Finally saw it last night and it's pretty good. Especially the part at the end where Dark Willow geets all veiny and Wolverine brings her back to reality by telling her that he loves her before he has to impale her to close the mouth of Acathla.
I kid! Obviously Marvel's Dark Phoenix saga came first and Joss Whedon was leaning heavily on it for the sixth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (in much the same way that he leaned on the Teen Titan's Judas Contract for season three). But it was striking how much similarity there was between Ratner and Whedon's envisioning of "Phoenix."
It also struck me that the script Ratner and Fox settled on was particularly self-destructive for the future of the franchise. There's nothing wrong with killing major characters--in fact, that's a virtue. But why loose all of the interesting major characters? ***SPOILER TO FOLLOW***
Magneto, Xavier, Jean Grey, and Rogue are the four most interesting characters in the series. They have the most compelling motivations and internal conflicts and the most intriguing powers. The X-Men franchise will soldier on in the next trilogy and certainly there are no shortage of good characters: Ice-man, Kitty Pride, and Gambit are great. But they're ornaments; the stories are going to need dramatic foundations. Turning the series entirely over to Storm and Wolverine seems like a mistake.
There is much to dislike Last Stand--the way the studio cheaped out on the final fight at Alcatraz; the continuity problems with simple things, like time of day; not bothering to have Beast's hair obey the laws of gravity when he's hanging upside down--for that matter, the movie's incoherent representation of his abilities; the spots of bad dialogue; etc.
But there was much to like, too. Kitty Pride was beautifully realized, as was Juggernaught. The great Bill Duke got to do his thing. And how about the way Magneto crushes the first two cars in the motorcade?
In the end, it isn't quite fair to compare Last Stand to Return of the Jedi, as many have. Jedi left such a sour taste in your mouth that there was no need to see what happens next. I still haven't gotten my fill of the X-Men series. It's easy to see where they go from here, but hard to figure out how they'll do it well.
23 hours ago