On de one hand, dis movie not as good as de original or sekwel.  On de other hand, it not make monster want to vomit, kick in his t.v., or punch someone in de nards.

Movie pick up where last one left off.  Jean Grey be dead and X-Men be in mourning.  Cue cornball cliche shot of boyfriend Cyclops single-tear-tracking-shot.

But no time for boo hoo.  Breaking news!  Pharmaceutical giant, Worthington Labs, has created drug dat counteract mutant gene, effektively “curing” mutantism.  Dis, of course, be a big deal and offer up very interesting moral, ethical and philosophical dilemma – dat never really explored.  Instead, movie drop a second major plot onto viewers’ laps.  Cyclops, off on his own, hear Jean’s voice at remote lake. She magikally appear to him and, when dey kiss, she go all darkside on him and…kill him?  Whisk him away to Narnia?  Me not sure.  But one ting for certain.  Cyclops not in rest of movie – which make kind of no sense.  He be team leader and, more importantly, Jean’s boyfriend. His charakter should be at center of dis emotional storyline focusing on her return.  Instead, he simply written out of de movie so dat DIS guy can take over de spotlight role –

Move over Cyclops.

Monster understand dat Wolverine charakter more popular but dis feel like a bad creative decision dat never really pay off.

Magneto gather up his gang of merry evil mutants and camp out like a bunch of nature-loving Occupy Forest protesters.  His plan: get Dark Phoenix. Oh, and scuttle plans for anti-mutant drug by eliminating de source: a boy, nicknamed Leech, who possess mutant-dampening powers.

Magneto and his Merry Men. And some women.

So, we have two major stories – return of Dark Phoenix and introduktion of mutant scare – either of which would have made a great plot for one movie.  Instead, by cramming dem both into a single film, dey lumber and jockey for position like Big Bird and Snuffalupagus during last call at Ye Olde Goldbricker Pub.  As a result, de climactic battle between de good and evil mutants, while visually specktacular, be devoid of any real emotional stakes.  Sure, we don’t want Magneto to kill de kid and, sure, we know it going to be hard for Wolverine to skewer Phoenix, but ultimately it just feel like unsatisfaktory rush-job (Which remind monster.  Do NOT hire Grover’s brother’s company to renovate your home.  Monster slept in for forty eight hours straight until me realize it not night time but just dey painted windows as well.).

Phoenix looks like she rose from the ashes of a tequila bender.

Also odd:

Casting of Vinny Jones as Juggernaut.  He famous for what exaktly? Me guess NOT akting.

Decision to kill off Professor X partway thru movie deny audience great climaktik face-off between him and Magneto.  Dis especially weird since Magneto strategizes final battle like game of chess (ie. sacrificing pawns), someting dat would have made more sense if Professor X was strategizing on de other side since it already be established dem playing chess against each other in  previous films.

Decision to cast Dr. Fraisier Crane as Dr. Hank McCoy, a charakter who do next to nothing.

Scene in which army surrounds mutant camp and rush in, only to diskover heat signatures picked up on satellite were all versions of Madrox the Multiple Man.  What de point?

Oh, and why did Jean come back as Dark Phoenix?  Dis never clearly explained.

Verdikt: Too much going on result in confusing, unsatisfaktory turd installment.  Scene of golden gate bridge being extended to Alcatrz pretty cool tho.

Rating: 5.5 chocolate chippee cookies.

24 thoughts on “November 26, 2012: The Supermovie of the Week Club reconvenes! Cookie Monster reviews X-Men: The Last Stand!

  1. 5 seconds in…”Limo pulls up to modest suburban home, expensive shoes step out” is the most boring movie opening next to “Dude wakes up, stretches”. I’m calling a moratorium on both.

    I do see now how the Xavier/Magneto bromance gets so much attention. Those two are adorable.

    27 minutes in… the only question I care about is some ponderings on acceptance vs. cure and the movie is only half the source of that. I’m not even sure if it’s promised me an answer so is it even the question to ponder?

    I don’t even care what happens to blue prisoner shape-shifter. She’s having a jolly enough time. The movie hasn’t told me what peril she’s in or what’s so endearing about her that I should care.

    47 minutes in…yep, pretty much that.

    50 minutes in…so, the suspense about whether Jean kills Xavier is pretty sweet. I could watch him wondering if he’s about to die all day. Oh, I see why the boring suburban home opening. Because it contrasts with the action at a significant moment in X-men history. That’s still 50 minutes of boring. Not worth it.

