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For Marvel the legendary characters of the X Men is one of their trademark publications, the whole premise that a group of advanced mutants join to become a force for good has quite an interesting take that opens up many facets and opportunities that the story can take as well as asking a number of questions about who we are as humans, with the fact that the evolution is starting to take hold. The third film in any trilogy is usually one that ties off the loose ends and brings calm to the story that has been told over the previous two films. With the third X Men film telling the story of the war culminating between the humans and the mutants, the film has quite daringly gone against any of the source comic books and performed a major tangent in what direction has been followed.
At the end of the second film we saw what appeared to be the loss of Dr Jean Gray in a lake that held a number of secrets, most tantalizing was the fact that there was a strange light emanating from where Gray was last seen. In the film the story carries on and Cyclops is in mourning whilst Wolverine holds himself responsible, meanwhile a "cure" for mutants has been made available to remove the mutant abilities from those who want to be cured. In turn this has caused a split amongst the mutants where Magneto leads the ones who want to stay as they are. While Professor Charles Xavier has to deal with the return of an altered Jean Gray, a person whose alternate personality is slowly taking hold of her to the extent that she kills Cyclops in the early scenes. As the film progresses the pressure is turned up a notch with Xavier becoming the target and Magneto taking the battle to heart of the cure.
With the departure of Bryan Singer as director, as he went off to direct the pitiful Superman Returns, the studio bought in Brett Ratner as the director. Ratner is good but with the momentum created by Singer the last film had a lot to answer in terms of what it had to achieve, and the fact the film doesn't have that epic appeal to it is just one part why the film doesn't work as a whole, its 104 minutes in length and really should have gone beyond the two hour barrier, so it has that rushed feel to it that projects the fact that it wants to get to the end as soon as possible. However there is a lot that happens in the film as a whole and that builds up to the climatic sequence at the finale. Interestingly there are a lot more X-Men references as seen in the training sequence at the beginning with Wolverine and Storm training the new batch in battlefield manoeuvres, from here you see that things aren't working out well since the loss of Jean Gray.
With the likes of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Halle Berry as Storm, Patrick Stewart as Xavier and Ian McKellern as Magneto. There isn't a single actor who stands out in the film and I found this to be surprising given the talented cast that has again been assembled for a third time without any character being recast due to the departure of one actor. Another surprise for me was the acting level in the film; a good example is Storm as Halle Berry doesn't do that much at all in the film other than deliver a few lines and could have faxed her lines in such is the small part she plays in the film. Also the opportunity to bring in some new characters has been taken fully, as there are something in the region of 14 new characters shown on screen that are the newer X Men to join the team so its obvious that with a film of such short length that the main stars are appearing in a reduced role straight away. Vinnie Jones plays Juggernaut and seeing him up on the screen in full Juggernaut costume is strange as he is wearing a muscle suit, yet by the end of his appearance he becomes the comedy relief as he is outwitted by a young Ellen Page who went o to play the lead in the excellent Juno. Also making a first appearance on screen is Kelsey Grammer (Frasier) as Beast. A huge character who is blue with a sizeable amount of fur, it's refreshing to see him on screen as he is the conduit in government between humans and mutants and he like Wolverine is more effective in battle than democracy. The attention that they have given to Beast's appearance is something else as it is true to the comic booking all ways. A lot of the story arcs that were introduced in the first film are addressed in this film, namely the romance between Rogue and Iceman. Rogue having the ability that drains the life force from anyone she touches, they have a scene all to themselves as Rogue is one of the first to get the cure. With Cyclops out the picture its up to Wolverine to attempt to get through to Jean Gray who has joined Magneto, and this culminates in the conclusion of their story as well, so all loose ends bar a few are tied up, but the trouble is that the fans of the X-Men may have a problem in how these are tied up.
As I said earlier the film does deliver on some parts but lets itself down on others, yes the special effects are truly amazing as its not often you see an American landmark such as the Golden Gate Bridge being used as a means of transport for Magneto, yet somehow the passion has been lost and it seems rather flat in terms of why certain things happen. Now I can understand wanting to move away and make the films original, but actually killing off a number of characters is a blasphemy towards the readers of the comic book and the viewing audience and so after watching the film you tend to ask what exactly have I just seen as it can be a bit messy in terms of story telling. Having seen the film a few times on Blu-ray then it does get better after multiple viewings and you do tend to see things that you missed, a good example is the departure of Mystique as the sacrificial limb, an evil character that was loyal to Magneto being used and effectively ejected out of the story in mere seconds to allow Magneto an escape.
I do take my hat off to the special effects team, to explain the changes in Jean Gray a flashback is played out with Stewart and McKellern being digitally altered to appear twenty years younger when visiting the home of the then child Jean whose ability has being highlighted as gifted. Xavier walking and with a noticeably smoother face while Magneto being a good gut has dark hair and again far less wrinkled, this scene really could have been done better, for a good example see Tron Legacy with Jeff Bridges, but you have to give some credit for even attempting this and this is not only a key scene but a key location as it is here in the house that a full on battle takes place with a surprising casualty.
