X-Men: The Last Stand – The Worst Movie in the Franchise?

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x men the last stand poster jpg.webp.webp

For years, Hollywood has tried relentlessly to deliver to life the thrilling and various crew dynamic of one in every of Marvel’s most iconic and best-selling comedian guide franchises- The X-Males. With 11 reside motion movies and billions of studio {dollars} given to them over time, you’d assume we’d have lined the very best tales from the pages and introduced them into cinema. And whereas I feel there are many good moments hidden in these films, and a few films within the franchise which are past expectations, I additionally assume that the true potential of the X-Males and their sophisticated, interpersonal nuance has but to be absolutely realized on the massive display. 

That’s to not say that I don’t get pleasure from films like the unique X-Males, and First Class, and naturally Logan, which is definitely essentially the most bleak and disturbing movie that Fox has ever made with Jackman as Wolverine. And perhaps it’s simply my technology, however once I consider the X-Males, I consider the soapy and dramatic cartoon sequence from 1997 which formed my obsession with mutants and their tales as a younger comedian guide fan. And that makes at this time’s film barely extra disappointing as we’re about to revisit a movie that takes one in every of Marvel’s most iconic comedian guide occasions and makes a daring try and deliver it to actuality with The Darkish Phoenix saga. It might fail so badly they might strive it once more and, in some way, make a film that’s simply as unhealthy.

Now, I’m personally a reasonably large fan of the character Jean Grey and the Phoenix, however my love for the character and her duality of fine and evil exists solely in print, as I don’t assume this storyline will be finished justly in only one movie. In any case, the comedian guide AND the cartoon devoted a number of books and episodes to this arc and for VERY good motive. It’s… It’s sophisticated. However, on the finish of the day, X-Males The Final Stand is about way more than simply Jean. It’s a film about loss, intolerance, rebel, and the ever-growing eager for Mutants to be accepted amongst people. And, additionally it options some basic in-universe plot holes that make all the expertise very tough to take as cannon.

Significantly, why do these films have such a tough time holding their story straight? Am I lacking one thing right here?

So, in the event you’re prepared than seize your black leather-based jumpsuit and don’t overlook to love the video- as a result of we’re about to enter the Hazard Room, and revisit X-Males: The Final Stand.

Okay, true believers, We’re on the finish of the unique X-Males trilogy. In case you noticed our video revisiting the primary two movies, you’ll know that I’m a reasonably large fan of the primary movie, and never as massive a fan of the second movie. And in 2006 when this third installment was launched, I used to be anticipating to see one thing groundbreaking on account of the fast development of particular results in Hollywood and the more and more skilled forged of celebrities who inhabit these roles. However as a substitute, what we get is a bloated story that’s packed to the brim with storylines to attempt to tie off the sequence with as little free ends as doable. 

After the success of X-Males and the growth in comedian guide films, it was inevitable that X-Males would proceed its run in cinema with a 3rd movie. However when the director of the unique movies, Bryan Singer, selected to go away the undertaking in favor of Superman Returns, Fox was at a standstill on easy methods to finish his trilogy. So, they went to Matthew Vaughn and he… wasn’t obtainable. So, they as a substitute received Rush Hour director Brett Rattner to step in to direct. Mistake? Chyeah!

However additionally they thought-about expertise like Darren Aronofsky and Joss Wheaton to take the helm. Poor Aronofsky simply can’t catch a break with superhero films can he?

However after some growth points and having studio interference in full swing earlier than even hiring an official director, the film’s writing was doomed from the very starting. When the concept to deliver the Phoenix Saga into the script was introduced, Fox felt that it was too darkish for a enjoyable summer time blockbuster and scrapped the concept. It wasn’t till later that it was watered down by subsequent unrelated plotlines that it was accepted to be within the story. And that simply has the studio’s lack of expertise the X-Males written throughout it.

X-Males: The Final Stand is the third movie within the authentic trilogy and picks up shortly after the occasions of the second movie. The final movie noticed the X-Males battle to save lots of the day however simply narrowly escaping a watery grave with Jean Grey making the final word sacrifice to save lots of her household. The Final Stand makes use of these occasions to encourage the story, whereas additionally making an attempt to construct as much as an epic remaining showdown between the X-Males and the Brotherhood of Mutants AND the united statesGovernment… And I don’t need to converse for everybody however truthfully, the federal government is totally out of whack in these films. No one appears to have something to say besides “mutant unhealthy” and “human good” which might be advantageous if this wasn’t the idea for actually every part that occurs on this trilogy.

However anyway, Xavier and the core crew (Cyclops, Wolverine, and Storm) are grieving the demise of Jean and every character is dealing with it otherwise. However when Jean returns, she comes again totally different. Darker. And upon her return, she’s recruited by Magneto to guide the brand new brotherhood on a battle for his or her freedom by destroying the federal government and their newfound “treatment” for mutation. The X-Males have to band collectively yet one more time to save lots of the day and convey Jean again from the darkish path she’s taken because the Phoenix. 