    Wolverine’s “this isn’t you” line had me wondering for a bit. Then action happens and the main other fun things were suspense about whether Jean kills Magneto, then suspense about whether Jean kills Wolverine. Wolverine’s final solution was set up just well enough the way her “kill me” line earlier led to the more angst-ridden “save me” line that gave him less on-the-nose permission to do it.

    Final image: Xavier-less, down-to-earth Wolverine against the backdrop of a mansion. That’s a forced opposite from the opening image and just goes to highlight how starting out with lameness is foreshadowing of ending with lameness.

    I wouldn’t call opening and final images the most important parts of a movie, but if there is no clear awesomeness to choose from in picking them as representatives of “here’s how it was at the beginning, here’s how it is now”, then that calls into question whether the story ever had a clear vision to begin with.

    That’s why, as soon as I saw the limo and asked myself what’s the opposite of a limo in a working class neighborhood to show as a final scene, I already knew the movie would suck.

    This movie accomplished an awesome feat in developing a boring story out of the question of cure vs. acceptance. This question carries with it personal significance that quickly leads to questions about the way civilization itself is ordered. Throw that into a world that’s already poised for war between an atypical minority and a typical majority and you have to try really hard not to make an awesome story out of that. Yet a not-awesome story is what they managed. WHY????

    Oh, Monster answered why. Two stories. Hmm. That WHY???? was supposed to be my final lament.

  2. Cookie, I felt exactly the same. While watching this movie I kept thinking that it was like two movies in one – or rather, two half movies in one. Either of which they should have just gone with. The movie started with a potentially interesting examination of the meaning of being different, and how those differences should (or should not) be addressed, to a pretty conventional superhero shoot-em-up by the end that was full of noise, fury and ultimately confusion.

    As you say, the whole scene with Jean at the lake kind of bugged me. How did she manage to survive being crushed by water from before? She even says “I don’t know” to completely blow the whole thing off. Xavier offers a possibility afterward, but, meh. And why did she kill Cyclops? Just because she’s evil? That seemed a bit too set up, just to a) get rid of him and b) establish that she’s now crazy/evil/uncontrollable. It just seemed contrived, and for a character that was pretty important for the previous two movies, a pointless death. (Assuming that he did get vapourized.)

    Speaking of that, anyone know where I can get Scott’s leather jacket? I mean, the pre-vapourized version? That looked sharp.

    Of course, more nit picks:

    If the effects of the miracle kid’s gift were supposed to be permanent, how come Hank’s hand reverts back to “normal” when he steps back from him? Or is that just from the synthesized drug? Then again, how was the drug somehow made from his special power? Does that mean you could make a drug that would give anyone special powers? The whole setup of that just seemed to vague to me. Also, if the miracle-kid’s power was to nullify mutant powers, wouldn’t he therefore self-nullify? So confusing.

    Some bumpy dialogue – when Xavier says to Wolverine that he doesn’t have to explain himself (about handling Jean’s condition), “least of all to you.” it seems unnecessarily harsh in the context of the conversation. And then there’s the occasional line like Storm’s “So, if you’re with us, then be with us!” Clunk.

    I never really could buy the whole winged kid thing. The physics of flying takes a lot more than just adding a couple of wings to someone’s body. The others’ powers can be attributed to some unknown effect, but he just seemed to have wings to fly. Bugs me. Plus, his whole plot line just seemed an add-on, like they needed additional minutes.

    When they arrive back at Jean’s house (just before Xavier gets killed), as they approach they seem slightly surprised to see Magneto there. Prof X even says that he needs to see Jean alone, when clearly Magneto and his gang are already all around. Where Magneto is standing they should easily have seen him as soon as they got out of the car if not before.

    In the woods, after Wolverine gets stabbed in the stomach by the spike throwing guy, his shirt very clearly has corresponding holes in it. In the next scene where he meets Jean and Magneto though, the holes are gone. Continuity, people!

    Why, when the bridge starts shaking, would everyone STOP? Wouldn’t you want to, you know, get off it as fast as possible??? And how come that family didn’t get out and run (!) like everyone else?

    Shock waves that were intense enough that they could shatter the plastic guns would easily also kill whoever they hit, but the soldiers holding them only seem stunned.

