X-Men: The Last Stand
Scott Hardie: “It was ok.”
[Vague ending spoilers ahead.] You know that feeling you get when you're disappointed by a movie that extends a TV show franchise, like say Star Trek, when you wonder why you just paid ten bucks to see something you usually see for free in your living room? That's the problem with a series: Unless they pull out all the stops to make a great entertainment, you know they're just phoning it in because the next installment is inevitable. The Last Stand has been marketed as the final X-Men film but there's approximately zero people who believe it; the film has been a big success and most of the cast is enthusiastic about returning again. (As for Halle Berry, she shouldn't let the screen door smack her ass on the way out.) The effect of knowing it's just another link in the chain is that there's no reason to care. The two big plot developments of the picture are both erased with a big ol' slap of the reset button at the end. The actors sleep through their performances and are given interchangeable lines so it doesn't matter anyway. The best script innovation I can think of is that both Angel and Beast are given complete arcs with endings, so they can sit out the next picture without wondering like we now must with Nightcrawler.
I don't want a lot from an X-Men movie, but one thing I do want is that it stays true to the characters. That shouldn't hard; each only has one dimension anyway. But with the exception of a brief fight in the woods, Wolverine here behaves like somebody's dad on a sitcom, warm and fuzzy and completely devoid of his charming gruffness. Magneto flies wildly out of character, cold-dissing one fallen comrade and making such a slow, grand entrance into the final battle that UN peacekeepers could be dispatched from other continents in time to stop him before he arrives. (Speaking of Magneto, can we please get a different villain already? The Batman movies would be awfully boring if he just kept facing the Joker over and over.)
I'm being hard on the movie because Bryan Singer made it look so easy the first two times. The studio wanted their big summer blockbuster and they got it, but there's nobody piloting the ship into more interesting territory. That said, for what it is, it's got some great special effects, fun action scenes, and some good jokes (especially from Beast), and the writers at least had the sense to give us character showdowns that make sense, like Iceman vs. Pyro and Juggernaut vs. Shadowcat. There were fifty people in the makeup department, so I don't know who to credit for the genuinely frightening look of Dark Phoenix, but whoever it was did a great job. John Powell's stylish pseudomilitary score even made an impression amid the chaos. 20th Century Fox is definitely going to make another sequel – they're the real juggernaut, bitch – but I hope they get someone like Bryan Singer who's going to give a damn whether it's done well or merely done.
Denise Sawicki: Oops, I didn't search properly to see that you already reviewed this one. I searched for "X3". Anyway I kinda liked it. Not being knowledgeable about the characters I guess I didn't notice that stuff about being untrue to the characters. − August 8, 2007 more by Denise
Denise Sawicki: “It ruled.”
I found this more fun than X2, and easier to follow. It is true, I am pretty dumb about movies, and I found X2 confusing. But X3 was pretty cool. A funny note: Darrell and I didn't know Kelsey Grammer was playing Beast and somehow we got through the entire movie without becoming aware of this fact. Upon seeing his name in the ending credits, we reversed back to a scene near his introduction and laughed wondering how in the world we could have missed that. I mean it is completely obvious, especially if you don't look at the guy :P. A TINY SPOILER: if this was "The Last Stand" then why do we need that last 2 seconds before the credits? Oh yeah... and a quick web search indicates that we missed more justification for a sequel by not watching to the end of the credits.
EDIT: Sorry,. this has been a shameless attempt to get $R. I did wanna talk about the movie but my uninformed opinion is pretty worthless when we already have Scott's review.