Friday, April 27, 2012

X is for X-Men: The Last Stand (#400)

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) has a reputation for being the bastard stepchild in the movie franchise, having the unlucky distinction of not only not being directed by Bryan Singer (as the first two were) but having actually been directed by Brett Ratner, a guy who can't get any respect (and apparently will only hurt himself further by making unfortunate comments).  The truth is, Ratner is a talented guy (not only was he deeply involved in one of my favorite TV shows, Prison Break, but he has also done films like The Family Man, the Rush Hour films, and Red Dragon, my personal favorite Hannibal Lecter flick).  That is to say nothing about The Last Stand itself.  Thematically, it's the most complete X-Men experience to-date.  Last year's First Class came close, but it was comparatively shallow, focusing on elements fans in the series already knew and doing obvious things with them.  Last Stand took the stance that Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) was finally the most interesting mutant in the room, after doing her fair share of stealing the preceding entries by being so essential to Wolverine's best moments.  Yes, everyone knows that Hugh Jackman is the MVP of this franchise, but he works best when he's reacting to other people, and that's exactly what he gets to do here, especially in the dramatic final act.  The X-Men series always has an embarrassment of riches in the acting department, and joining the usual gang (Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, James Marsden, Anna Paquin, Rebecca Romijn, Shawn Ashmore) is the best ensemble yet (Ellen Page, Ben Foster, Kesley Grammer, Vinnie Jones, Dania Ramirez, Shoreh Aghdashloo, Eric Dane, Cameron Bright, Ken Leung, Olivia Williams).  It's just ridiculous, the talent in this one.  Some of them get more impressive roles than others, and incredibly, it doesn't feel cluttered.  Call any of the others the best if you want, but I've got my pick.

Star Trek bonus!

X is for Xon
(from Star Trek: Phase II)
This was going to be Spock's replacement in the planned second TV series once Leonard Nimoy decided to walk away from the budding franchise, before plans reshaped into The Motion Picture, Nimoy came back, and David Gautreaux was saved for a future that never quite happened (he does make a cameo in the film, but as a human).  Xon was going to be a younger, full-blooded Vulcan, and so he was going to be, hopefully, completely different from Spock.  But as such, he doesn't really exist in Star Trek canon, so there's not a whole lot to say about him.  Maybe J.J. Abrams will resurrect the character?

10 comments:

Michael Abayomi said...

While I equally loved the fact that the focus here was on Jean Grey becoming the most powerful mutant alive (i.e. Phoenix), I felt the execution of that particular story thread was no where as brilliant as it needed to be.

The problem was Bryan Singer had already raised the bar to incredible heights with X-2 (my favorite X-Men movie till date by the way), so any sequel that fell short of that standard would have gotten pounced on, which is what happened with The Last Stand. The fact that the movie successfully killed off two main characters without offering any kind of meaningful resolution doesn't help its cause either.

MOCK! said...

I count myself as a Last Stand fan...and you hit the mark with your First Class comments. While I liked it, there was something that prevented me from LOVING it...

Maurice Mitchell said...

Yeah, X3 gets a bad rap, but I thought it was decent. At least they got Juggernaut right. Xon would be an awesome edition to the new movies, especially since Spock is younger now. New follower and nice double-up on the A-Z X post!
The Geek Twins

S. L. Hennessy said...

I'm kind of with Michael on this one. I was a little disappointed with this one. LOVED the first two though, and X-Men (my X post as well).

Catherine Stine said...

Hmm, it would be good to see some full-blooded Vulcans! As far as the X-Men, I always had a soft spot for Wolverine.

Kate O'Mara said...

I missed Spock so much that I watched 'In Search Of' just to hear Nimoy's voice. :)
I'm a total geekette
Kate

Spacerguy said...

Star Wars ended Xon's dreams. Once Paramount saw the trek light, good ol' Spock was back for the movies. sniff, those were the days. You know I met leonard Nimoy in 1995.

Tony Laplume, Scouring Monk said...

I agree that it was fairly sudden the way Cyclops and Professor X died, but they were big casualties to prove how dangerous Jean had become.

Spacer, that's awesome.

Shannon @I Survived and Now I Run said...

I am a huge fan of X-Men movies and characters...visiting via the A to Z Challenge...blessings and thanks for sharing.

Leslie Rose said...

So many people warned me off of The Last Stand, especially because I was such a fan of the first two. You just convinced me to finish out the trilogy. Ah, shucks (really meaning goody), I have to watch the first two again so I can honor the sequence.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...