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Overall Rating
2.88

Awesome: 5.56%
Worth A Look30.09%
Just Average: 27.78%
Pretty Crappy: 19.44%
Sucks: 17.13%

13 reviews, 138 user ratings



X-Men: The Last Stand
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by Jay Seaver

"Better than it needs to be, though not as good as one might like."
4 stars

Considering the continued popularity of the series, I doubt that "X-Men: The Last Stand" really represents the last of anything, especially considering the rich library of characters filmmakers can choose from should they choose to jettison more expensive pieces. And give them credit for recognizing this - the third X-Men movie certainly plays like they could either walk away or at least play a very different team in #4.

Characters don't necessarily have to die, though. A San Francisco pharmaceutical company has just announced the development of a drug that permanently suppresses expression of the mutant "X-gene" - a cure, so to speak. Mutant terrorist Magneto (Ian McKellen) and his Brotherhood of Mutants consider this an abomination; telepathic Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) doesn't like the idea, but recalls having to place mental blocks in a student to prevent her own powers from going out of control. That former student, Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) was presumed dead at the end of the last movie, but she's back, and her hold on sanity is slipping just as Xavier feared.

The X-Men comic universe has, in roughly forty years of publication, amassed hundreds of characters, every one of them someone's favorite. The Last Stand teeters on the brink of overload, and maybe succumbs - many of Magneto's new recruits are notable only for what powers they bring to the table, and the younger X-Men get little more in the way of development. The returning characters do a little better, though it could have gotten really crowded if they'd kept Alan Cumming's Nightcrawler around or the core characters from the first film (Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, James Marsden's Cyclops, Janssen's Jean Grey, Halle Berry's Storm, and Anna Paquin's Rogue) were all in play from start to finish. In general, though, the cast does very well with what they're given. Particularly noteworthy new additions are Kelsey Grammar as U.S. Secretary of Mutant Affairs Henry "Beast" McCoy - his voice has the right combination of gravity and potential whimsy to make the character expressive through heavy make-up - and Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde, the girl who can walk through walls briefly glimpsed in earlier entries. She gives the impression that she really thought this was just a school she was attending, and the superhero thing is really not entirely welcome. Plus, there's Vinnie Jones as the Juggernaut. Juggernaut's an outsize thug, and that is right up Jones's alley.

One of the thing about the X-Men that makes it works so well as movies is the way the cast is set up, especially the returning cast. The conflict of these films is between Magneto and Xavier, with their respective teams doing much of the battle. So you've got two outstanding actors with experience adding weight to their words and ideologies, and powers that can be exercised without too much exertion to anchor the movie, but we don't have to watch them get in a fist-fight for the climax. That's the job of younger people who may not quite be in Stewart's and McKellen's leagues, but are good enough. Hugh Jackman has Wolverine down to a schtick that works, while Shawn Ashmore and Aaron Stanford have built up a good rivalry as "Iceman" and "Pyro". Rebecca Romijn is cocky maliciousness as the shape-changing Mystique, and her reaction when she sees what her loyalty to Magneto is worth is delicious. Halle Berry still seems a little lightweight as Storm, but as the movie starts she's shouldering more of the burden of leadership than she's used to, so it works.

The biggest negative is what the script does with Janssen: Very little. She should be the emotional heart of this movie, and a character with a split personality should be a meaty role, but it winds up just being a way for her character to be a plot device that does whatever the script needs it to do at the moment. That's a disappointment, not just because Janssen is a favorite of mine and using an established character like that is lazy; but because the X-Men movies and comics have always set themselves apart by what the larger-than-life characters and stories represent, and a film that carries that tradition on should be able to transfer some of those smarts to its characterization.

The movie is kind of clever, though - while the X-Men have always been a metaphor for the civil rights movement, it's too often been the civil right movement of the 1960s and not today. The Last Stand updates that a little; with a mutant in the cabinet and a mostly sympathetic president in office, the challenge is less about dealing with Klan-equivalents looking to exterminate you than the question of assimilation versus maintaining a cultural identity. And while we're all concentrating on a relatively non-controversial stand on racism, the filmmakers certainly seem to be talking about abortion - if scenes of young mutants going to receive their cure while protesters scream at them from across the street and one extremist throws a fireball doesn't seem familiar... Well, they you're probably just there for the action.

