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27 May 2006

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), Halle Berry (Storm), Patrick Stewart (Xavier), Ian McKellan (Magneto)

Directed by Brett Ratner (Red Dragon)

Oh wretched, wretched thing.

I hacked this film to pieces with my brother and sister-in-law last night over a post-viewing dinner, so I am tired of discussing its minutiae. Generally speaking, I was vastly entertained for nearly two hours: all things mutant and fantastic, giant everything ($140 million does not allow for anything small), and enough nods to the comics to make fan boys and girls laugh and cheer. Oh, my stars and garters - it's true. So from the standpoint of an average movie-goer, I should have been pleased with the blunt but successful combination of action, emotion, dramatic tension, terrible tragedy, and uplifting hope. And except for Halle Berry's suddenly flat American inflection (she had been attempting a half-hearted African accent in previous films, keeping with her character's origins), the acting was a lovely blend of realism and totally over-wrought melodrama. But what can you expect from superheroes?

However...

As a fan of the comics (one who, because of various economic concerns, has not collected or read the books in nearly ten years), I was deeply disturbed in ways that only other geeks would care to read. My disappointment is totally irrational, I know. Films are films and books are books, but I came away feeling let down and upset nonetheless. In almost every respect, the very essence of the relationships in Uncanny X-Men - upon which their entire history was based - was betrayed, and that betrayal resulted in some very elaborate personal and physical carnage. Grrrrrr....

Small things:
Who would have thought the goddess that is Famke Janssen could look so relatively unattractive in her full Phoenix mode? But of course, as an actress, she had the best role in the world. How often does anyone have to go to work and make out with James Marsden one day and then with Hugh Jackman the next? Sweet!

How did they get Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan to look so young in the flashback? Make-up? CGI? Impressive old hotties!

Kitty Pryde was surprisingly cute, resourceful and useful in battle.

Days of Future Past Danger Room - excellent.

Piotr still wasn't Russian, dammit.

Iceman was finally friggin' Iceman! Or was he the T-1000... can't be sure. With Beast and Angel there, I kept waiting to say, "The gang's all here!" But no. Never got the chance. Bastards.

Kelsey Grammer was the most perfectly cast X-Man since Patrick Stewart as the Prof.

And, if you see it, stick around until after the credits. They may have ended the trilogy, but no one in Hollywood can ever close the door entirely on a franchise.

To sum up: see it if you're interested. Summer movie fans will not be disappointed, and Magneto's nifty tricks, the Jean & Wolvie make-out scene, and a naked Rebecca Romijn made it worthwhile if nothing else. But do not listen to disgruntled fans, whatever you do. We're a petty, angry lot no matter what happens on screen - from the number of jokes Beast and Iceman fail to make to the exact tint of Jean's hair - so just sit back and enjoy the mayhem.

Blogger Reel Fanatic said...

I wonder if they made Brett Ratner read even one X-Men comic book before making this monstrosity ... probably not .. great review, though

02:59  

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