WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
I may be among the few who liked this one better than the previous two. It probably was never going to be possible to create an X-Men finale that was going to please everyone. I'll confess that there were a number of things in the three-film sequence that I didn't care for. But give the team an "A" for effort in at least trying to do something interesting and compelling. My complaint with the first film was that it was so safe and tame. It didn't try to take the X-Men saga anywhere new or interesting. THE LAST STAND did. For the record, my complaint with the series is that it managed to make Rogue an unessential and uninteresting member of the team. Of all the incarnations of Rogue, this one was the least powerful and the least complex. Anna Paquin did a fine job given the script they provided, but she should have been far more empowered than she was.
Most movies based on the comics suffer from a failure of nerve. The writers want to play it safe, don't want to offend, and refuse to take risks. THE LAST STAND takes a world of risks and leaves the X-Men universe shaken from top to bottom. I loved that! I didn't think all the gambles paid off. The Phoenix story was not as interesting as it has been in the past. Part of the problem with the Phoenix is that they tried to incorporate it with too many other arcs, including the "cure" of the mutant gene.
Most of all, this film, unlike the previous two, really made me care how the story ended. In the previous two, one figured everyone would be alive at the end, so in a way precisely what happened wouldn't matter all that much. But in this one once Mystique had been "cured" and Scott and Xavier killed, there was a great sense of danger. Not every one was going to emerge OK in this one. Who would have imagined that the film would have ended with Xavier, Scott, and Jean dead, and Mystique, Magneto, and Rogue stripped of their powers?
I loved the fact that they included some of the X-Men neglected in the previous films. Kelsey Grammer was excellent as Hank McCoy, but I thought Ellen Page was perfect as Kitty Pryde, who has always been one of my favorite X-Men, mainly because her power of being able to pass through solid objects (or having solid objects pass through her) made her fascinating because employing it required so much strategy. The sequence where she and Juggernaut engage one another was a lot of fun. Vinnie Jones was almost unrecognizable, by the way, as Juggernaut. Sidenote: Many X-Men fans are bothered by the fact that traditionally Juggernaut is not a mutant. Therefore, in the scene where his powers are stripped temporarily by the mutant who robs other mutants of their ability, he should have been unaffected. But on narrative grounds I can understand why they altered this in the film.
I can understand why so many fans of the comic disliked the final movie in the trilogy. It was a sharp departure from most of the various versions of the X-Men saga found in so many of the comics and cartoon shows. But I was ecstatic to see them try something really different and risky. They didn't take the safe route. And I personally found the story far more interesting than the first two films precisely for that reason. Yeah, I wish Rogue had been conceived differently in the trilogy and I wish the Phoenix story had been handled better, but I realize that because there have been so many permutations of the X-Men, everyone is going to contruct their own private version. This isn't quite the version I would have come up with had I the ability to cherry pick the elements I like, but this one managed the most important task: it made the story interesting.
on October 4, 2006
I bought the Collector's Edition of "X3" just because I'm a big fan and I didn't mind shelling out the extra dollars for the snazzy box and the nifty gifts. Well, the DVD comes in a nice box protected by a plastic sleeve with Wolverine's claw embossed on it. The box houses the DVD case with a nice little photo of the major characters in an ensemble shot. The comic is a little book with some reprinted X-stories and the much anticipated new story written by Stan Lee himself. Honestly, I don't plan on keeping the box or plastic sleeve. The comic is nice, though.
Then there's the DVD which was kinda disappointing. After "X-Men 1.5" and "X2: X-Men United" I was expecting a bus load of behind the scenes documentaries and interviews. Especially with this being the last film in the X-Men trilogy. The deleted scenes and commentary are good along with a hidden "easter egg" scene featuring Beast reciting Shakespeare to encourage his teammates before going to war (found in the "Scene Select" option). Also, the viewer has the option of choosing the style of the menu to reflect the Brotherhoods' personality or the X-Men's. Also has a sneak peek at The Simpsons Movie which was another welcome surprise. Overall, it's a pretty skimpy DVD that will probably be released in a double disc "Ultimate Edition" format in the future to further capitalize on the X-Franchise....."X-Men: The Second To Last Stand" anyone?