The extras do back the fully back up the film with Commentary tracks, documentaries and a plethora of information spanning the two discs that raise the quality of the entire package immensely. One documentary being an impressive 41 minutes in length where director Brett Ratner showcases his production diary as an extra, which I found interesting and shows the actual effort that he has placed into the film itself. The longest documentary is 68 minutes in length and gives an historic overview of the X-Men from creation to present day with input from Stan Lee as well as the obligatory merchandising that the documentary kind of uses as an advertisement. My favourite from all these are the deleted scenes, although these are quite a mixed bag of alternate and extended scenes that have been cut because they don't work, yet some amongst these give a glimmer of hope that the film could have been better than it actually was. As you would expect from a Blu-ray, the quality of the picture is extremely nice to watch as the granular approach that Ratner has applied looks absolutely brilliant on this format.
Overall the consistency of the film is not what the previous films have adhered to, however looking back its very daring to see what the script writers have gone for in terms of whose in the X-Men and who isn't and after multiple viewing this does tend to grow on you more and you see the film with a different pair of eyes. As the final part of the trilogy, it would be easy to dismiss the film given that it has gone off on a tangent and I can see why the masses of fans in the world don't like the film for what it does, however this film has rapidly grown on me for what it does in the story and the story that unfolds. It does set up a fourth film quite nicely with a new set of X-Men in various forms and quite cunningly has an end scene that delivers a shock involving a main character, however to get a full explanation of this means that you should put the commentary track on.
Yes the film could and it should have been better, but its not really that bad.
After the success of the first two films, a trilogy was on the agenda. Unfortunately Bryan Singer didn't return to direct this instalment, leaving Brett Ratner to fill the chair. X3 or X-men: the last stand was released in 2006.
Its several months since Jean Grey was buried at the bottom of Alkali Lake and mutant relations are strained. In order to solve the problem, Warren Worthington II develops a cure using a mutant child. When the news reaches the world, Magneto is outraged so he rallies support to bring down Worthington and his lab. Amongst his allies is The Phoenix, a creature resurrected from Jean Grey whose powers of telekinesis and telepathy make her almost indestructible.
As with the previous two films, there are a lot of characters to get to grips with. It is therefore quite important to have seen them before this as no time is given getting to know the previously introduced mutants. There is an influx of new guys to; Hank 'The Beast' McCoy had a small cameo in x2 and was brought back for a larger part here, Warren Worthington III (Angel) has one of the more emotive roles; there is a scene with him as a child trying to ct off his wings which is so touching.
I think the biggest problem with this film is the amount of story, character development and action they have tried to squeeze in. With a running time of 1 hour 40 minutes, it all feels a little rushed. It does make it exciting almost all the way through but it looses some of the development and emotion that the other two films did so well.
I'm not saying Brett Ratner has done a bad job, I just think it's such a shame Bryan Singer didn't return to complete the trilogy as he previously got the balance just right. Ratner does pull some punches though and there are definitely shocks along the way. I couldn't believe some of the characters that were cut. I was shocked that Scott (Cyclops) was destroyed within the first few minutes as I expected him to have a much bigger part. He's been on the sidelines previously so thought he would be at the forefront of this movie, especially as it focuses so much on The Phoenix / Jean.
The main returning characters are Jean / Phoenix and Logan / Wolverine. Xavier confesses that he suppressed a part of Jeans mind because it was too powerful and this is what has resurfaced as Phoenix. Jean takes off from the school and she is found at her childhood home by both Magneto and Xavier, it is clear after this that she is out of control and although Wolverine is warned to stay away we see how much he feels for her because he selflessly tries to bring her back. I did find some of their scenes together a bit cheesy though, he followed her round like a lost puppy, giving her meaningful looks all the time, something the Wolverine in the other films would never have done and it seems a bit out of character.
I also think this film follows the more standard formula for action films with a thread of a story and then an action packed special effects extravaganza. The idea here is 'the cure' and there are the odd emotional moments but there is nothing like the amount of moral issues dealt with as previously which is a shame because that's what stood the x-men films apart from other action fodder.
Although there were some shocks the basic story builds up to the final battle. The action is spectacular and the special effects are spectacular. The mutant powers are pretty amazing and it is obvious how the advances in both budget and technology since the first film have really made that possible.
I did find some of the dialogue a little cheesy in this film; the previous ones were quite witty and clever whereas this one seems to go for the obvious and boring. This is particularly evident with lines such as 'she's so strong' (Xavier on Jean) and 'not everybody heals as fast as you' (Scott to Wolverine).
Ian McKellan was once again fantastic as Magneto and Wolverine was also well played by Hugh Jackman. Vinnie Jones looked great but said little as Juggernaut and Halle Berry at least got to chop her hair off as Storm.
I felt Famke Jessen was vastly underused as she seemed to stand around looking menacing but doing very little. Anna Paquin was given a little more to do as Rogue decided whether to take the cure or not, but still didn't have any real screen time to portray her feelings.
Overall, I don't think this is a bad film, as action fodder goes it's acceptable. It perhaps just had a hard act to follow and I'm afraid Brett Ratner didn't do as good a job as Bryan Singer. The special effects just seem to have taken over the story and it's a shame because with so many great characters this film could have overtaken the first two and been fantastic.
This is a 12 certificate as it contains a lot of fantasy violence and can currently be bought on Amazon for 4.23. Alternatively it can be bought as a box set with the other two films for £8.99 which is much better value.
