Thursday, May 25, 2006

X-Men: The Last Stand

X-Men: The Last Stand (Director: Brett Ratner)

I'm not the best guy to review an X-Men entry, as I've not been impressed very much by the first two (X2 was certainly a notch up on its predecessor). I figured out why these movies, and other comic book entries like Fantastic Four, don't appeal to me on the whole. Too many characters is the big reason, and if you look at even the "loner" type of comic book hero franchises like the last Batman franchise, the various entries of the series got worse as more and more characters (egos) filled the screen.

X-Men: The Last Stand also had some handicap coming in by being directed by Brett Ratner, and not Bryan Singer. Not that Ratner bothers me much (he definitely does others), but I think consistency works. I'm frightened at what my current favorite comic book franchise, Spider-Man, might look like without Sam Raimi at the helm, or a different webslinger other than Tobey Maguire.

Surprisingly, the third X-Men is, in my opinion, better than the earlier two. It's not as flashy or "cool" as X2, but the story is better than the others. Wouldn't you know, the ubiquitous Cameron Bright plays a character that holds the key to "curing" mutants, and we have all the gay subtext that this implies. The government's insistence on the cure causes an uprising between they and Magneto (Ian McKellan in his 2nd straight blockbuster of the month) and his recruited army. The "good" X-Men, who fight for choice and what's right, pit them against Magneto again as the archenemy uses their reasons against them to recruit more for the cause.

Further complicating things is Jean Grey's (Famke Jannsen) rise from the dead as The Phoenix. Her inability to control her unconscious powers puts her on the wrong side. Once again, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Storm (Halle Berry), Xavier (Patrick Stewart), and more have to save the day.

There's plenty of surprises, and X-Men fans get their tragic Star Wars storyline, which may be the reason why this entry seems better than the others. Good action, and Kelsey Grammar makes an appearance! Once again, I'd like to write more, but my current situation lets me not. Just know, I liked it. It's fun.


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