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2nd X-Men The Last Stand Review

Published May 27, 2006 in Movie Reviews
By Ryan Parsons | Image property of 20th Century Fox
X-Men: The Last Stand Beast is bound to get a mixed reception. I, for one, liked him.
In the third installment to the X-Men film franchise, X-Men: The Last Stand, we encounter a 'cure' that not only requires all mutants to take a stand, but has us wondering just who the hell all these mutants are.

X-Men: The Last Stand Movie Review

Before I give my impressions of X-Men: The Last Stand I should note that I have been a fan of the franchise ever since the animated series. When it was announced that 20th Century Fox planned to go forward with an X-Men film franchise my initial fear was how could any director properly introduce multiple lead characters. Fortunately for 20th Century Fox, and for us, Bryan Singer jumped into the director’s chair and delivered a first installment that got the job done. Not only did moviegoers not familiar with the series get to know the characters they were watching but there was enough character development to give multiple side-stories to build upon.

Bryan Singer successfully followed up the first installment with X2: X-Men United. In the sequel Singer was able to take advantage of an increased budget to deliver greater special effects while sticking close to what made the original work – the characters. The film is so well thought out that many, including myself, have come to see X2 as the best comicbook adaptation to date.

One of the first signs of trouble for X-Men 3 came when Singer jumped off the project to go do Superman Returns. After a brief hiccup with Matthew Vaughn, Fox signed on Brett Ratner to fill Singer’s shoes. Though Ratner was capable of creating a film worthy of the franchise, one can tell that the rush on production hurt him and the overall quality of this ‘final’ installment. It is hard to say whether X3 is the worst film in the franchise, but let’s start by stating that the film is no comparison to X-Men 2; which just about every fan in the series should relate it to.

While X2 delivered the action and special effects sequences with grace, Ratner’s X3 seemed to dump as much special effects as it could onto a single buffet platter. And, when it comes to the quality of these special effects, there were moments in X-Men: The Last Stand where we witness an awkward mix of some the best looking effect shots to date combined with made-for-television CGI.

Though this review is quickly going negative, know that X-Men: The Last Stand is far from a total disaster. As a matter of fact, two-thirds of the film gel perfectly and are up to the standards that we have come to expect from this franchise. The other third, however, comes complete with lines that fall flat, missed dialogue, arc-less characters, unnamed characters, and, as I previously mentioned, a small collection of weak special effects. The sad part is that half of the ‘problems’ could have been corrected by just shooting some of the smaller, dialogue driven, scenes again. When Kitty called Juggernaut a “dickhead” I almost threw up in my theatre seat.

X-Men: The Last Stand Kitty was an interesting choice as new mutant in X-Men: The Last Stand. Though she helps establish a new love triangle I would assume stronger mutants at Xavier's school.
As expected, too many mutants meant not enough real introductions. Fortunately, just about all, yes, all of these mutants could make a return if Fox decided to go forward with an X4.

It is always a disappointment when a sequel does not match up to its predecessors. In the case that these three X-Men films remained a trilogy, X2 would become the Empire Strikes Back of the series. This particular case is very unlikely, however, considering the title, X-Men: The Last Stand, couldn’t be farther from the truth. Though you may have been told that this is the final installment, the story of X3 allows for an endless amount of films to be made in the future. Here’s the best part – any single character can make a return for X4. I know some ‘big’ characters supposedly died in the film, but Fox was smart enough to not let Ratner confirm a single one of these deaths. Tell me one mutant that is dead for sure and then try to find proof; you can’t!

If you are looking for your stereotypical big-budget summer blockbuster then X-Men: The Last Stand is your ticket. The film does offer enough cool moments to make it worth the price of an admission ticket. Some of the cool images that click include Wolverine’s fight against Juggernaut, Storm and Callisto’s beef against one another, Phoenix going apeshit and destroying just about everything within her parameter, and, for the gents, a great shot of Rebecca Romijn-Stamos lying naked in the fetal position.

Also, do remember to stay until after the closing credits for X-Men: The Last Stand. Most of you probably know that there is a ‘bonus’ scene at the end, but it turns out that this scene is pretty important and plays into the overall story; why Fox thought this scene better at the end of the credits I have no idea. Since I have suggested that Fox is keeping the door open for X4, expect a certain character to remain in the series.

Final Judgment:

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Ryan Parsons
Sources: Image property of 20th Century Fox

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