With Dark Phoenix hitting theaters next weekend we’re taking a look at every film in the X-Men franchise. Today we begrudgingly examine X-Men: The Last Stand.
If you know anything about me it’s that I’m usually not very critical of films and TV shows unless they do something truly reprehensible. I tend to be a positive person by nature, which makes it easy to find some good in most films or TV series. But there are times when one piece will infuriate me to my core, making my blood boil and causing me to hate it for the rest of my life. There are few films that fit that description for me, but X-Men: The Last Stand has sat firmly on that list for the past 13 years. After rewatching it recently, its place there still remains warranted.
There is no reason for this film to exist. There is no reason for this film to even be acknowledged at this point, as the prequels technically wiped the slate clean and undid all of the horrible decisions this film made. There’s no reason to ever put yourself through the hell of watching this film. But if we’re going to look at the entire X-Men saga, we’re going to look at the ENTIRE X-Men saga.
Nothing about this film makes sense. It’s an amalgam of sewn together ideas, and a desire to add specific characters and storylines into the X-Men franchise for fan service, but without any motive behind it. In each scene, the film shifts as to which storyline is truly driving the film — even before the title card plays! Is this the Phoenix Saga? Maybe. Is this an adaptation of the “Gifted” storyline from Astonishing X-Men? Maybe. Is there a reason to add Angel and Beast into the mix at this point? Maybe. Does the film give us reasons for any of it? No.
It’s just an infuriating film. Why does Magneto need to attack Alcatraz if Jean can literally turn everything to dust? Why does Magneto need to hide out in the woods? Why does Jean even listen to Magneto? He’s half the reason she’s in the spot she’s in today given that he was with Charles when they said “hey come to the school!” Why does no one seem to care at all about Scott dying?! (Not that the series ever properly utilized him, but still.)
What is the point of Angel? I have no clue. We don’t need his father to have any motivation for coming up with the cure if they barely interact with each other on screen. Why does he save his father? If Angel has run away from his father because all he has done is treat Angel like a monster and manufactured something to change him, why even go back to save him? Why not give Ben Foster a more meaty part considering he’s a phenomenal actor?
Why did they let Brett Ratner take over the series after two successful films with Singer? In hindsight, I’m not a fan of Singer, but the series was doing AMAZINGLY well. It had depth and meaning to it. Why are you giving this series to a guy who has mostly found success through Mariah Carey music videos? What is happening here!
Kelsey Grammer as Beast was a good choice, and the de-aging on Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan at the beginning of the film is fantastic. Otherwise, this movie can rot in hell along with the future of Ratner’s career.
Keep following Poor Man’s Spoiler as we continue to dive into the X-men Franchise ahead of Dark Phoenix. Be sure to check out Dark Phoenix when it hits theaters on June 7th, and read our review of the first two X-Men films at the links below.