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Friday June 22nd 2018

X-Men: The Last Stand | 2006

X-Men: The Last Stand location: Alouette Lake, Golden Ears Provincial Park, British Columbia
X-Men: The Last Stand location: Phoenix rises from ‘Alkali Lake’: Alouette Lake, Golden Ears Provincial Park, British Columbia | Photograph: wikimedia / Jimfbleak

The third in the X-Men trilogy stays in Vancouver and British Columbia, though Bryan Singer hands over the director’s job to Brett Ratner. As it was in X-Men 2, Xavier’s school is Hatley Castle, Royal Roads University, in Colwood. You can put away your ice-skates – the fountain and pool across which Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) and Rogue (Anna Paquin) glide was just a prop added for filming.

Digitally de-aged Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Erik Lensherr (Ian McKellen) visit the young Jean Grey at her family home, 1769 Golf Club Drive, in Tsawwassen. They return much later in the film under very different circumstances as Phoenix (Famke Janssen) unleashes her awesome powers. Don’t worry – the house is still there but, as always, please remember this is a private home and don’t do anything to disturb the residents.

Tsawwassen is on the southernmost point a few miles south of Vancouver. Scenes for the original 1995 Jumanji, among other films, were shot here.

X-Men: The Last Stand location: MacMillan-Bloedel Building, West Georgia Street, Vancouver
X-Men: The Last Stand location: the ‘Department of Mutant Affairs’: MacMillan-Bloedel Building, West Georgia Street, Vancouver | Photograph: wikimedia / Unixandthings

The ‘Department of Mutant Affairs’, where Dr Hank McCoy (Kelsey Grammer) dangles casually from the ceiling, is 1075 West Georgia Street at Thurlow Street, in Vancouver. The twin-towered complex was built in 1968 as the MacMillan-Bloedel Building, and it’s not hard to see why it’s been dubbed the Concrete Waffle.

When a ‘cure’ for the mutant gene is announced, a Community Action Meeting (“No humans allowed”) is held in ‘Holy Trinity Church’ – which is St Andrew’s-Wesley Church, 1012 Nelson Street, at Burrard Street, downtown Vancouver – the same church in which Nightcrawler was discovered in X-Men 2.

Anti-cure mutants demonstrate outside ‘Washington Public Health Clinic’, as Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) and Pyro (Aaron Stanford) face off. The ‘clinic’ which Pyro attacks with a fireball, is actually the side entrance to the London School on Hamilton Street at West Pender Street in Vancouver’s Gastown district.

Grieving Cyclops (James Marsden) takes off for ‘Alkali Lake’, beneath which Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) disappeared at the climax of X-Men 2. In the previous film, the lake was in Alberta, but now it’s Alouette Lake, at the foot of the Golden Ears mountains in Golden Ears Provincial Park, near Maple Ridge about 20 miles east of Vancouver.

The park also provided the woods where Magneto makes camp, and rouses the massing army. Much of 1982’s First Blood – the film which first introduced Rambo – was filmed in Golden Ears Provincial Park.

X-Men: The Last Stand location: MacMillan-Bloedel Building, West Georgia Street, Vancouver
X-Men: The Last Stand location: Angel breaks free and flies over San Francisco Bay: Wall Centre, Vancouver

The ‘Worthington Labs’ highrise from which Angel (Ben Foster) breaks free and dives through the window is actually One Wall Centre, 1088 Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver. It houses condominiums and the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel. Angel briefly swoops down toward Robson Square below, with the University of British Columbia buildings and Vancouver Art Gallery, but in a flash appears to be gliding over Coit Tower in San Francisco, toward the Golden Gate Bridge.

Coit Tower, supposedly designed to resemble the nozzle of a fireman’s hose, features in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (it’s the landmark Madeleine uses to find her way back to Scottie’s apartment) and in the 1998 film of Doctor Dolittle, with Eddie Murphy.

The ‘Worthington Labs’ facility in which the unfortunate Leech, source of the ‘cure’, is confined is supposedly on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. In fact, as with the flying scenes, only second unit shots of the Bay area were used in the film.

For the appearance of Magneto’s mutant army causing a massive traffic foul up, a stretch of the Golden Gate Bridge was constructed in front of a gigantic four-story high green screen in Vancouver.