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
Bryan Singer pretty much ensured that comic books would become a bankable medium when adapted to film with his brilliant first two X-Men films. He left the third film to Brett Ratner so that he could go shoot Superman Returns, and while Ratner gets a lot of stick for being a shlock director, he does a fairly good job here, even if the film lacks the nuance of Singer's films, although it isn't fair to blame Ratner for this as that fault lies with the script. Nevertheless, overall this is a densely-packed film that throws even more mutants into the mix, such as Spike and Beast.
The Last Stand continues where X-Men 2 left off, with Dr. Jean Grey (Famke Jannsen) presumably being killed, but we all know that she turned into the Phoenix at the end of the film. Anyway, Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) is worried that Cyclops (James Marsden) is not going to be able to recover from his grief, while another threat looms as Hank "Beast" McCoy (Kelsey Grammer) finds out that there is now a cure to the mutant gene. This has massive repurcussions for the mutants: Magneto (Ian McKellan) and his gang want to quash any idea of a "cure", while the X-Men try and keep the peace between everyone, while Dr. Jean Grey resurfaces as the destructive Phoenix.
Despite Singer's lack of presence, it's still all good fun, but The Last Stand is simply too short, and is by a considerable margin the worst of the three due to a total lack of character development and nuance. Also, placing a pivotal scene after the credits was just indescribably idiotic, given how most people had left the cinema by that point (or turned off the DVD, I presume).
X Men: The Last Stand is a superhero/ action film that was released in 2006 and is the third film in the X Men series. It is rated 12A due to a lot of violence and action, some sexual content and language and the film is 104 minutes long. The box set, containing all 3 X Men films can be bought on Amazon for about £8.
Xavier and the other X Men are trying to get the school back on track after the devastating end of the last film but Scott is still mourning the loss of girlfriend Jean and isn't much help. When he starts to hear her voice, he refuses to believe she is really dead and goes looking for her. The problem is, when he finds her, something is terribly wrong.
At the same time, the government have invented a cure to the mutant x gene with the help of a little boy named Jimmy. Neither the good or the bad guys think that this is a good thing and both sides set out to do something about it, unfortunately, not together.
Magneto gathers up loads of mutants by telling them that the 'cure' is actually a weapon designed to wipe out all of their kind and they form an army. Both sides discover that a class 5 mutant, Dark Phoenix, the strongest there has ever been, is around and is causing problems left, right and centre and something must be done to stop the government and Dark Phoenix.
Hugh Jackman - Logan / Wolverine
Halle Berry - Ororo Munroe / Storm
Ian McKellen - Eric Lehnsherr / Magneto
Patrick Stewart - Professor Charles Xavier
Famke Janssen - Jean Grey / Phoenix
Anna Paquin - Marie / Rogue
Kelsey Grammer - Dr. Henry 'Hank' McCoy / Beast
James Marsden - Scott Summers / Cyclops
Rebecca Romijn - Raven Darkholme / Mystique
Shawn Ashmore - Bobby Drake / Iceman
Aaron Stanford - John Allerdyce / Pyro
Vinnie Jones - Cain Marko / Juggernaut
Ellen Page - Kitty Pryde
Daniel Cudmore - Peter Rasputin / Colossus
Ben Foster - Warren Worthington III / Angel
This is by far the best out of the X Men series, with the exception of the new Wolverine film because I haven't gotten round to seeing that yet.
One of the things that I really liked about this film was the flashbacks. I love knowing what has happened to the characters before hand and these really add to the dramatic feel of this film. I don't think Jean would have been half as believable this time if we hadn't seen the time where Xavier and Magneto went to her house.
There are too many main characters in this film that I wont go into how each one performed. Each of them were amazing and were interesting in their own ways. I love how in each film, we get a new set of characters to love and learn about and this one was no exception. There was one stand out performance for me though and that was Famke Jansen who plays Jean Grey. I've loved her in everything I've ever seen her in and watching her go from nice, quiet woman to the scary, evil woman was fantastic to watch and shows what a great actress she really is.
Some of the new mutants who I really liked where Juggernaut played by Vinnie Jones, Angel played by Ben Foster (he isn't in the film too much but he's hot) and Beast played by Kelsey Grammer. I really liked Beast mainly because I was so shocked by who was playing him and it took me a while to realise who it was.
The special effects, especially when it comes to the mutants, are amazing and you can really see how much time and effort went into the design. Although you know none of it is real, it is done so perfectly that you cant tell the difference. I cant imagine how much time went into this film and although the basis of the characters were there already from the comics, designing their powers must have taken a hell of a lot of work.
I know this film has been described by some people as the worst in the series but I absolutely love it. There is so much going on that I never get bored and I always end up noticing different things each time I watch it. X Men really has everything that an audience could want, action, interesting storylines, romance and devastation. Fantastic film!!
As a partial nerd (I watched the cartoons, but didn't read the comics) I was looking forward to X3, but expected a mediocre effort based on reviews and instincts. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself, well, pleasantly surprised. Being the final film gets rid of the sequel pressure, giving a free-for-all on plot turns. And some plot turns genuinely shocked me. I kept expecting there to be a 'surprise! We didn't really just do that!' But there never was. This slight feeling of doom helped to darken X3's mood, and give it more of an edge. My main problem with the previous films was they felt too much of a 12-rated affair. It was violence and chaos but in a 12-rated way. A bit too safe for my liking. But despite X3's 12A stamp, there are some pretty horrific moments, which if watched through an 8 year old's eyes might make a psychological stamp similar to the one imprinted on my brain from the T-1000.
