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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
TBC
Cast
Patrick Stewart
Ian McKellen
Kelsey Grammer
Vinnie Jones
Halle Berry
James Marsden
Ben Foster
Hugh Jackman
Ellen Page.
Directors
Brett Ratner.
Screenwriters
Simon Kinberg
Zak Penn.
Running Time
TBC minutes

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X-Men: The Last Stand
The third film in the mutant franchise.


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Plot
Mutants are on the verge of X-tinction, it seems, when US business Worthington Industries discovers a cure for mutation. This scientific breakthrough complicates and intensifies the battle — both physical and ideological — between Professor X’s (Stewart) integration-friendly X-Men and the human-hating muties let by Magneto (McKellen)...


Review
X-Men: The Last Stand

One reason why action franchises  are so prone to failure is because it’s so easy for them to collapse under their own weight. Each new instalment feels it has to outdo the last, delivering bigger set-pieces and cramming in more characters while such piffles as structure, pace, dialogue and all-round coherence are thrown to the wind. This was true of the pre-Begins Batmans, the Christopher Reeve Supermans and the Blade flicks. But X-Men, like its Marvel stablemate Spider-Man, has thus far managed to withstand the added strain.

      X2 was, above all, a masterful juggling/balancing act on the part of Bryan Singer. He expanded the X-universe while simultaneously taking us deeper into the characters — from frontline heroes like Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) down to supporting players like Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) and Pyro (Aaron Stanford). Well, Brett Ratner’s stepped onto the tightrope Singer vacated, and Fox/Marvel have chucked him even more balls to juggle. So alongside the discovery of the ‘cure’ and the renewed mutant-versus-mutant battle that ensues, we have the drama of now-schizo übermutant Jean Grey’s (Famke Janssen) return from her watery grave, plus all the small soapy strands that concern the teenies — will love-rival Kitty Pryde (Hard Candy’s Ellen Page) persuade Rogue (Anna Paquin) to take the cure so boyfriend Iceman can finally cop a feel?

     Perhaps understandably, Ratner’s not even sure where to start — we jump from a “20 years ago” prologue (enticing) to a “10 years ago” prologue (less so) to “the not-too-distant future” before our first popped corn hits stomach acid. He and his scriptwriters then get round the surfeit-of-characters problem by, almost admirably, throwing a few balls away; let’s just say the X-mansion grows a few gravestones.
 
      Yet, Ratner is missing Singer’s versatility, and X3 lacks the sharp focus if its predecessor, as if unclear what it should be doing when not delivering a set-piece. The script, too, lacks the polish of Singer’s second X, and even the esteemed Ian McKellen has trouble with a few of his clunkier lines. Meanwhile, Vinnie Jones as towering powerhouse Juggernaut is just wrong, wrong, WRONG. Why shove some old footballer in a leathery bodysuit when one phone call to WWE supremo Vince McMahon would throw up any number of genuine oily manbeast-machines?

     Two things rescue this so-called “Last Stand”. First, its shameless pandering to the fanboys. They’re tossed plenty of treats, including a glimpse (finally) inside the X-mansion’s Danger Room and the introduction of various new muties like Beast (Kelsey Grammer — excellent), Angel (Ben Foster — forgettable) and Leech (the ubiquitous Cameron Bright). Oh, and if the words “fastball special” mean anything to you, rest assured, Ratner’s been thinking of you during the action scenes.
 
    Which brings us to X3’s second saving grace — those aforementioned set-pieces. This is where Ratner gets it totally right. Whether it’s that big show-off Magneto flying the Golden Gate Bridge to Alcatraz, Wolverine and Beast going feral on a bunch of baddie mutants, or Jean Grey reducing people and buildings to their constituent atoms, there’s enough smash-bang fun and CG-savvy here to make you happy it’s summer again. Just don’t expect it to get under your skin the way X2 did.


Verdict
Singer’s absence is felt but not fatal. By adding too much new blood Ratner loses some of the original DNA, but with its nifty set-pieces and a few nasty surprises, X3’s still a worthy enough sequel to ensure it’s no Last Stand.