    Anyway, all that said, it was actually a pretty watchable movie and still better than most of what we’ve watched. I might actually be a little more generous and give it a full six cookies!

  3. X-Men 3 was not a good movie. There are so many bad things (starting with the choice of director) and so many things they do that are just criminal (what they do to Mystique and Cyke especially). And one-note mutants who are there for no real reason than for their one fight scene or use of power (Arc-light anyone?). Plus superfluous characters, the most superfluous of which is the one you didn’t mention, Mr. Monster – Angel. What the hell did he do in that film?

    All that said, I still do love the last battle. The scene where the X-men show up and form a thin black-leather-clad line is very cool, and the fight is great. Plus, y’know, Ellen Page. 🙂

    I really do wish the other X-men films would ignore this one, but I don’t think we’re going to get our wish. The Wolverine is meant to be set post X3. Oh well…

    Sadly you have to watch X-Men Origins: Wolverine before you get to the next good one, First Class. If what they did to Mystique in X3 was bad… wait ’til you see what they do to ol’ Wade Williams. *shudder*

  4. @DP and gforce:

    You all didn’t leave me much to lament that you haven’t already covered, so I’ll just agree and expound a little.

    The whole Phoenix/Scott killing bugged me. It made Wolverine’s angst over Jean’s condition somewhat anti-climatic and pointless (the viewer already knew she was way beyond self-control). It would have been better to see her struggle more with her inner-self (say by almost killing Scott) and then have that build into the tension between Scott and Wolverine. Lost opportunity, and of course, the whole mutant cure just ended up being a distraction.

    And on the flying boy thing, it’s aerodynamically impossible. The Center of Gravity (CG) for conventional wings is at about 30% back from the front of the wing. This means that flying boy’s wings, would have to down around his waist rather than near his shoulders. And he has no directional stability, and not enough muscle mass (think of the breast muscles on birds)…but then again, where does Magneto’s magnetic powers come from? I guess a little suspension of dis-belief is called for just because it’s a superhero movie.

    Still, I enjoyed this one more than the next movie, but I’ll wait for Cookie to review that one before I comment on it.

  5. @gforce – Maybe lots of people have self-nullifying superpower nullifying abilities. Leech just has a mutation of that that doesn’t self-nullify.

    Soooooo, Leech was an actor in Stargate. (somebody had to say it)

  6. This movie caused me so much brain-hurt that by the time they got around killing Xavier, I had to remind myself this is all just an alternate universe so that I could somewhat enjoy the rest of the movie and not explode in a fit of rage and fannish indignation. Definitely not up to the standard of the first two movies, and a waste of a lot of good characters.

  7. @JeffW – I saw that on Amazon earlier. I was tempted. Did you get it as a lightning deal? I forget if it was lightning or not, just tempting. I tried so hard to get Brave. If it comes up again, Imma whip out my Tribal Wars sniping skills.

  8. @DP:

    Not a lightning deal, unfortunately, but I did get X-men Origins for $1.96. I’m not sure when/if Cookie would be reviewing it, but I thought it’s better to be prepared. 😉

  9. I quite liked this movie…but then again, it was the first X-movie I actually saw in the theater, having only been introduced to the movies, the characters, and the comics just a month before. Also, and more importantly, I saw this movie before getting neck deep in comic book-related discussion forums. So the movie really worked for me.

    And then I started joining geek forums. I never really understood the ‘outrage’ over casting Vinny Jones. Who cares who he is, as long as he was able to handle whatever the script told him to do. Was I convinced that the actor was Juggernaut? Sure. Did I care who the actor was? Nope. Also, did I care if Scott got disappeared early on? Again – nope. The character was boring anyway (also, it demonstrated how dangerous the Phoenix really was). I just couldn’t get my knickers in a fanboyish-bunch over the things that bugged everyone else.

    However, I was disappointed with one big thing. I could clearly see the affect…effect…WHATEVER…of a different director. This third movie felt rushed, and scenes that should have lingered a bit to allow emotion to develop just passed by too quickly. A key moment was when Wolverine said goodbye to Rogue. Knowing the relationship between the two over the previous films, this scene really should have packed an emotional punch, but instead it just felt like the director just wanted to get Rogue out of the film as fast as possible. There were a few other scenes like this, ones that would have felt stronger if it didn’t feel like the actors were rushing through their dialogue.

