Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #29 of my Month of Superhero Film Reviews! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best and worst comic book adapted films. Okay so after one okay X-Men film and the brilliant second film, we now move onto the tragic disaster that X-Men: The Last Stand aka The Film That Fans Try to Forget About.
Good god man. X-Men: The Last Stand is one of the films I actively try to avoid. This is a film that is infamous among comic book fans for its failure and horrible execution. I remember seeing X-Men 3 in the cinema and recall being very disappointed, but since then each time I’ve checked it out its gotten worse. Now I’ve had no reason to watch this in recent years, but thanks to this month of superhero films reviews I have to dive into the deep end again! And in 2013 this film sucks even worse than ever before.
In terms of the plot in X-Men 3 takes place some time after the last film. It is publicly announced that there is now a cure for the mutants created in a secret laboratory supported by the government, it creates a divide in the mutant community. Some mutants are for the idea while others detest the idea. Magneto believes a war is coming and recruits a large team of mutants to take down Warren Worthington II and his cure. The X-Men have to stop him, though they are at a disadvantage because Jean Grey has returned as The Phoenix and joined with Magneto. So now on darkest of days the X-Men have to band together with what little team members they have left and take on the Brotherhood of Mutants.
The story in this film just pisses me off SO MUCH! X-Men 2 worked so well as it just about had the right balance of characters, action and story, but somehow that good material got tampered with in the transition of writers and director. What we get in this film is a story that has tiny elements of interest, but the execution is simply poor. This film introduces a lot of new elements into play in terms of story, characters and some comic book aspects too, but none of it matters as it is not there long enough to matter. Some of the characters changed with no real explanation as to why or some just feel inconsistent when compared to its predecessor. Too many wrong decisions were made. Why in the hell was Cyclops killed off? Why was Angel introduced if he serves no proper purpose? Where’d Nightcrawler go? WHY FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST DID PROFESSOR X HAVE TO DIE!?! Who thought that was a good idea? Fail, fail, fail!
Why for the love of god did this have to happen? I’ll never get over this.
Now let’s talk about the cast. Let’s start with Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, while Jackman has his cool character moments overall his character as gone from awesome to very cruddy, and annoyingly Wolverine is still the main character in this film. I mean his story was technically wrapped up in the last film, so there is no reason for him to be at the forefront of the story yo. I understand that he has feelings for Jean Grey, but it gets to absurdly high level and it really pisses me off how much of a lovesick puppy he becomes especially after Cyclops dies, that is not in good taste at all. Ian McKellen returns as again Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto, while McKellen still gives a good performance, I wasn’t keen on how cold he was and many silly decisions were made with his character. Famke Janssen also returns from death as Jean Grey/Phoenix, in this film she’s a shadow of her former self and instead spends most of the film as the Phoenix, killing everyone that comes across he in the wrong way. Janssen was a right bitch in this film and obviously that was down to the character she was playing but even so there was no redeeming qualities about her in this film.
Halle Berry definitely has more of a leader role as Storm, in this film she’s a lot more assertive and has way more dialogue than before, but the problem is that she still doesn’t fully own her leadership role and doesn’t fully utilize her weather powers and you’d think since she’s the only original member of the X-Men team she’d have a more important role but she’s really pushes aside. We also have a new member in the form of Kelsey Grammer as Dr. Henry “Hank” McCoy/Beast. He’s a former student of Xavier’s School who is now the Secretary of Mutant Affairs in the U.S. government. Grammer does good job at portraying the character even though I feel like he wasn’t totally utilized in the best way in my opinion. Shawn Ashmore as Bobby Drake/Iceman is decent, he gets more screen time and gets to do more action, but in the end he’s not the version of Iceman I’d like to see. Also Ellen Page shows up as the new Kitty Pryde, she’s good and has some decent moments in the film but I feel like her character doesn’t naturally fit into the film. And then there’s Daniel Cudmore as Peter Rasputin/Colossus, he goes from just having a cameo to being a full-on X-Men team member, but the problem is that he’s just there for fight scenes as we still don’t learn too much about the guy.
Rebecca Romijn is still as hot and agile as Mystique, Romijin is good for the short time that she’s in the film but after she loses her powers she’s useless. It is darn shame too because I liked her too. Aaron Stanford is still an arrogant hot-head as Pyro, his role has been increased in this film and while he has some wonderful action moments, I still think of him as that annoying douche who should have been taken out quickly.
Now we move onto the useless or completely wasted characters. Anna Paquin as Rogue has just been turned into a moping teenager whose jealous of Bobby and Kitty’s friendship. She feels alone because she can’t be intimate with anyone and yet she forgets about the fact that Wolverine was the first REAL friend she’s ever had, not only that but once the cure is announced she proper jumps on the bandwagon to get it without even considering any other options, such a waste of a character. And then there’s Patrick Stewart as Professor Charles Xavier, Stewart is good but very much wasted due to him being killed off. WHY!?! And then we have James Marsden as Cyclops. Ah man in this film he’s even more of a pussy than before due to the death of Jean and then he finds her only to be killed off in the beginning of the film. I feel bad for Marsden as he is actually famous for this role and yet his character is butchered so badly and then done away with so swiftly that it sickens me. Also Vinnie Jones as Juggernaut is hilarious and has some funny moments but otherwise he’s another one of those throwaway characters. And lastly Ben Foster as Warren Worthington III/Angel was just a pointless addition to the film, sure he has a bit of purpose because of his father’s plan for a cure, but Warren doesn’t do anything significant like join the X-Men or help in the major battle at the end of the film, which renders his appearance in this film pointless.
Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the CGI is pretty good, but the presentation of Phoenix’s powers was badly handled (where’s the fire and why does she look like a demented alien woman?) and all of the action scenes were okay but none of them had any unique or stand out moments. As for the soundtrack by John Powell is not as nicely handled as it was in X-Men 2 and there are a lot of repeating themes throughout the film that are a little overbearing. The best song is “Angel’s Cure“, that piece is beautiful and dramatic.
And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Well as I’ve said before I know the X-Men mainly from the cartoons, a few comic books and Marvel Ultimate Alliance. From what I saw in this film there are a good few element from the comics kept and updated for the film. But I think that the main offender in this case is the handling of “The Dark Phoenix Saga” story arc in the comics that’s adapted into an original story, while it was an interesting idea, I feel like the way it was executed was very foolish and messy.
So to conclude X-Men: The Last Stand is still one of the most disappointing and disgusting film in the realm of comic book films. It took the great material from the last film and completely shits on it with a terrible story, poorly handled character development and poor use of the source material. This is just a cluttered mess of a film that was forgotten about by comic book fans and audiences for a real. It sucked back then and it sucks right now! FAIL, FAIL, FAIL!
Rating: 4/10 (This film is the reason why the X-Men series needs to be rebooted damn it!)
So there’s my review people, only 1 more to go yo! So have you seen X-Men and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!