X-Men 3: The Last Stand

| May 31, 2006

“X-Men 3: The Last Stand” is the 3rd installment in the blockbuster trilogy that helped further the 40 plus year X-Men legacy into a continuous modern household name. You know the back story, the X-men are mutant superhero’s with incredible powers caught in a world that often hates them for being different, the same world they are often protecting from other evil mutants and forces of evil. This particular story starts when a young mutant boy is discovered that can cure others’ mutations. The government wants to offer mutants a choice to retain their unique abilities though it alienates them, or give up their powers and become human. There are many opposing viewpoints. X-Men leader Charles Xavier, who preaches tolerance and education and Magneto leader of the brotherhood of evil mutants who believes that mutation isn’t a flaw but an empowerment that should lead mutants to conquer the world, will do battle. They are long time friends and even longer time enemies.
X-Men 3 delivers some pretty good action sequences. But the film needed about 25 more minutes of screen time dedicated to story and character development. Too many new characters were brought in and it felt like they were just adding new ones for the toy line. Many of the films biggest most shocking and important scenes were anti-climatic. Example: A major character is killed off creating the return of Jean Grey as The Phoenix, the most powerful, uncontrollable mutant ever on Earth. This scene should have been epic but instead it was amateurish and simple. That’s not to say it was all bad but I had hoped for more.
X-Men is a rare source material that has dozens and dozens of amazing characters and some of the choices of who to keep, introduce and create for the film were poor. Some of the characters were treated I felt poorly. Fanboys will have a hard time with this film. Many varying differences from the comic such as the introduction of Juggernaut and it’s never mentioned that’s he’s Professor X’s half-brother. Instead of being a dirty hard fighting badass Wolverine was a cute one line cracking smart ass, who did some decent shredding of bad guys but it just felt off at times. Kitty Pryde is used far too much and did Colossus have more than 2 lines because I don’t remember them? With that said again it was brave of them to actually tackle the killing and destruction of most all of the characters and wasn’t an easy task. I just felt that director Brett Ratner wasn’t the right choice for this film. His strengths are in action/comedy like his “Rush Hour” films. X-Men have a different sensibility and I didn’t think his style or lack of was the proper tone for a film of this scope.
Here’s the Bottom Line: X-Men 3: The Last Stand is good but not great. It seems that Lord of the Rings will continue on as the only modern trilogy to deliver 3 great films, each installment better than the last. I compare X-men to the “Blade” films. The first was surprisingly good, the second was even better and the 3rd fizzled out losing it’s direction and not quite giving us the one-two punch the trilogy deserved.

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