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Overall Rating
2.88

Awesome: 5.56%
Worth A Look30.09%
Average: 27.78%
Pretty Bad: 19.44%
Total Crap: 17.13%

13 reviews, 138 user ratings


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X-Men: The Last Stand
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by Erik Childress

"Has Anyone Discovered A Cure For Ratner Yet?"
3 stars

Halfway through what has been described as the final chapter of the X-Men trilogy, I was preparing myself to eat a generous bowl of my own words and declare this the best of the series. After all, it was yours truly who subtitled one such article about the worst director’s working today “…or who we don’t want directing X-Men 3.” Brett Ratner was on that list and a few short weeks later was announced as the helmer after Bryan Singer had defected to Superman and Matthew “Layer Cake” Vaughn cited quality family time as his excuse to leave the project. Ratner’s usual hands-off, no-style-at-all approach works just fine during the first half as Simon Kinberg & Zak Penn’s screenplay tries to take a talky, cerebral approach to the plotline. But then the film begins to unravel in displays of silliness and a lack of drive that fails to payoff all its ideas or reach the level of excitement expected for such a final showdown.

Those pesky humans have come up with a cure for mutantism. Not just some dormant shot they have to take every day, but a one-shot deal which phases out the mutant gene and eliminates it completely, thanks to the typecasted Cameron Bright who has already played “creepy-kid-who-sucks-out-life” in Birth, Godsend and Ultraviolet. Some on both sides see this as a blessing and others view it as another chapter of the government trying to depose their will on a non-conforming minority. This is the last straw for Eric “Magneto” Lensherr (Ian McKellen) who is readying an army to oppose this latest development. The teachers at the Xavier School for Mutants are a bit more level-headed, albeit concerned that their extraordinary powers can actually be considered a form of disease.

Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and Storm (Halle Berry) become the dominating good guys alongside Professor X (Patrick Stewart), primarily since Cyclops (James Marsden) is still overwhelmed with grief over the death of his love, Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), in the second film and so egotistic Berry can have more screen time. Ah, but development number two mysteriously brings Miss Grey back to life, much to the delight-and-chagrin of Cyclops who realizes too late that a kiss is not still a kiss. Fans of the comic have been waiting since the overrated X-Men United for Jean to take on the form of the Phoenix, but will no doubt be buggered by Xavier’s explanation of a dual personality that she possessed and he repressed in order to keep her “class five” powers in check.

This flies in the face of the lengthier storyline involving Jean’s entrapment by the “Phoenix force” but works within the context of Penn & Kinberg’s script. Xavier’s interference with her power supports Magneto’s assertion that even his former best friend’s intentions are not completely for the well-being of the mutant individual. The two fathers who discovered her and their conflicting personalities provide depth to the age-old assertion of only the child being able to destroy the father. Right up to an intense and well-staged confrontation in Jean’s childhood home, The Last Stand successfully merges thought with action and then somehow forgot how it got there in the first place.

Watching a character like Hank “Beast” McCoy (Kelsey Grammer) walk into a room full of military officials without so much as a blink by anyone is the kind of thing we’ve come to expect in the world of X-Men. Seeing something as silly as a CNN report labeled “Magneto makes threat” or R. Lee Ermey doing a Full Metal Jacket voiceover preparing the troops and their plastic guns for battle – not so much. Ratner (or whoever was responsible) getting cute like that is not where we needed to be as the series heads for the inevitable resolution we’ve been made to believe is coming. For the spin being put forth of this cash cow always being a “proposed trilogy”, the news must have got to the filmmakers late as they desperately try to wrap-up storylines, kill off characters and unsuccessfully fight off the urge to introduce new mutants in the final act.

In the moment of the final face-off between the warring mutants (where the good guys with a whole school of candidates only bring six people, including two teenagers), I couldn’t fathom why I wasn’t more excited. It was fast-paced, a body count was piling up and it had lots of BOOMs. It finally dawned on me that each showdown was completely lackluster. Magneto, reminding us of his fondness for chess, sends out the “pawns” first who are so random, aside from one or two quick shots, that they seem to possess no powers whatsoever and are taken out without a shed of remorse. Isn’t Magneto the guy fighting for every mutant’s right to survive?

