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Cinema Crazed Review - X-Men: The Last Stand

by Neal Bailey, published on June 4, 2006

The Good
Well, I can hear the hisses from about a mile away, but honestly, I have no complaints about this movie. I really, really liked it.

I went in expecting absolute crap. Not because I had any knowledge, but because of bad internet buzz. Mostly Ain’t It Cool News, spiking this movie from top to bottom with a ton of reporting on how much the movie would tank, coupled with a bunch of fan boys agreeing, then buying eight tickets for the opening day. I’ve noticed them doing that quite a bit over the years. Attaching to projects and promoting it, or spurning them and trying to spike them. The fan base kind of goes with them, which is sad, because really, it’s best to see a movie before you condemn it.

And this movie’s a good reason.

Most of the blasphemies brought up by folks are really things that you can either take or leave, and if you take them, you’re gonna be ticked. Like Juggernaut’s suit. Or Magneto dropping the bridge and no one noticing. Or the “day-then-night” on the bridge.

There are inconsistencies like that. Inconsistencies that are present in most every super-hero movie, but which are for some reason more scrutinized with this movie, likely because Ratner’s record is pretty patchy with Rush Hour. Red Dragon wasn’t half bad, but then, he’s not necessarily a tried-and-true comic guy. But then, neither was Singer, and now he’s a benchmark.

I actually enjoy this movie more than X-Men 2. Not because X-Men 2 didn’t rock my socks and isn’t a benchmark for super-hero movies, but more because this movie took that plot and ran with it. Yeah, no Shi’ar. And yeah, no Phoenix...in...spaaaaaaaace! But for a movie, and the limitations movies provide, this is really like the next story in the series, not “what Brett Ratner wanted to do with X-Men,” which is how it’s been played the whole way through in the fan community.

Do a lot of people die? Yeah. Does it close off any storylines at all? No. Both Xavier and Magneto are still in the story, Cyclops had no body. Jean is gone, yeah, but she’s the PHOENIX.

And best of all, “I’m the juggernaut, BITCH!” That about says it all for me.

I haven’t felt like I’ve been in a good summer movie since Batman Begins, and it’s a good feeling to have again. Watch Supes mop the floor with this movie, but still.

The plot is a classic X-plot. Phoenix and the “cure.” You don’t get more classic than that. The only thing they haven’t done definitively now is Days of Future Past. Other than that, I’m pleased with this run of movies. I feel like I could watch all three in a row and have it be one long narrative. It’s good times.

And Kelsey’s beast? Pretty good. Pretty amazingly good considering that’s Kelsey Grammer.

The Bad

Halle Berry strikes me, just personally, as a bit of a face-value attention whore. She’s also disgusting to me, in that she’s white america’s SAFE example of a “well-spoken” black actress, given that she’s lighter of skin and takes very typical roles, and HEY, she’s won an award for playing a moron in a movie about morons.

In her personal life, she gets away with hit-and-run, is reported as a notorious “diva” without really having the chops or the record to be one, and reportedly, she demanded more face time in this movie to even do it.

Thereby, Storm becomes the liability of this film. They focus on her power when it’s not needed, give her things to do that don’t make sense, and make her the “speaker” of the school when by all rights it should be Wolverine, or even someone who doesn’t typically play second fiddle. Even Beast.

Fog where there’s no need for fog. Berry’s face on the screen. “I’ll handle this!”

Swooping, angel-whore whip-kick attacks that Storm wouldn’t survive or participate in. She’s just a normal human, remember? Someone kicks her in the face, she falls over. She can’t suddenly catch a super-speed punch as she does in the final fight.

I don’t see this as Ratner’s fault.

Also missing is Nightcrawler (but then, where would he fit in this story?), and notably, ROGUE. Yeah, she’s in this movie, but mostly it’s to pout at Bobby and then run away. It’s character development, but honestly, she’s not really been in the last two movies, when she should be. Gambit?

Summing up

Complaints aside, this is a really good movie. I enjoyed it. It fits into the story. I’m gonna buy it. I don’t really care who directed it or what fanboys think of it.

If you hated it, cool on you. I got no beef. I’m just saying, I liked it

Source: www.cinema-crazed.com