    The only reason it didn’t ruin the film for me is because I have to admit I enjoyed those fancy-dancy FX scenes with Phoenix destroying stuff. I usually don’t like CGIs and over-the-top effects, I am embarrassed to say that I liked the bells and whistles in this film. In the end I found it a satisfying film, and wasn’t disappointed at all. I’d give it a solid 7 chocolate chip cookies.

    das

  10. Agreed on all counts. X-Men: The Last Stand was a huge turd.

    Regarding Cyclops, I’ve read that the only reason they killed him off so early was due to the fact that James Marsden had a previous obligation to Superman Returns. Which is also, a huge turd. Coincidence?

  11. I pretty much agree with everyone else’s comments. This movie was a bit of a head scratcher. I remember not liking it when I saw it in the cinema. I enjoyed it more upon this most recent watching because I remembered how much I disliked it.

    Killing off Xavier was weird. He’s the whole point X-Men exist. Although, I’m sure they would have figured out how to bring him back if they made more movies.

    Killing off Scott didn’t bother me because he was a dick and pretty much useless anyway.

    What really bothered me was the killing of Jean Grey. Why? They’d already established that there were syringes filled with the cure all over the place and used on Magneto. So why didn’t Wolverine grab one of those and stick Jean with that?

    Actually, what really bothered me was the whole floating bridge thing. Hasn’t Magneto ever heard of a boat? Boats can be made of metal. He could have floated his army over on a big boat.

    Now that I think of it, what really, really bothered me was the sudden transition from the soft light of late afternoon to the pitch black of night within the space of the bridge being ripped up and it landing on Alcatraz. WTF?

    What’s next on the list? “Superman Returns”? Oh God!

  12. “Cyclops not in rest of movie … dis feel like a bad creative decision dat never really pay off.”

    Unfortunately, this wasn’t actually a creative decision at all. Apparently this was a Fox decision, because they found out that Cyclops was dating Lois Lane on the side, and they didn’t think that Jean Gray would take that too well. Or the shooting schedules interfered with each other, or something. Either way, it was Fox that told the writers to kill off Cyclops, and we all know how well it works when production tries to dictate what writers should do, don’t we? 😉

  13. I think this movie came out decent. At least they actually used their mutant powers. I always felt the first two movies really underutilized the abilities of the mutants in a spectacular way. In some ways it’s nice that I’ve never read the comics as I don’t really know what they messed up. Cookie Monster’s review helped me understand why it’s not regarded so well.

  14. The killing off of major characters did make some of the best only good scenes of the movie more suspenseful and that was the biggest fun the movie had to offer.

    Now my empathy for comic lovers has me feeling a little guilty for enjoying those “will she kill him?” scenes so much, but they were so sparkly.

    I don’t like it when the story shows me the executive producers bickering, then drunkenly agreeing to let everyone have their way. That’s what happened here.

    I love the cure vs. acceptance conflict./
    Jean should come back and smash stuff./
    Later on in the club: pbbt… jes keep duh Alcataz part for duh poster.

    Wolverine’s the most marketable./
    I want Jean to have a romantic streak to her show-down./
    Later on in the club: so’kay, jes kiw Cy..Cycl, just kill Scott. Den Wolvewin can dry hump Jean.

    It’s interesting to see how we can react so differently to the problem of two stories tripping on each other, but that it is a significant problem for so many of us nonetheless.

  15. Off to hospital to get Lauren checked as she might be in labor! Don’t know if this will be the first of many visits prior to my grandson’s grand entrance to the world, but I’ll keep you guys posted! I’M A NERVOUS WRECK. xoxo 🙂

  16. The Pheonix was one of my favorite characters, finally Jean Grey had a point in the series other than being the team leader’s arm candy…AND THIS MOVIE RUINED HER! What the frack people?! No firebird surrounding her silhouette, I mean I know budgetary constraints but when you choose to include a character such as that, you need the firebird, it’s iconic for her. It was like the writer or director or VFX people hadn’t read that part of the X-Men comics. I don’t see why they couldn’t, it’s compiled into a graphic novel entitled “X-MEN: The Dark Pheonix Saga” for God’s sake, go to your local comic book store, and you can’t tell me that neither LA nor New York have any of those, and buy it!

    To me, X3 was a disastor. It made me fear for the rest of the franchise’s future in films, and I admit, I wasn’t sure I wanted the franchise to having any further future in films because of how off this film was.

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