The Iceman vs. Pyro (or Shawn Ashmore vs. Aaron Stanford) battle is little more than the Egg Shen/Lo-Pan lightpower standoff in Big Trouble in Little China. Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) who can run through walls being chased by Juggernaut (Vinnie Jones) who can break through walls on brute strength (and whose connection to Professor X or any backstory whatsoever is never explored) is a no-brainer and is filmed as such. And what good does it do to introduce a new X-Man to do battle with Wolverine? The fight begins, limbs are being severed and regrown and instead of being exhilarated we’re playing catch-up. Wouldn’t it have been nice to see some display of Beast’s power before unleashing his superhuman potency? Why is one of the lamest X-Men, Angel (Ben Foster) given time in the film’s prologue if you’re not going to devote significant time to his relevance, the potentially interesting religious connotations or his father (Michael Murphy) who helps mastermind the development of the cure? Are his intentions honorable as a concerned dad or just another rich guy trying to protect his stature? And why bother showing Professor X walking twenty years earlier if you have no plans to deal with how he got crippled? This isn’t Lost with multiple seasons to answer such questions. This is supposed to be the friggin’ LAST STAND!

Chapter three boasts the virtues of team over the individual, which hardly seems the most revolutionary of concepts considering the first two already wore that on its shoulders and here it’s a throwaway that’s introduced in an opening Terminator-inspired training sequence and paid off by only three of the six good guys working together ONCE to help bring down Magneto. Whether the production was rushed with all its delays and exits or Ratner was just going through his usual motions as a “yes man” with idea zero in his head, The Last Stand gets choppier as it progresses and loses whatever cache it builds with a cadre of interesting characters who like Rebecca Romijn’s Mystique is eventually stripped bare and left alone on the floor to fend for themselves.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=14574&reviewer=198
originally posted: 05/26/06 14:29:08
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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
10/17/10 Deek Windsome Wrong. The reviewer seems to think the film should be based on what he wanted. 5 stars
12/04/09 healthcare assistant visit 2 stars
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7/03/09 the dork knight Wasted potential, too much focus on fucking Juno! (not enough thigh crushing either, Jean) 3 stars
6/25/09 tip massachusetts car insurance quote 3 stars
6/23/09 pennsylvania health insurance health care policy 4 stars
6/15/09 click download free game poker 4 stars
6/04/09 auto insurance ratings buy car insurance online california 1 stars
5/21/09 Aaron Smith Just okay final chapter to X Trilogy. Good to see more Magneto, Colossus, Shadowcat 4 stars
4/30/09 matt criminally underrated 4 stars
3/21/09 visit tips 1 stars
3/09/09 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
11/24/08 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
11/23/08 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
8/18/08 jonathantstorm terrible film, just awfulll 1 stars
5/29/08 PAUL SHORTT DISPOSABLE ENTERTAINMENT THAT PASSES THE TIME 1 stars
9/25/07 Bitchflaps Worse than the first two, and I didn't even like the first two. Embarrassing. 2 stars
7/26/07 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
4/05/07 DL Poor 1 stars
3/23/07 David A bit dissapointing, but it is decent. 3 stars
3/21/07 man great movie 4 stars
2/14/07 The chode What a piece of smelly shit. 1 stars
2/13/07 johnnyfog ............What the fuck was that? 1 stars
12/23/06 Benjamin Butchered story, the horror of Hollywood. 2 stars
12/09/06 Indrid Cold As with the previous two, I was left vaguely disappointed. Many plot threads, but no depth. 3 stars
12/08/06 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
11/07/06 julian this movie was monkey balls no gambit,rogue,real sentinal fighting,bishop crap all the way 1 stars
10/29/06 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
