This past weekend, I went to see X-Men: The Last Stand. I thought it was a good ending to the X-Men trilogy, but it wasn't the best of the movies by far.
On the plus side, you have the number of earth-shattering things that they did. I don't want to say too much in case someone stumbles into the Least Read Blog who hasn't seen the movie and wants to, but it seems that the writers/director stole a page from Spiderman 2 and chucked the rule book right out the window. Deaths, radical changes made to characters, this movie had it all. One of those surprises literally caused my jaw to drop about half-way through. I appreciate it when a movie is able to stray from the material its based on; it makes it a little more fun for the audience.
One example that I can talk about it how they explained the Phoenix in the movie. For those of you familiar with the comics or the '90s cartoon of the X-Men, the Phoenix was supposed to be an alien entity that inhabited Jean Grey, only to go basically psycho later on. Obviously, they couldn't go that route in the movies without introducing the Shi'ar Empire, something that would have turned off casual fans. The way they got around that in this case was superb.
Also on the plus side is Kelsey Grammer. The man was perfect as Beast. Quite honestly, I can't think of a better person to be Big Blue. They way they introduced Beast and the way he fought were all well done. Actually, the fight scene at the end of the movie was just spectacular.
On the negative side, I don't think the writing was as smart as X2. The other major problem I had with the writing is that they seemed to want to hedge all their bets. Just watch the last 30 seconds of the movie (and the tag at the end of the credits) to see what I mean. It's no secret that this is the last of the X-Men movies. Yes, there's talk of a young Magneto flick and a Wolverine vehicle for Hugh Jackman, but I don't think those movies need the hedges that were made. It would have been better to exclude the first hedge (the part right before the end of the credits in the park and the chess board for those who have seen the movies) and kept the tag just for the fun of it.
Another negative was the lack of Nightcrawler. I know, perhaps I'm picking at straws here, but Kurt Wagner was a major part of X2, and given the way the second movie ended, it certainly seemed like he was going to be an X-Man now. Yet when this movie started, there's no sign of Nightcrawler and no explanation of where he went. Even throwing us a bone of one line saying where he went would have been nice.
And finally, there's the puzzle of Rogue. I won't give too much away, but I've been left wondering why she was in the Danger Room at the beginning of the movie. What help can movie-version Rogue give in a fight? None. Oh well.
That's it for me. Go see the movie and judge for yourself.