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X-Men: The Last Stand
Review and Media by Stu

X-Men: The Last Stand
Original Release Date - May 26th 2006

When a cure for the mutant X-Gene is discovered, each mutant must ask themselves - who will they stand with? With Magneto beliving the cure will become mandatory for all mutants, he and his Brotherhood of mutants strike to stop the Goverment whilst The X-Men come to terms with the return of Jean Grey and the growing evil inside her.

Screenplay By: Zak Penn and Simon Kinberg
Directed By: Brett Ratner
Music By: John Powell
Starring: Patrick Stewart as Professor Charles Xavier, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine/Logan, Ian McKellen as Magneto/Eric Lensherr, Halle Berry as Storm, James Marsden as Cyclops/Scott Summers, Kelsey Grammar as Beast/Hank McCoy, Famke Janssen as Jean Grey/Phoenix, Shawn Ashmore as Iceman/Bobby Drake, Ben Foster as Angel, Vinnie Jones as Juggernaut, Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde and Anna Paquin as Rouge

Review: The third and presumably final X-Men film was something many werenít looking forward to, despite how popular the previous two entries were. The change in directors and the rushed production left many wondering if the film was going to stand up with the originals. I remained cautiously optimistic because Iíve noticed Iím quite easily pleased with comic book movies Ė most of the time, they couldíve been a lot worse.

The film got some harsh bashing online, but I found it to be thoroughly enjoyable. I can tell the production was rushed and work shouldíve started on the film earlier if they intended to make the May release date but thereís nothing horrendous to be found here, and it manages to entertain right the way through the film, which is a lot more than can be said for the other big superhero film of the summer. Thereís the odd silly line of dialogue and you feel that once again theyíve tried to cram a few too many characters into the film (just who are Magnetoís new henchmen?) but thereís was some great stuff in here for the geeks, the best being the appearance of The Sentinels in The Danger Room and Wolverine and Collosusí Fastball special to defeat it!

The new mutants introduced were a little hit and miss, as Angel was pretty much an extended cameo and again, Magnetoís new crew were pretty disposable, with the exception of Juggernaut. Vinnie Jones was brilliant as olí Juggy, and they even managed to sneak in the infamous ďIím The Juggernaut, bitch!Ē line in there! My favourite of the newbies was Beast. Kelsey Grammar was absolutely perfect as the blue furball and the make up department did an excellent job of matching his look from the comic. I just thought they did a great job with the character and it didnít feel like they were shoe-horning him in at all. Kitty was as cute as a button but the love triangle seemed a little odd to me because it was barely present, which is what happened when Rogue barely appears in the film. Thereís a deleted scene on the DVD in which she doesnít take the cure, and it changes practically nothing in the context of the story. Oddly enough, thereís no explanation as to what happened to Nightcrawler. Iíve since heard it was explained in the X-Men movie video game, but that was such a pain in the ass to get through I never made it to the end.

McKellan, Jackman and Stewart all continue to excel in their roles in the movie, and once again offer flawless performances. Halle Berry isnít too bad either but you do get the feeling she did nothing but act really angry throughout the entire film and you canít help but feel sheís a little harsh to Rogue when she says thereís nothing wrong with mutants Ė she clearly doesnít see anything beyond her own bubble. But thatís probably the writers fault rather than the actress. But back to my original point Ė the returning cast all do outstanding and Hugh Jackman, bless him, heís still the dogs bollocks. I canít wait for the Wolverine spin off, I expect it to be spectacular.

If I were to pick out a main criticism of the film, it would be that they tried to rush too much into it. I thought the idea of a cure was a stroke of genius and I wouldíve liked to see more of the characters dealing with it on an emotional level. What did Xavier think of it? What did Wolverine think? It all sort of takes a back seat to the Dark Pheonix story in some parts of the film, but I think the cure shouldíve been the main focus, not Jean. Although kudos to everyone involved Ė she had a brilliant death scene.

Whilst I donít think itís quite as polished as X-Men 2, or well directed for that matter, one canít diss Ratner too much Ė he clearly had a hell of a production to deal with in an incredibly short amount of time. The Singer pacing problems arenít found here and the entire movie flows better instead of moving at a snail like pace which plagues each of Singerís films, and the action scene are very well directed. Thereís this one shot I love in Jeanís house as Juggernaut throws Wolverine up in the air and he falls through the roof of the next room Ė I loved that. The action scene werenít helped by a lacklustre score which I felt needed to pull itís finger out itís ass a bit Ė this score is defiantly the weakest of the three X-Men films and sounds oddly similar to Danny Elfmanís Spider-Man score at times, but again, itís weak and the action scenes really needed the score to add a little more oomph to them.

Overall, Iím happy with the movie. Itís not perfect, but itís fun to watch. Hereís hoping we get that Wolverine movie soon!


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