Tuesday, August 6, 2013

X-Men: The Last Stand Caused Series to Fall

The third installment of the X-Men movie franchise, X-Men: The Last Stand, hit theaters in 2006. However, this time around Brett Ratner was at the helm as director since Bryan Singer left to direct Superman Returns.
Where its predecessor, X2: X-Men United, pretty much picked up directly where the first movie left off, the "three-quel" starts things a little differently: with a flashback.
And a ridiculous amount of makeup to make these two look young.
Twenty years in the past, Professor Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr (more commonly known as Magneto) visit a young Jean Grey. The two old friends/future enemies convince Jean to come to Xavier's school where she can develop her psychic powers more, because she has powerful powers. Very powerful powers.
Fast-forward to the present and Scott (Cyclops) is very depressed because Jean is still very dead and Prof. X decides that Storm should lead the X-Men if something were to ever happen to him. Also, Kelsey Grammar shows up as the big blue furball Hank McCoy (known appropriately as "Beast"), the Secretary of Mutant Affairs, bringing with him the news that a mutant cure has been developed and is being mass produced.
This would've made Frasier much more interesting.
Elsewhere, mutants are furious and gather in groups to figure out a way to stop the cure from being sold. Magneto shows up to one such group meeting with his new assistant Pyro and decides that some of the muties there would be perfect for his Brotherhood of Mutants, including a girl whose mutant ability is looking like Prince.
Pictured: "Not-Prince"
Beast flies to Alcatraz Island where the cure is being produced. Here he learns that the source of the mutant cure is actually a young mutant boy whose powers suppress other mutants' abilities.
Meanwhile, Scott drives to Alkali Lake to cry some more and finds that Jean is still very much alive. They kiss and Scott dies. Out of nowhere.
Wolverine and Storm rush to the lake and bring Jean back to the mansion where the professor explains that he psychically locked away some of Jean's abilities when she was young to protect her from her immense power. This bit of her brain developed into a psycho-split personality "Phoenix" that is now in control of Jean's body.
Magneto uses his new friends to track down Mystique, who is being held by the government, and free her. Just before escaping, Mystique is shot with a weaponized version of the cure and becomes a regular Homo sapien. The evil mutant ditches her and picks up two new mutant lackies for his army: Multiple Man and the Juggernaut (Vinnie Jones)
Back in the lower levels of Xavier's mansion, Jean - I mean the Phoenix - wakes up and hits on Logan in a reverse of their first scene together from the first movie. An uncomfortably intense make-out session ensues.
It's awkward to watch.
Wolverine stops the tongue-wrestling and Phoenix-Jean gets angry and leaves, ripping apart the door with her powers. She goes back to her childhood home and the X-Men chase after her. Magneto and his goons are there hoping the now incredibly powerful Jean will join their army. Phoenix-Jean freaks out and uses her psychic abilities to kill the professor. Obviously, she goes with Magneto.
Storm, Wolverine, and the teens mourn Prof. X's death (more than they mourned Cyclops') and Rogue decides she wants to be cured of her powers because her boyfriend has been flirting with the girl who walks through walls (who is now suddenly played by Ellen Page).
The Brotherhood of Mutants plan to attack Alcatraz Island and stop production of the cure all together. Magneto uses his powers to move the entire Golden Gate Bridge to connect to Alcatraz Island so they can use it as a direct route. As the evil mutants advance, the X-Men help the military and defend the island because they're good guys.
A battle rages on for about 30 min of the movie until Phoenix-Jean joins in on the fighting and starts disintegrating everything around her to the point where she can't stop. Logan runs up and stabs her in the stomach with a "snikt" of his claws. She dies, he cries, and everyone but her survives ... again.
It's okay, though. She haunts his nightmares.
This movie isn't necessarily terrible, but it is definitely the worst of the first three films in the franchise. The idea of mutant classes is introduced and then quickly thrown away and never brought up again, leaving people like myself wanting more of an explanation. Political views on mutants and the public's attitudes toward them are further elaborated in the movie, yet are overshadowed by all of the action. Then there is the fact that it drags on for what feels like forever. It's shorter than X-2 yet feels twice as long. Also, the unexpected death of Cyclops was ... well, unexpected. Actor James Marsden actually left with Bryan Singer to be in Superman Returns (as a minor role) and as a result Scott was killed off. And the movie struggles to balance the development of its many featured characters, something that the first two installments succeeded in doing.
X-Men: The Last Stand's story was better than the first film, yet was poorly executed lessening the quality of the movie. However, it isn't completely unenjoyable. The movie is still fun and action-filled with some quality special effects for the time it was released. And I will always remember seeing it in theaters with my dad, a memory that makes this movie a little more special than its predecessors for me.
Unfortunately, the X-Men film franchise takes a turn for the worst after this movie because the producers thought a prequel would be a great place to go from here.
They were wrong.

No comments:

Post a Comment