Anyway, there're some neat moments in this film (especially the transformation from Jean into the Phoenix, despite being inaccurate) and some great action set pieces. There're also a trillion new characters, which highlights the fundamental flaw with trying to film X-Men. Through an endless stream of comics you can set up characters and give them all the depth and back-story you want. In a couple of hours, you're going to struggle. Not only do you need to introduce the newbies, you've got all the old favourites to include, plus a couple of lines of plot, plus fight scenes and action pieces. It doesn't leave much room for dialogue, or much time for any depth to the characters, and the film suffers for it.
The new faces include Vinnie Jones (playing himself) as the unstoppable Juggernaut, who is fairly unstoppable for about three seconds. There's a few S&M style baddie mutants who share five minutes of screen time (they get a turn each to do their powers), and the brilliant Angel, whose character showed so much promise after being introduced as a child trying desperately to file down his wings, and who is completely and shamefully wasted.
The familiar faces also suffer with the jam-packed nature of the film. Even wonderful Wolverine feels deflated, with less time to be angry and wise-cracking, instead just going through the motions and whipping out his claws on cue. But for some reason Storm is given more screen time. Who made that stupid decision? Storm's rubbish. They may have given her a new hair do and let her fly around a bit, but my interest in her character is about as small as Halle Berry's waist. The main 'players' over on the baddies side, Magneto and the Phoenix, spend most of their time standing with their legs slightly apart and watching stuff, waiting for something to do.
It's a case of too much crammed in to too little. But what else could they have done? If they were to go into full detail the film would be about 6 hours long. And if they didn't bother bringing in anyone new then what's the point in another sequel? It's a tough job, and overall it wasn't done half bad. There's thrills, there's a few ideas thrown up to ponder and there's a darkness in it that I admired. If you watch till after the credits then you get a scene that is quite frankly creepy, creepy, creepy.
i have mixed feelings about this film. i have seen it a few times now, each time i see new aspects of the film i both like and dislike. for me, the film is well produced and a fitting followon from the previous x men movies which were all superb. i feel the director has kept the feeling of the history and the practice of the x men true to the previous films however i feel the storyline and idea of mutant humans with powers is begining to wear thin as there is only a certain amount one can draw out from this idea. I do not feel this movie was as engaging or enjoyable as the previous ones. however, this aside, i still feel the film is an excellent one well worth watching as it is truely an action packed thriller with a fantastic ending worthy of praise of the hightest order.
The x men are back but unfortunatly for this instalment, it isnt worth going berserker about. The previous films director Bryan Singer has jumped ship to film Superman and it has been taken over by Brett Ratner, of the rush our Trilogy. Unfortunatly it was the biggest Mistake. The film isnt all doom and gloom as there are some great set peices and a solid enough story to keep us hooked but unlike the previous films there isnt a gritty realism and it all looks a little naff.
The story follows from the famous pheonix saga with jean Grey back from the dead unable to controll powers and turning evil. Also there is a subplot with aa mutant cure which turns into a battle of good and evil. like the previous films there are some new faces and old ones gone in the blink of an eye. Wolverine is back and plays once again a central part with storm, proffesser x and magneto. Unfortunatly the ever inproving James marsden is given little screen time and the loved character of cyclops is given little to do.
New faces include the much loved beast played to perfection by Kelsey Grammer and the Juggernaut played by Vinnie Jones. Who doest pull of the best performance in the film. There are the secondry characters back in it such as ice man and rouge who have there own issues to content with such as the usuall wanting to be human ark. Ian Mckellen and Patrick more are once again a force to be reckoned with in the film and bring a heavyweight feel to the film which is much needed.
The plot of the film isn't executed in the best way and can at times feel a bit light given the subject matter. All round the film doesnt play up to the potential that could of been.
However given the flaws the movie's fight scenes are great and the director has an eye for a great set peice. The stand off between good and bad mutants at the end is fantastic and looks great on screen. The effects are very realistic with some perfect attention to detail.
A standout scence is the siloette fo Magneto and the bad mutants on the golden gate bridge as he manuvers it to the destination of his choice. The scene dripped in golden light is something out a comic book page and the event that follow on from this is well worth the watch.
The dvd has many special features, with 22 deleted scenes that would of benifited being in the movie. Also are three alternate endings and some great easter eggs.
worth the buy to complete the trilogy
I'm reviewing the DVD version & I've watched it with both sets of commentary & seen all the deleted scenes but not the Easter Eggs. The film is too short and would have benefited for most of the deleted scenes being put back in. The film is based around Jean Greys transformation into Dark Phoenix. And right there the film makers instantly lose everyone who isn't an X-men comic fan.
Killing off Scott (Cyclops), Jean and Charles (Professor Xavier) are all really bad ideas. Even with the little tease that Charles has moved bodies at the end of the film. Having Magneto lose his powers (or not?) and Mystique lose her powers too.
The film tries to use big action set pieces to make it watchable. And the fight in Jean's home and at the prison are over done far too much. Vinny Jones is just plain stupid as are Magneto's new sidekicks. the plot could have been a lot better but it was nice finally see Beast and Jubilee (even if they were in very small roles). It was totally pointless calling this The Last Stand, as we all know they will make an X-men 4.
