Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday Sequel Spotlight: X-Men: The Last Stand

X-Men: The Last Stand
Directed by Brett Ratner
Released May 26, 2006

For some reason, the third installment of a trilogy always seems to be either the best or the worst of the bunch. In the most ideal scenario, the third film amplifies what worked about the first two and utilizes it to deliver a strong finish, and in the least ideal, it manages to lose sight of what was so great about the first two and produce an underwhelming, disappointing experience. After the terrific “X2: X-Men United” followed up “X-Men,” this franchise lost director Bryan Singer, who coincidentally went over to helm a lackluster Superman sequel, and replaced him with Brett Ratner, who, despite success like the first two “Rush Hour” films and the fantastic “Red Dragon,” wasn’t nearly as capable. Something about it just didn’t click, and its events were rather tiring instead of exciting, as had been the case with the first two films. None of the new characters were terribly worthwhile, and the film wasn’t nearly as effective. Portraying a mutant-on-mutant battle and Dark Phoenix should have been much cooler. It’s not a good sign if it takes just five years for the franchise to be rebooted, though I have many more problems with that remake since it is much less faithful to the original comic book series. Simply put, if you want to see the X-Men on film, watch the 2000 and 2002 films and then stop. This third film and its successive remake aren’t bad films by any means; they’re just nowhere near as good.

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