The X-Men trilogy draws to a climactic end with Brett Ratners’ The Last Stand, in which a cure to the mutant X-gene is discovered and a line is drawn right down the middle between mutants worldwide while tensions between humans and mutants continues to grow and Magneto rallies the mutants loyal to him and makes his move.
The Last Stand features most of the cast from X-Men and X2 with the additions of Beast/Hank McCoy (Kelsey Grammer), The Juggernaut (Vinnie Jones), Angel (Ben Foster) and the story itself is an interesting one and a natural fit to the trilogy as it was going, it starts off so well and then… well you know if you’ve seen it. The inclusion of the cure storyline was a big thing for the X-Men and it was interesting to see how each character reacted to the existence of a cure, Rogue wanting to take it, Magneto and his brotherhood seeing it as oppression and an act of war from the humans while the X-Men are in the middle and the peackeepers, this arc felt very comic book-y and each mutant reacted how you’d imagine they would in the comics themselves.
Also seeing more mutants in the film was cool, Kelsey Grammer especially as Beast, great casting and Ben Foster who is a very underused Angel, the Juggernaut is also a cool addition with Vinnie Jones but again he doesn’t play a huge part in the story, meanwhile the returning cast is again solid with Jackman, Mckellen and Stewart playing their roles with consummate ease. Though ultimately the film is let down by including too many characters and no where near enough character development. And at a 104 minute runtime, there just wasn’t enough time and an extra 25-30 minutes could have done the film more justice in my opinion, the Jean Grey – Phoenix storyline running alongside the cure storyline meant that one plot arc wouldn’t really get a satisfying conclusion or enough time devote to it and that ended up happening with a rather flat end to the films phoenix saga.
Also Jeans interaction with Cyclops was a bit baffling and taking him out of the story completely was a waste, a disappointing end to a great and also underused character.
And as far as action and set pieces go, the film has some highlights, people forget that because they remember The Last Stand as being bad but Magneto showcasing his powers with minimum effort – great scene, Magneto moving the golden gate bridge – also great and some scenes in the final alcatraz fight were also cool, albeit a tad silly. The film had its’ memorable moments and some good scenes but it’s let down on the whole by lack of good plot direction and not enough character development. It’s not as good of a character story as X-Men or as good of an action film as X2, it also doesn’t bring a satisfying conclusion to the story and leaves the X-Men franchise in a weird, depressing state. Thank the lord for First Class.
. Great to see a host of mutants but some of the better characters barely get any screentime
. Good action scenes and set pieces
. The Phoenix character as way too much to be a side story to one movie, used poorly
. Bit of an odd, dissatisfying ending