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X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

A cure has just been created–a cure that will solve the issue of and for mutants. For those with the mutant gene who choose to take the cure, they will instantly become like everyone else–simple humans. Of course there is backlash among the mutants around the world, and X-Men: The Last Stand is the story of this divisive cure. With individuals like Rouge (Anna Paquin) and Angel (Ben Foster) struggling to come to terms with what the cure means for them, the world is in a tizzy. While everything seems to unravel around the world the X-Men have their hands tied with a different, more powerful Jean Grey (Famke Janssen).

The first two installments in the X-Men franchise were tolerable as a result of nostalgia and almost nothing more–as nearly every aspect of those films was frustrating. Sadly I’m here to tell you that X-Men: The Last Stand isn’t much better in terms of narrative. There are certainly aspects of this film that I found more intriguing than its predecessors, but the first half, almost in its entirety, fails to entertain like I remembered. The story drags on, and I fail to see any real substance present in the narrative through the first forty-five minutes, and things become dull, redundant, and unappealing.

Consistency is key when creating a cinematic universe, and while the continuity of the franchise as a whole is quite poor, the cast remains consistent throughout this original trilogy. With actors like Patrick Stewart (Charles Xavier), Ian McKellen (Eric Lensherr), and Hugh Jackman (Logan) running the show, beautiful acting was expected, and the wonderfully talented cast delivers. Their acting is by far the most appealing aspect of X-Men: The Last Stand, because, for the first time in the original trilogy there was a genuine appeal to emotion. The majority of the film struggles, like its predecessors, to appeal to the emotions of its viewers, but there is one scene in particular (that I can’t go into detail about without providing major spoilers) that reaches viewers in this capacity as well as anywhere else in all of the X-Men universe. Writers Simon Kinberg and Zak Penn finally pen (*wink wink*) something worth writing home about in terms of the emotional appeal–and in this aforementioned moment their abilities (and their film) become slightly more valid.

Special effects are a must in any superhero-related venture, and X-Men: The Last Stand presents viewers with some of the best visuals of the entire franchise. With seamless transitions for the mutants as they showcase their powers, incredibly realistic explosions and gunfights, and an overall believable series of action sequences, X-Men: The Last Stand takes the franchise in a positive direction in this field.

X-Men: The Last Stand is certainly the best of the original trilogy, but it still ranks among the worst of the franchise. Its narrative is frumpy, and the film itself fails to develop at a pace worth warranting viewers’ attention. The film isn’t a failure by any means, and there are certainly aspects that appeal to the masses–but soft rebooting the franchise was the best move for these films, and X-Men: The Last Stand is a testament to the struggles of the franchise as a whole.

Directed by Brett Ratner.

Written by Simon Kinberg & Zak Penn.

Starring Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Famke Janssen, Anna Paquin, Kelsey Grammer, James Marsden, Rebecca Romijn, Shawn Ashmore, Aaron Stanford, Vinnie Jones, Elliot Page (as Ellen Page), Daniel Cudmore, Ben Foster, Michael Murphy, Dania Ramirez, Shohreh Aghdashloo, etc.




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