X Men: The Last Stand is third and final film in the X Men comic book heroes adventure of silver screen.
This is one of the best action films of all time.
X Men are all mutants with special powers. The good mutants are led by Xavier; bad mutants are led by Magneto.
The story of the mutants is about to end with a new drug that suppresses all the super strengths. This divides the mutants into two camps, one accepting it and the other seeing it as holocaust and building an army to obliterate humanity.
Xavier is leader of good mutants. He has his hand full of problems as one of the characters, Jean Grey makes a come back, she has powers that can disintegrate anything.
With these two things happening the film. X Men face an almighty struggle to survive; their lives will never be the same again. Several of Xavier's team will pay with their lives.
As a final film, the script is totally unsympathetic to good guys. You do feel for Cyclops and his likes.
As far as the film goes. It is one hell of a journey into super fights and incredible fight sequences.
I like this film a lot. Mainly due to the extraordinary action scenes.
This film follows and continues the story from Xmen 1and 2, the main story consists in that there are a new kind of race on earth, mutants, they have special abilities such as controlling metal, walking through walls, super strength... there are many mutants that choose to be on the evil side and good will have to face evil.
In the third film, Jean, that had died in the second film comes back to life and kills Scott, she is not herself and lets her evil side control her. The professor tries to get some sense into her but fails and has a very tragic death.
Some scientist found a mutant who has the ability of making mutants normal again and produce a "cure" for these gifted people. Many of these mutants do not agree with this cure and try to destroy the mutant that is providing it, guided by the evil side of these mutants will face the good side...
This was a good film but I cannot say that I absolutely loved it, it was entertaining but wasn't my sort of thing and didn't get my attention. I enjoyed watching it but it would definitely not be on my favourite list.
You can purchase this film of Amazon at only £5.98 which is cheap and is worth it if you are qa marvel superhero fan.
X-Men: The Last Stand
Director: Brett Ratner
Release Date: 2006
Runtime: 104 mins Approx.
=== Plot. ===
After defeating William Stryker in X-Men 2, the mutants are put under threat by the humans again, when they discover a cure to turn mutants back into humans.
Some mutants are all for the idea, but then lots of others are not, and this causes the X -men and Magneto once again to set out on different paths to destroy the cure. With the X-men going to get it done the right way, Magneto goes round searching for his old allies, and a few other ones. And sets out on a path of destruction to get the cure and destroy the humans once and for all.
With Jean Grey, being turned into the Phoenix, She can't control her powers, and is a very dangerous weapon. Which Magneto plans to use again the X-Men and the entirity of the human race.
=== My Opinion. ===
Like X-men 2, I watched this movie at the cinema, at the time I didn't like it too much, and thought it was the worse movie out of the trilogy, and I still do.
It's still a good movie, but I just preferred the previous two over this. I didn't enjoy the storyline as much I guess.
The acting was as per usual great from Sir Ian Mckellen, Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman, with excellent perfomances from the main characters, and a much better performance from Famke Janssen (Jean Grey / Phoenix) in this movie than the other 2. This is because she plays a much bigger role in this movie.
The action sequences and special effects were very good, but the script was a bit too speech heavy, which did cause me to lose interest a little.
I got this recently from my local HMV for £5 if my memory is correct. And is definetly worth a purchase.
3 out of 5 stars.
(Also posted on Ciao.)
The first 2 X-Men films, cunningly titled 'X-Men' and X-Men 2', met with success, and not without merit. The first film set the scene, a film awaited for so long. The second built on the success and energy of the first and took it to the next level with a deeper plot. The third, here, is entitled 'X-Men: The Last Stand', so you can see what they're gearing up to, here, can't you? And the thrid film, released in 2006, does not disappoint.
In 1963, the X Men were created as a comic book idea of men and women possessing quirky mutations due to a defective genetic evolution. It took off, rating as one of the most popular comics, and still goes strong nowadays. Cartoon series have been made, and then in 2000, Bryan Singer directed an all star cast in X-Men. Director and cast returned in 2003 for the sequel, X2.
The Last Stand throws everything but the kitchen sink at the viewer. We have the returning cast and director, as well as a horde of new characters with familiar actors and actresses taking their places on the Marvel stage for this blockbuster.
Having defended mutantkind against Colonel Stryker in X2, the X-Men and followers of Magneto once more part company and turn their attentions to their struggle with each other. A cure has been found, one to rid mutants of their mutations that make them so. Many are for the cure, but an equal number oppose it. With the X-Men and Magneto in agreement in getting rid of the cure, we see the different ways in which they set about doing so, with destructive consequences.
The Cast and Performances
The original cast from the first two films return in this third installment. Again, Hugh Jackman takes centre stage as Wolverine, with Halle Berry as Storm and James Marsden as Cyclops following closely behind as the X-Men, led by Patrick Stewart's Professor X, who are now joined by some matured students from the Xavier School, where mutants are taught the value of their powers when used responsibly.
Ian McKellen once more plays Magneto, and returns with familiar sidekick Mystique. They are joined by a horde of mutants and form the 'Brotherhood', mutants determined on extinguishing the possibility of a cure no matter the cost! The pick of these is probably ex-footballer turned hard man actor Vinnie Jones as Juggernault, although Kelsey Grammar provides a nice sophisticated touch as Beast!
