Movie #49 2021: X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

Surprise! This one came round quickly, didn’t it? That’s right, I completed the first X-Men trilogy and… Well, you’ll see what I thought of this instalment.

X-Men: The Last Stand basically sees everything come to a head. A mutant cure is found by the government, which enables mutants to remove their superpowers and go back to ‘normal’. They claim that this cure is ‘voluntary’, but Magneto (Ian McKellen) has other ideas. In short, Magneto promises an all-out war to begin killing humans if the cure is not destroyed. As expected, Professor X (Patrick Stewart) is pretty opposed to that idea, and the ‘Last Stand’ in the film’s title refers to the battle between Magneto’s ‘Brotherhood’ and Xavier’s current X-Men allies.

So, the rumours were true. The final part of the trilogy kinda sucks.

First, it’s never been more obvious that a sequel had a change in writer and director. The script is wooden, rushed, and simply unrealistic, even for a superhero movie. No one speaks like that, my dudes. And what have you done to Logan, for Christ’s sake?! His dialogue is so out of character that he might as well be a different person altogether. “Don’t get your panties in a twist”? Would he ever say that? Especially to Storm of all people?! Bleh. No way. Get out of town.

As with X2, there are some more incoming additions to the cast with this one. Namely, Kelsey Grammer does a decent job with the tedious material he’s given, but I can’t help but picture Sideshow Bob when I hear his voice, so perhaps Beast is a slight miscast here. And who the fuck cast Vinnie Jones? Embarrassing. Hello to Elliot Page though! Again however, Page’s arrival is pretty pointless, and he gets so little to do he might as well not be in the movie at all.

What I’m saying is, thank God for Patrick Stewart and Famke Janssen. Stewart brings clarity and silky smoothness to even the worst scripts, and Janssen steps right up to the plate as she transitions into her darker, more reckless counterpart. The pair of them completely saved the movie in my opinion, even if Phoenix’s story arc is undoubtedly rushed and only scratches the surface.

Ill-placed though they may be, at least the action sequences are fun and well-choreographed. Somehow though, the CGI took a back step from where it was in X2. Thankfully there’s relatively little in the way of artificial imagery so it doesn’t take too much away from the visual side of things on the whole. Nonetheless, the average imagery we do get is nothing we haven’t seen before.

Honestly the only other redeeming quality The Last Stand has is the score, which is wonderfully crafted and well-suited. Specifically, it amps up the pedestrian nature of the story itself, making this feel somewhat more like the superhero movie it was meant to be.

Despite all my gripes with this inferior sequel, I’m still intrigued enough to watch the rest of the franchise.

God help me.

X-Men: The Last Stand is available to stream on Disney+ in the UK.

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