Monday, May 22, 2006

Moviewatch: "X-Men: The Last Stand"

"X-Men: The Last Stand"
Director: Brett Ratner
Fien Print Rating (Out of 100): 49
In a Nutshell: There's this feeling in the fan community regarding Brett Ratner that he's an evil hack capable of making only horrible movies. That's not entirely fair. Brett Ratner has really only made one truly awful movie and that's the second "Rush Hour" movie. What Brett Ratner does, and does better or worse than anybody, is make mediocre movies that fall short of their premises or source materials. It's an odd anti-gift that's on full display in "The X-Men: The Last Stand," a hardly atrocious sequel that is, none-the-less, entirely devoid of the kind of emotional shadings that Bryan Singer brought to the franchise. Of the newly added mutants, I liked Ellen Page's Kitty Pryde most, but probably only because I liked Page so much in "Hard Candy." There are a number of deaths, some by characters you hate, some by character you like. But none of them make any impact, nor do most of the decisions those characters make. And for nearly an hour, the movie looks shoddy and surprisingly cheap. The effects in those early scenes look like late-90s caliber wirework, without a single memorable image. The film's climactic assault on a chemical lab on Alcatraz is much better and features a couple good stunts and the only good one-liners in the piece (credit Vinnie Jones' Juggernaut and Kelsey Grammer's Beast with those). Still, despite a title and plot that imply closure and finality, "X-Men: The Last Stand" feels more like a quickly-made placeholder, which is almost the best one could have hoped for from Ratner.

My review of this one will be up on Zap2it sometime in the near future. I'm gonna be in Charlotte, NC tomorrow and Wednesday for a "Cars" junket, so I'm not sure when I'm gonna have time. Don't worry. I'll still be recapping American Idol tomorrow. Hopefully.

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