For those who don't know the plot it's basically three challenges for the X-Men to deal with in their latest adventure: the creation of a "cure" drug that can supress the mutant gene permanently, the aggressive response to the drug by Magneto and his new Brotherhood, and Jean Grey comes back from the dead in the guise of her malevolent alter ego Phoenix. The movie is a step above the typical summer blockbuster yet it lacks the sleek, sci-fi flavored, "less is more" style used in the first two films. The story also suffers from plot-overload. The Phoenix, Magneto's Brotherhood and The Cure are just too much for one movie and it shows. So, for action and blockbuster fans this is definitely a must have. And X-Fans will get a nice buzz from seeing some of their requests fulfilled such as an airborne Storm, Beast as a major character, and a Danger Room sequence.
Though I highly doubt this will be the last X-Men film it is an ambitious finale to a unique and memorable trilogy.
on October 9, 2006
The Collector's Edition was a let down to say the least. All they did was take a regular widescreen X-MEN THE LAST STAND in the regular DVD CASE and put it in some nicer packaging and throw in a COMIC BOOK and charge you about $10.00 DOLLARS MORE. You are better off just getting the regular version and save yourself about $10.00 DOLLARS. I would think if you are putting out a COLLECTOR'S EDITION you would think it would be a 2 DISC SET , especially for the price. I was not Impressed at all!!!!! 1 STAR for a BAD COLLECTOR'S EDITION , 3.5 STARS FOR THE MOVIE.
I couldn't figure out why this so called "Collector's Edition" only had one disc. Special editions usually have two discs, right? Was it a typo? No.
The ONLY difference between this edition and the regular edition (that is $8 cheaper!) is that there will be a reprinted comic and a special "collectible" comic included. So collectible that it will be included in the hundreds of thousands of these DVDs produced. No extra features, no additional content beyong what is in the regular DVD. The studio is obviously saving all that for another special edition to be released in 6 months (like X-Men 1.5).
Unless you're a huge fan of comics, get the regular release and save the money for Superman Returns on November 28th.
on May 27, 2006
At long last, we have the third, and possibly final, installment of Fox's X-Men movie franchise, and it's been no easy road getting here. There were a lot of behind-the-scenes troubles that plagued the film which led to many online fansites predicting the worst. After seeing it, I can say that despite the backstage drama, this ended up being a pretty good movie. It's no classic, but it's good for what it is. And while it's not the best superhero film ever (that honor either goes to Batman Begins or Spider-Man 2), or even the best of the series (X2: X-Men United), it's nowhere near bad.
After Jean Grey's (Famke Janssen) death at the end of the last film, the atomosphere at the X-Mansion hasn't been the same. Everyone misses her, but no one as much as Scott Summers/Cyclops (James Mardsen), her husband, who can barely pull himself together. Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) has even resorted to having Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) substitute teach for him. Meanwhile, Magneto (Ian McKellan) is still at large along with Pyro (Aaron Stanford), his new lieutenant and Mystique (Rebecca Romijn), who has recently been incarcerated. The new president (Josef Sommer) is much more tolerant of mutants, going so far as to appoint Hank McCoy/Beast (Kelsey Grammer) as Secretary of Mutant Affairs, but he can't ignore the threat Magneto poses, and when a drug company develops a "cure" for mutation, he sees it as an answer to Magneto's terrorism.
Unfortunately, shortly after the X-Men learn of the cure, which completely catches them off-guard, Prof. X receives a psychic disturbance from Alkali Lake, the place where Jean died saving the rest of the team. As it would appear, Jean was able to save herself, but in doing so, she unleashed a part of her subconscious mind that Xavier worked very hard to suppress. Jean is a Level 5 mutant, meaning that she is off-the-charts powerful, and Xavier recognized that if he didn't find a way to keep some of her more "animal" emotions in check, she could very likely destroy everyone on Earth. When Xavier and the X-Men try to bring Jean back to the mansion with them, Magneto shows up with some of his new recruits, including Juggernaut (Vinnie Jones), who is an unstoppable brute and Callisto (Dania Ramirez), a speedy girl who can also sense other mutants. After a huge struggle against the nearly omnipotent Jean, now known as the Phoenix, Magneto's Brotherhood acquires Phoenix in order to use her against the humans in their campaign to "exterminate" mutantkind.
