X-Men: The Last Stand Review

I can't say it enough, comic book movies are a blessing and a curse. This can be seen within X-Men 3: The Last Stand. In the areas of being a good movie, or a good comic book movie, it only excels in one and seems to fail in another.

If you go to see this movie within the first few days, you are probably nerd enough to know what the "what if" comics are. If not, you have probably seen them regardless. Everything from "what if the Hulk had killed Wolverine" down to the lowly "what if Spider-man had the Dark Phoenix's powers". Normally these comics are overlooked unless the person can see the humor in the odd scenario. But this isn't a funny comic, this is a very expensive movie.

This is the third movie with the third choice of director and I can only hope that a lot of the other things fell in with the number three. With three times the hype, three times the violence one can only hope that it isn't three times the disappointment or only three out of five stars.

We've all heard the rumors floating around the internet about who is going to show up, if anyone dies, how important Angel is to the storyline and all that jazz. I am going to do my best to stay away from spoilers during this little write up, but I will say a few things.

1) Yes, people die.

2) No, Angel isn't really important or even really in the movie

3) The ending of the movie is as open as a gallon of milk after a ten foot fall

The story runs along the line that humans have figured out a cure for the little itch that is the mutant population. Even though they are making it a completely voluntary procedure to go have it done, Magneto is miffed at them saying they have a "cure" for mutation. Seeing them as the next step in evolution (go Magneto), he decides it is time for them to mark against those that have created and produce the chemical cure.

With the increased activity of destruction via Magneto (who at one point just crumples a car like we would a can, booya), the X-Men quickly slide into their slick outfits and begin the chase. Well, except for Cyclops, at the time he is out running around trying to find Jean, since he thinks she is still alive.

Lucky for him, she is, and boy is she "all that". In a flashback with Magneto and Xavier (you get to see Sir Ein and Patrick digitally enhanced to look younger), you get to see them confront a young Jean about her power and Charles' school. This is also the first time you get to see the true power that is the Phoenix, because she lifts every car in about a city block radius when even slightly angered.

Finding out that in the movie, Phoenix was more or less Jean's power that was caged up by Xavier for safety reasons, but by being cages up Phoenix has grown a personality. Within this movie, you will see a woman with such horribly destructive and violent mood swings that you'll be glad you have the girl that you do (That is if you have one of course).

Once she's back and moving around, Magneto goes out to find Jean and coax her to his side with his "they're trying to cure us" speech, which works since he is speaking to Phoenix after all. From there on out it is both sides figuring out what and where the cure is and going out to find it. Side A to protect the little thing that it is, and side B to destroy it and about every breathing creature in the way.

One thing this movie delved into that had completely slipped by me as a fairly normal X-Men storyline problem is that Rogue generally hates her power. Especially since in the movie she hasn't gone and stolen her big powers yet. Thus leaving her as nothing more than an even more deadly young woman who just longs to be touched & loved. Longs to be loved.

This movie seemed to have everything a violent person could want, or a violent X-Men fan could want. You get to see huge amounts of mutants fighting, true displays of mutant power, and the albeit short but wonderful Pyro and Iceman fight. Remember back in the day when Iceman looked like nothing more than a correctly built snowman?

An addition to the cast that got a lot of people squealing like children was Beast. While it was sad to see Nightcrawler go, at least they added someone who needed 8+ hours of makeup to do his job. Knowing the name of the man behind the costume was an odd feeling for me and a lot of Americans out there. But I can say one thing for Beast, his casting was spot on. Really, who else would you have picked? With the well known role of Frasier Crane, already behind him he fits the role of deep voiced intelligent man perfectly. And yes, I avoided saying his name just so that anyone who can't think of it have to go look it up or go crazy in the process.

Another new addition was Angel, I really wish I could speak more on how great he was or all that jazz, but I never really knew him as Angel. I knew him as Archangel. When his skin was an odd teal and he wore purple. I can say that the wings looked really good and that the man seemed more rip than a human should be, but that is the art of airbrushing bodies.

In the end, this movie is very hard to pick a score for. At my nerd level, I am sad with what this movie did to the X-men storyline. Instead of the slight changes here and there with just a good story, they took an existing story arch and tore it apart for a "new" one. On my comic senses this movie was more of a violation of a good thing than a true comic movie.

On the other hand, I loved the movie. For every instance they made me spit and curse, I was open eyed and slack jawed five times over. This movie shows you how mutants should be mutants, what real power is, and is all around a very good movie. I mean it, if you ignore the horrid rape of an existing storyline, this movie is great.

So there it is, my response to everyone who has asked me "how was X-Men?" On one hand I loved it, on the other hand was a blue frowning emoticon. This is a movie where you have to look deep within yourself and ask yourself "Can I watch this as a movie movie, or will my nerd win out in the theater?". If you can go see this movie as an Average Joe, then drive on young warrior. I recommend this movie, even though Halle Barry is a main character.

And no, Gambit is not in it. Just keep crossing your fingers for the next one.

"X-Men: The Last Stand" opens May 26, 2006 and is rated PG13. Action. Directed by Brett Ratner. Written by Simon Kinberg and Zak Penn. Starring Aaron Stanford, Anna Paquin, Ben Foster, Ellen Page, Famke Janssen, Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, James Marsden, Kelsey Grammer, Patrick Stewart, Rebecca Romijn, Shawn Ashmore, Vinnie Jones.



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