X-Men: The Last Stand

Click a Poster to Purchase
100s of Still Images, Mugs, Film Cells, and more posters for X-Men : The Last Stand

Get Showtimes...
Fandango - Movie Tickets Online

Review #134 of 365
Film: X-Men: The Last Stand [PG-13] 107 minutes
WIP™ Scale: $10.00
Where Viewed: AMC Theatres Pacific Place 11, Seattle, WA
When 1st Seen: 26 May 2006
Time: 12:01 a.m.
Review Dedicated to: Tyler C. of Faribault, MN

John Powell - X-Men: The Last Stand (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Click for 'Review Lite' [a 150-word review of this film]

I, like legions of other X-Men fans, flocked to the 12:01 a.m. showing of X-Men: The Last Stand at the first possible regular showing. I was amazed at how many people were there—four auditoriums completely filled within the same theatre. While the excitement was palpable, a lot of people left the theatre feeling let down despite their allegiance and dedication. Unfortunately, this film was sort of doomed from the get go. Unlike the Lord of the Rings trilogy, no one person shepherded these three films through the process. It was not intended to be a trilogy at first, and the change in directors and writers, has led to a final chapter—if this really is the final chapter--that turned out to be kind of a mess. It was sort of like if you took a lot of really, really good ideas, put them in a spaghetti press, forced the dough out, dried it, overcooked it, and then had to cover it with some off-the-shelf generic sauce at the last minute hoping no one would notice. As an X-Men fan, I am very sorry to have to give the film anything less than stellar praise. Regrettably, there were just too many mistakes made from the beginning that ended up in the final product.

"Unfortunately, this film was sort of doomed from the get go...no one person shepherded these three films through the process...and the change in directors and writers, has led to a final chapter—if this really is the final chapter
that turned out to be kind of a mess."
To start off, the transition from director Bryan Singer, who left to direct Superman Returns (which darn well better be the best movie he's ever made), to Brett Ratner did not go well despite Mr. Ratner's addition of some great ideas to the story and his devotion to the characters. Mr. Ratner obviously had a vision for the film, unfortunately, his vision was too grandiose to fit into one film. And this is a clue to one of the film's failings. It tries to do way too much. In introducing all these new X-Men and X-baddies, going with the mutant x-gene elimination controversy, and the Dr. Jean Grey Phoenix story, it was way over the top. Not surprisingly then, each of these presents its own set of problems which then overlap to cause a semi-implosion. We get to meet some great new X-Men and X-baddies, but then the screen time between them and our favorites must be shared. So, for example, after all the hype of finally bringing the last of the original X-Men to the fold, Angel, guess what, you've already seen almost his entire on-screen presence in the preview. So, if you are a big fan of Angel, as I am, don't think this is going to be the movie for Angel fans. I didn't measure it, but I think actually that Josef Summer who plays the President gets more screen time. Meanwhile, between killing off characters we love, and introducing these new ones, again, there's not enough time to develop much care or interest in the survival or powers of the new ones. I mean, if I hadn't read a lot about the X-Men in comic books before, I would have no idea what the deal was with Kelsey Grammer's Dr. Hank McCoy/Beast character. As it was, I had no real reason to care about him. He was not Scott Summers/Cyclops to me. And poor James Marsden. If I had to guess, I would say he must not have really wanted to be in this movie. For all he did, and for as long as he lasted, he may as well have been on special assignment on Venus.

The mutant x-gene elimination story line is brilliant with all its moral implications. You can apply it to any difference in the human population we have today from a gene that would change people's race, sexual preference, or gender, or to one that would give sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, or break up the trisomy-21 that causes down syndrome. It was the central idea for the original script, and they probably should have just stuck with it. It was more than enough. But, instead, they had to go and resurrect Jean Grey and the Phoenix story line which is considered to be a great part of the X-Men lore. It certainly didn't play out as being very great in the film, and it led to the demise of some treasured X-Men. Of course, we have no proof of their demise as no bodies were ever found. Still, I hated this entire Phoenix sub plot for more reasons than those.

"The mutant x-gene elimination story line is brilliant with all its moral implications....But, this whole Phoenix sub-plot was not...."
The worst part of this subplot is that it keeps pulling everyone away from the central plot so they can go and rescue Jean Grey from her dark alter ego. It starts with a convoluted scene where Dr. Xavier explains to Wolverine in the worst example of psychological technobabble ever uttered in a film how he helped set up barriers in her mind to protect itself from it's incredible power, and this caused her personality to split into two—one good and one filled with immense rage. Huh? Well, Wolverine is about as confused and unable to believe this stuff as any average person would be, so, he meddles and inadvertently releases the Phoenix which then causes two more lengthy and terrible diversions from the central plot as the X-Men leave to go and try to rescue her from herself. I loved Dr. Jean Grey. I wouldn't have minded her being resurrected and being an integral part of this story. But, this whole Phoenix sub-plot was not good for this movie.

Although many who haven't read much about the making of the movie may not know this, and I hate to be the one to break it to you, but considering they already showed virtually the entire thing in the previews they've been blanketing the airwaves with for nearly a year, I don't feel too badly in stating that the entire Golden Gate Bridge segment was originally planned to be much earlier in the film. It's hard to imagine how it fit with the way it ties in now, but apparently Mr. Ratner felt it was the biggest special effect in the movie and it should be near the end, so he moved it, and they rewrote around this move. It is hard to say what impact this had on the film overall. My first inclination would be to say, wait, if that's the biggest scene in the movie and it's near the middle, we need to make the ending a whole lot bigger, not let's just move the scene. But, that's me. But, since most people have seen almost all of that scene 10 – 20 times before they even walk into the theater—my goodness it was playing repeatedly on the monitors over the concession stand so that I saw it nearly five times minutes before I sat down to see the movie—it turns out to be, not surprisingly, pretty anti-climatic.

