The X-Men trilogy draws to an eminently satisfying conclusion with this highly emotional, action-packed installment focusing on the final showdown between the "good" mutants led by Dr. Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and the "evil" ones led by Magneto (Ian McKellen). The latter's carefully calculated rebellion against human society gathers momentum when the government announces its plans to implement a recently discovered "cure" that neutralizes the mutant gene, but the X-Men (and -Women) remain steadfast in their defense of the status quo -- even though it poses risks to them as well. Director Brett Ratner, who made his bones helming the Rush Hour movies, demonstrates his mettle by steering the complex story line through a maze of plot complications and new characters. He also shows himself more than equal to the task of staging elaborate action sequences that rely heavily on cutting-edge special effects, and the film's climactic donnybrook is one that X-Men fans will long remember. One thing, though: Prepare yourself for a high body count. Several major characters in this franchise won't make it to the final fadeout, although colorful new ones -- including Kelsey Grammer's Beast, Ben Foster's Angel, and Vinnie Jones's Juggernaut -- take their places. Of paramount importance is the fate of Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), resurrected from the dead as the aptly named Phoenix; her character is the linchpin of the whole story. As superhero movies go, X-Men: The Last Stand is top shelf in every respect, and it’s sure to hold up in repeated viewings.
As a conclusion to the arcs of the first two films, X-Men: The Last Stand is a serviceable entry that is breezy fun, yet without the depth that has come to be expected from the series. It's actually amazing that the film is as good as it is -- director Brett Ratner might have had some tremendous box office weight under his belt, but most of that was due to his stars rather than his proficiency. That said, he manages to do an admirable job of mimicking previous helmer Bryan Singer's style and feel, which set the franchise apart from its big screen comic contemporaries. The movie's main problems stem from its unfocused script -- a mish-mash of comic mythology that tries to tackle too much in one film, never mind do it in 100 minutes. While some characters are handed a few juicy moments to relish in throughout the picture, there are loads of others that consistently get short-changed, most of whom are new to the franchise. And for such a short film, they sure do tackle a heap of main-character deaths throughout the picture; never mind that Wolverine (once again played to perfection by Hugh Jackman) has practically been defanged as a family-friendly feral hero with a heart of gold. All of this is blanketed under a limited budget and hastened schedule that's terribly apparent in the big final showdown at Alcatraz. So why is the film still worth half a hoot? Part of it has to do with the cast and their continuing fine work, though there is something to be said about the flick's blend of humor and action that will keep it palatable to most audiences. While there might not be too many "wow" moments, the third film is okay enough for summer movie escapism, though nowhere near the bar set by Singer in the two installments leading up to this.
|Source:||20Th Century Fox|
|Sound:||[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]|