Cyclops (James Marsden), and Storm (Halle Berry). If you're Rogue (Anna Paquin), for example, your power means you can't even touch your boyfriend, Iceman (Shawn Ashmore). To compound matters, someone previously thought dead has returned, and might be either friend or foe.

With director Bryan Singer having moved on to Superman Returns, the franchise passes to the hands of Brett Ratner (Rush Hour), whose best work is done in the big action sequences such as a showdown between mutant armies. But it's difficult to manage the sheer volume of characters when adding longtime comic-book stalwarts such as Beast (Kelsey Grammer) and Angel (Ben Foster), and one character in particular deserved better than an off-screen dismissal. And fans of the original Dark Phoenix comic book story might be underwhelmed by...

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