And no reason not to be - the action delivers. There was a fair amount of hand-wringing about Brett Ratner getting the job of director after Bryan Singer (who directed the first two) left the project, and while he's not as strong on the interpersonal drama as Singer was, he's more than competent when it comes to staging a big fight scene. The X-Men franchise is relatively unique in that it gives the filmmakers license to throw a whole bunch of superheroes and supervillains with different powers up against each other without worrying about worrying how Superman and Batman co-exist or diluting the story of how you get any of these more-than human people. There are two or three big set pieces, and you know pretty early on that Singer and his writers (Simon Kinberg and Zak Penn) aren't worried about leaving things in place for whoever winds up doing X-Men 4 - folks die, lose their powers, and switch sides. The sequences are well-edited with a genuine sense of menace, but also fun - if a ninety-pound girl gaining the upper hand on a two-ton bruiser as they each run through walls in their own way doesn't put a smile on your face, you're in the wrong movie.

In an ideal world, there'd probably be a little more to the characters in this movie. But I'm forgiving; it's got lots of superheroes fighting supervillains, and at least has one or two ideas in its head to go with the action.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=14574&reviewer=371
originally posted: 06/13/06 21:35:12
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User Comments

3/18/16 Charles Tatum Compelling characters make up for wavering film making 4 stars
9/02/14 Dude where x-men went downhill 2 stars
1/18/12 Marc DC I liked it better than the 1st two 4 stars
6/15/11 My apples are rotting Worst of the series? Very probably 2 stars
10/16/10 Deek Windsome Wrong. The reviewer seems to think the film should be based on what he wanted. 5 stars
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7/02/09 the dork knight Wasted potential, too much focus on fucking Juno! (not enough thigh crushing either, Jean) 3 stars
6/24/09 tip massachusetts car insurance quote 3 stars
6/22/09 pennsylvania health insurance health care policy 4 stars
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6/03/09 auto insurance ratings buy car insurance online california 1 stars
5/20/09 Aaron Smith Just okay final chapter to X Trilogy. Good to see more Magneto, Colossus, Shadowcat 4 stars
4/29/09 matt criminally underrated 4 stars
3/21/09 visit tips 1 stars
3/08/09 JL Hunt Total disappointment. Destroyed the excellent work from X2 2 stars
1/05/09 living4christ OK, but < than 1st 2. Wish more chars were around for sequals 4 stars
12/01/08 the dork knight Too many goddamn characters. Still, not too terrible. 3 stars
11/23/08 Jason Get over it nerds. All I have to say is $459,256,008. Not bad for a horrible movie. 4 stars
11/23/08 MC And apparently Angel can fly from NY to Frisco just as fast as the X-Jet. 1 stars
11/23/08 Jin This is whaty happens when Jim Lee is not consulted: the story ruins the comic 2 stars
11/22/08 Remy Ramone David and the fanboys can get over that Dark Phoenix Saga took years and X3 2 hours. 4 stars
10/18/08 Pandapeep Awful, awful movie. No excuse. I am still upser I've ever wasted time watching this thing. 1 stars
8/17/08 jonathantstorm terrible film, just awfulll 1 stars
5/28/08 PAUL SHORTT DISPOSABLE ENTERTAINMENT THAT PASSES THE TIME 1 stars
9/24/07 Bitchflaps Worse than the first two, and I didn't even like the first two. Embarrassing. 2 stars
7/25/07 MaDmAN I agree with David Cornelius' review 100%. What a terrible way to end an great seriesli 2 stars
6/01/07 Likk Another pretty bad comic book film, will they ever stop making them? 2 stars
5/15/07 967 Poorly done. Where was Nightcrawler? 2 stars
4/28/07 s the reason that's why i have to watch x3 bec of shawn ashmore and ellen page.that's all... 3 stars
4/04/07 DL Poor 1 stars
