X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
April 29, 2024 9:21 AM - Subscribe

[TRAILER] When a cure is found to treat mutations, lines are drawn amongst the X-Men—led by Professor Charles Xavier—and the Brotherhood, a band of powerful mutants organised under Xavier’s former ally, Magneto.

Starring Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Famke Janssen, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Kelsey Grammer, Elliot Page, Shawn Ashmore, Vinnie Jones, Aaron Stanford, Ben Foster, Rebecca Romijn, James Marsden, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Bill Duke, Eric Dane, Olivia Williams.

Directed by Brett Ratner. Written by Simon Kinberg, Zak Penn. Based on the comic book series, created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby. Produced by Lauren Shuler Donner, Ralph Winter, Avi Arad for 20th Century Fox/Marvel Entertainment/The Donners' Company/Dune Entertainment/ Ingenious Film Partners. Cinematography by Dante Spinotti. Edited by Mark Helfrich, Mark Goldblatt, Julia Wong. Music by John Powell.

61% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, which feels... generous.

Currently streaming in the US on Disney Plus. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (10 comments total)
We've done the first two... Might as well.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:22 AM on April 29 [1 favorite]

It's not terrible, as such. Magneto relocating the Golden Gate bridge had the kind of oomph missing from most of his other appearances, where he just waves his hand and things go flying.
posted by SPrintF at 9:42 AM on April 29

The fact that the movie began with Jean Grey/Phoenix obliterating Cyclops was my first warning sign that this was going to be not a great film. When I noticed they were combining the cure for mutants storyline with the Phoenix Saga, that was another warning. When they killed off Professor X, I was just about done. I guess everything is fine because we got "I'm the Juggernaut, bitch!" on the screen (not worth it).

This movie was just not good. It wasn't fair that it had to follow X2, but it didn't have to fail so badly for doing so.
posted by Atreides at 10:18 AM on April 29 [2 favorites]

The pattern went something like this, pre-MCU:
  • Studio execs and a large portion of the talent don't understand and/or HATE superhero movies.
  • Superheroes are nonetheless popular, and have huge merchandising potential. And every once and a while, a producer pitches a superhero movie, and a studio (reluctantly) agrees to it. Since nobody at the studio likes superheroes, the producer and director are somewhat less subject to studio interference.
  • The movie becomes a major hit, and sequels follow.
  • By the third sequel, the same execs who HATE superheroes have muscled their way onto the production, and have either forced the talent to leave, or flooded them with notes. The third film in the franchise SUCKS.
This is the trajectory for Superman, Batman, X-Men, and to some extent Spider-Man.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 10:40 AM on April 29 [10 favorites]

Per my earlier comment about the first movie, this movie tries to do too much, and does little of it well. And that's really too bad, because the Dark Phoenix storyline could easily be hooked up to the cure storyline; what if someone suggested that they shoot up Jean with this power-dampening juice? And then, what if someone brings up the possibility that, if she misses one treatment (because it's heavily hinted in the mid-credits scene that the effect is temporary), she could Phoenix out and eat the world or the sun or something. Or, if not Jean (and, again, we really didn't know Jean well enough at this point to make it a real tragedy), then someone like this kid from the comics. Then there's the scene between Storm and Rogue where Rogue is excited about the possibility that she will be able to have bare-skin sex with Bobby and Storm is against the cure, with various commenters pointing out that Storm kind of won the superpower lottery and Rogue got a not great option. (I tend to think that the discussion is a bit more nuanced than that, personally; Storm's power is not without its dangers--she can create lightning bolts and tornadoes--as is true for most mutants, and Rogue basically just has to have really safe sex.) It's something that could have made for a much more compelling movie, if they'd kept the plot centered on it rather than just sort of floundering around.

A few other thoughts:

- Nicholas Hoult made for a much better Beast IMO; I can't watch Kelsey Grammer in the costume without thinking "Frasier Crane auditions for Cats."

- Although the Golden Gate Bridge sequence is impressive, it also puts Magneto's power level at fuck-off absurd levels; again, Dark Phoenix is right there. Magneto could have just put all his Brotherhood of [Evil] Mutants on a bus and been within his previously established power levels.

- There's also a big implied jump in general acceptance of mutants if Hank McCoy is a member of the US Cabinet. Not sure why that was necessary.

- The crowded plot and cast also meant that they made poor use of Shohreh Aghdashloo.

- I will say this: one effective bit was Magneto immediately cutting Mystique loose when she was depowered. Using Jamie Madrox as a diversion for the raid on the BO[E]M camp was also clever. One bit that they missed that would have been fun, though: some excuse to have all of the original X-Men lineup (Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Beast, Angel, Iceman) in the frame at once.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:22 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]

- I will say this: one effective bit was Magneto immediately cutting Mystique loose when she was depowered.

This is the only thing I remember from this movie, besides Famke Janssen. I remember wanting to like it so hard.
posted by eustatic at 4:37 PM on April 29

Back when I wrote for a department newsletter, I did a rant on this one (most of the department were giant nerds - it played well). This is truly the turd in the X-Men punch bowl, evidence that Ratner was one of the worst directors of this era this side of Michael Bay, maybe even worse than Bay. Such a great cast and thoroughly wasted.

By the way, in the final confrontation, when Wolverine's uniform is shredded off of his by Jean's furious power, how come he still has his pants on?
posted by Ber at 8:27 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]

I remember the opening where Jean Grey atomizes Cyclops and then a haze of surreal disappointment covers everything else.

Fuck you, Brett Ratner.
posted by kbanas at 5:24 AM on April 30 [2 favorites]

This is the only thing I remember from this movie, besides Famke Janssen. I remember wanting to like it so hard.

Yeah, honestly thinking back on them, I only really remember Famke Janssen and Hugh Jackson. I should rewatch them one of these weeks instead of spending endless hours doomscrolling.
posted by Kyol at 6:51 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]

(Jack_man_, a-heh, teach me to write things while distracted.)
posted by Kyol at 7:13 AM on April 30

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