To set our story in movement, we get some flashbacks to the previous and loads of exposition to strive dashing Jean’s never-before-mentioned duality. Charles and Erik go to a suburban residence and we see that Charles nonetheless has full use of his legs. They’re making an attempt to recruit a younger Jean to their faculty for presented mutants, and efficiently persuade her and her mother and father. Now, first we have to tackle the 2006 CGI de-aging try that director Brett Ratner determined to go together with. Right here’s a scorching take: IT DOESN’T LOOK MUCH DIFFERENT THAN MARVEL’S DE-AGING TECHNOLOGY TODAY. For actual, perhaps they’ve enhanced it for HD on Disney Plus which might not be stunning, nevertheless it truthfully isn’t horrible. I imply positive, it’s a bit rubbery and overly clean, however let’s face it, that’ simply how Marvel films look. 

I additionally assume it’s essential to do not forget that the phoenix has NEVER been talked about in these films earlier than which makes the try and shoehorn it into this film much more unhappy. For Context, that is a complete saga within the X-Males comics and had a 3-episode arc within the cartoon, which was absolutely devoted to the story, versus this film which tries to steadiness this arc for Jean with one million different spinning plates. Issues like a Mutant Treatment, a struggle between man and mutant, a love triangle with Iceman, Rogue, and Shadowcat, and naturally, the unbelievable sibling-like rivalry between Magneto and Professor X. That final one I truly REALLY love.

We additionally get an introduction to an iconic X-Males member from the unique comics, Arc Angel, or Angel- performed right here by the under-appreciated Ben Foster.

I truly love this scene the place we see a younger Angel locked within the rest room making an attempt to surgically take away his angel wings earlier than his father finds out he’s a mutant. It’s heartbreaking and but it exhibits the present state of concern mongering in opposition to mutants on this actuality, and ALSO units up Angel’s father as the person who’s motivated to develop a treatment.

Scott isn’t doing properly after the lack of Jean. He’s not educating his courses on the faculty, he’s not becoming a member of the crew for missions, and he’s undoubtedly not up for any of Logan’s antics. When he goes to the lake the place Jean died, he senses her presents via her telepathic communication after which… A whopping 15 minutes into the film… He dies.

That’s it. He simply dies. That’s what occurs. CYCLOPS JUST DIES. 

So, now Jean is again on the X mansion the place Charles makes an attempt to free her from her murderous tendencies and convey again the Jean Grey that everyone knows and love. Charles offers Logan some exposition explaining that he’s recognized about Jean’s darkish aspect because the very starting… And also you didn’t assume to inform anybody about it? Okay.

In the meantime, Bobby Drake, performed by Shawn Ashmore, is caught in a love triangle together with his longtime girlfriend Rogue (Ana Paquin) and Kitty Pryde (Elliot Web page) which matches completely nowhere. It’s perhaps essentially the most pointless drama on this film and it doesn’t also have a actual payoff. Rogue is feeling insecure about not having the ability to contact Bobby bodily when she hears of a brand new mutant treatment which might instantly protect the human DNA of mutants, whereas killing off the mutation. Rogue desires in on it, however doesn’t actually know easy methods to inform the group.

And that’s a part of what I discover troubling with this film as properly, The X-Males couldn’t be extra disbanded at this level. Not on objective, they only all have their very own storylines happening and none of them appear to overlap. Magneto, Pyro, and Mystique are recruiting some new expertise for his or her brotherhood within the type of Callisto, A number of Man, Child Omega, and naturally…

Their plan is to find a younger mutant referred to as Leech, who’s kind of an anti-mutant. He’s a younger child whose capacity is to reverse mutation. The Authorities is utilizing his blood to make a serum that may supposedly treatment mutants of their powers. Magneto and the brand new Brotherhood need to discover Leech and cease the treatment from being distributed. 

The X-Males, now with out Cyclops as a result of HE JUST DIED- enlist the assistance of a genius degree mutant referred to as Beast (Performed by Kelsey Grammer) who seems, sounds, and acts PERFECTLY as the massive blue Einstein. Significantly, I don’t know what it’s with Fox and blue mutants, however they make each blue individual look AMZING in these films like Mystique and Nightcrawler. 

However this cool stuff with Beast is ruined fairly rapidly when Charles, Storm, and Logan discover Jean and attempt to deliver her again to her regular self, and PROFESSOR X DIES. Effectively, probably not, however we’ll get to that.

It’s not even earned. It’s simply as compelled as Cyclops’ ridiculous exit to the franchise. 

