movie film review | chris tookey

X-Men: The Last Stand/ X-Men 3: The Last Stand

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  X-Men: The Last Stand/ X-Men 3: The Last Stand Review
Tookey's Rating
5 /10
Average Rating
5.43 /10
Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen
Full Cast >

Directed by: Brett Ratner
Written by: Simon Kinberg, Zak Penn

Released: 2006
Origin: US
Length: 103

It lacks the X-factor.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Apart from director Bryan Singer, the usual suspects are back, with the addition of Kelsey Grammer (disappointingly anonymous as the blue, hairy Beast) and Vinnie Jones (as the unstoppable giant Juggernaut, giving yet another of those nuanced, Oscar-worthy performances we so confidently expect from him).

The premise this time is that scientists have found a “cure” for mutation, which rekindles hostilities between the humane mutant leader Xavier (Patrick Stewart, so dignified yet ineffectual that he could be auditioning for the lead in The Menzies Campbell Story) and his rabble-rousing rival, the militant Magneto (Ian McKellen, undeniably sinister but also faintly camp, like Ken Livingstone in mauve).

X-Men 3 is better than most comic book-inspired movies. It’s slick, stylish and has an eye-catching finale, in which Ian McKellen relocates the Golden Gate Bridge with murderous intent, and just as dangerously attempts to out-shout Vinnie Jones. There’s plenty of special-effects wonderment – men fly, houses levitate, almost everything explodes - plus the odd giggle, not always at the ex-Wimbledon defender’s expense.

One problem is that, although three of the leading characters die, emotionally it’s about as involving as Tony’s last cabinet reshuffle. There are too many characters to care about, and some (notably Anna Paquin as Rogue, the mutant answer to Hazel Blears) get so little screen-time that you wonder why they’ve bothered to show up.

Unless you’re a fan already, you’re likely to be bored by the troubled relationship between the only charismatic X-man (Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, pictured) and the woman he loves, or at any rate lusts after. Yes, Famke Janssen is back from the dead and suffering from serious anger management issues, plus a worrying outbreak of varicose veins on her face.

Director Brett (Rush Hour) Ratner is ever-eager to sacrifice everything for pace, and unlikely ever to become a by-word for sensitive or cerebral film-making.

The basic problem, though, is that the premise behind the X-men series - that mutants are being oppressed by “normal” humans – has been lost.

These mutants are just too glamorous. You know that they could never be second-class citizens when they look this fabulous: in real life, they’d all be on the new Tory party A-list, or presenting the news.

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