The Last Stand
Genre: Action /
Directed by: Brett Ratner
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Patrick Stewart, Ian
McKellan, Kelsey Grammer, Famke Janssen, Anna Paquin,
Rebecca Romijn, James Marsden
Released by: 20th Century
Short: Leaden dialogue and recycled plot
points drag down the star-studded cast in
this comic book sequel.
Cure for Sequelitis
Installment Isn't Built to "Last"
for a quality film:
Talented award-winning cast? At least four Emmys, two
Oscars and a knighthood qualify.
State-of-the-art special effects? Moving the Golden
Gate Bridge during rush hour to launch an assault on
Alcatraz Island ought to do it.
• Well-written script? Well, two out of three
a built-in audience, this third installment of the Marvel
mutant comic book series should conquer the box office.
Sadly, it seems the filmmakers decided to aim their talents
no higher than the 14-year-olds who will make up the bulk
of their repeat customers.
can relate to mutants, as both groups feel alienated from
a society that can’t hope to understand them. In
the first two installments, the triangular lines of battle
between humans, good mutants and evil mutants were well-drawn,
as was the love triangle between Jean Grey (Famke Janssen),
Cyclops (James Marsden), and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman).
Here the fighting seems staged, as characters only battle
with specific rivals, the love triangle continues despite
not everyone being alive, and another love triangle starts,
but goes nowhere.
first hint that the story has problems is the necessity
of adding two flashbacks to the top of a film that already
has two predecessors. (Look for X-Men comic creator Stan
Lee’s cameo.) The hook has potential: a “cure”
has been developed that will make mutants human. But is
it a cure or a weapon? Which of our favorite mutants will
lose their powers, willingly or not?
those questions don’t really seem worth pondering
when faced with the resurrection of Jean Grey, who “died”
in the last X-Men film. Once writers can kill off characters
and then bring them back, it’s hard to care about
who lives and dies in battle. Any plot point can be reversed
to keep sequel cash flowing.
Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Sir Ian
McKellen) fight over Jean’s new powers in their
continuing battle of good and evil, each has added to
their mutant ranks. Magneto recruits "The Transporter’s"
violent Vinny Jones, who gets a big laugh by announcing
his character, “I’m the Juggernaut, bi**h!”)
The good mutants get goody-two-shoes Kelsey Grammer as
the Beast, whose battle growl is more funny than ferocious.
the end, the leaden dialogue and recycled plot points
make the whole exercise seem like a space-age soap opera.
Enjoy the hair-raising effects, and stick around to the
end for a few surprises. Let’s just say, depending
on the box office, that this might not be The Last Stand