The plot, for what it’s worth, goes as follows. A cure for the mutant X gene has been found and Magneto (Ian McKellen, brilliant as ever) rallies together an army to destroy the threat to the mutant population. As the mutants tool up for war, Jean Gray
(Famke Jansen) returns from the dead as her alter ego, the all-powerful and uncontrollable Phoenix. But while X-Men: The Last Stand’s storyline may be paper thin, the action and suspense have been laid on with a spatula.
If rumours are to be believed this is to be the last X-film (although spin-offs for Wolverine and Magneto are in the pipeline) and director Brett Ratner is keen to go out on a bang. Main characters are swept away at the stroke of a pen and the film stepladders up the set pieces to its grand finale. New addition Kelsey Grammer is note perfect as Dr Hank McCoy/Beast and once again Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine proves he’s the coolest comic book character to survive the leap to celluloid. Unfortunately, Vinnie Jones is so wooden as Juggernaut that his character should have been renamed Mahogany, while the brief flicker of charm provided by Ben Foster’s Angel is snuffed by a lack of screen time.
Despite the film’s shortcomings (including a dialogue that lacks the zing and insight of the first episode and a number of scenes that could have done with some further exposition), The Last Stand nevertheless zips along swiftly and more or less satisfactorily. Containing both the best – Magneto transporting the Golden Gate Bridge to Alcatraz – and the worst – anything with the aforementioned Jones – scenes of the series, X3 is far from perfect. Still it should put up a good fight against Superman(directed by X-Men alumnus Bryan Singer) in this summer’s war of the blockbusters.
For Time Out Magazine – click here for original PDF – Timeout Dubai, 0623 2006 _ 084 film REVIEWS