Written by Simon Kinberg & Zak Penn
Directed by Brett Ratner
Running Time: 1:43
for intense sequences of action violence,
some sexual content and language.
X-Men: The Last Stand was a worthy finale for the X-Men series, if this is in fact, the final chapter.
A 'cure' has been found for the mutant gene, and now any mutant who wants to become normal, can do it. Magneto and his crew believe that the government wants to use the serum as a weapon and get rid of all mutants. As the cure is in the form of another mutant, Magneto plans to capture and kill him. Charles Xavier and his X-Men believe that the mutants have a right to decide what they want to do. Which side wins the battle could turn on the surprise resurrection of Jean Grey whose power is now greater than that of any mutant in history. What side of the battle will she choose to join? And will any of the mutants survive?
X-Men: The Last Stand, even under the direction of Brett Ratner, did a good job of following in the footsteps of the first two films. The look and feel of the movie remain the same, so you don't feel like you're watching a completely different film. Once again, since the first movie introduced the idea of mutants, no long winded explanations of how mutants came to be and what their place is in the world, were really necessary to set up this story. We start by going into the past to find a younger Xavier and Magneto as they go to the home of Jean Grey, whom they both believe could be the most powerful mutant ever. From there we find a small child who is just beginning to realize his mutant powers and the fear that enters him as he realizes he's different. Then we're back into present time (which is actually some time in the not-so-distant future) and the battle begins almost immediately. Once the 'cure' is announced, both sides of mutants realize that this could be the end of life as they know it. Cyclops is still in mourning over Jean's death. Wolverine is still hanging around and also is still in love with Jean. In an unnecessary side plot, Rogue and Bobby are having teen issues since she still can't touch him and is afraid he's falling for Kitty Pryde. Mystique has been captured, but of course Magneto and Pyro manage to release her, along with a couple of other mutants including the massive Juggernaut. Magneto taps into a huge base of mutants and is able to mobilize his forces quicker than Xavier, but the X-Men arrive in the nick of time to save the day. Sort of.
As you can see, a lot of new mutants are revealed during the film, including the big blue furball, Beast. To me, showing the new mutants and their abilities is the real entertaining part of all the movies. So, having more and more mutants is always fun, even if they all don't get a lot of screen time. The Last Stand is markedly shorter than the first two movies, so even more gets stuffed into a smaller space, which made the fact that they kept going back to the Rogue/Bobby/Kitty love triangle even stranger. It was nice and all, but totally unnecessary and kept slowing down the action. To go from one truly surprising sequence, into a cutesy scene with Bobby and Kitty ice skating was too jarring. I think a lot more time could have been spent making the main story more well-rounded. As a plot line, the mutant cure wasn't a bad one but I feel it could have been better explained and more time spent on it rather than just announcing it and letting everyone kill each other. The fact that it was a fellow mutant who had the power to take away the mutant gene seems to me to be a big deal, but where he came from or how he worked was never discussed. Because of that, I never felt like the story was important. It was more like only a reason to allow the mutants to go crazy.
That being said, going crazy worked. There were some awesome battles, including the big final battle at the end of the film. There were also a lot of shocking developments, none of which I'll ruin here, but big things happen to big characters. I thought the special effects were all very well done. Sometimes not enough money is spent to keep up with technology, but this time around the effects were all seamless. As I said earlier, the movie was short (around 100 minutes) so we didn't get to spend a lot of time with any one character. We did get to see a lot more from Storm than before, while most of the other characters from the previous films got less screen time to make room for the newcomers. Some of the newcomers were interesting, but then there were others that don't seem to do a whole lot. You wonder what good the ability to turn yourself into a porcupine can do, but apparently with a bad attitude anything is possible. I can't honestly say that the movie was great and the best of the bunch, but it was certainly entertaining. Even if you've never seen one of the other films, you can still head out and see this one and appreciate it. The X-Men movies have always been cool, and this one is no different. Watching Storm control the weather, Magneto move bridges, Cyclops shooting lasers from his eyes, Wolverine slicing and dicing, Pyro going head to head versus Iceman... how can you go wrong?
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I enjoyed X-Men: The Last Stand. I thought it was a good way to end the series (even if the final scene does open the door for one more sequel, or at least a few spin-offs.) There were some problems with the story not being as strong as before, but if you're looking for action and cool mutant powers, you'll enjoy The Last Stand.
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