X-Men Last Stand which was the first cinematic rendition of the Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix character. It was another rendition of the humans vs mutant story as the humans come up with a cure for mutation. The film had such great promise but just became a mess by the end.
Things start with a CGI’d young Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen) visiting a very young Jean Grey in an attempt to bring her into their school for mutants. She immediately shows off her awesome powers by levitating all the cars in the neighborhood. That’s where there’s a cameo by Stan Lee. The scene would be revisited in the middle of the movie to dramatic effect.
The plot centers around the famous conflict between humans and mutants. The former fear the rise of super beings and create a serum that neutralizes the mutant gene. The government of course weaponizes the drug. Magneto believes this will mean genocide for his people and creates an army of mutants to counter the state. The X-Men are concerned as well and get caught between the government and Magneto. The moralism of this issue is actually brought up a few times in the movie and is important to consider.
In a bit of Marvel nerdery the Worthington Labs is the company that comes up with the serum. Worthington being the family of the Angel who makes a few cameos in the movie and who was one of the original X-Men in the comics.
There are great things in the beginning that showed the potential of the movie. For instance, the X-Men are in a training scenario in the danger room that includes Colossus throwing Wolverine in what’s called a fastball special in the comics to destroy a giant robot that is modeled after the Sentinels, machines created to kill mutants. Jean Grey played by Famke Janssen who died in the previous movie, also comes back to life, and kills her boyfriend Cyclops played by James Marsden.
There’s also some deft casting such as Kelsey Grammer as the Beast. His voice and demeaner is perfect for the character who is part genius.
Where things go wrong is at the end. There’s a huge confrontation between six X-Men and Magneto's army and it is so ridiculous, so unbelievable, so badly choreographed that it simply undermines the whole thing. How can a movie that started off so well go so badly?
Overall, the first 2/3 of X-Men Last Stand is great, and then that’s ruined by the conclusion.
Last note, don’t forget the secret ending.