Ratner's Last Stand?
Many mutants long to live among society without fear of judgment and persecution. In X-Men: The Last Stand, scientists have discovered a defective gene that causes mutation. A cure has also been found, and it can restore mutants back into humans. However, this would involve a loss of the mutants' special talents, gifts and powers.
Magneto (Ian McKellen) believes the cure to be a form of genocide. He's bent on destroying the cure and taking down those who administer it as well as anyone who stands in his way. Either people support Magneto or they will face his wrath. Magneto and his legion of followers are serious about plans for an apocalyptic war.
The mutant cure would likely not exist if it weren't for Warren Worthington III (Ben Foster) who cannot hide his mutation from his billionaire father Warren Worthington II (Michael Murphy). Warren, now known as Angel, can fly. Wings measuring 16 feet long come out of his back. Despite trying to cut off his wings, Angel is stuck with them -- as well as with a father who does not understand and who pushes for a mutation cure.
Dr. Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), mentored by Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) since childhood, rose from student to teacher and became a hero as she lay down her life to save her fellow X-Men in X2: X-Men United. Believed to have drowned, Grey was to become the wife of Cyclops (James Marsden). Cyclops has been an emotional wreck and shell of his former self since her death.
However, it seems Grey is not dead after all. But she may not be the same Jean Grey. Xavier knows Grey is dangerous and that two personalities govern her. Which one of them came back? The Dark Phoenix, Grey’s alter-ego, is deadly and cannot be controlled. As both personalities start to blend, Grey asks Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) to kill her. Why? Because she now wields enough power to destroy her friends and the entire world.
Rogue (Anna Paquin), a younger mutant, is put in an awkward position. She has strong allegiance to the X-Men but is finding it hard to live like a normal teenager. Paquin started a relationship with Bobby a.k.a Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), but it cannot become intimate. If she so much as touches him, he could die. For Rogue, being a mutant is like a curse because her gifts do nothing but harm people. Does she really want to be normal enough to undergo a risky cure? Meanwhile, Bobby is learning how to harness his power, and despite his connection with Rogue finds himself connected to another girl, Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page).
Mutants have an ally in The Beast (Kelsey Grammer), a beloved character in the X-Men comics being introduced to audiences in this film. The Beast, who is the Secretary of Mutant Affairs, works closely with the U.S. President and is an expert on mutations. Grammer shares the spotlight with McKellen for the stand-out performances in X-Men: The Last Stand.
Although a comic book fan, director Brett Ratner faced heavy criticism when he took over the helm of this movie from Matthew Vaughn and before him Bryan Singer. Ratner did not follow X-Men prior to the film nor did he know the characters well. While a competent director, Ratner's lack of understanding about these characters certainly comes across here. None of them appear as deep or as emotional as they did in the previous X-Men films or in the comics.
X-Men: The Last Stand receives little help from screenwriters Simon Kinberg and Zak Penn, who deliver a weak screenplay with new characters like Angel and The Beast not fleshed out and some pre-existing characters not given enough screen time. Should there be a sequel, here's hoping this is Ratner, Kinberg and Penn's last stand.
(Released by 20th Century Fox and rated "PG-13" by MPAA.)
Review also posted on www.movie-critiques.com.