Reviewed by Dan Jolin


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Average user rating for X-Men: The Last Stand
Empire Star Rating

Ka-POW! More Punch Than Emotion

'X-Men' and 'X2' were both highly interesting and enveloping films, both emotionally and physically. X3 takes hold of the physical side. The CG effects are quite well laid out. And you can't beat Kelsey Grammer as Beast. The humour is also cranked up a tad bit. Vinnie Jones brings in laughs. (sometimes too many) as Juggernaut and Cyclops' and Wolverine's bitter friendship is plagued with slightly cheesy lines. The end sequence is a star. It brings out the X-Men as what they are in the comics o... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by JHFilmReviews at 02:40, 31 July 2012 | Report This Post


X-Men: The Last Stand Review

Director Brett Ratner has replaced the heart, emotion and character development of the previous X-Men films with more action and explosions. The film should still provide ample entertainment, but you may truly wish this to be the Last Stand. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by the film man at 16:15, 14 December 2011 | Report This Post


RE: X-Men: The Last Stand

L: Mabs I saw X-men the last stand, a few days ago and...enjoyed it quite immensely. the feeling i got throughout the whole film was of a much darker x-men film then usual...my only complaints are as follows: 1) The humour, sure there were a few moments but it just shows you what a big contribution Singer made to the franchise by adding wit, humour but most of all..Heart. 2) To me, the score of the film is very important, the first X-men was beautiful...reaching its pinacle at t... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Nexus Wookie at 04:46, 27 September 2011 | Report This Post


RE: The most under-rated movie ever?

L: elab49 If you shell out for the cinema you always go in with some level of hope. Given how thoroughly this has been trashed, I wonder if it would actually be more fun going in expecting something awful. orked for ngers ... More

Posted by Darth Marenghi at 17:12, 20 June 2011 | Report This Post


RE: The most under-rated movie ever?

L: Rgirvan44 Well I saw Fifth Element in the cinema on intital release (this 12 year old was given a choice of that or Batman and Robin) and I have been on that particular bandwagon for a long time. Green Lantern and Thor are both rubbish. X Men First Class was good, but even that is fading from memory. Pirates was crap. Hangover 2 was crap. I know people always trot out the "This year was the worst ever" but 2011 has one of the worst summer line ups since 2001. And there... More

Posted by Scruffybobby at 17:03, 20 June 2011 | Report This Post


RE: The most under-rated movie ever?

L: superdan Chainsaw beats nunchukas Spaldron. That tip was for free, stick with me kid and I'll make you a star. oted, got ma chainsaw and everything 'blud'! ... More

Posted by Spaldron at 16:26, 20 June 2011 | Report This Post


RE: The most under-rated movie ever?

I'm looking forward to Cowboys & Aliens, Captain America (Chris Evans is usually good value), and who knows - maybe Harry Potter will have a barnstorming send-off. God help me, I'm even a little excited about Transformers now I've seen the preview times for it next week.   There have been many more misses than hits so far this year though, no doubt about that. ... More

Posted by superdan at 14:14, 20 June 2011 | Report This Post


RE: The most under-rated movie ever?

I've not seen First Class yet. Wouldn't waste my money on Pirates and loathed the first Hangover. I enjoyed Thor - and I agree on Pixar. But you're right - I can't really think of any 'big' films I'm looking forward to. There's really just the feeling of dread over Tinker, Tailor, if that counts. Maybe Troll Hunter counts ... More

Posted by elab49 at 14:10, 20 June 2011 | Report This Post


RE: The most under-rated movie ever?

Well I saw Fifth Element in the cinema on intital release (this 12 year old was given a choice of that or Batman and Robin) and I have been on that particular bandwagon for a long time.   Green Lantern and Thor are both rubbish. X Men First Class was good, but even that is fading from memory. Pirates was crap. Hangover 2 was crap.   I know people always trot out the "This year was the worst ever" but 2011 has one of the worst summer line ups since 2001. And there isn't ... More

Posted by Rgirvan44 at 14:05, 20 June 2011 | Report This Post


RE: The most under-rated movie ever?

Also, this is not remotely a suggestion that Transformers will be anything other than shit! ... More

Posted by elab49 at 13:51, 20 June 2011 | Report This Post


RE: The most under-rated movie ever?

You can also get a Fifth Element though. Lambasted on release, no real anticipation renting it out on VHS, and then love at first sight. 'course I don't think Green Lantern will achieve that - I thought Thor was fun but the consensus seems to be GL doesn't manage to hit that tone at all. ... More

Posted by elab49 at 13:50, 20 June 2011 | Report This Post


RE: The most under-rated movie ever?

L: elab49 If you shell out for the cinema you always go in with some level of hope. Given how thoroughly this has been trashed, I wonder if it would actually be more fun going in expecting something awful. sp; Well Transformers is coming out in a week or so.   Anyone that actully pays to see that film after part 2, has to be going in expecting something awful.   ... More

Posted by Rgirvan44 at 13:46, 20 June 2011 | Report This Post


RE: The most under-rated movie ever?

If you shell out for the cinema you always go in with some level of hope. Given how thoroughly this has been trashed, I wonder if it would actually be more fun going in expecting something awful. ... More

Posted by elab49 at 13:39, 20 June 2011 | Report This Post


RE: The most under-rated movie ever?

Very true.   Always find these review threads interesting for the people who likely were disappointed but tried to love it. Superman Returns had the same sort of thread. ... More

Posted by Rgirvan44 at 13:31, 20 June 2011 | Report This Post


RE: The most under-rated movie ever?

