X-MEN: THE LAST STAND
**** (out of 5)
May 26, 2006
Hugh Jackman as WOLVERINE
Halle Berry as STORM
Ian McKellen as MAGNETO
Famke Janssen as JEAN GREY/PHOENIX
Anna Paquin as ROGUE
Kelsey Grammer as DR. HANK MCCOY/BEAST
Rebecca Romijn as MYSTIQUE
James Marsden as SCOTT SUMMERS
Shawn Ashmore as BOBBY DRAKE
Patrick Stewart as PROFESSOR CHARLES XAVIER
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Directed by: Brett Ratner
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
I’ve been a comic book fan all my life, but I was always a DC guy. With the skyrocketing costs of comic books in the 1980s, I could only afford to follow one universe.
This has come in quite handy over the past few years as most superhero adaptations have been from the Marvel side of the fence. Because I’m not coming to the films with any more knowledge than what you might pick up in the papers, I don’t get offended or bothered when things are changed simply because I never knew what they were like in the first place.
Now that the DC heroes are getting their shot on the big screen again, I’ve been a little more critical. I had some issues with “Batman Begins” last year, and I’m absolutely terrified of what has been done to the Superman mythos in the upcoming “Superman Returns.”
But now’s not the time to lament about a snotty child of Lois Lane and a goofy Lex Luthor. It’s time to talk about “X-Men: The Last Stand.”
If you follow industry buzz, you’ll know that there are many people out there that have been terrified as to what Brett Ratner would do to the franchise. I haven’t been in this vocal crowd because I tend to like Ratner’s films (even if I think he is a bit of a blockhead).
Ratner picked up the reigns from Bryan Singer nicely. He’s added a much darker element to this film, but it’s not at all out of place. There are some serious things happening in this film. Mutants are losing their powers. Others are getting killed. They really thin the herd in this movie.
The story follows the resurrection of Jean Grey, who has emerged with the sociopathic fragment of her personality in the forefront. She is now Phoenix, and Magneto is seeking her to help him in his crusade. The current battle Magneto is fighting is again with the U.S. government who has discovered a “cure” for mutancy. When the military starts using this cure as a weapon against mutants, a battle is set to be fought.
What I liked most about this movie is that it really shook things up. The mutants are as divided as ever, and they are fighting amongst themselves as X-Men as they are against Magneto’s gang. There are also new mutants introduced (including Juggernaut, played expertly by Vinnie Jones) as well as old ones that are more fully explored (like Kitty Pryde, the girl who can walk through walls). Halle Berry as Storm is given more meat in her role, while Rogue (Anna Paquin) takes a back seat to the story.
Finally, what makes this film a great summer action flick is that it climaxes with a massive battle. Finally, after three films, we get to see two armies of mutants duking it out and kicking the crap out of each other.
This film reminds me of last year’s “Fantastic Four.” The critics will probably pan it, but it will take a huge haul at the box office. And I’ll probably enjoy it better than the potentially disastrous “Superman Returns” in June.
Yes, I liked “X-Men: The Last Stand” quite a bit. But even with my enjoyment of watching the film, I wasn’t totally emotionally devoted like I was during last year’s “Star Wars” finale. “X-Men: The Last Stand” is a great fun, summer action flick. Yet, I’ve still managed to complain more about the upcoming Superman film in this review than actually talking about the X-Men.