Forgettable extras on this forgettable sequel.
Fanboys cried out in rage when Brett Ratner (Rush Hour, Red Dragon) was chosen to take over the X-Men franchise after Bryan Singer flew the coop in favor of the man of steel. Although Ratner has had success and generally delivered competent, entertaining results, his style is pretty generic, a far cry from the auteur status many claim Singer has.
As always, fanboys will be fanboys, bitching and moaning about a film and how angry they are about it right up until opening night, when they stand in line in droves for the first screening at midnight. So, despite mediocre reviews, X-Men: The Last Stand was a box office success, assuring that it’s more likely to wind up as their Next to Last Stand or maybe The Stand Right Before the Next to Last Stand That You Did Last Summer. Time will tell.
The Last Stand is pretty much what you might expect. Fast food, disposable entertainment that passes the time with flickering images of flashy camera cuts and explosions before disappearing from memory before the popcorn is digested.
There are far too many characters too keep up with, and even less that you truly care about. A few famous members depart (which I’ll keep secret in case you haven’t already heard) and a few new faces join the squad. Kelsey Grammer’s Beast is the most notable. Others, such as Vinnie Jones’ Juggernaut, seem pointless.
Fanboys’ worst fears of X-Men being Ratner-fied are fully realized. This is hands down the worst film of the franchise, an entry that will likely be considered skipable should the series continue. It’s only been a few months since I viewed the film in theaters, and I can barely remember it myself.
What’s On the Disc
As with most releases of blockbusters on DVD these days, The Last Stand features impressive animated menus and a decent variety of extras. Of particular note on this set is the ability to choose between two menu systems subtitled “Join the Brotherhood” or “Take a Stand.” They feature slightly different animated menus with either the good guys (“Take a Stand”) or the bad guys (“Join the Brotherhood”), but the featueres and menu choices remain the same. It's cute, but more of a gimmick.
The usual array of trailers for upcoming Fox DVD releases are here, as well as a few future theatrical previews. The big one is a trailer for The Simpsons movie, which features an unfinished animation sequence. Pretty cool for a movie preview.
The biggest extra for fans is a selection of just under ten minutes of deleted scenes, including three alternate endings. For the most part, these deleted scenes are like most – vaguely interesting, but you generally understand why they were cut. A few of the extended fight sequences should please fans and the alternate endings are at least interesting.
The Last Stand has two commentaries to choose from. The first is a director and writer commentary with Bret Ratner, Zak Penn and Simon Kinberg.
The second is a producer commentary with Avi Arad, Lauren Schuler Donner and Ralph Winter.
These commentaries are pretty standard, with some tidbits on the writing or the individual days of shooting that should interest fans. Laymen need not apply.
At the end of the day, this is a mediocre set of extras, which I guess is unforunately fitting. Ten minutes of deleted scenes and two commentaries is really all there is when you take away the slew of Fox promotional material. The array really isn’t a lot for a blockbuster of this magnitude. Considering the rabid X-Men fan base, this disc will be a disappointment to most. I’d be willing to bet that a more fleshed out “Ultimate,” “Extreme,” or “Super Duper” version will replace this one in due time so that Fox can sell the same movie to you a few more times. Rent this one and wait for the next version before buying.