So, the X-Males are recruiting assist to save lots of Jean who has joined Magneto’s brotherhood and cease them from destroying the treatment. You guys keep in mind how Logan was sort of like the primary character of the primary film? Effectively, he takes a backseat on this movie together with virtually everybody else. It’s bizarre to see so many cool characters on this film and virtually none of them have any growth. Beast is superior however he actually solely exhibits up for a couple of scenes, Juggernaut was thrilling to see though his character was simply made to be a giant dumb brute, and all of the hype we get for Agel is deflated as he’s actually ineffective on this film. He’s in like Three scenes and says like 5 phrases and that’s it. 

HOWEVER, whereas the story is all over, the characters are handled like disposable nothing-super heroes, and the film is full of bullshit like Ice Man freezing a fountain so he can ice skate with Kitty, there’s additionally a couple of issues that deserve reward upon this rewatch. For instance, we get the see the Hazard Room, a quick have a look at the sentinels, a tremendous efficiency from Sir Ian Mckellan, and even an fascinating tackle Wolverine’s berserker rage FINALLY.

Now keep in mind, True believers, the X-Males was all the time envisioned as a cleaning soap opera. Serialized tales about interpersonal relationships between college students at a particular faculty isn’t that far off from any of the teenager dramas we grew up on, however right here’s the issue-

The X-Males in these films are a mix of adults who’re already in full management of their powers, and children who get no consideration within the movie, and all we get to tie all of it collectively is a couple of motion scenes the place the scholars and their academics from Xavier’s faculty work collectively to have an excellent energy battle with different mutants. There isn’t any writing devoted to the person characters. There’s simply exposition, bizarre demise scenes, and even weirder motion scenes. I might’ve preferred to have seen among the b-plots dropped from the film in favor of giving extra growth to Leech, who’s a really fascinating mutant in his personal proper however is totally underused and underserved right here. It kills me that we get extra scenes the place Bobby is low-key flirting with Kitty, than we get of Angel and his fascinating story. Within the comics, Warren (Angel) is the son of a billionaire who works in anti-mutant analysis, and he’s ashamed of his items till Xavier and the X-Males assist him to like himself. On this film, He’s a child who hates his mutation when he’s like 10, however then when his father tries to treatment him later in his life, he simply doesn’t need to do it. WHY? May we not get like 5 additional minutes devoted to this arc? It appears sort of essential.

So, all through the film, everyone seems to be sort of break up up, nevertheless it all culminates in a remaining battle that pits the brotherhood in opposition to the people, and the X-Males in opposition to each. Once more, there’s some stuff to understand on this scene. We get to see Bobby flip into full iceman mode, which is enjoyable, we get to see wolverine pop his claws and do some injury which is ALWAYS enjoyable, and Beast lastly will get some fight in to distinction his in any other case absolutely composed character. Let your freak flag fly, Hank. We love you.

Jean, by this level has been absolutely taken by the phoenix persona (though none of her growth occurs on display) and Wolverine makes use of his capacity to heal himself to face up in opposition to her and in the end kills her together with his claws as a way to save everybody from her energy. One thing that, AGAIN, could be good to completely flesh out throughout the film in order that this scene doesn’t come off as a totally foolish decision to a really actual battle.

Magneto is shot with the treatment and seemingly stripped of his powers which brings the belief that he finished tousled BAD. He flees with the remainder of the brotherhood and the day is formally saved. And at what price? Effectively, Cyclops died for no motive, Professor X was seemingly killed early on as properly, and oh yeah, I forgot to say that Mystique can be cured of her skills and Magneto simply drops her chilly about midway via. 

Director Brett Ratner introduced us a remaining installment that didn’t work for anybody. The movie was poorly obtained FOR GOOD REASON by audiences and the field workplace take whereas being strong at over $400 Million was not matched within the movie’s underwhelming critiques. For my cash, the important thing to creating X-Males film is to spend time creating the lengthy checklist of fascinating characters and seeing them as people who’re all a part of a collective crew, versus making a crew up film the place no one has time to be seen or heard as an individual. X-Males is all about inclusion and embracing variety, but this film treats all mutants like generic youngsters who often work with different generic youngsters to cease a menace. And that’s simply NOT what I, or lots of you need to see.

That is confirmed by the franchise’s later makes an attempt to redcon this film in favor of a prequel/sequel/spinoff sequence recognized broadly as “The First Class Collection” which tracks the identical characters via a unique timeline. It’s a significantly better sequence in some installments and far weaker in others, and that’s one thing that we are going to undoubtedly be masking sooner or later together with the Wolverine trilogy and New Mutants finally. Which by the way in which, I’ve some issues to say about these films and you aren’t going to need to miss that.

X-Males The Final Stand is simply too dumb to be thought-about “dumb enjoyable” and but it’s too dense to be thought-about a nothing film. I feel if you wish to recreate the Phoenix saga in reside motion once more, perhaps this time do it over a restricted sequence and dedicate all the primary storyline to this concept. No extra of the flip-floppy and convoluted tales okay Marvel? Simply give it to us the way in which we wish it. The RIGHT method.


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