Take a Stand.
Some time has passed since the events on Alkali Lake and Professor Charles Xavier’s (Patrick Stewart) School for the Gifted has once again become a safe harbor for all mutants. But the new found peace was not meant to last. Still grieving over the death of Dr. Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), the X-Men are faced with a new problem. Dr. Hank McCoy/Beast (Frasier’s Kelsey Grammar) arrives at the X-mansion saying that a pharmaceutical company has found a way to suppress the mutant X-gene permanently. For Magneto (Ian McKellen), whose radical ideologies heavily clash with those of his former ally Charles Xavier, this heralded cure is a potential weapon that if used by the government threatens the whole mutant community. In an attempt to save mutants from extinction, Magneto and his Brotherhood seek to destroy the source of the cure and risk a war in which both sides will suffer from casualties. The X-Men must stop Magneto, who is aided by a resurrected and omnipotent Jean Grey (aka Dark Phoenix), from wreaking havoc on the city of San Francisco and from killing everyone standing in his way.
If the rumors are true and X3 is indeed the last chapter in Marvel’s comic book saga, it definitely ends with a blast. The writers tried to cram enough X-Men mythology into this last installment to satisfy fanboys (and girls) while at the same time they managed to keep it fairly exciting for the non-initiated. For a summer action movie X3 is as good as it gets. With more action and battle scenes (the fight in Jean Grey’s house is jaw-dropping as is the finale on Alcatraz) than in any of the previous chapters, it certainly stays true to Hollywood’s bigger and louder sequel formula. That being said, we would have liked to see a bit more character development and some memorable dialogues. With a runtime of approximately 104 minutes, X3 is simply too short to focus on characters, tell a story and show us the X-Men in action. For a concluding chapter in a trilogy, this feels extremely rushed. But apart from that, director Brett Ratner (Rush Hour, Red Dragon) reproduces the feel and style of the previous installments and Simon Kinberg did not play it safe and wrote a bold and interesting script. Nevertheless, the departure of Bryan Singer (who went to direct Superman Returns) is felt, if only because of a lack of artistic creativity from behind the camera, which leaves us with the inevitable question of how The Last Stand compares to Singer’s excellent X2? Well it’s close but no cigar. (3 out of 4 fur balls)
P.S. If you haven’t already heard, stay until after the credits.
X-Men: The Last Stand is rated PG-13 for naked ladies covered in blue paint.