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Film Title

X-Men: The Last Stand

Director

Brett Ratner

Starring

  • Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine
  • Halle Berry as Ororo Munroe/Storm
  • Ian McKellen as Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto
  • Patrick Stewart as Professor X
  • Famke Janssen as Jean Grey/Phoenix
  • Anna Paquin as Marie/Rogue
  • Kelsey Grammer as Hank McCoy/Beast
  • James Marsden as Scott Summers/Cyclops
  • Rebecca Romijn as Mystique
  • Shawn Ashmore as Bobby Drake/Iceman
  • Aaron Stanford as John Allerdyce/Pyro
  • Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat
  • Vinnie Jones as Cain Marko/Juggernaut
  • Daniel Cudmore as Peter Rasputin/Colossus
  • Ben Foster as Warren Worthington III/Angel

Taking over the reins of directing from Bryan Singer, Brett Ratner directs this third entry in the X-Men series. X-Men: The Last Stand is by the weakest in the series, though it still delivers in some departments. It may focus too much on the action side of the film rather than the deep themes of Singer’s ventures, but many members of the cast more than make up for this quibble in this flawed but still watchable entry into the series.

When a pharmaceutical company called Worthington Labs announces it has developed a cure for mutants that will permanently erase their powers, anarchy and much discussion ensues.  Professor X still speaks of tolerance between mutants and humans, but there are many who disagree. Magneto on the other hand takes it upon himself to wage a war against humans after hearing of the cure. He raises an army of renegade mutants to assist him in his quest. The X-Men become involved in this ultimate power struggle, but find that a former ally has awakened. Jean Grey, who sacrificed her life  for the team in the last movie, has risen from her watery grave, but not as she once was. Professor X informs Wolverine and Storm that he visited Jean as a child and saw the immense power she had and how it could be used for evil. He formed boundaries for Jean to suppress this, thereby creating a split personality known as ‘The Phoenix’, which has now almost completely taken over Jean. With anger rising and the threat of war brewing, the X-Men, including new recruits Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat and Peter Rasputin/Colossus, attempt to stop this impending war before tragedy strikes as Jean joins forces with Magneto’s army. With the battle lines drawn, who will prosper and who will perish as war draws closer?X-Men The Last Stand Poster

Whilst the first two movies balanced action with the deep dramatic themes, The Last Stand stumbles on this front by focusing on the action too much. Yes, the plot revolving around the cure is interesting in the beginning, but it soon becomes just another strand of the story. Ratner tries his best, but can’t quite keep the multiple storylines all ticking over with the skill of Bryan Singer. Some of the action scenes are very good by the way, but not backed up enough in terms of plot development.

On the more positive side, many of the cast members turn in great performances. Hugh Jackman still rocks as Wolverine, we also get to see him grapple with his personal feelings as he comes to realise that Jean, the woman he has always loved, is no longer the same. Halle Berry turns in her best performance of the series as we witness Storm’s anger at the supposed cure, her fierce and protective side emerges as a result of this and she most certainly kicks ass when she needs to. Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart are suitably stately as the former allies, who still respect one another despite their differences on the subject of mutant acceptance. Famke Janssen is terrifyingly good as the resurrected Jean, her many instances of her personality and powers switching is exceptionally done. Anna Paquin is unfortunately not given a big role and is only really there as one of the only mutants who wants to remove their power. Kelsey Grammer is great as Hank/Beast, a former student of Professor X who resembles a blue creature ,is super strong  and also has a place within the political realm of mutants. Grammer adds some much-needed humour into the narrative with his role. On the woefully underused side are James Marsden and Rebecca Romijn as Cyclops and Mystique; Cyclops only functions to meet an ambiguous fate at the hands of Jean and Mystique is only used as a mutant who sacrifices her powers and pays the consequences for her actions. Shawn Ashmore and Aaron Stanford continue to impress as opposing forces Iceman and Pyro who used to be good friends. Their battle with each other adds a personal quality to the story. Ellen Page is suitably spunky and quick-witted as Kitty, who has the ability to phase through objects. Vinnie Jones contributes his usual tough guy act as the hulking Juggernaut. Daniel Cudmore plays the super strong metal man Colossus who comes in pretty handy in combat and Ben Foster is great as Angel, a young man who has a giant wingspan and whose father created the cure.

Many of the effects are very well done and the score is evocative as well as thrilling. All of this adds up to a flawed but still watchable experience.

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