Now, the X-Men have to deal with the Phoenix, the Brotherhood, and the lure of the cure. While many mutants are appalled at the idea that they are a "disease", there are some who want to give up their gifts, either because they see them as a curse, or to end their persecution at the hands of humans. Rogue (Anna Paquin), for one, wants nothing more than to lose her powers. She can't ever touch another human without harming them; her touch sucks the lifeforce out of others. If the other person is a mutant, she temporarily acquires their powers, while she puts humans into comas. Fearing that her boyfriend Bobby Drake/Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) may be straying from her to be with Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat (Ellen Page), who he can actually kiss, she begins to wonder what life would be like as a human.
Eventually, the movie culminates in a huge battle on Alcatraz Island, which is definitely the most epic sequence in the entire series. While it is very good, there are a few times when I had to roll my eyes (though there were moments like that throughout the film). The ending of the movie seemed to wrap up most of the events and themes of the series, making an effective trilogy (though I can't urge you enough to wait until the end of the credits to see a scene that reopens the franchise for a fourth film, which many insiders say is a possibility should The Last Stand do well in theaters).
This film is directed by Brett Ratner as opposed to Bryan Singer who directed the first two. This was the source of all the controversy. Due to some complications between Fox and Singer, he left the project to direct Superman Returns for Warner Brothers. Fox then forced Ratner (who was not the first replacement) to get this film into theaters before Superman as a kind of "screw you" to Singer and Warner Brothers. This, along with a few pre-release photos of Grammer as Beast and Jones as Juggernaut caused a lot of fans to be skeptical of what the final project could be. Fortunately, in my opinion, the movie turned out well for everything that was standing in its way. It had problems (as I said, there was some dialogue that merited some eye rolls) including a somewhat poor explanation for the Phoenix. Cyclops is underused, but that is no different from Signer's installments. Unfortunately, he has always been glossed over, which is sad, seeing as how he is a really great character in the comics. Finally, there are just way too many characters. Many of them get very little to do, and this goes for both new and returning charactesr. Warren Worthington III/Angel (Ben Foster) does very little, Rogue doesn't even participate in the final fight, and many of the new Brotherhood mutants have one moment to shine then are forgotten. But all in all, the movie worked pretty well. The one thing I never understood is that Joss Whedon, the man who wrote the cure storyline in the comics and expressed a lot of interest for writing, and after Singer left, directing, was never even consdiered by Fox. Oh well, everything turned out well in the end.
on October 4, 2006
I am an advid fan of both the x-men comic books and the movies. I have been a fan of Marvel Comics for over twenty years. I feel that the characters depths were reached in the first two movies but were not carried on to the third, yet they seemed to add many more to the mix, and the special features were a travisty. These things lead to my actual review being closer to 2.5 stars.
I feel that the addition of new characters enhanced the movie and hindered it at the same time. Beast, played by Kelsey Grammar was very well done, to the point of him saying "Oh my stars and garters." The Kitty Pryde character seemed one dimensional with no depth at all. She is shown to be a bit intelligent in the class room discussing Plato's view of ethics, but then used as a third wheel of a love triangle dissolves the hope of any furhter depth. Colossus's use of the "fastball special", at the beginning the movie, was awesome to the point of ingenious, but that is where his character loses his appeal. He has next to no lines and begins to blend into the background in many scenes.
The plot is based very losely on the story arc "The Dark Pheonix Saga" and when I say losely, I truly mean losely. The comic story involved a much greater deal of internal conflict within Jean, in which Jean solves by comitting suicide. In this movie, her death only comes by the hand, or claws of, yup you guessed it, Wolverine. The depths of emotional conflict in Jean is never brought to the screen, except for her saying thank you to Wolverine at the end of her life. I felt no pythos or pain, that her life needed to be forfeited. I was unimpressed and unmoved by the representation of the pheonix/Jean saga.
Extras/Special features? These were all things picked up off of the floor of the editing room and pasted, any way they could, back into the movie.
3 Alternate endings that have no rationale behind them or connection to the movie. The world of Marvel, this section is a cheap way for Marvel to exploit the viewer into purchasing some of the lesser quality superhero movies. They show the trailers for Daredevil, Electra and FF. Ther is no in depth look into the world of Marvel Comics at all. For those who really want to be cheated out of their hard earned cash, buy the colectors edition of the DVD, it has different packaging and a comic that stars San Lee. Yeah!!!
