(Review originally written at 2 December 2006)

I expected the worst. No Bryan Singer, the previews didn't looked very good and the critics were not exactly raving about the movie. But really, the movie was not as bad as I expected it to be. On the contrary. The movie is a good looking and spectacular science-fiction/action that is perhaps lacking in the same depth and layers the previous two X-Men movies had but it's good and entertaining enough on its own.

In essence "X-Men: The Last Stand" is a good looking and spectacular action flick. This is perhaps not what the fans hoped and expected it to be but the neutral, unbiased viewer will be surely entertained by the movie.

There are plenty of action sequences in the movie to thrill and please the viewer but even superior are the special effects. No expenses were spared, with as a result some spectacular looking action- but also non-action sequences. It makes the movie good looking and entertaining at the same time.

It's a bit of a shame that with the many new characters and different new plot lines the movie yet fails to create some depth and make the story more multiple layered and meaningful, as the previous two X-Men movies were. This is probably due to the short running time of the movie; 104 minutes. It doesn't leave the movie any room to flesh out the characters and create some more plot lines with depth and emotions. The movie is a bit shallow and simple at times. The movie has plenty of emotions in it (the death of characters, love-stories) but yet the movie fails to ever get emotional, due to this previous mentioned reason. It doesn't make the movie halve as powerful as it perhaps could had been.

The movie brings back lots of old character from the previous two movies but also introduces some new ones. This time Storm plays a bigger role in the movie just as Jean Grey, who sort of is the central character of the movie and plays a key-part. It gives the both actresses Halle Berry and Famke Janssen more chance to show their great acting skills. It has as a result that some of the characters are pushed to the back (Rogue, Cyclops, among others) though. The movie also introduces some new characters such as Beast, Juggernaut and Angel. Beast is perfectly played by Kelsey Grammar, who fits the role like a glove. And don't ask me why but I have the feeling that Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde) is going to be a big star someday. Angel seems like a sort of redundant character, since he hardly plays a role in the movie, though he is yet often prominently present. But I guess it's OK, since he'll obviously play a more significant role in future X-Men movies and this movie was merely used to introduce his character, very much like was the case with Iceman, Pyro and Colossus in the previous movie, who all also play a role again in this movie. The villains might perhaps this time not come across as intriguing and prominent as in the previous two movies but that is due to the fact that the true enemy this time in the movie is not a person but it's 'the cure'. Nevertheless Ian McKellen still impresses as Magneto, who by now surely has grown out to be one of the best and most memorable villains of this decade.

Not only the special effects look good but so does the cinematography by Dante Spinotti and so does the action editing, that always keeps the pace high and the movie interesting. The musical score from John Powell also impresses and works very well in the movie.

It all in all is one of the better and more entertaining action movies of the year, with a fantastic ending that leaves the door open for (hopefully) more sequels.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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