FFlashback – X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

As we count down to Apocalypse, our X-Men retrospective (unfortunately) reaches the third movie in the franchise, X-Men: The Last Stand…

 

The One Where: When a cure for mutants is discovered, it once again causes a split amongst the X-Men, with Magneto preparing for all-out war against humanity. Meanwhile, Jean Grey is resurrected – like a phoenix from the ashes…

Star Turns: The Last Stand introduces a few welcome characters to the series, including Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde and Kelsey Grammer (pitch-perfect casting there) as Beast. The regular cast give it their best short as well, but things get far too bloated and mishandled for anyone to properly shine.

Weak Links: As well as introducing some much needed characters, The Last Stand shoehorns in a bunch who definitely shouldn’t be there. Vinnie Jones as the cringe-inducing Juggernaut is the prime example. It isn’t Famke Janssen’s fault, but the much-anticipated Phoenix arc is bungled, and what should be the most powerful and untameable character is reduced to being a stooge for Magneto.

Verdict: After the heights of X2, the series falls to perhaps its lowest rung here. As other superhero movie threequels have done before and since, The Last Stand decides to throw in everything and the kitchen sink in a flawed attempt to up the ante. As a result, the fine balancing act of the X-Men ensemble found in the previous film is lost and none of the competing elements properly come off. The film is even worse in retrospect as later installments basically removed it from continuity, pretty much rendering it a pointless watch.

X-Tra Fact: One thing about the film comic fans will love is that it finally features the original X-Men team line-up: Professor X, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Iceman and Angel.

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