Review: X-men, The Last Stand

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

X-Men: The Last Stand
My rating: 2.75 out of 5.

Yesterday, the wife and I headed out to watch a matinee of X-Men: The Last Stand. I was planning on writing up a review of it for MovieComment1. But when I got over to the site I found; I found he’d already written his own review. And not surprisingly2, we have completely different opinions on both the current X-Men movie and the prior ones.

Brett Ratner was selected as the director for X-men: The Last Stand as Bryan Singer was busy working on Superman Returns. Unfortunately, this means the 3 part of the X-men series attempts to focus on the action/battle sequences rather than the character development which made the movies interesting. Mr. Ratner even went so far as to make the battles flow as much like a comic book battle as he could. This was a horrible mistake as the differences in the two mediums do not allow the flow of a comic book battle to work well on the screen. In a comic book, the audience accepts that the artist cannot draw every detail of a battle and they fill in all of the details they need/want with their imagination. With movies, we have a long history of war movies which show that the filmmaker can show significantly more detail. So when we have multiple scenes in the middle of battles where nothing is happening; it’s just boring (e.g. dozens of mutants supposedly leaping to the attack and all we get is them leaping over the rubble).

Additionally, I have to take issue with MovieComment’s claim that Storm looks especially good in the action sequences. Her *quote* flying *quote* scenes are without argument the worst special effects in the movie. I haven’t seen wire work that awful since John Cleese played Sir Lancelot in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and at least he was intended to look stupid swinging around on that rope. Then there’s the whole “wheee! I can spin!” crap they came up with for Storm. For crying out loud, this character is theoretically supposed to be the human mutant equivalent of Mother Nature and they’ve got her spinning around like a f’ing top! Still some of the other actions sequences weren’t too bad. Pretty much, any of them focusing on Wolverine were good. The bit with Kitty Pryde (aka Shadowcat) and the Juggernaut was really good (the end of that sequence was particularly funny).

The addition of other characters to the team in this film was both good and bad. Good in that they picked Shadowcat and Colossus3. Bad in that they did not really do anything with their characters and they failed to continue developing some of the other characters from the previous movies. Most notably, Rogue’s storyline was pretty much dropped and converted into a weird, teenage angsty thing which didn’t play well on the screen.

Speaking of bits which didn’t play well on the screen, the climax of the movie with Jean Grey/Phoenix and Wolverine blew serious chunks. To anybody who liked this scene, I apologize but Famke Janssen’s performance just did not pull off the seriousness of the moment. Maybe with a better director she could have done it, but I guess we’ll never know. Hmm, maybe they can do some sort of director’s cut but bring back Bryan Singer to do it so we could get a decent movie. That could be very interesting. Overall, I’m glad I went to see the film (for the new characters) but I’m extremely glad we went to maintee and used some coupons we had. If I had to pay the full, evening ticket price; I would have been seriously pissed off.

Oh yeah, if you’re reading this review prior to watching the movie; stay in your seat until after the credits. There’s one more scene after the credits are over which you don’t want to miss.

1 A movie/dvd review site run by a friend of mine.
2 He has consistently stated he believes Dumb and Dumber is not only a good movie, but one of the funniest he’s ever seen. While I find that movie to be an abhorrent piece of utter excrement.
3 My particular favorites.

1 Comment

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I was surprised to learn that my friend, Adam, liked this movie a lot. He’s much more familiar with the characters than I am, but overall I disliked the film. It had good and bad bits, the bad being mostly the technical and improbable bits. Points include

1. (Least serious or relevant) As a villain, if ever I had to face Scott in a fight, I’d just make myself a suit out of inverted eyelids.

2. (Bad) The mutants leaping to attack was a good example of lack of attention to details. Nobody wants to get into a “The Physics of Superheroes” argument in a general film critique, but think: no two X-men we see special-locomote in the same way, but an entire score of ‘bad’ mutants all happen to be flying pouncers?

3. (Good) Magneto has said for two movies that mutants are the next step, and humans will feel threatened and attack, which is why mutants can’t get along with them (and so must attack first). When Pepper Dennis loses her blue suit, his dislike of humans is exposed as being simple racism akin to the type he endured as a child (as opposed to survival-pragmatism).

4. (Bad) Why make us care about the family left to live in the car nearest the battle, then ignore them (and presumably kill them as flaming Magnetopult fodder) after the cute door-lock schtick?
4A. (Bad) Speaking of, that scene was like a caricature of Bad Hollywood. Director: “What have we got that’s new, exciting, and will spice up this movie?” Lackeys, as their knees collectively jerk: “Flying, burning, exploding cars?”

5. (Good, then Bad) They, starting at the end of the last movie, didn’t seem shy in effectively killing off sacred cows. Kill Jane? Kill the professor? Castrate Magneto? Wow, what risk-takers! Oh, wait. Apparently the director only has experience in soap-operas — main characters who experience death are instead merely *believed* to have been killed in that inescapable crash. Their identical *twin* was assassinated in Zurich.


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