There are very good performances from all the cast, and no one character stands out a great deal above the rest, such is the nature of the plot. One exception to this may be Jean Grey/Phoenix, played by Famke Janssen fantastically. The alter-ego nature of the Phoenix has been captured perfectly by Janssen in my view, and she performs better than the other actors on show here.
I liked this film more than the other two X Men films. It had much more detail and action, and I was not bored once. I did not feel it dragged in the slightest, and there are some plot twist which make you wonder if ehat you have seen is actually the case. This happens a few times, none more so than the very end of the film (I shall not spoil it for you, don't worry!)
I do like this film. At times, it runs the risk of being too far-fetched, and I am sure many would find this to be the case, but it does not stop it from being a brilliant action film with a stellar cast all performing well with the benefit of the two previous films under their belt.
On a par with the other two X Men films, if a little higher due to the continuous nature of the plot. This film does not drag, the other two did in places. This is perhaps a result of director Brett Ratner taking over from Bryan Singer at the helm. I rate this film at 4 stars out of 5.
These are multiple, and excel compared to the extras on the first two films. There are many deleted scenes, 3 alternate endings, trailers, some concept art, and then a whole host of documentaries, including an audio commentary by the director Brett Ratner.
The DVD is available from amazon.co.uk for £4.97 new for the 2-disc edition.
This review may also be posted on ciao.co.uk
Thanks for reading.
So, X-Men: The Last Stand! Well not exactly, the final frame of the movie suggesting otherwise. As if the producers are really going to turn their backs on a multimillion dollar franchise successes like this in a hurry! It is the end for many of the original cast though, heros and villains alike as this particular trilogy comes to a spectacular end, and one by one they fall. Or is it? As we dont actually see them fall through the narrative trap door they could come back.
That copout aside I have really enjoyed this superhero threepeat, the third film more than adequate, especially as its as not camp as the likes of the earlier batman movies and the like of the eighties. One good thing you can say about C.G.I and directors like Ratner is that it has livened up some of the Marvel and DC Comic superheros, finding a suitable and expansive home in this genre, the films big and brash once again. But still no sign of Captain America, the coolest superhero out there.
-Quick catch up-
Film one saw the good mutants being housed and nurtured at a school set up by Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart).They then battle the bad guys, headed by Magneto (Ian Mckellen), who, of course, lost. In film two the above team up to fight General William Stryker (Brian Cox), who wants to use all the mutants for bad things, and of course, he loses.
We pick up the action after an undisclosed period of time from the end of film twos narrative, Scott Summers (James Marsden), still mourning the loss of his super x girlfriend Jean Gray (Famke Janssen). Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) is getting the mutant school back together whilst Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and Storm (Halle Berry) are now teaching there. But theres trouble to come for mutant kind as the humans have invented a cure for mutantism, able to kill the mutant x-gene and regenerate them to human form if they so choose.
The mutant community is split on the treatment and needs some direction on what to do next, new mutant minister Hank McCoy (Kelsey Grammar) the official liaison between the two groups, all increasingly split by what this will mean.
So re-enter Magneto (Ian Mckellen), back on the scene as a villain again, ready to take up the call and rally the mutants against the humans by forming the Brotherhood, persuading them that the cure is really a weapon to wipe out their kind.
With the parameters set the mutants get organized and prepare to use their various powers to defend their way of life, those that want the cure will take it, the rest must chose. The X-Men have become political now and soon get involved when they find out Magneto is running the show. Things are further complicated for both sides by the disappearance of Scott Storm (Cyclops) and the reappearance of Jean Gray, her growing powers set to bring unbalance to the mutant and humans status quo. On Alcatraz Island, near the Golden Gate, lays that cure, and who ever gets to it first will decide man and mutant kinds destiny as the final showdown nears.
After Bryan Singer did such a cool job with the first two movies the chalice was handed on to Bret Ratner, he of the awful Rush Hour movies, and a man who should be shot for giving the diabolically annoying Chris Tucker a job. Although the movie isnt as sharp and intricate as the first two I still liked it, Ratner, like his jewelry name sake, is doing the best he could with the clunky script and limp mid movie plotting to sell it to the masses. The third film is definitely more for the family movie crowd that bring 80% of all of Hollywoods profits in just 6 weeks of the year than the hardcore comic book types.
Ratner is clearly under orders to make sure that when he gets rid of important characters on screen he must leave it open for their miraculous return, if you see what I mean, their demise ambiguous. I suspect (although I dont know) this was a big reason Singer didnt come back for more, knowing the massacre to come. New characters seem to have been deliberately bought in for future plans, Ben foster playing the angel boy straight from the TV series Heros, Kelsey Grammars hairy mauve mutant worthy of his own cartoon alone! Who knows, maybe a TV series.
The big name cast has fun once again trying to slide into their tight costumes, Halle Berry the best in latex by far. Patrick Stewart looks typecast and bored now playing these dignified leader types, whilst McKellen is as camp as ever playing these megalomaniacs he seems to relish on film. But the story is light and the team drifting apart and although the big action pieces and new skills from various mutants are good fun it doesnt have the Singer touch of class. And that, I feel, is probably the biggest moan about this movie for Sci-Fi fans.
= = = = = = Special Features = = = = = =
A good handful of new and extended scenes.
