When X-Men: The Last Stand debuted in 2005, it received mixed to negative reviews. Many of these reasons were obvious, both to me and clearly to all the film reviewers. Important characters of the X-Men series were just randomly killed off, the plot was a complete mess, and new characters were introduced randomly with little to no backstory. But what about the film style of the film? In my opinion, it also further reinforces just how bad this film is, for 3 specific reasons.
3. The Absurd Dialogue
Throughout the film, the dialogue between characters proved the lack of chemistry and the “try too hard” route the directors went. Certain lines were extremely awkward and not realistic, and the tone of the movie just didn’t match some of the things coming out of people’s mouths. For example, when Juggernaut and Kitty are fighting, Juggernaut saying “I’m the Juggernaut bitch!” followed by Kitty saying “who’s hiding, dick head!” just doesn’t go well at all with the current intensity of the action. The lack of intense dialogue creates a less intense tone to the movie, and it instead at points becomes superheroes running around saying silly things to each other. Given how legendary the film series X-Men is, the silly and basically embarrassing dialogue is just a big strike against the film as a whole.
2. The Unrealistic Set Design
A huge piece of the film, particularly in all super hero films, is the set design, and how it sets the tone and purpose of the setting. However, in this film, the set designs severely lacked, and as a result, the setting of the film was all over the place. The action constantly was taking place in all different places, leading to a very confusing plot from start to finish. In addition, locations like Alkali Lake and the Golden Gate Bridge were executed very poorly. Both were not presented successfully, and it didn’t look realistic in the slightest. Throughout all the different locations used in the film, it was clear probably zero of them were on location, but rather on a set. The point of set design is to make the setting seem real in the movie to the viewers. However, the production team seriously failed when it came to this aspect, and the visual aspects of the movie paid the price.
1. The Depressing Lighting
Lighting is a huge aspect of film style. It can set the tone for each scene, and overall for the whole film. It can contrast good vs evil, especially in a film like this. However, the entire film seems to only have dark lighting. There is rarely a moment in which the contrast of lighting is recognizable, which is crucial in a superhero film. Instead, the darkness shrouds the entire film. While some could say it goes with the theme of darkness in the film, there is a lack of optimism and hope that could be portrayed via lighting. Instead, it is just filled with depression and darkness from the beginning. This is a huge mistake on the production aspect, as the lighting could’ve created a completely different tone for this film. However, the failure of the lighting only makes the film itself that much more difficult to get through.
As far as the plot goes, X-Men the Last Stand is a disaster on all fronts. While the two previous X-Mens nailed the combinations of plot and action, this one fell short. The film’s saving grace is certainly its action scenes, specifically the one at the end. If you are looking for a scene with explosions and great face offs between heroes and villains, then this is certainly a scene for you. However, when it comes to the movie as a whole, you can’t help but feel completely let down, and in a way angry at the director, Brett Ratner. Several of the decisions he made in a single film completely affected the entire X-Men world, and for super fans like myself, that just doesn’t fly with us.