Movie Review: X-men 3: The Last Stand

Sunday, May 28, 2006

NOTE: This review will contain major movie spoilers. If you have yet to see X-men 3: The Last Stand read the following at your own risk. You have been warned.

This Memorial Day weekend brought the release many fans have been waiting for. Lovers of Marvel comics and the X-men series have more than likely already gone to see the movie this weekend. In its opening day alone, the movie earned over forty-four million dollars. not bad for a first day out of the gate. The movie is in line to make a three day record if that pace keeps up, but final numbers won't be released until Monday late.

X3 picks up not longer after X2 left our mutants. The president has created an office of mutant affairs led by the lovable Beast Man played by Kelsey Grammer. Within moments we see Beast called into a meeting with the President. Mystique has been captured while trying to break into the FDA. The President shows Beast what she stole, and we learn that a pharmaceutical company has created what appears to be a cure for mutants. Beast takes this information and goes to Professor Xavier.

He tells him, Storm and Wolverine about this new cure just before it is announced to the world by the company. Worthington Labs has mutant boy that has been used in order to help them create this cure. Storm immediately makes her voice and opinions known about the cure. Being a mutant isn't something you cure. However, we can see Rogue sees some use to it. She is unable to unable to touch another living soul, including her boyfriend Bobby.

At the school, we can see things have changed some since the death of Jean Grey at the end of the last film. Scott, known as Cyclops, has taken the death the hardest, which is understandable because the two were a couple. In this film, this Scott is a changed man. The one that Professor Xavier had hoped to some day take his place running the school, he now looks towards Storm for this task if anything was to ever happen to him. He tells her this, and this shocks her. She had always assumed that task would fall to Scott when the time came. The man we see in this film is not the same man that sat by Xavier's bedside as he promised he would look after things if anything would occur in the first film. Jean's death has devastated him. Logan tries to tell him to move on, but Scott doesn't take that bit of advice well.

We see Scott hearing Jean calling for him, and this makes him return to the lake where she died. He shoots his beam towards the water, and something strange happens. Instead of rising from the ashes, the Phoenix rises from the waters of the lake. The two reunite, but it is brief. We can see Jean has changed, and not just her hair. For one, she can control the beam that comes from Scott's eyes. The two kiss, and it appears she sucks the life out of him. We never really see his body, so we're not sure. However, it is assumed by all that Scott is dead. During the exchange, some kind of signal is released and Xavier sends Storm and Wolverine to the lake. Wolverine finds Scott's glasses, and Storm finds Jean. The two take her back to the school. Xavier tries to go to work in repairing her. He tells Logan that over the year's, he had put a series of block's in her brain to help control. Jean is one of the strongest mutants alive, classified at a level five. Uncontrolled, she would be a danger to all around her, including herself.

Logan doesn't like the sound of controlling her, and he visits her alone. She wakes while he is there, and once again we can see she isn't the same Jean we know. However, that woman is right beneath the surface. The two first engage in a little bit of making out, but it soon turns violent, and Jean leaves. Xavier finds her at her childhood home, but he isn't the only one. Magneto is also there. The two go in together, as they had twenty years before when they found her. They each want her though. Xavier wants to get her back under his control, and Magneto wants to use her in this new war that is raging since the cure was unleashed. We see the two try to talk her towards their way, but Jean is a force to be reckoned with as the Dark Phoenix. Storm and Wolverine try to go inside, but Magneto's mutants stop them. We have new faces this time around. Mystique was cured during her escape, but Magneto has had no problem finding new mutants at his side. Pryo has become what appears to be his right hand man since the last film.

The Phoenix unleashes her fury, and in the moments that follow we see Charles die. Afterwards, Magneto takes her to his hide-out, and Storm and Wolverine are left with the task of telling those at the school about their leader's death. There is a funeral, and Storm does end up taking over the school. Rogue leaves for the cure not long after. Wolverine sees her go, and he doesn't stop her. He too begins to hear Jean's voice calling for him, and he leaves not long after. Magneto has a hold out in the forest, and the Army does know about it not long after thanks to the now non-mutant Mystique. Wolverine also finds them, and he talks to Jean. However, Magneto stops him from saying much. He returns to the school for Storm and the rest of the X-men, but by this time Magneto has put his plane in motion. He wants to retrieve the mutant boy from the lab. The lab rests on Alcatraz Island.

He takes his army of mutants, and in a scene of awe, he rips apart the Golden State Bridge, in order to build a way to the island. The rest of the movie from this point is a battle scene between the army and the X-men against the mutants on Magneto's side. The army has guns full of the cure, and there is not a piece of metal in sight. Many of Magneto's mutants are cured. He holds back his higher mutants until the army has been taken over. However, he also has to deal with the six X-men. They outsmart him, Beast and Wolverine apply the cure to Magneto. We think its over, but The Phoenix hasn't had her say yet. She is unleashed, and the final moments of the battle show her at full power. Wolverine ignores the fact she could destroy him and moves forward towards her. His skin is ripped from his body with each step, but with his self-healing powers he is cured just as fast. Our Jean breaks through for a moment, and Wolverine kills her. The battle is over.

There is much more to this movie though, and I think that in part lies the problem with it. Too much happening, and too many characters to follow in a movie that is only one hour and forty-five minutes long. We had some new mutant additions on both sides, and we hardly saw enough of everyone. Angel was introduced, but other than flying around a bit we didn't see him do much other than save his father at the end. Rogue's main story line this movie was getting cured. She didn't even take part in the final battle. Scott dying so early on was unexpected too. Even with the Phoenix, her main function in the film was to unleash her powers, almost in a "Hey. I'm cool. Look at what I can do." kind of way.

I enjoyed the movie, but I think it could have been better. Is this new movie the result of a new man behind the scenes running things? Would Bryan Singer have made a different movie? Possibly. Is this The Last Stand? I don't see how it really could be. Sure, this could end it, but the final moments didn't make it feel like this was the end. Before the credits roll, we see Rogue happy she is able to touch her boyfriend, and then we see Magneto playing chess and trying to use his power to move the pieces. After the credits roll, there is an extra scene in which we see that Charles has not died as we thought he had. He had somehow transferred his consciousness to another man. How could this be the end? I think there is a chance for an X-men 4. I see the cure somehow only being temporary, and the powers returning to those that received it. It might be one of those type cures you need to boost every so often, but they just don't know that yet. I also think we might somehow see the return of Scott and Jean if there is another film.

That all said, I would recommend this film to those that enjoy these movies. Just be prepared for way too many characters that you won't learn much about during the film. The action scenes are well done, and the movie is enjoyable. I just think we needed less people to know about.


rockyjay said...

Famke Janssen is SO hot!

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