Flashback Review: X-Men: The Last Stand

After “X2: X-Men United” was released in 2003, 20th Century Fox (pre-Disney purchase) commenced development on a third installment. Bryan Singer (back when he had dignity as a respected director) was attached to direct to direct, but he dropped out to make “Superman Returns” The original 1978 “Superman” with Christopher Reeve inspired him to make movies. He made a sacrifice, fulfilling a childhood dream to direct a Superman movie. Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake, Kick-Ass, its sequel, the Kingsman series) was originally gonna direct, but quit as he was busy working on “Stardust.” Matt eventually made “X-Men: First Class.” Brett Ratner (a homophobic big fat meanie) took over directing duty. Familiar faces from X2 including Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Halle Berry & Ian McKellen reprise their roles.

During filming, Brett bullied Elliot Page (formerly known as Ellen Page) tossing homophobic slurs and threatening to out him. Fellow cast members Anna Paquin & Ian McKellen defend Elliot helping him endure gut-wrenching emotional damage. I feel bad for him going through hell. He deserves respect, not hostility. Brett if you’re reading this review, you’re an unapologetic douchebag. I hope Hollywood doesn’t hire you again for your misdeeds. After the film was completed, “X-Men: The Last Stand” was distributed worldwide.

X-Men: The Last Stand was released in 2006. (same year Babel came out) It received mixed reviews from critics, fans and movie goers alike. Despite divisive reactions, the film made enough money at the box office. Originally labeled as the grand finale, Fox produced that the horrendously “X-Men: Origins Wolverine.” Overtime, the series got better with First Class, “The Wolverine,” “Days Of Future Past,” the first two “Deadpool” movies and last but not least, “Logan.”

Insomniac Games (Ratchet And Clank series, Spider-Man on PS4/PS5) announced an upcoming Wolverine video game will be released in the future. I thought about sharing my what’s good or bad about the third movie before the game comes out. Wolverine is my favorite Marvel character. Thanks to Disney purchasing Fox, a reboot of the X-Men is currently in development alongside another reboot of “Fantastic Four” set in the “Marvel Cinematic Universe” or MCU for short.

It doesn’t matter if SPOLIERS are listed. X-Men The Last Stand is my last Marvel themed Flashback Review. That doesn’t mean I’m done looking back at movies and shows from my childhood. It means I turned 13. Meaning, I’ve venture into darker and mature character driven tales.

Strong & Weak Aspects

Strong: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry & Famke Janssen reprise their roles and they all did a fantastic job for their respective performances.

Other Cast Members such as Elliott Page, Eric Dane & Kelsey Grammer all did a great job for their respective performances as Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat, Multiple Man & Hank McCoy/Beast.

Action Sequences are bigger and explosive than the last two installments.

Simon Kinberg (Mr. And Mrs. Smith, Sherlock Holmes 2009) & Zak Penn (Ready Player One, Free Guy) co-wrote the script. A hit and miss with some materiel done well or didn’t land the bullseye.

Humor has some funny moments.

Cinematography felt solid.

Visual Effects are magnificent to look at. Except the Opening Flashback with Professor X & Magneto digitally de-aged.

The Danger Room is shown for the first time.

Colossus & Wolvie’s team combo “The Fastball” depicted in the comics, gave me chills. To put the icing on the cake, a sentinel makes its cinematic debut. Sentinels are robots programmed to hunt down mutants.

Beast makes his official cinematic debut. He made a cameo in the previous film without his blue fur. He said his catchphrase, “Oh my stars and garters.”

The third film adapts elements from “The Dark Phoenix Saga” and a cure storyline from the 90s cartoon.

Olivia Williams (the chick from Rushmore) appears as Professor X’s old friend, Moira MacTaggert. Rose Bryne played a younger version of MacTaggert in First Class & Apocalypse.

Stan Lee (god bless his soul) makes a cameo appearance as a neighbor gardening his front lawn.

Remember that scene from the first movie with Wolvie & Jean meeting for the first time? The third movie does it again this time with Jean seeking medical attention.

Unlike Cyclops abrupt death, Professor X’s death is more shocking. Carrying more emotional weight for all the X-Men attending his funeral.

Wolvie fights a few of Magneto’s henchmen in the woods. 11 Years Later, he goes all out in his finale swan song.

Magneto has an epic moment using The Golden Gate Bridge to get to Alcatraz.

My favorite part is arguably the climatic battle with the X-Men & Brotherhood duking it out. Definitely earns Bonus Points.

Juggernaut utters out the meme, “I’m The Juggernaut Bitch!” In the theater, I laughed so hard the first time I heard my favorite X-Men baddie giving a shout-out to the meme.

After Wolvie gives Jean a mercy kill, he yells a big no. He also did a similar scene from “Van Helsing.”

A Plot Twist involving Magneto’s powers coming back as he slightly moves a chess piece. Way better twist than M. Night Shyamalan’s “Lady In The Water.”

A Post-Credits Scene with Professor X’s mind inside a random guy’s body.

Weak: Opening Flashback with Professor X & Magneto digitally de-aged made them too shiny like plastic toys. Back in 2006, de-aging was in experimental technique long before Deepfake and upgraded effects in the MCU made an individual accurate. Look how far we came.

Brett Ratner is a real life POS towards Elliot Page. Because of his behavior on set, I have to Triple Down Points.

I know Angel is one of the original X-Men members from the comics, but he’s not interesting. All he does is fly.

Cyclops’ death felt underwhelming. An original member from the comics, never got a chance to have a dignified moment. Fox pulled an “Alien 3” on him. They done Newt & Hicks dirty. The only reason why Cyclops died, is because James Marsden was filming Superman Returns.

Juggernaut’s scrawny height and appearance looks nothing like his signature look. What’s worse, he’s a mutant. In the comics, Juggernaut is Professor X’s human stepbrother, who obtained powers from a mystical gem. Thank goodness “Deadpool 2” got him right. He’s my favorite X-Men villain.

The love triangle with Iceman, Shadowcat & Rouge didn’t fit between Dark Phoenix and The Cure storylines. This unnecessary subplot felt like it belongs in “Degrassi: the Next Generation.”

The Final Verdict: B-

As both an X-Men and Marvel fan since Fox Kids, X-Men: The Last Stand is one of my guilty pleasures. Despite blemishes, it’s not a perfect finale like Logan. The positive things I’ve listed, indicates why I have a soft spot for the third movie. At least it tried to tell an adaptation of The Dark Phoenix Saga. If you’re eager for Wolverine’s upcoming video game, give X-Men: The Last Stand a retry.

Dear Elliot Page, I’m sorry you had to go through hell enduring Brett Ratner’s homophobic behavior and threating you to come out. You don’t deserve being bullied, you deserve respect as a gifted actor regardless on sexual orientation. Congratulations on your transition, I’m looking forward to seeing another season of “The Umbrella Academy.” “Inception” is one of my favorite movies. All I can say is, keep moving forward, forget the bad memories, make new ones fresh and happier.

Sincerely, Nick The Movie Critic

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