The whole presentation from the coverr of the actual DVD to the Special Features seem as thrown together as the actual Movie. I as a viewer feel a bit let down by the conclusion of the trilogy. Marvel, does not seem to shy away from the open handed, gimmie your money approach to commerece, just look at the Civil War Strory in stores now, so I would have to say wait a few months and you will probally see a new release of the DVD that does not seem so thrown together.
on October 11, 2006
Well I have been told this follows the comic book storyline. To bad. It is worth seeing but it lacks any of the fun that I saw in the first two movies. There is no lighthearted times in this movie. Usually in a trilogy the second movie is dark and the third movie starts that way but has a happy ending. There is no happy ending here, just a feeling of emptiness and loss. Is the action, effects, and story good? Yes they are in fact. So as I said before if you have caught the previous ones you will want to see it. However; this is not a standalone movie and won't make much sense without seeing the previous movies. Fans of the first two movies may be disappointed in the deaths of three key characters. If they had not killed off these characters and had a happier ending I think I know I would have enjoyed it more. And by the way the alternate endings are a joke. They are minor scene changes that were deleted, not a change to the ending itself. I was extremely disappointed that the alternate endings as they call them didn't have different outcomes. Preferably one that didn't kill off the characters. My guess is they had so many people disppointed in the movie they felt the only way to sell the DVD was to make people think they had alternate endings. I repeat there are no alternate endings on this DVD. It is just a ploy. So if you saw this at the theater and were disappointed, do not buy the DVD. It doesn't get any better.
on May 28, 2006
Ok, they had 40 years of comic lore to draw from and this is what they come up with?
First the good: The movie looks great, but great special effects are not uncommon these days. And the acting is pretty good overall.
Now the bad: The story is weak. That love triangle between Cyclops, Jean Grey and Wolverine in the first two movies? Wisked away. The new love triangle with Shadowcat, Iceman and Rogue? Underdeveloped to a point that you just don't care. And hey, they finally got Angel in the movies! ...and did nothing with him! Angel was one of the first X-Men in the comics, did he even have three lines in the movie?
And what of Magneto? He's so dedicated to his cause that he'll send wave after wave of his loyal mutants to their doom. Um Mr. Magneto... if you kill off all of your followers, who will you lead when you take over the world? Doesn't matter! Attack!
There are a few nice moments. Kelsy Grammer was a pleasant surprise. He did more than just let his makeup act for him. Wolverine got his claws dirty a couple of times. And Juggernaut filled in nicely for the all brawn, no brains role left vacant by Sabretooth in X1.
Everyone else was pretty much interchangeable. How do we know he's a mutant? He's green. Ok, what does he do? Not important. This guy is a porcupine. Ok, what's his name? Not important. Magneto refered to them as pawns. Evidentially, so did the screenwriters.
I was entertained, but I wasn't moved. The first two X-Men films had emotion, a sense of adventure and loss. X3 had a sense of obligation. They setup a coming war in the first two movies, and they hinted at Jean's resurrection, so here it is! If only they followed the Dark Phoenix saga from the comics, it could have been fantastic. Instead, it's all action, no heart. A forgetable effort.
on August 27, 2015
Bubblegum entertainment on a Friday afternoon. They got a little wild with the story, based on the number of deaths and resurrections of major characters. Serums which work until the final twist when they don't. I felt compelled to finish out the trilogy, but not so should I would go back for a second watch.
on March 5, 2014
I again enjoyed this movie for the brain suck it was. I'm a comic book (sorry I'm old school calling them "graphic novels" just seems like calling a stewardess a "flight attendant"...) reader and even at my ripe old age of 39 I still enjoy cartoons. I can say I liked the way they dealt with the Phoenix in the cartoons better than I did in this movie. Perhaps, it's just me being me and knowing the representation of a Phoenix is actually "rebirth" rather that total annihilation. Sure, I get it... Gene could destroy the humans and out of the ashes of all those lesser beings the Mutants would rise! Heh. Maybe it's just me and my love of symbolism. After all it's merely a strangers opinion!