*** SPOILER WARNING ***
When a ‘cure’ for the mutants is discovered, Magneto (Ian McKellen) assembles an army of mutants to wage war on humankind (or at least a laboratory on Alcatraz) and destroy the cure. But that’s not the only concern of Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and his X-Men (Wolverine/Hugh Jackman, Storm/Halle Berry, Iceman/Shawn Ashmore, Kitty/Ellen Page).
At the same time, Dr. Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) returns from her watery grave (X2) – but she is now Dark Phoenix and has almost unlimited – and uncontrollable – powers. Her first victim is former lover Cyclops (James Marsden), and when Professor Xavier and Magneto both court her to join them, the Professor is her next, and Dark Phoenix joins Magneto’s army of mutants.
Can the remaining X-Men and Dr. Hank McCoy/Beast (Kelsey Grammer) stop Magneto’s Brotherhood of Mutants?
Will Rogue (Anna Paquin) make the decision to take the ‘cure’ to get rid of her powers which condemn her to loneliness?
Who will survive, who will lose their powers and who will die?
And where is Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming) who was the best thing in X2?
X-MEN: THE LAST STAND is announced as the last X-Men film, and it is also the weakest of the trilogy. Gone is director Bryan Singer who made the first two X-MEN movies work, gone is the love to the stories, the characters and the comics which are necessary to make a decent film out of a comic.
Gone are beloved characters like Nightcrawler, Sabretooth, and before long, Cyclops (disintegrated by Dark Phoenix), just when he finally got rid of the stick up his a** and became sort of cool, Professor Xavier, and Mystique (victim of the ‘cure’ and immediately being dropped like a hot potatoe by Magneto when she becomes ‘normal’).
In come new mutants with no characterization and – let’s face it – crappy powers. For the good side, Beast (he is blue, can read hanging from the ceiling upside down, and is sort of strong or knows martial arts), Angel (has wings, can fly, has maybe 5 minutes of screen-time), Kitty (a kid who can walk through walls). For the Dark Side, Juggernaut (Vinnie Jones, looks like a crazy wrestler and is, like, totally strong), Spike (a human hedgehog …. well ….), and Multiple Man (who can split himself into multiple men), and a girl that can move really fast – and these are Magneto’s elite! – and countless nameless and faceless others with probably even more crap mutant powers not even worth mentioning.
Returning characters are wasted – Cyclops killed early, Mystique robbed of her powers, Professor X killed, Storm looking like she robbed the maiden’s mop to use it as her hair and still hasn’t learned to use her amazing powers properly (she can sort of fly now, but still watches with big eyes as the enemy approaches and prefers to exchange girly-fisticuffs instead of zapping the enemy hordes with lightning or stopping them with some storm!), Rogue doing nothing (except being slightly annoying) – just like the use of mutant powers:
Already mentioned Storm darkens the sky when she’s moody but that’s about it, Iceman freezes a lake for some skating, Multiple Man multiplicates just to misguide the government about the whereabouts of Magneto’s army and to surrender, and Magneto himself uses his astonishing powers to impressively rearrange the Golden Gate Bridge to lead the mutant army to the laboratory island (probably because Juggernaut won’t swim) but then just watches as his followers are being slaughtered or ‘cured’ – together with Pyro, who loves most to match his powers with Iceman in pubertal duels.
Famke Janssen’s Dark Phoenix is excused for using her powers strictly as an expression of her inner suffering because she can’t control them, but she sadly looks like she spent the three years between X2 and THE LAST STAND under water.
Hugh Jackman does kick some butt, slicing through the ‘evil’ mutant army, but the Wolverine from the first two films would puke when he could watch himself here, delivering corny lines and maybe even considering to use the stick Cyclops doesn’t need anymore on himself.
The dialogue in general is awful, the ’emotional’ scenes are boring, it’s just some action scenes that save THE LAST STAND from disaster.
R.I.P. Cyclops, R.I.P. countless nameless mutants, R.I.P. X-MEN THE MOVIE TRILOGY.