3/22/07 David A bit dissapointing, but it is decent. 3 stars
3/20/07 man great movie 4 stars
2/13/07 The chode What a piece of smelly shit. 1 stars
2/12/07 johnnyfog ............What the fuck was that? 1 stars
12/23/06 Benjamin Butchered story, the horror of Hollywood. 2 stars
12/08/06 Indrid Cold As with the previous two, I was left vaguely disappointed. Many plot threads, but no depth. 3 stars
12/07/06 jill b absolutly my favorite movie of all times!!! loved it!!! 5 stars
11/18/06 Quigley just a special-effects showcase. bad sci-fi, bad plot, bad script...I missed Bryan Singer 2 stars
11/06/06 julian this movie was monkey balls no gambit,rogue,real sentinal fighting,bishop crap all the way 1 stars
10/28/06 Riley it was ok but i wish nightcrawler was in it 4 stars
10/21/06 comic book guy worst movie ever 1 stars
10/19/06 Henry X-Men 3 apesta, sin duda, la mejor de todas es X2 2 stars
10/16/06 David Worse than the other 2. 3 stars
10/11/06 Rich Pitoniak x-men 3 was very laughable i laughed the whole film, it sucked. 1 stars
10/10/06 jagnet I was very disappointed... good action but way off the real story behind x-men-1word Rogue 3 stars
10/04/06 Brett_Ratner_can_eat_a_bowl_of_d1cks Brett Ratner: the WORST DIRECTOR EVER! This guy made horse sh1t like Prison Break, Rush Hou 1 stars
10/02/06 Nick S. It got the job done, but the film feels rushed. Don't blame Ratner though. 4 stars
8/17/06 Pn. As with GOFATHER and Wacko Jacko nose jobs, should have stopped at two.. 3 stars
8/10/06 Dragon The Artist The "Phoenix" thing was a little dumb, but its good how they kept bringin' in mutants. 4 stars
8/06/06 Erik Van Sant Blasphemy on every level. All involved should be drawn and quartered. Sad end to series. 1 stars
7/30/06 Scotty It was ok as an action film, but I was very disappointed with how they treated the characte 3 stars
7/07/06 Necie This is a good film. X-Men means action for me!!! 5 stars
7/04/06 matt Some weak plot elements and less involving, otherwise great 4 stars
6/30/06 Gerry Irons Better than I expected- Lacks Brian Singers Polish- but delivers with action story-surprise 4 stars
6/25/06 P3NIS_CLEAVER its a comic book movie, lighten up! 4 stars
6/21/06 Mitch! Hey Doug, AC/DC and Aerosmith suck...and so does this movie. 2 stars
6/19/06 rob nero Phoenix was an entity that copied her, not a disorder! 3 stars
6/19/06 Jason Hyde It'd be better if they dropped the Phoenix stuff and focused on the cure stuff. 3 stars
6/17/06 alice Entertaining,for me the best one. 4 stars
6/17/06 MP Bartley Efficient closing chapter - but it does feel like a collection of deleted scenes from #2 3 stars
6/15/06 donald so sad to see the series turn to crap after such a promising second entry. 1 stars
6/13/06 burton miller good, but not as good as the first two 4 stars
6/13/06 raul valdez Jr good action, went by to fast none the less entertaining 4 stars
6/11/06 Diana it was okay, the action was good... 3 stars
6/10/06 Mase Still one of the best super hero franchises around, if obviously lacking in direction. 5 stars
6/10/06 ALDO if you enjoyed 1&2 its well worth viewing. Unexpected scenes made it enjoyable 4 stars
6/08/06 junaid well i think the biggest mistake is the killing of the main three characters 1 stars
6/08/06 Tyrone since when can you vaporize someone with telekenisis 1 stars
6/07/06 Lisa Jean Gray is definitely more exciting in this one!!! 4 stars
6/05/06 tim Cheap, corny, ridiculous, unemotional, anitclimatic. 1 stars
6/04/06 Illimantia A decent set-up, a superior sequel, and now a pile of dung! Sad... 1 stars
6/04/06 Alejandro Luna Even if you know nothing about this comic, you can identify it as a huge dissapointment 1 stars
6/03/06 ChumpyTheGreat Easily the worst of the three..a total mess. 1 stars
6/02/06 Con O'Brien Really enjoyed it - having seen the previous two. Particularly enjoyed sfx. 4 stars
6/02/06 Rowsdower A lot more flawed than the previous two, but it's still X-Men. Halle Berry, go home! 3 stars
6/02/06 Ricardo The best X-men film 5 stars
