Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Empire's New Tom Cruise Cover
The Jameson Empire Awards 2014
Vote: The Greatest 301 Movies Of All Time!
Rebecca Hall:
My Movie Life

The actress picks the movies that shaped her
Mountain Dew Green Screen
Register Now to see X-MEN First Class!
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
Click poster to enlarge
More posters to select



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

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Looking For Light: Jane Brown
3 Star Empire Rating
Informant, The
2 Star Empire Rating
Exhibition
4 Star Empire Rating
Rebel Without A Cause
5 Star Empire Rating
Magic Magic
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Rebel Without A Cause
5 Star Empire Rating
Calvary
5 Star Empire Rating
Wake In Fright
5 Star Empire Rating
Stranger By The Lake
5 Star Empire Rating
Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?
5 Star Empire Rating

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


submit to reddit


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


Related Reviews
Sounds
X-Men: The Last Stand
 

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

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

RE: The most under-rated movie ever?

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. ... More

Posted by Spaldron at 19:15, 19 June 2011 | Report This Post


RE: X-Men 3: The Last Stand

L: Tech_Noir L: superdan The fact that half the characters get killed off isn't necessarily a positive in a franchise. greed, but the fact that happened kept me interested for the duration of the film, other films (ahem First Class) are dull because you know which character are in genuine jeopardy and which will NEVER die. 100% agree with you on this.And at least X3 maintains continuity with the previous films(besides recasting a few minor roles).Matt Vaughn obviously couldnt ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by darth silas at 19:07, 19 June 2011 | Report This Post


RE: X-Men 3: The Last Stand

L: superdan The fact that half the characters get killed off isn't necessarily a positive in a franchise. greed, but the fact that happened kept me interested for the duration of the film, other films (ahem First Class) are dull because you know which character are in genuine jeopardy and which will NEVER die. ... More

Posted by Tech_Noir at 18:20, 19 June 2011 | Report This Post


RE: X-Men 3: The Last Stand

L: Tech_Noir Got this on Blu Ray as a random purchase. I still don't get the hate, it's one of the rare franchise movies where you can't predict the ending, lead characters die before the half-way mark, the are effective, the score works, the action is well donehe hate? sp; I agree with those, but it doesn't change that after X2 it's a tremendous letdown. The Cyclops 'story' is handled awfully, Jean is reduced to nothing more than a glowering presence with no discernable motivation, m... More

Posted by superdan at 18:17, 19 June 2011 | Report This Post


X-Men 3: The Last Stand

Got this on Blu Ray as a random purchase. I still don't get the hate, it's one of the rare franchise movies where you can't predict the ending, lead characters die before the half-way mark, the effects are effective, the score works, the action is well done. Why the hate? BTW, the Blu Ray has a pretty cool documentary on the evolution of the X-Men comics. I think I'm becoming an X-Men obsessive, spent the last few months watching every episode of the animated series (season 1 to 4 - recomm... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Tech_Noir at 18:03, 19 June 2011 | Report This Post


The most under-rated movie ever?

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. What a bunch of pussies. For me the movie has a proper edge and it's the best X-Men of all. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by BatSpider at 15:31, 19 June 2011 | Report This Post


Mediocre But The Most Enjoyable Of The Series

Whilst this movie does feel slightly confused and has way too many new characters for fans to feel comfortable with it, X-Men: The Last Stand is undoubtedly the most exciting and funnest X-Men movie of the whole series, crafting a true-comic feel to the whole experience, and adding extra humanity (so to speak) for good measure. From a filmic standpoint, it's average, but as a whole, this is great saturday night entertainment. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by blaud at 15:13, 19 March 2011 | Report This Post


WHY DO PEOPLE HATE THIS MOVIE!!!!!!

now i am a very big x men fan who enjoyed all 3 movies and the comics. yes you heard me right I LIKE THE COMICS AND THE MOVIES! i don't understand why so many marvel fans must pick out all of the flaws in a film made for general audiences not for the fans!!! now x men 3 was by far the better of the three x men movies. it features a lot of drama as the heroes had to face not just the prospect of a normal life but having to give up that chance to save the whole world really drew me in. the act... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by optimus43 at 21:47, 07 January 2010 | Report This Post


