So the fanboys and the critics have been telling me that X-Men: The Last Stand is awful, yet the movie going audience has been flocking to this baby. Like the responsible movie fan I am, I had to see for myself. Read on for my spoilerific review of X-Men: The Last Stand…
I have to tell you, when Bryan Singer, the director of the first two X-Films, left to direct Superman Returns, I was a little concerned about the fate of our favorite mutants. I don’t have any antagonistic feelings toward the replacement director, Brett Ratner, like so many people seemingly do, but I believed the quality would drop just a hair because Singer was so loyal to the source material.
Ratner, on the other hand, is loyal to making a summer blockbuster.
What I mean by that is that X3 is an entertaining, fast-paced, short, action-filled thrill ride. What it is not is an in-depth story with well-rounded characters. In fact, Ratner seemed to feel quite comfortable with breaking routine X-Convention, especially any foundation the first two films laid.
That is part of what made this film so fun, but also part of what made it so frustrating. Let’s just get a big spoiler out of the way: Ratner kills off some major, major characters in X3. So many big characters that an X4 seems pretty unlikely. The heart of the X-Men are gone, and they were gone pretty early into the film. That being said, I knew then and there that all bets were off and no one was off-limits. That certainly increased the tension and suspense for my movie going experience.
But, the deaths of the characters were so out of place, so out of character, they truly seemed forced and rushed. And that is my ultimate summation of X3-forced and rushed. It had great moments, some were actually genius, but overall the film had many, many holes. The sheer number of heroes and villains required four hours of story to avoid any shortcomings, and as the film lasted only an hour and forty-five minutes, well, you can imagine how crammed things got.
However, what worked, and worked wonderfully, were the special effects. If you want to see these mutants using their powers in all the glory of your wildest imaginings, you will not be disappointed in X3. It truly felt like a comic book come to life. You get to see the powers of Iceman, Beast, Phoenix, Colossus, Shadowcat, Pyro, Magneto, and Juggernaut in their full glory, just the way you want to see them. The only problem is you just don’t get to see enough of them.
Would I recommend this film? You bet I would. The spectacle and special effects alone are worth it. The acting of Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Kelsey Grammar, and Patrick Stewart are top-notch for those moments where they’re actually allowed to act.
I think if you are a hardcore X-Fan you will be very disappointed with the directions they took with some of the characters in X3, but if you look at it as just another summer action movie, you’ll be more than entertained.