Thursday, 5 June 2014

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

























So what happened to the Nightcrawler? he was a good soft centred character with potential in the last film, what the Hadoken?? So yet again after the following smash success of the sequel, which may or may not have been a surprise, we get the trilogy bookend to the saga. Naturally we are pummeled with lots more characters, even bigger set pieces, even bigger action and various big deaths scenes, oh and Brett 'Rush Hour' Ratner takes over the reigns...which means it could well stink.

Plot time...Worthington Labs announce the cure to mutantism, well a drug that will suppress the mutant gene in mutants. This of course could be good news for certain mutants like the awkward Rogue (don't listen to Storm sheesh!), but for ultra cool mutants like Magneto, Wolverine, Iceman etc...it sounds like the worst idea since Brett Ratner took over the reigns for this third film. The 'cure' comes from the genome of a young mutant boy so obviously Magneto sets out to kill the boy with his alternate (not exactly evil in the evil sense) mutant army, only the X-Men can stop them.

















I don't get the humans in this saga though, surely having people like this around with these powers would help mankind greatly. Sure there would be problems but on the whole if peace is kept as many want then the advantages for humans and mutants to work together would be astronomical! Plus aren't people amazed and in awe of these powers, hardly every day stuff is it.

So its back to more origins again and lots more exposition as we see how a young Jean Grey met up with Magneto and Xavier (I type Magneto because its easier than his human name) who have both had major CGI airbrush work done to their pretty faces. We then get to see a rather abrupt and brief origin for Angel which leads into some obligatory training sequences for the regular team followed by an intro for Beast and the steps being taken to find Magneto. Once the story skips through all this its back to Xavier's school again so we can have yet more origin chat as Beast visits.

One thing I noticed about Beast in this franchises continuity is way back in 'X2' we saw Beast as a youngish middle aged man in human form on the TV. According to comicbook lore (if we are picky here) Beast was actually one of the X-Men team from a young age I believe plus he was shaped like a gorilla. What we see of him in that brief cameo doesn't really match up although admittedly we don't see all of him. I would also hazard a guess that he would of been blue and furry by the age he looks in that cameo, like I say I'm just being picky.

This film feels more in tone with the original in the sense that everything is slowing building towards the finale. The plot is developed step by step in easy to swallow doses so each little story can expand and finally blend at the end. It does feel a bit slow admittedly but again it still manages to hold your attention well by slowly giving you more bang for your buck. Gotta be honest though some characters do feel squeezed in for no reason, Angel doesn't really do much, he's just there for visuals where as Multiple Man is around for one booby trap/gag moment.
There also seemed to be some tomfoolery with the Omegas group involving big visual changes and sexual gender alterations. Not that that's a problem as Omahyra Mota as Arclight was an inspired casting choice but the others felt very generic and bland looking. Not really sure how Kid Omega's power of being a mutant porcupine would come in handy unless you do the only thing he does in the film which is kill someone by hugging them. Its also these guys that start to mention mutants in class divisions depending on how powerful they are...where did that come from?

I find Pyro hilariously dumb in this film though. This guy goes around acting all tough and macho when confronting new mutants despite not knowing what they can do. For all he knows they could kill him easily with their unique mutant power, all he can do is control fire! geez dude don't be such a plum. Another stupid point was after Xavier gets obliterated Beast suggests the school close...eh?! why you big blue goon! surely the best way to honour him would be to keep the school going, no way Xavier would want it to shut down, go plait your hair sheesh!

In general everything is fine up to the big showdown where for some bizarre reason Magneto decides to detach and use the Golden Gate Bridge as a crossing to Alcatraz. I mean yeah it looks impressive and fancy in all its CGI glory but really? why not just use a large boat or fly...most of you all do that. Plus that may give you more stealth for the attack. The actual main battle is reasonably well directed and sorta utilises everyone but the fact the soldiers have the cure in gun form does make a bit of a mockery of it all. Yes many mutants get 'cured' but I don't really think any of them would stand a chance with all that stuff flying around.

Its all pretty much the same again but with nicer visuals. Beast looks awesome and is portrayed really well by Grammer, Grey in Phoenix form does look pretty good to me and her story fits OK as far as I'm concerned although I know some fanboys didn't like it. Wish we knew exactly what happened to Cyclops though. Everyone else is on good form and haven't varied from their previous performances so its all good in that sense (Juggernaut is a bit iffy looking though isn't he, not sure why they cast Vinnie Jones there) and as I said there are some big characters getting kicked to the curb throughout and towards the end which was very cool I can't deny. Not quite as classy as the previous two sure, but it does the job...what else did you expect?

6/10