Bret Ratner explains where it mostly went astray.
Run Time 124 minutes
Supposedly, two out of three aint bad. But once youve seen two films in a trilogy and, assuming you enjoyed them, youre not likely to want to miss the third. How many people can honestly say they watched the first two instalments of the Lord of the Rings trilogy but then skipped the third? I even went to see the third of the Matrix films, despite being less than impressed with the second, so there was no way I could fail to see the current X-Men film, having thoroughly enjoyed the first two.
After a brief prelude, the story continues from a point shortly after the end of X-men 2. Cyclops is struggling to come to terms with the loss of Jean Grey and, after their involvement in the last battles, Rogue, Colossus and Iceman are now fully fledged X-Men. If this last sentence means nothing to you, it suggests youve not seen the previous films and you might want to rectify that before seeing X-Men 3, or you run the risk of being completely lost throughout it.
As with X-Men 2, a scientist with a mutant child has found a way to mess with the mutant DNA. This time, however, they are claiming to have found a cure to the illness that causes mutation and have unveiled this to the world. This news is greeted relatively calmly by Professor Xavier, although Storm isnt happy that they are calling the mutation an illness. Even her reaction is nothing compared to Magnetos. Always suspicious of what humans would like to do to mutants, he feels that this cure is another step along the path to controlling and eradicating mutants and thinks it is time for the mutants to band together and fight back.
At the same time, there is some evolution within the mutant community itself. Both Magneto and Xavier are aware of a new mutant with powers greater than any of have come before, even themselves. With Magneto planning a war and even Xavier seemingly aware that it will happen, both are keen to have this mutant on their side. Who can win, not just the battle for Dark Phoenix, but the war between mutant and human?
As ever, the real stars of this film are in the special effects and make up departments. Although you know that much of what youre seeing cant be real such as Wolverines claws the illusion that is presented is so real that youd have difficulty proving it. Even during the biggest sequences, there isnt an effect out of place. The music is pretty good as well, in that I wasnt really aware of it until the end credits. This, as far as Im concerned, is ideal, as film music should be like the referee in a football match there to complement, rather than get in the way of, the action.
The acting was all you would expect from an action film. Its not usually of the highest quality, but the X-Men films have always been above the norm in this aspect, having so many quality actors featured. Ian McKellen as Magneto is the one that steals the show this time around. After several years of playing the good guy as Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, he really seems to be enjoying being on the side of the baddies. Patrick Stewarts Professor Xavier is his equal and opposite calm and controlled and not really pushed in anything he has to do. Halle Berrys role as Storm is a larger one this time around and she seems to be on autopilot for a lot of the time, but hers is not a role that should push an Oscar winner.
The others arent quite as effective, but do their jobs adequately enough. Hugh Jackmans Wolverine is better during the action sequences than he is when hes not required to fight and Famke Janssen as Jean Grey was better when she was more controlled and looked less comfortable in her main blockbuster scenes. Vinnie Jones played Vinnie Jones as Juggernaut the role was really made for him as it didnt really ask him for much. Kelsey Grammer was pretty Frasier like as Hank McCoy and there were one or two lines that had him sounding very much like his Seattle radio show host, but he did do OK in the action sequences as well, although I never shook the feeling he was a blue, hairy Frasier.
The story is lacking in some ways. Certainly its a good idea, but it does raise a number of moral issues, both for mutants and for humans, which are really just skipped over. This is a shame, as there was plenty of scope for the inclusion of this, especially given some of the characters actions, but you never get the reasons they act as they do, you just see them doing so. This, combined with missing some of the warmth and camaraderie between the X-Men that was a feature of the previous films, means that you dont get to see the mutants as good and bad people so much, so it blurs the lines between the two sides. There is no clear demarcation between good and evil and, although existing fans will know that Magneto is supposed to be the bad guy, its not as clear here as it has been previously.
It may be that some of the interaction between the X-Men as well as some of the moral choices were removed from the final cut of the film to make space. The whole thing feels pretty rushed, as if it is a 3 hour epic style film which has been crammed into 100 or so minutes. The whole film has a lack of balance, in that it takes a while to get going and then rushes towards a conclusion, missing out bits that could be important along the way.
This is never more so than when the new characters are introduced. Previous films have suggested that there are a lot more mutants around than you get to see, but in this film you get to meet a lot of them, with most never being fully introduced. There is clearly some prior relationship between Hank McCoy and Storm and Professor Xavier, but we are never told what this may be and can only assume its irrelevant, as it doesnt get mentioned again. Only fans of the comic books, which Im not, will know their stories, but anyone else wont. This is one area of the film where having seen the previous X-Men films is of no benefit.
Its tough to know whether to blame the script writers or the director, Brett Ratner, for these failings. Personally, I think it might be a combination of both, but its impossible to know whether the missing parts were never in the script, or cut by a director keen to make his mark with a huge set piece scene after being removed from the soon to be released Superman film. Certainly this director does not seem to have the understanding of the X-Men that the director of the first two films did. Before, they were real people, but this time theyre little more than action heroes.
All this considered, though, its a decent enough film. Sure, there are missed opportunities within it, but what gets to the screen isnt too bad. You dont watch something like this expecting too much, although previous X-Men fans would be expecting a little more than they get. It is a film that requires some prior X-Men knowledge to follow fully and although there are some pretty impressive parts and the special effects are as flawless as ever; this is definitely the lesser of all the X-Men films so far, which is a pity as the story behind it showed real promise.
