|X-MEN: THE LAST STAND (2006)
With director Bryan Singer taking the helm of another comic book franchise with Superman Returns, Brett Ratner was tapped (after Matthew Vaughn’s quick departure) to take on directorial duties on X-Men: The Last Stand, which made a phenomenal amount of money, becoming one of 2006’s biggest blockbusters.
But is it any good? Well, yes. But it does not come close to the two previous instalments.
The story concerns a major pharmaceutical company who have created a “cure” for the mutant genome. News of the cure splits the mutant community in half, with Magneto (Ian McKellan) assembling a Brotherhood of Mutants – among them a resurrected and much more powerful Jean Grey (Famke Janssen)– who have chosen to combat those who have created the cure, and to destroy mankind once and for all. Standing in their way are the X-Men.
First off, the films good points: X-Men: The Last Stand is much more action packed compared to the previous films, and the visual effects have also been kicked up a notch, which is quite a feat considering the stellar effects work seen beforehand.
As a result there are a number of exceptionally shot action scenes, such as a fantastic effects sequence which features Magneto raising the Golden Gate Bridge; the exceptionally well choreographed mutant stand off that follow; and an all too brief scene involving the Danger Room and a Sentinel.
The death of several key characters keeps things interesting, as does the introduction of others, with the spot on casting of Kelsey Grammer as The Beast. Joining him are a pre-Juno Ellen Page as Kitty Winn, Vinnie Jones as The Juggernaut, and Ben Foster as Angel.
However, things begin to get a little too cluttered with too many characters and not enough character development, as story and the previous films realistic slant thrown away in favour of over sentimental monologues and cheesy one-liners.
On top of this, Brett Ratner just does not bring the personal touch that Bryan Singer had. In turn, X-Men: The Last Stand ends up being another – albeit good – comic book movie, rather than the exception to the rule that the previous films were.