WHY DO PEOPLE HATE THIS MOVIE!!!!!!

now i am a very big x men fan who enjoyed all 3 movies and the comics. yes you heard me right I LIKE THE COMICS AND THE MOVIES! i don't understand why so many marvel fans must pick out all of the flaws in a film made for general audiences not for the fans!!! now x men 3 was by far the better of the three x men movies. it features a lot of drama as the heroes had to face not just the prospect of a normal life but having to give up that chance to save the whole world really drew me in. the act... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by optimus43 at 21:46, 07 January 2010 | Report This Post


By the numbers directing ruined the franchise.

Aside from killing off main characters in the franchise, the main fault with the film for me was the pace in that it moves along so fast you don't care. Emotional sequences and setpieces are indiscriminently cut short to cut to the next making watching the film a hollow and unsatisfying experience. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Workshed at 12:06, 12 October 2009 | Report This Post


hmm.. ok...could've been better tho

Well going into this film, as bit of a x-men fan, I was excited, nervous and curious! I was curious to see what another director’s vision of the X-men would be like (which is also what made me nervous). And another director’s view of the x-men is definitely what I witnessed!! What can be said about x-men: the last stand is that it certainly is entertaining! The action alone was worth the price of admission. Also the director’s, Brett Ratner, was able to capture the mutants ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by sagent33 at 09:32, 02 June 2009 | Report This Post


Not so bad

I got the x-men trilogy on blu-ray over the weekend and i got round to watching the final movie this morning. In all its the fourth time ive seen Last stand, and to be honest its improved with every watching. The only part they really still bugs me is Vinnie Jones uttering the line "im the juggernaut bitch", aside from that i actually think its better than the first film which seems dull by comparison. I dont think another non-origins x-men film would be a bad idea either. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by natman_begins at 11:40, 20 April 2009 | Report This Post


So disappointing it hurts!

This 3rd movie can be compared with Matrix Revolutions in that it suffers from the introduction of more minor characters/military people and a giant war, rather than developing the ones already (excellently) established. Being a fan of James Marsden, I was outraged to see Cyclops killed off! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by HeavenChild at 20:54, 22 November 2008 | Report This Post


Spoilerific review!

I'm very conflicted about this film. It definately has it's high points. Great action sequences and true to the tone of the last two. And the plot is fairly solid. But SO many of the great characters are culled off and too many are once again underused? Why no return of Nightcrawler? Why get rid of Mystique and Cyclops? Why are Collossus and original X-men Angel hardly on screen? And why is the best new baddies they could manage Vinnie Jones ruining Juggeranaut and a bloke that make spikes co... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by SkullKassidy at 15:34, 21 November 2008 | Report This Post


The Worst of the 3

Honestly, Ratner and a plot that tried to introduce too many characters stained thsi franchise. X-Men 2 was arguably the best comic book movie made (for my money a close tie with Spiderman2 and slightly edging Batman Begins) XMen 3 promised so much, but like most of Ratner's directorial work: didn't deliver. P.S: Logan was lame in this movie!!! Hopefully he goes back to his surly self in "Wolverine" ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by evs at 22:07, 29 May 2008 | Report This Post


I thought this was quite good, not a bad ending and I've seen worser endings to a trilogy, I still think it wasn't as good as the previous two, mostly because of the absence of David Hayter as the screenwriter, but I thought Brett Ratner did an Ok job woth the direction, although even though its not the last stand, I still think they should leave it here. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by dgribble at 14:09, 23 February 2008 | Report This Post


please be the last stand

action packed, emotional, dramatic with great special effects. what more could you want? this blockbuster really sticks it to Brett Ratners predicecor. with Brian Singer running off to superman music video director(Ratner) took charge , literally. angels flying, juggernauts smashing and wolverine snicting we still don't understand why it didnt quite fit.it had everything a super hero movie needs. but it is still conclusive that it made more than superman returns so were still laughing at his o... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by werdanny at 21:09, 13 February 2008 | Report This Post


