X-Men 3 - The Last Stand (2006) by The Critical Movie Critics

Movie Review: X-Men 3 – The Last Stand (2006)

After watching the first two X-Men films, I was positive this would be amazing, mind blowing visuals, and above and beyond any fan’s expectations. Instead you are left with an over-populated mutant community. The end result, much the same as elsewhere — resources stretched to the breaking point forcing everyone to settle for less.

The third installement of this franchise, X-Men 3 – The Last Stand, faces the same quandary as that the “Batman” franchise did at the same stage, notably the dual challenge to adapt to the new director. There’s he third challenge to adapt to the new director.There’s a third challenge here, however, which is that the underlying conflict remains essentially the same, with friends-turned-enemies Magneto (Ian McKellen) and Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart), along with their respective mutant armies, continuing to play out their philosophical differences on an increasingly violent global battlefield. The catalyst for conflict this time is the development of a genetic “cure” that can transform mutants into “normal” humans, those dreaded homo-sapiens that Magneto so despises and whom Xavier has sworn to defend.

Incoming director Brett Ratner — who did a switch with the previous director Bryan Singer after Singer replaced him on the forthcoming “Superman Returns” — has never been known for his sensitivity, story sense or acuity, all characteristics that helped Singer elevate the previous two films above comparable comics adaptations. There is virtually no character development and all the new characters they introduce make very brief appearances. What Ratner does have is a profound attraction to bombast and excess, essential qualities these days for overseeing the kind of mindless summer fare that relies more on compound explosions and nonstop action than cogent narrative.

Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine and Famke Janssen’s resurrected Phoenix — who now suffers from some kind of split-personality disorder — get decent screen time, while Rogue (Anna Paquin), Mystique (Rebecca Romijn), Storm (Halle Berry), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), Pyro (Aaron Stanford) and Cyclops (James Marsden) show up only in fits and starts. Newcomers include popular comic-book character Beast (Kelsey Grammer), Angel (Ben Foster) and Juggernaut (Vinnie Jones), though only Beast really gets much of note to do.

In fairness, X-Men 3 – The Last Stand is not a total catastrophe; had Singer not already set such a high standard, Ratner’s effort would be perfectly acceptable from a generic action film point of view. But the problem persists that the first feeling you get after watching the movie is that it felt more like a drama than an action flick. The creative implementation of diverse powers with which Singer’s films kept audiences rapt has given way to a wide array of mutants who are all variations of either super-strong or super-psychic, which means that most everyone is either levitating cars or throwing them.

At this stage, Fox should seriously consider either retiring the franchise entirely or giving it a rest before reinvention.

Critical Movie Critic Rating:
2 Star Rating: Bad


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'Movie Review: X-Men 3 – The Last Stand (2006)' have 3 comments

  1. The Critical Movie Critics

    June 2, 2006 @ 9:16 pm General Disdain

    Although I tend to agree with you that this movie could have – shit, should have been better, I don’t necessarily agree with your points.
    You gripe about the the lack of character development. Does there really need to be in depth character development? The main characters of the story have had there beginnings chronicled int he first two flicks – no one cares about the two or three new characters introduced here.
    Your biggest rant appears to come from the change of director. I can honestly state that I did prefer the previous installments of the X-Men movies to this, but I don’t believe it has to do with the direction of the movie. Granted Ratner doesn’t a strong body of work prior to this, but neither did Singer. A change in directors does not sound the death knell. What rings the fucking bell is an action movie that leaves you craving more action. And this folks is the true problem with X-Men: The Last Stand. There just isn’t any remarkable action in this movie. The Phoenix (Jean Grey’s alter ego), a class 5 mutant (notice the white water rafting resemblence?), is introduced in this movie and she doesn’t do a fucking thing. I mean a mutant with powers that can wreak total mayhem, and the best she does is vaporize a few people – bullshit. She should have done much much more. And having Wolverine blubbering about his feelings and such is a waste of time. I don’t want Wolverine to be humanized. Keep him a killing machine with an attitude. Hopefully the upcoming Wolverine movie will get the character back on track.

    I rate this movie:

  2. The Critical Movie Critics

    June 23, 2006 @ 7:46 am Nashtradomus

    First off I did not say change of directors would cause death knell to the franchise. All i’m saying is the new director, Ratner just does not stand up to what Singer did in the previous two movies and you do agree yourself on this point by saying that you liked previous two installments as opposed to this one. What more the story was partly developed by Singer in the previous two along with David Hayter who was not involved in the last one. So I think a lot goes to say why Singer would have been a better choice and why Ratner did not stand up to the job.

    As for character development, I think that makes up for a strong storyline. You dont have strong characters in the movie. you make up for a weak story and really it becomes just another hogwash. I can honestly say that the previous two installments had good piece of screen for almost all the mutants, which include even for Sabretooth, the hairy greaseball.

    So I don’t agree with you when you say I gripe too much over change of director and weak characters. Although I do agree with you that you end up wanting for more action.

  3. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 11, 2011 @ 12:48 am christopher

    I was particularly fond of Halle Barry’s part in this movie, but then I was always a Berry fan. Growing up, I loved curling up in front of the living room to watch the cartoon, and even this movie isn’t as good as the cartoons back then, it was still a most excellent film nevertheless.

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