If youre already a devoted X-Men film fan, this does need to be seen on the big screen, especially if you can take advantage of an offer like Orange Wednesdays and get two tickets for the price of one. Its worth the £5 or so admission to look at, but you do risk being disappointed after the last couple. But if youre that big a fan, wondering what youre missing could be worse than watching the film and realising whats missing. If youve never considered an X-Men film before, then youd be better off skipping this one. Its not likely to make you a fan and youll be slightly confused in a number of places which refer backwards in the series of films. If you only enjoyed the first couple of X-Men films a little, then youd possibly be best giving this one a miss and waiting for the almost inevitable X-Men Trilogy DVD, which I expect to see either in time for Christmas 2006, or at some point in 2007, as that way, you know youll be getting something really good for your money, even if you do end up not enjoying this film.
Not wanting to sound up myself but when it comes to movies like the X-Men Trilogy Im probably one of the hardest people to please - reason being? Not only am I a fan of Movies in General, Im also a big Comic-Book fan, so no matter how good a movie is, if it isnt up to the standard of the Comic or if theres parts changed (even if for the better) then Im not happy, however after leaving The Last Stand I had a half smile on my face at how well it had been done as a Comic-Book movie, but as a Stand Alone movie, well the jurys still out on that one.
The general storyline behind the movie is simple - there are people living amongst us who thanks to a different gene in their system have different powers whove been dubbed Mutants, the general public have been raised to almost fear them and the whole ethic of being a Mutant is an illness. Fast forward to present day and theres been a cure found to the Mutant Gene that leaves the recipients normal humans however some Mutants arent happy at this and have decided to stand up and fight against it, throw in a second group of Mutants that although they dont like the idea of a cure they also dont want to wage war to stop it and add in a Major character coming back from the dead with an evil streak re-born in her and youve got the premise of The Last Stand. Now that is an extremely quick and short synopsis of the general storyline and believe me that its a lot more intertwined than that and if I was to go into detail then youd still be reading this review tomorrow - but hopefully you get the general idea.
Onto the specifics of the movie and firstly to how the storylines played out - it does the comic-book version proud, in the books although the storylines are mostly serious there was always an underlying humour to the story and a lot of times in Movie versions of comic books youll see that they dont hit the tone right and it either ends up too serious or too jokey, in The Last Stand theyve hit the nail on the head. Wolverine is as picky as ever, and the new characters brought in stay loyal to their paper bound counterparts.
Then theres the story itself, as with the whole of the X-Men franchise be it Comic-Book, Cartoon or Movie theres always a general theme of acceptance of those different to the majority and The Last Stand is no exception - and to a degree the story is done well, but its also a tad rushed, in a total of 1 and 3 quarter hours theres several new characters to introduce, several shocking moments and 2 major storylines to intertwine with each other and its a bit too action packed so to speak.
Onto the acting performances, when I first looked at the cast sheet 2 names startled me in a not so good way, firstly Vinnie Jones playing Juggernaut, a man whos acting talents have never impressed me and secondly Kelsey Grammar playing Beast, the idea of the man behind both Frasier Crane and Sideshow Bob being in an X-Men Movie just seemed wrong, but having said that neither of them majorly disappointed me when it all ended up on the big screen, in fact Id go as far as saying Grammar wowed me as Beast and almost seemed born for the role.
From the rest of the cast there isnt one bad performance I can think of, however there are plenty of characters that stood out especially Famke Janssen playing Jean Grey/Phoenix - in the 2 previous films shes always been good, but heck she takes it up a notch in this one, so much so that my comments to my fellow filmgoers were along the lines of She can have my Babies, when shes on screen even if shes just standing there and not saying a word she has a controlling presence. However thats not taking anything away from any of the other characters, Halle Berry will never be one of my favourite actresses but she makes the character of Storm her own, even though she had no character explanation Ellen Page plays the character of Kitty Pryde excellently and then as per always Sir Ian Mckellen and Patrick Stewart play the characters of Magneto and Professor X to absolute perfection.
As can be expected with such a huge release the Special Effects have been done to a tee, in a movie where random people have different special powers its obvious that a lot of your times going to be spent showing them off, be it a bit of lighting effects, CGI showing a character flying through the air or manipulation of a characters features, it has to be a big part of the movie - but it doesnt seem tacked on like it so easily could have been and it does adds an extra edge to the movie.
Music and Scenery wise the producers have again gotten it spot on, the woods where a major part of the film are simply breath-taking and add to the action feel of the film. Then there are the mock-ups of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge - both times they seem so lifelike to the originals. Music-wise its there, its great but its not in your face and is almost incidental to the film, which makes it just that little bit better as an overpowering soundtrack would have ruined the movie in my eyes.
So overall thoughts? Its good but its not the greatest it could have been, the way they forced too much action and too many new characters into a film that it does at times seem like a bit of a mess, but as a comic-book translation it excels itself, its one of those rare things that is both a semi-decent film but a true to book cross over and for that I applaud it, and finally saying this - its a movie that NEEDS to be seen on the big screen, getting it on DVD wont do the special effects justice, plus if Famke Janssen ever reads this - marry me?