Not as good as 2

Good but a let down from the second. Too many characters and the plot has serious holes. But, still enjoyable ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by lynnshep at 18:38, 05 February 2008 | Report This Post


Not as good as 2

Good but a let down from the second. Too many characters and the plot has serious holes. But, still enjoyable ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by lynnshep at 18:37, 05 February 2008 | Report This Post


RE: My God. Stop the po-faced moaning.

I'm not a comic book fan. I don't claim to be an expert on whether the movies match the comics or not. what i can say is that having seen all three X-Men movies, The Last Stand was the most entertaining of the three. The first movie was good, but as with most movies that kick start a franchise it suffered from having to introduce everybody. I found the second film to be quite dull, and seemed to be made up of mostly Jean Grey holding her hand out pretending to stop things. The third m... More

Posted by UTB at 22:58, 08 August 2007 | Report This Post


RE: My God. Stop the po-faced moaning.

Good to see some people here giving X3 some much deserved praise for a change. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by darth silas at 01:20, 08 August 2007 | Report This Post


RE: My God. Stop the po-faced moaning.

L: Marty5 Like mostly everyone else I loved the first two xmen films but I cant believe the series is gonna end with this terrible movie. The day bryan singer left the Xmen set he did two things, first he doomed xmen to brett ratner, second he went to boresville with superman. Spoilers ahead! The way brett ratner treats this movie isnt right, main characters like cyclops killed so early in the film. Infact to be fair it should not have been wolverine who took down the pheonix it should ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by max314 at 18:04, 07 August 2007 | Report This Post


RE: My God. Stop the po-faced moaning.

The first two films seemed to lack the focus of t Stand is surprising on account of the film being directed by Bret Ratner. It's definitely the most watchable of the series. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by max314 at 17:59, 07 August 2007 | Report This Post


RE: My God. Stop the po-faced moaning.

A highly entertaining end to the trilogy.Great fx,action,and music.Kelsey grammar is perfect casting as the beast and provides the film with some very witty moments. Not quite as satisfying as X2 but its streets ahead of the exposition packed X1. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by darth silas at 15:23, 07 August 2007 | Report This Post


RE: My God. Stop the po-faced moaning.

Like mostly everyone else I loved the first two xmen films but I cant believe the series is gonna end with this terrible movie. The day bryan singer left the Xmen set he did two things, first he doomed xmen to brett ratner, second he went to boresville with superman. Spoilers ahead! The way brett ratner treats this movie isnt right, main characters like cyclops killed so early in the film. Infact to be fair it should not have been wolverine who took down the pheonix it should have been cyclop... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Marty5 at 07:38, 06 August 2007 | Report This Post


Previous pageMore user comments


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Ten Things To Know About The Spooks Movie
Under the hood of The Greater Good

Who’s In Spider-Man’s Sinister Six?
A bluffer’s guide to the planned spin-off from the Amazing Spider-films

14 YouTube Videos Every Game Of Thrones Fan Should Have Watched By Now
From goats singing the theme tune to every death in under three minutes

Hollywood's Biggest Names On Their Favourite Films
Stars and directors like Nolan, Whedon, Wright and Ford on the films that inspire them

The Remake Report: Hollywood's Do-Overs Coming Our Way
The redoes, remakes, reboots, reworkings and reimaginings headed our way…

The Nebraska Playlist
Alexander Payne programmes a movie marathon for us

More Found Footage: Another 25 Trailers That Tease Missing Scenes
Further sequences that disappeared between promo and final cut

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get Limited Edition Collectable X-Men Art Cards

Subscribe today and get 6 issues of Empire plus a set of collectable X-Men Art Cards for only £20!

Subscribe today

Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Just £25
Receive limited edition subscribers-only covers every month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)