10/17/06 David Worse than the other 2. 3 stars
10/12/06 Rich Pitoniak x-men 3 was very laughable i laughed the whole film, it sucked. 1 stars
10/11/06 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
7/08/06 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
7/01/06 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
6/22/06 Mitch! Hey Doug, AC/DC and Aerosmith suck...and so does this movie. 2 stars
6/20/06 rob nero Phoenix was an entity that copied her, not a disorder! 3 stars
6/20/06 Jason Hyde It'd be better if they dropped the Phoenix stuff and focused on the cure stuff. 3 stars
6/18/06 alice Entertaining,for me the best one. 4 stars
6/18/06 MP Bartley Efficient closing chapter - but it does feel like a collection of deleted scenes from #2 3 stars
6/16/06 donald so sad to see the series turn to crap after such a promising second entry. 1 stars
6/14/06 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
6/12/06 Diana it was okay, the action was good... 3 stars
6/11/06 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
6/09/06 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
6/08/06 Lisa Jean Gray is definitely more exciting in this one!!! 4 stars
6/05/06 tim Cheap, corny, ridiculous, unemotional, anitclimatic. 1 stars
6/05/06 Illimantia A decent set-up, a superior sequel, and now a pile of dung! Sad... 1 stars
6/05/06 Alejandro Luna Even if you know nothing about this comic, you can identify it as a huge dissapointment 1 stars
6/04/06 ChumpyTheGreat Easily the worst of the three..a total mess. 1 stars
6/03/06 Con O'Brien Really enjoyed it - having seen the previous two. Particularly enjoyed sfx. 4 stars
6/03/06 Rowsdower A lot more flawed than the previous two, but it's still X-Men. Halle Berry, go home! 3 stars
6/03/06 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
6/02/06 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
6/01/06 Michelle & Ethan Absolutely disappointing and crappy! 1 stars
6/01/06 Koitus I actually thought that this was a good movie. Surprised at many of others' comments... 4 stars
6/01/06 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
5/31/06 sweetgrrl1972 *sigh* Why won't they pay for decent writers? Why?!! I'm so disappointed. 2 stars
5/31/06 Sean Brett Ratner ruined my Memorial Day Weekend. 1 stars
5/31/06 J-rd I’ve heard better dialogue between my three month old daughter and her stuffed bear. 3 stars
5/30/06 too-much-coffee mistress How does Halle Berry keep getting work? Oh yeah. Thanks, Oscar! 4 stars
5/30/06 Jeff The best of the three - most comic book like but still no Spiderman or Batman Begins! 4 stars
5/30/06 San Lamar coulda been better, but also coulda been worse 4 stars
5/30/06 sarrik76 As an action movie-good/As a comic book continuation- awful 3 stars
5/30/06 kandace I was okay 4 stars
5/29/06 Intelligent One Famke Janssen is hot but the rest of the movie sucks. 2 stars
5/29/06 Lord Jiggy Deeply, numbingly average. Worth a matinee, at best. Not worth a DVD. 2 stars
5/29/06 Cindy too many inacurate details for long time fans/readers 3 stars
5/29/06 Troy M. Grzych Not as good as 2 but really entertaining. It seems like they were trying to clean house. 4 stars
5/29/06 Elizabeth It was an absolute disaster. Ratner has no taste and no talent. 1 stars
5/29/06 bullit16 Not as good as the first two, but still a helluva ride 4 stars
5/29/06 Mr Bojangles The X-MEN series gets its RETURN OF THE JEDI... 2 stars
5/29/06 Ole Man Bourbon I just don't get this whole X-Men craze. All 3 sucked IMO. 2 stars
5/29/06 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
5/28/06 Anthony G IM THE JUGGERNAUT BITCH!!!!!!!!!! OWNED 5 stars
5/28/06 KB Oh what a letdown 2 stars
5/28/06 Nichole Great movie! 5 stars
5/28/06 Becky Berry annoying as always, most memorable moments were *not* emotional- meh at best. 3 stars
5/28/06 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
5/27/06 Pokejedservo Not as good as the first two... at first, though the finale more than made up for it. 5 stars
5/27/06 dredphul meh, wait for it on dvd unless you are a fan 3 stars
5/27/06 Eden Flawed, and not as good as the first 2. It all feels a little pointless 3 stars
5/27/06 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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