6/02/06 George Jung About as choppy as the first two - at least something happened in this one. 4 stars
6/01/06 Rocky Well...it was ALMOST a great trilogy... 1 stars
6/01/06 The Talking Elbow Seemed more concerned about making a buck, what a difference a director can make. 2 stars
6/01/06 Thoughtmachine Couln't have been worse if Van Damme played Wolverine. Sloppy and poorly constructed. 1 stars
6/01/06 MARVEL MADNESS This movie was absolutely without a doubt the worst movie i have ever seen in my life. 1 stars
5/31/06 Michelle & Ethan Absolutely disappointing and crappy! 1 stars
5/31/06 Koitus I actually thought that this was a good movie. Surprised at many of others' comments... 4 stars
5/31/06 panagiotis sucks and has no relation to the comic books, just a disappointment , THE DIRECTOR SUCKS 1 stars
5/31/06 malcolm about time they let Storm kick some ass, 1st X-movie is still the best of the series 3 stars
5/31/06 Obi Wan Jackman shines!! Easily best of 3, where was NightCrawler? 5 stars
5/30/06 sweetgrrl1972 *sigh* Why won't they pay for decent writers? Why?!! I'm so disappointed. 2 stars
5/30/06 Sean Brett Ratner ruined my Memorial Day Weekend. 1 stars
5/30/06 J-rd Iíve heard better dialogue between my three month old daughter and her stuffed bear. 3 stars
5/29/06 too-much-coffee mistress How does Halle Berry keep getting work? Oh yeah. Thanks, Oscar! 4 stars
5/29/06 Jeff The best of the three - most comic book like but still no Spiderman or Batman Begins! 4 stars
5/29/06 San Lamar coulda been better, but also coulda been worse 4 stars
5/29/06 sarrik76 As an action movie-good/As a comic book continuation- awful 3 stars
5/29/06 kandace I was okay 4 stars
5/28/06 Intelligent One Famke Janssen is hot but the rest of the movie sucks. 2 stars
5/28/06 Lord Jiggy Deeply, numbingly average. Worth a matinee, at best. Not worth a DVD. 2 stars
5/28/06 Cindy too many inacurate details for long time fans/readers 3 stars
5/28/06 Troy M. Grzych Not as good as 2 but really entertaining. It seems like they were trying to clean house. 4 stars
5/28/06 Elizabeth It was an absolute disaster. Ratner has no taste and no talent. 1 stars
5/28/06 bullit16 Not as good as the first two, but still a helluva ride 4 stars
5/28/06 Mr Bojangles The X-MEN series gets its RETURN OF THE JEDI... 2 stars
5/28/06 Ole Man Bourbon I just don't get this whole X-Men craze. All 3 sucked IMO. 2 stars
5/28/06 Adam Smith I was extremely let down. Mr. Ratner ruined the experience & a potentially great ending. 2 stars
5/28/06 Jim Why, Bryan, why did you leave us?! 3 stars
5/27/06 Anthony G IM THE JUGGERNAUT BITCH!!!!!!!!!! OWNED 5 stars
5/27/06 KB Oh what a letdown 2 stars
5/27/06 Nichole Great movie! 5 stars
5/27/06 Becky Berry annoying as always, most memorable moments were *not* emotional- meh at best. 3 stars
5/27/06 ad at least the actors are good 2 stars
5/27/06 Agent Sands Entertaining as a comic book adaptation typically gets. 4 stars
5/27/06 Stacy Too many "walking down hall and talking" scenes. It was all right. 3 stars
5/27/06 KingNeutron STAY FOR THE END CREDITS. Great summer movie, deals w/ some heavy issues. 4 stars
5/27/06 Dan Too short, too "punny" at the beginning, but otherwise a good movie. 4 stars
5/26/06 Pokejedservo Not as good as the first two... at first, though the finale more than made up for it. 5 stars
5/26/06 dredphul meh, wait for it on dvd unless you are a fan 3 stars
5/26/06 Eden Flawed, and not as good as the first 2. It all feels a little pointless 3 stars
5/26/06 BrianWilly Has several flaws, but generally awesome 5 stars
5/26/06 Sarah Im so dissapointed, I'm about to cry 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  26-May-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 03-Oct-2006

UK
  26-May-2006

Australia
  25-May-2006


Directed by
  Brett Ratner

Written by
  Simon Kinberg
  Zak Penn

Cast
  Hugh Jackman
  Halle Berry
  Ian McKellen
  Famke Janssen
  Anna Paquin
  Patrick Stewart



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