The other day I presented three reasons'X-Men: The Last Stand' would beat 'The Da Vinci Code' at the box office this weekend -- and it will. It's got lots of action, an easy-on-the-eyeballs cast and two very lucrative prequels -- the golden trifecta for a big summer flick. That said, 'Last Stand' is not the best of the 'X-Men' movies. It's not that it's bad. It's just doesn't live up to the standard set by its predecessors. Below are three suggestions that, I think, would have made 'Last Stand' exponentionally better.
1) Don't introduce cool new mutants if they're not going to do jack. Angel (Ben Foster), for instance, had no place in this movie whatsoever. I imagine the story arc pitch for this character must have gone something like this: "OK, we're gonna introduce Angel as a child so we can see how his daddy got on his case for sprouting wings, then we'll show his dramatic escape when dad and some scientists try to inject him with the 'cure' for mutancy, then we'll make him disappear for almost the rest of the flick. Then, when he finally does reappear an hour later at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, presumably having spent all that off-screen time flying there, we'll make it seem like he's going to sneak into battle with the X-Men and save the day. But then -- and this will be awesome -- we'll just have him swoop in to rescue his dad (who no one cares about) from plummeting to his death. Do you see the irony? The father sees Angel's powers as an affliction, but those abilities actually enable Angel to save pa from certain death!" And I might even have cared if the characters were on screen for more than five minutes.
2) Similar to point No. 1: Don't try to do so much in an hour-and-forty-minute movie. I get that director Brett Ratner and co. wanted to make sure they wrapped up loose ends on the off chance that this really is the last 'X-Men' movie, but a lot of the subplots just felt tacked on. Case in point: Rogue (Anna Paquin). Motivated by a blossoming bond between her beau Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) and the nubile Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page), Rogue is the one core member of the X-Men who's superpsyched for the "cure." She figures if she gets rid of her life-sucking touch, she'll win Iceman back because she'll be able to, you know, do stuff in the bedroom. Now this storyline actually has the potential to be interesting. I mean, not being able to even kiss the person you love kinda sucks, so we can all empathize with the old Roguester. Unfortunately, instead of showing her grapple with the issue, the writers and/or director and/or editors "disappear her" halfway through the flick and don't reveal the outcome of her little internal civil war until the very end of the movie. By that point, I'd forgotten Rogue ever existed. And Cyclops (James Marsden) and Mystique (Rebecca Romijn), who've been with the franchise since the beginning, get shortchanged even worse.
3) Make every other line in the movie, "I'm the Juggernaut, bitch!"
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