Oh, boy. After the resounding success of X2, fans were eagerly anticipating the final chapter in the X-Men trilogy. However, director Bryan Singer left the franchise to be replaced by Brett Ratner. Things did not go well.
When the government unveils a cure for mutations, lines are drawn among the X-Men and Brotherhood of Mutants. War is brewing, and the arrival of the Dark Phoenix does not bode well for our resident team of mutant heroes.
To say X-Men: The Last Stand was a disappointment is an understatement. Surely, fans did not expect the film to necessarily touch the bar set by X2, but we were hoping for a good ending to what could have been a great trilogy. Alas, it was not to be.
Where Bryan Singer juggled all the characters effortlessly, director Brett Ratner drops damn near every ball he is handed. He certainly has somewhat of an eye for action, and manages to squeeze out some impressive visuals. Even so, Ratner is so thoroughly out of his depth with this film it gets embarrassing at times. Where Singer’s X2 was an epic journey, Ratner’s X3 is a short, uninspired cash-grab of a final chapter.
That’s not to say he had much of a chance to begin with, when the script is this bad. Countless useless characters and cameos are crammed onto the screen, to the point where even a fan would lose track. As a result of the veritable army of inconsequential faces, the film lacks all focus and the characters we’ve been following throughout the series suffer tremendously. Wolverine, Jean Grey, Cyclops and the others don’t get the journey’s end they deserve. Rather, they are stuck with a rushed, disrespectful and sometimes laughable closing chapter.
The actors are, for the most part, burdened by a truly horrid script. Only Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen manage to hold on to their dignity. X-Men mainstay Hugh Jackman fails his character when Logan needs him the most with an unintentionally funny scene at the film’s climax. Special mention, however, should go to newcomers Ellen Page (as Kitty Pride) and Kelsey Grammer (as Beast), who are both better than the film deserves.
Final Verdict: Like Justin Bieber following the Beatles on stage, X-Men: The Last Stand is a painfully disappointing final chapter of the first X-Men trilogy. A less-than capable director, a messy script and a ridiculously short running time overpower any impressive visuals and the few actors who actually seem to give a crap.