"...the entire Golden Gate Bridge segment was, not surprisingly, pretty anti-climatic."
So, do you really want the "biggest" scene in your movie to be a let down? Most people are shooting for the opposite I think. Earlier this month, I wrote about the problems with previews giving away too much of the movie, and I mentioned that I feared this would be a problem with X-Men. My worst fears were realized, unfortunately. The preview not only gives away too much, it contains pretty much all of the fantastic stuff there is in the film. So, again, if you've seen the preview, it gives you almost no reason to see the movie. Well, and that leads me to some criticism for the final battle scene, the Last Stand, if you will. Hmm, the story spends so much time developing the new baddies, and Angel never becomes a real X-Men in the movie, that the final battle is a battle between 6 X-Men (three of whom we've never really seen much of before, Iceman, Wolverine, and Storm) and about 300 X-baddies. Talk about odds not being in your favor. And the battle becomes a little shady when the battle is between brothers with the majority on the side of stamping out the mutant x-gene cure, and the X-Men trying to protect it knowing full well if they are hit by it, they will be converted back to regular, ordinary, human beings? Or were they really trying to rescue Jean Grey and caught in the middle? Well, sadly, again, this Last Stand off is full of a lot events that a fan of the X-Men will probably not want to see happen. The only good part of it was the long-brewing duel between Iceman and Pyro. Like Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter, these two forces of opposite powers finally clash. Fortunately, Bobby Drake has chosen to stay in school, and he uses logic to over come his opposite when his ice cannot overwhelm the flames.

There was a time when there would be no expectations at all for a third film in an unplanned series of films to be any good at all and a likely candidate for straight to DVD labeling. Those days are over. With the high cost of movies both to make and view, sequels must be better than their originals or not be made at all. The worst part about X-Men: The Last Stand is that if they had divided it into two films the first introducing the new characters and dealing with the mutant x-gene therapy, and the second focusing on the aftermath of that while resurrecting the Phoenix, they probably would have had two great movies instead of one not so good movie.

Find your movie at MoviesUnlimited.com.

Available for Purchase or Pre-Order on DVD

Find your movies at MoviesUnlimited.com.

X-Men [VHS](2000) VHS

X2: X-Men United [VHS](2003) VHS

Superheroes Collection [VHS] VHS

Superheroes Collection [VHS] VHS

X-Men: The Legend Of Wolverine [VHS] VHS

X-Men: Evolution: Xplosive Days [VHS] VHS

X-Men [DVD](2000) DVD

X-Men: 1.5: Two-Disc Collector's Edition [DVD](2000) DVD

X-Men: Evolution: Mutants Rising [DVD] DVD

X-Men: The Legend Of Wolverine [DVD] DVD

X2: X-Men United (Special Edition) [DVD](2003) DVD

X2: X-Men United (Special Edition--Widescreen) [DVD](2003) DVD

X-Men: Evolution: Unxpected Changes [DVD] DVD

X-Men: Evolution: Xplosive Days [DVD] DVD

X-Men: Evolution: X Marks The Spot [DVD] DVD

X-Men: Evolution: Xposing The Truth [DVD] DVD

X2: X-Men United [DVD](2003) DVD

X2: X-Men United (Widescreen Version) [DVD](2003) DVD

X-Men: Evolution: The Complete Third Season [DVD](2002) DVD

X-Men: Evolution: Powers Revealed [DVD] DVD

X-Men: Evolution: Enemies Unveiled [DVD] DVD

X-Men: Evolution Collection [DVD] DVD

X-Men: Evolution: Mystique's Revenge [DVD] DVD

X-Men Trilogy [DVD] DVD

X-Men (UMD For PlayStation Portable)(2000)

X2: X-Men United (UMD For PlayStation Portable)(2003)

Related Products from Amazon.com
Movies Starring: Patrick StewartIan McKellenHalle Berry
Hugh JackmanAnna PaquinJames Marsden
Shawn AshmoreVinnie JonesRebecca Romijn
Ben Foster
Movies Directed by: Brett Ratner
All Things X-Men
CD Soundtrack
Good vs. Bad
Related DVD

Review-lite [150-word cap]
X-Men: The Last Stand, not intended to be a the third film in a trilogy, endured a change in directors leading to a final chapter—if this is the final chapter--that turned out to be a mess. Bryan Singer left to direct Superman Returns turning it over Brett Ratner who added some great, but ultimately too grandiose, ideas to the story. Had he stuck to the mutant x-gene elimination controversy and the introduction of the newest X-men, the winged Angel, things would have been great. He should have saved the Dr. Jean Grey Phoenix story, for the next film—if there is a next film. Patrick Stewart was wasted in this go-round, but Sir Ian McKellan has a grandiose time vamping things up as his purple, helmet-clad Magneto. While, the final battle between Ice Man and Pyro was fun, there's little else to enjoy in this spread way-too-thin X-men fiasco.


Wicked Little Critta said...

Great blog... wish I had the time and money to do the same thing!
My friends and I also have a movie review blog, and I feel pretty much exactly the same way about X3. Such a disappointment!
Happy movie reviewing...

Wicked Little Critta said...

Great blog... wish I had the time and money to do the same thing!
My friends and I also have a movie review blog, and I feel pretty much exactly the same way about X3. Such a disappointment!
Happy movie reviewing...