X-Men: The Last Stand

2006-09-01 18:52


While the government hunts for Magneto (Ian McKellen), a new problem has arisen. Much to the dismay of Mutant Affairs politician Hank "The Beast" McCoy (Kelsey Grammer), a pharmaceutical company has developed a serum that can permanently repress the mutant gene - a "cure". Mutants everywhere are divided. Some are outraged, others all too willing to be "cured". As Magneto rallies an army to combat the human oppression, tensions rise towards an inevitable confrontation.

To make matters worse, Jean Grey (Famke Jannsen) has been resurrected! Or has she? Things may not be as they seem when it comes to Xavier's (Patrick Stewart) gifted student, and her choice may decide the final outcome of the battle between humans and mutants.


X-Men: The Last Stand suffers from bad hair. No, really. Hugh Jackman's Wolverine looks like a Johnny Bravo impersonator, Ian McKellen has fallen victim to Storm's powers once too often, and Famke Jansen might as well have used a dyed mop. Figuratively speaking, the film as a whole seems to need a bit of a combover itself.

You could argue that X3 required a stylistic combination of the Rush Hour franchise (high-octane action scenes) and Red Dragon (stagey dialogue and tension), and Brett Rattner helmed both of those to reasonable effect. But X-Men seemed so much more under Bryan Singer, because he tended to favour strong characters over showy displays of their supernatural powers.

Sadly, Rattner does the opposite, and succeeds only in presenting a high-speed film with several dead-ends.

For example, one early scene told in flashback shows Xavier walking to adolescent Jean Grey's house, accompanied by Eric "Magneto" Lensherr no less. At no point in the film is the opportunity seized to explain fully how Xavier came to be in a wheelchair, or in fact how he and Lensherr parted ways.

There's a completely meaningless subplot introducing Angel, the winged boy. Other than the fact that Angel's father develops the "cure", there's no dramatic point to his salvation, seen midway through the film.

Another bugbear is the sudden introduction of Hank "The Beast" McCoy as a major political player - admittedly not entirely Rattner's fault since Beast was completely omitted from the first two films. But at no time is McCoy's past relationship with Xavier touched upon - or even discussed!

On the positive side, there are plenty of interesting left turns - mostly plot-related. Surprises abound for those expecting the merry band of heroes to survive intact. Some notable divergences from X-Men comic chronology keep you guessing well into it's the movie's last hour - which is so rare in big action films these days.

Most of the action is well shot, as expected. Nothing better than a good fight in a super-hero movie, after all. And it does offer a few moments of light-hearted self-deprecation. (Juggernaught exclaims sheepishly that he "don't swim", which is ridiculous, given his mammoth power).

But the subplots do suffer from an abruptness bordering on savage. Former uber-mutant Mystique (Rebecca Romijn) is literally left to rot on the floor; Rogue's mutant girl is supposed to personify the dilemma of the mutant, but only succeeds in making her out to be - well, a silly teenage girl, and so on...

Essentially the film is too short, even at 104 minutes! It feels like critically important sections of the subplots have been cut out of the running time, rendering much of the emotional voice of the characters mute.

Maybe all this seems a bit over critical. After all, not too many in the target audience are going to recognise X-Men creator Stan Lee in a one-second cameo (this reviewer giggled and pointed, embarrassingly). But X1 and 2 managed to create characters that audiences really cared about. To see them regarded so cheaply in the "climax" of the story is a little disappointing.

X-Men: The Last Stand is not a terrible action flick. But it's not a film that needs to stand alone. It is part of trilogy, and its two prequels left a huge screen to fill. Unfortunately, on that front, Brett Ratner drops the ball, and audiences will get a taste of what they are missing when Bryan Singer's Superman Returns comes to our screens in July.

- Anton Marshall

Director Brett Rattner wastes a great cast and two great prequels on a simplistic, disjointed climax to the X-Men saga.

