This isn’t training anymore, guys. This is the real deal… You may never come back. – Wolverine
After the relative critical and commercial success of X-2: X-Men United, I suppose a third installment of the X-Men movie franchise was inevitable. This 2006 film dealt with the introduction of a mutant “cure” as well as the return of Jean Grey as the Dark Phoenix.
After Bryan Singer, director of the first two films in the franchise, decided to leave to take the helm on the new Superman Returns, Brent Ratner took over. Watching this movie, this shift becomes very apparent minutes into the film. The mature and involving tone of the second film is gone here; in exchange, this film offers some occasionally non-sensical writing and some incredibly cheesy lines. At some points, I actually felt that this film was more campy and awkward than the first. Other than the sudden shift in tone, several other errors plague this film. One such problem is the introduction of FAR too many characters, seemingly all at once. As a result, these new characters (such as Colossus, Kitty, The Juggernaut, and Psylocke) receive very little development or backstory. As a direct result of this, I found it very difficult to care about these characters’ motivations over the course of this film. Speaking of character troubles, several main characters are anticlimactically neutralized early into the movie. If you are a fan of Cyclops, Mystique, or Professor Xavier, prepare to be extremely disappointed as these characters are severely underutilized to the point that their being in the movie is completely unnecessary. While some characters are underutilized, some are used far too often, namely, Storm and Rogue. After two movies of the Wolverine show, it seems Ratner tried to mix it up this time around by making Storm a more complex and interesting character. This simply does not work, largely due to poor writing as well as Halle Berry’s lack of talent as an actress. She definitely looks like she’s trying her hardest, but all of her plot points seem very forced. Rogue should have been cut from this movie, due to her doing absolutely nothing significant in this installment. In addition to that, it seems the writers of this film have decided to change Rogue’s personality from that of this film’s predecessors, so much so that Rogue is now completely unlikeable. Due to the lack of development of the central characters in this film and the removal of key players in the X-Men, only 6 members of the team remain for this final fight, only 3 of whom I was able to connect to and cared about. The final scene in this film is also a tease and, considering this movie is titled “THE LAST STAND,” a completely unnecessary nod toward a potential sequel to this film.
This movie isn’t all bad, however. This movie benefits from improved effects in almost all cases. The exception to this is Wolverine’s claws, which still look like animated toys. A special nod goes to the Phoenix effects, which for the most part look spectacular, considering this movie was released almost 7 years ago. Another nice addition to this movie is the character, Beast, who is, unfortunately, underdeveloped. With this being said, his scenes were entertaining, and he was a very interesting character. The final fight scene in this movie is also pretty well done, consisting of some great visuals and even a few neat match-ups.
THE VERDICT: Rental Worthy
This movie is by no means great and is easily the weakest in the series. For simply fun, however, this movie is passable as entertainment. If nothing else, this movie is worth watching once if you are an X-Men fan.
So, what did you think of X-Men: The Last Stand? Make sure to leave a comment letting me know your thoughts and feelings on the movie as well as on this review. If you liked reading this, make sure to like it and to follow this blog for updates on when new reviews come out. I should have more coming soon, so stay tuned!