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Sunday, June 04, 2006

X-Men: The Last Stand

The third X-Men film is an insipid and disappointing installment in a heretofore excellent series. With Brett Ratner (Rush Hour II, After The Sunset) at the helm, X-Men: The Last Stand has neither cohesion nor coherence--and the lazy screenplay by Simon Kinberg & Zak Penn doesn't help, either.

The film starts out with some promising plot points: in the near future, scientists have created a "cure" for the mutant gene, the cabinet has a new Department of Mutant Affiars, and Jean Grey is reborn an omnipotent psychotic. This last plot point was borrowed from The Phoenix Saga, the epic 70s X-men storyline about Jean Grey and her possession by and subsequent rebirth as the all powerful Phoenix. It took 19 issues to tell this story--I have no idea why they even tried to cover it in X3. Nitpicking aside, the plot of the film truly is all over the place. Furthermore, there are so many characters that none of them is adequately developed. It is very cool that we get to see so many of our favorite characters: Colossus, Shadowcat, Callisto, Multiple Man. On the other hand, we never get to know any of these characters! A few are perfect: I really loved Vinnie Jones (Snatch) as Juggernaut and Kelsey Grammar (Frasier) as the Beast. All in all, however, the movie felt more like an inventory at times than an engaging action story. The special effects are excellent and a joy to watch. After two hours, however, I got sick of watching Sir Ian McKellan toss around flaming cars and longed for something more solid. The first two films proved that X-Men movies can be both kick-ass and thought provoking. Let's hope that the fourth film--hinted at in the end of the The Last Stand--will hold more water.

Why do I believe there will a 4th? For those of you who go to this movie, stay till after the credits and you will see an extra segment. One source revealed that there are different clips being shown after the film in different locations, but I cannot confirm that. If you don't feel like sitting through all that, you can watch it on You Tube. Long story short: the people we think are dead are not dead. Age of Apocoplypse, anyone?

The amount of money I'd pay to see this: $4


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