Glynn Roth 2006/05/26 9:02 PM
The last joke was on us With a trailer that proposed godliness and two predecessors that enthralled and recreated the storyline to even convince the fanatic into watching anything, X3 lacks 1 thing; someone to come out and say "ha! thats all folks" at the end. Wait, I'm being a bit generous to just limit their mistake to 1, to be precise there could be about 105 of them: that which was mentioned above, the ploy to make me actually buy a ticket and for those who havn't linked the length of the film to the remaining mistakes I'll spell it out, one mistake for each minute of captured film. (Skip to second last paragraph for a quick summary) If your like me, since the last minute of X2 you have waited patiently for X3. The coming of Pheonix. The last battle that will decide all. Magneto, Wolverine, Xavier, Rogue...(all other cast members and also hopefull they'll remember to put in those that were left out - the highly inteligent Beast, Sabertooth that was discarded in X1 and Juggernaught the two evil equivale
Hannes 2006/05/27 10:06 AM
X-men 3 X-men 3 X-men 3
Max 2006/05/27 1:25 PM
X-men outstanding I think X3 is fantastic, far better than the luke warm predecessors :)
Movies24 2006/05/27 2:56 PM
X-men ok Loved the first more. Halle Berry was great! Hugh Jackman sucked, the film OK The matrix!
Sydwell 2006/05/27 6:26 PM
x-man it is a wander full movie good movie!!
Nawaal 2006/05/29 10:22 AM
x men the last stand, we want more! i think the movie was pretty good, cos i love the x men! there were a few surprises but it worked out good in the end. it was a bit sad too, but i still loved it! x men the last stand
Bongs 2006/05/29 11:00 AM
xman the last stand ausum science fiction, good for hangin out with your boys and chealin. scarry movie 4
boogieman 2006/05/29 11:04 AM
beeeg time... a beeeeg time disappointment! i echo the reviewers opinion - the movie sucked a wee bit - i would have liked more action scenes - lose the luvvy duvvy stuff - and halle berry just does not play her role well!! ANTZ
Ice_in_Motion 2006/05/29 12:12 PM
It was damn good This was the best end to a trilogy. The story was great with great acting from all involved. A real must see!!
Robert 2006/05/29 1:03 PM
*Sigh* With so much promise this seemed to just simmer on luke warm. Big questions... why Proffessor X, Cyclops and Jean Grey all end up dead? I mean... it just didn't make sense. Rogue... well a poor part. Was wondering when Beast would make it in. Lots of pictures of Angel, but he really didn't have a part to play. Guess it ended up much like "the league of extrodinary gentlemen" too many charactors therefor too many sub-plots and they just don't fit. Batman Begins
Fabio 2006/05/29 1:54 PM
X-Men The Last Flop What a sad sad way to destroy the X-Men. After watching this 3rd Installment of X-Men, it leaves you with that special feeling wondering "WHAT THE #*@^?" that they can actually spend alot of time with the 'Special Effects' and only a DAY & 1/2 with the script & costumes. Wolverine looked tacky with a D.I.Y hairstyle, Jean Grey - aaag shame it is true that a dyed mop would have looked better. The plots were up to S#!t, no explainations, just SLAM, here we go (Talk about short cuts). Thank God that He left you with an imagination, as you will need it to fill in the blank spots. If only one could turn back time, and re-do it all - PROPERLY What a waste!!! Barbie - The Nutcracker Prince, had a better storyline
m1dn1te333 2006/05/29 4:11 PM
hmmm... generally the movie was pretty good. The acting was really good, but unfortunately the story was a bit 'thin'. The special effects were fantastic, and if you enjoy movies that blow you out of the seat, then i'd reccomend that you see it.
Luke 2006/06/04 4:16 PM
X-man Goos
Brandon 2006/06/05 11:35 AM
The Worst movie of the year Dont watch it it is a complete waist of time it is utter crap
Gert 2006/06/05 11:34 PM
X-men 3 Its the best FX I have ever seen in a long time YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Matthew 2006/06/06 8:58 PM
Xmen 3 i think it the best scary movie in the series i give scary movie 4 a thumbs up scary movie 4
DARLENE 2006/11/24 11:54 AM
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