Monday, May 29, 2006

X-Men – The Last Stand

Beware lads and lasses; spoiler’s aplenty ahead. Proceed at your own risk.

I just got back from the theater and I thought I’d jot down my first perceptions of the third installment of the “X-Men” movies. Let me be honest, I didn’t have high hopes going in; Bryan Singer (the director and co-writer of X-Men and X2) was not involved whatsoever since he decided to helm the “Superman Returns” project. I also knew that this was a rush job. For some reason Fox wanted to beat “Superman Returns” to the theaters – in doing so “X-Men – The Last Stand” was made in 14 months. That’s quick and there are moments that, if you are a fan of X-Men, you will notice. That being said, Brett Ratner did very well with what he was given. It is cohesive and works as an all out action – war with the mutants – movie; which is what the film shoots for. Where X-Men – The Last Stand is weakest is in the rapid packaging of over 40 years of comic book history into a movie that treats real watershed moments as throw away scenes. Sentinels are relegated to a brief moment in the danger room, Phoenix doesn’t flame into her fiery form, and when Iceman goes into ice mode it’s over way too soon. Each of these scenes is a biggie for any self respecting fan boy. Also, Professor X is a bit of a dick when Wolverine questions his actions toward Jean Grey. Not that the good professor and Logan haven’t squared off in the past, it’s just that this time the kind nurturing Xavier has grown claws. Logan’s a bit weepy too – fortunately, he makes up for it with some decent slice and dice action.

I enjoyed it. If you enjoyed the last two movies then chances are you will like this one. “X-Men” introduced them, “X2” perfected them and “X-Men – The Last Stand” moved their story along; which is much better than I expected. Mr. Ratner had big shoes to fill and he did an admirable job.

Do yourself a favor and stay for all of the credits. You will not be disappointed.

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