Surely they'd be communicating remotely via text on phones rather than actually making actual eyecontact? Maybe doing some kind of Summer Wars thing (Japanese animation version (ish) of War Games). ... More

Posted by elab49 at 13:29, 20 June 2011 | Report This Post


RE: The most under-rated movie ever?

L: elab49 Dear god this awful looking film isn't worth aggro, surely? ) stick to commenting on reviews - commenting on other poster's IQs will likely be taken as trouble-making. If you have a problem with a post, report it. b) 'pretend' or otherwise threats of violence are not acceptable on the site. So please stick the keyboard warrior crap elsewhere. sp; "Keyboard warrior" - I now have an image of a couple of film geeks meeting in the middle of a park and awkwardly saying hell... More

Posted by Rgirvan44 at 13:26, 20 June 2011 | Report This Post


RE: The most under-rated movie ever?

Dear god this awful looking film isn't worth aggro, surely? ) stick to commenting on reviews - commenting on other poster's IQs will likely be taken as trouble-making. If you have a problem with a post, report it. b) 'pretend' or otherwise threats of violence are not acceptable on the site. So please stick the keyboard warrior crap elsewhere. ... More

Posted by elab49 at 13:19, 20 June 2011 | Report This Post


RE: The most under-rated movie ever?

Oh BatSpider - you special little snow flake. ... More

Posted by Rgirvan44 at 13:02, 20 June 2011 | Report This Post


RE: The most under-rated movie ever?

L: Spaldron L: BatSpider L: Spaldron L: BatSpider L: Spaldron L: BatSpider I think the ppl who hate this movie are a) geeks who can't handle a couple of major characters getting killed, and b) sheep following the tide of geek opinion. bunch of pussiese the movie has a proper edge and it's the best X-Men of all. ritten with all the wit and intelligence you'd expect from a Brett Ratner fanboy. Come back when your I.Q. reaches above absolute zer... More

Posted by BatSpider at 13:01, 20 June 2011 | Report This Post


RE: The most under-rated movie ever?

Chainsaw beats nunchukas Spaldron. That tip was for free, stick with me kid and I'll make you a star. ... More

Posted by superdan at 12:55, 20 June 2011 | Report This Post


RE: The most under-rated movie ever?

Maybe the people who hate the movie 1) Just don't like it. b) Have a different opinion to you? ... More

Posted by sanchia at 07:22, 20 June 2011 | Report This Post


RE: The most under-rated movie ever?

L: BatSpider L: Spaldron L: BatSpider L: Spaldron L: BatSpider I think the ppl who hate this movie are a) geeks who can't handle a couple of major characters getting killed, and b) sheep following the tide of geek opinion. bunch of pussiese the movie has a proper edge and it's the best X-Men of all. ritten with all the wit and intelligence you'd expect from a Brett Ratner fanboy. Come back when your I.Q. reaches above absolute zero. rett Ratner has ... More

Posted by Spaldron at 01:30, 20 June 2011 | Report This Post


RE: The most under-rated movie ever?

L: Spaldron L: BatSpider L: Spaldron L: BatSpider I think the ppl who hate this movie are a) geeks who can't handle a couple of major characters getting killed, and b) sheep following the tide of geek opinion. bunch of pussiese the movie has a proper edge and it's the best X-Men of all. ritten with all the wit and intelligence you'd expect from a Brett Ratner fanboy. Come back when your I.Q. reaches above absolute zero. rett Ratner has fanboys? If u want we... More

Posted by BatSpider at 01:08, 20 June 2011 | Report This Post


RE: The most under-rated movie ever?

L: BatSpider L: Spaldron L: BatSpider I think the ppl who hate this movie are a) geeks who can't handle a couple of major characters getting killed, and b) sheep following the tide of geek opinion. bunch of pussiese the movie has a proper edge and it's the best X-Men of all. ritten with all the wit and intelligence you'd expect from a Brett Ratner fanboy. Come back when your I.Q. reaches above absolute zero. rett Ratner has fanboys? If u want we can discuss X3 at Hy... More

Posted by Spaldron at 23:27, 19 June 2011 | Report This Post


RE: The most under-rated movie ever?

L: Spaldron L: BatSpider I think the ppl who hate this movie are a) geeks who can't handle a couple of major characters getting killed, and b) sheep following the tide of geek opinion. bunch of pussiese the movie has a proper edge and it's the best X-Men of all. ritten with all the wit and intelligence you'd expect from a Brett Ratner fanboy. Come back when your I.Q. reaches above absolute zero. rett Ratner has fanboys? If u want we can discuss X3 at Hyde Park sometime, u... More

Posted by BatSpider at 22:53, 19 June 2011 | Report This Post


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