X-Men 3: The Last Stand (2006)

This is where the mutants started to get annoying.

When scientists develop a miracle drug to treat unwanted mutations, Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and his heroic band of X-Men must battle a group of mutants known as the Brotherhood, led by Xavier’s former ally (Ian McKellen).

So after checking this whole series out, I’ve come to realize that Bryan Singer is awesome and Brett Ratner is stupid. Basically sums up this film pretty well.

The action is what really will hold you over this whole film, even though all of it looks like it was done for a video-game. There were a lot of cool special effects used here such as the Golden Gate Bridge being moved, a cool scene with a lake being turned inside out, and just about every single shot in the last 30 minutes. You get constant carnage left and right, and for the most part, it was good carnage and I could tell what was actually going on.

However, there’s not a real story here to keep me going. For some odd reason I felt bored for the first hour or so, just watching this story develop because nothing felt as meaningful or atmospheric as the first two did. I didn’t feel like Ratner really knew exactly what to do with all of these mutants and characters, so instead only focused on about two or three, and the rest were just sort of just shoved off to the side.

This one’s also a little bit more silly than the last two, which I didn’t really mind, but a lot of this just didn’t feel as genuine as Singer’s did. The screen-writers and directors took away what made the first two movies so good— the character story lines. The depth that the characters had in the first two movies was almost nowhere to be found in the third.

These interesting story lines were replaced by a movie completely full of “big booms”. Don’t get me wrong, I love a well filmed battle scene, they really help move a film along, but I don’t like it when they take the place of character plots. Ratner’s main problem is that he doesn’t know the difference between a glamorous action movie and a glamorous action movie with a well developed set of characters conforming to a great story, and sadly that plays out here.

The cast here is full of familiar faces such as Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, James Marsden, Famke Janssen, Shawn Ashmore, and Anna Paquin. Plus there’s also some new faces with the likes of Kelsey Grammar (why?!?), Ben Foster, Vinnie Jones, and Ellen Page. Everybody here tries their best to their advantage but the script doesn’t even care if they are in this story or not and it doesn’t matter what they do with their lines, there all so cheesy and meant for the next big explosion.

Consensus: It may sound like I hate this film but I don’t. The problem with X3: The Last Stand is that it’s terribly weak compared to the first two because it’s more about the action, and less about the actual characters that inhabit this story. The action is good and the special effects will hold you over, but compared to Bryan Singer’s first two, this last installment is lame.



  1. While I tended to view this film with less critical eye at the time, I guess I can agree with you on the major aspect you find fault with it: the focus on action as opposed to character. However, I think Ratner’s approach with this version, where he had a huge cast to deal with, was never going to work if he simply focused on character, so I’m not surprised that they just went with the explosions and super powers. There’s a balance to be had I guess, with large ensemble casts, and although Ratner inherited this franchise from Singer, there’s no reason why he couldn’t have continued the style the earlier films had. But I can understand WHY this film was considered “lame”, as you put it. I disagree, because I found it actually pretty exciting, but that’s not to say I don’t recognize the faults you found with it.
    Great review!

    • Thanks Rodney! I just think that Ratner didn’t do too well with this material, and instead just made it a dumb action film rather than a character study with awesome action and tension, like Singer’s films.

  2. I think the first two X-Men ARE awesome compared to this one, sure. But I would be careful about extending that to “Bryan Singer is awesome”.

    That’s how I felt going into “Superman Returns” and he tortured me like I was a victim in the “Saw” series.

    All that aside, this flick is definitely subpar. There’s enough moments in it though for me to occasionally check it out when its on… Good one Dan!

  3. Couldn’t agree more. Another thing I disliked is that Rogue actually takes her power away, which completely goes against the message of the first two installments, and X-Men in general. (With the gay parallel and all that).

  4. I’m a big fan of “things that go boom” movie-making, so the action in this film was a real treat for me, although I do agree that the story drags a bit in getting established. However, the chance to see Stewart and McKellen “rejuvenated” drew me in like a magnet. 😀

    You just knew I was going to mention magnets, didn’t you? 😉

  5. I enjoyed this one, but agree that it is weaker than the first two.

    I also remember wondering at the time why they felt the need to keep adding more and more characters, especially if they weren’t going to be central to the story. The only thing I could figure out is that they thought they needed new characters for the posters. The Angel character comes to mind in that regard: Awesome poster, very little screen time.

    Thanks for the review!

    • Thank you! There was a lot here that could have just gotten a little bit of better writing, but overall, it felt rushed and in the end didn’t really have much going for it terribly other than some fun action and a great ending.

  6. the 2 best quotes from your review:

    “This is where the mutants started to get annoying.”

    “So after checking this whole series out, I’ve come to realize that Bryan Singer is awesome and Brett Ratner is stupid. Basically sums up this film pretty well.”

    haha. your score and review are both appropriate! How does X-Men Origins: Wolverine stack up against this one for you?

    • That one blows incredibly! I mean at least this one was fun and had the flair of the first two, Origins just seemed like a really cheap add-on to it. Thanks!

  7. Good review and totally agree with you! So how did you like X-Men: First class compared to the whole lot? And what currently bothers even more – what do we have to fear for at the oscars once Ratner is finished with them??

  8. well said, this film by Brett Ratner even with the help of Bryan Singer could never rescue its abysmal performance. First Class is still the best so far…

  9. I have to agree that this film just doesn’t quite match up to the first two X-Men films! Still pretty awesome in its own way though , great review 🙂

  10. Okay, to start, I friggin’ LOVE the X-Men. I grew up with the comic and still follow along with some of the countless series. That said, I thought this movie was flaming pile, and Wolverine: Origins was exponentially worse. The first two movies were good (the second being the best of the franchise, in my opinion), but The Last Stand falls off the cliff, and I think you hit the nail on the head with a number of your points.

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