X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

x-men the last stand poster 2006 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10

Lots of comic book action and characters

Too many plotlines, the Juggernaut

Movie Info

Movie Name: X-Men:  The Last Stand

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Genre(s): Comic Book/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s): May 26, 2006

MPAA Rating: PG-13

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Wow…you’re pretty lame.

Jean Grey is dead…or is she? The return of Jean Grey starts with a major death for the X-Men, and the problem is compounded when a new cure is announced that could end mutant existence forever.  Now, the X-Men find themselves facing their old companion and fighting extinction!

Directed by Brett Ratner (who took over for Bryan Singer), X-Men:  The Last Stand (or X-Men 3:  The Last Stand) combined elements of X-Men:  The Dark Phoenix Saga and the quest for a mutant cure in the Joss Whedon Astonishing X-Men story called “The Gift”.  It was met by largely negative reviews from both critics and fans.

So many mutants, so many plots, so little time. It was going to be hard to top X2…and it didn’t. The movie has a lot going for it, a great cast, a great set-up (from the previous movie), and continued development of characters, but it tried to do too much. It should have either been about the cure or been about the Dark Phoenix. I think if they had stuck with one of those two plots and saved the other plot for a sequel it would have worked better.

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I totally stole this look from Sigourney Weaver in Ghostbusters!

The Dark Phoenix Saga was one of the great X-Men stories.  It has been translated multiple times including the X-Men cartoon which even did it better than this entry.  The story starts wandering and gets too convoluted quickly.  While Famke Janssen does seem to provide a great “villain” in Jean Grey, the story itself isn’t played out right to make her as sympathetic and tragic as it could have been (especially with Cyclops’ death at the beginning).  It becomes too Wolverine based by the end and the heart and thrust of the story is lost with the mutant cure taking up too much time.

The contradicting plots caused little time for any character development, and the actors involved deserved more face-time.  There are simply too many characters and the team aspect of the film means people get left behind.  Ellen Page was a good Kitty Pryde (not to say the two previous Kittys wouldn’t have worked, but if they were going to recast again, Page is the right choice). I even thought Eric Dane managed to capture Madrox the Multiple Man in his few short scenes, with his carefree attitude and would have watched a whole series based around him. The movie also gave us more Colossus, the “Fast-Ball Special”, the Danger Room, and the Sentinels (kind of).  Good actors like Ben Foster (Angel) and Shohreh Aghdashloo (Dr. Rao) were criminally underused. The great Rogue (Anna Paquin), Pyro (Aaron Stanford), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) triangle of the first movies never caught up in this convoluted script and the few run-ins between Iceman and Pyro deserved more expansion.

x-men-last-stand-mutants-callisto-arclight-madrox-pyro

Hey Pyro…Madrox here…do you think Callisto, Arclight, and I could get some more screentime?

I like the look of the Phoenix and I like how Angel appears visually, but a lot of the kinetic comic book energy of X2 is lost which makes the effects a bit cheesier in a “real world” setting.  Then there is the Juggernaut…ugh. Apparently the filmmakers didn’t learn anything from the fake looking juiced up Bane from Batman and Robin. His costume is ridiculous. He should have been either CGI or had at least a more intimidating costume. Seeing him run through the walls was kind of fun, but that was about it.

It is too bad that this pretty much ended the X-Men as a team movie for a time. The movie led to spin-off prequels for Wolverine and then the comic book movie boom happened.  A “new” X-Men trilogy began with X-Men:  First Class in 2011 by taking a look back at the origins of the X-Men and borrowing and restructuring parts of this trilogy for use.  While I enjoyed the basic run of these X-Men films, the lessons learned from what worked and what didn’t work seems bound to be repeated…much like the plots.  A new Dark Phoenix movie is scheduled for release in 2019.

Related Links:

X-Men (2000)

X2:  X-Men United (2003)

X-Men:  First Class (2011)

X-Men:  Days of Future Past (2014)

X-Men:  Apocalypse (2016)

Deadpool (2016)

X-Men Origins:  Wolverine (2009)

The Wolverine (2013)

Logan (2017)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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