Wednesday, May 31st, 2006
Last week, thanks to a rare weekday off, myself and the better half took in X-Men: The Last Stand at a matinee. My verdict? Not as bad as the fanboys would have you believe, but not as good as the first two films.
First, the good. The effects and spectacle are as good or better than the previous outings of Xavier’s mutants, and Kelsey Grammar does a credible job as Beast, one of my favorite characters from the comic book. Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart could read grocery lists and still be entertaining, and seeing the Golden Gate Bridge get ripped off its foundations and used to transport a band of mutants to Alcatraz is pretty damned cool (if a mite impractical…ever heard of boats, Magneto?)
Now, the bad. Storm comes off as a bit of a ninny in this one. Halle Berry was never all that great in the role to begin with, but she kind of goes off the rails with a performance that’s more gangsta than detached weather goddess. Plus, she needs the mohawk from the comics. Hugh Jackman nailed Wolverine perfectly in the first two films, and in this one he seems a little out of character, probably due to fauxteur Brett Ratner’s limited directing skills. Actually, that isn’t really fair; Ratner delivers the requisite slam-bang action, and the performances of everyone involved aren’t terrible, per se. But Bryan Singer’s writing and directing chops are noticably absent (and will be seen in Superman Returns later this summer.)
Still, it’s not a bad bit of escapist summer fluff. But is it as good as a bunch of geeks re-enacting Secret Wars? That’s the real question here.