For the third installment of the X-Men series, this action film is not really what you’d be expecting, based on the previous two movies and the trailer. The first and second movies were both high scorers with me and I felt that this one was going to be of the same calibur. I should have paid closer attention to the fact that Bryan Singer did not direct X-3. In his place was Brett Ratner. The difference between this movie and the others is pretty obvious. Although you have numerous special effects, such as Magneto and Xavier looking 20 years younger in one scene, it’s not enough to carry the movie. A story should use visual effects, but not rely on them.
The plot revolves around the discovery of a “cure” for mutation. Does one embrace their unique abilities and/or appearance, or do they go back to being “normal”? As per usual, Magneto and his cohorts, including the lovely Mystique, are against the cure. We see the same things in this film as we did in the previous two: Magneto respects Xavier, but his views differ from his and so they are always on opposing sides.
Frontburner characters such as Rogue, Cyclops, even Wolverine, barely find a place in this movie. In fact, Jean Grey eats up all the screen-time in her convoluted plot as The Phoenix. You get the gist of this subplot (although its a VERY large subplot) that Jean has two separate personalities. Honestly, it’s very hard to sit through. I don’t want to spoil it for you with details, but let’s just say you are not going to be happy with this other side of Jean and the things she does. She hasn’t become a “you love to hate her” character. You don’t care one way or the other and are really just waiting for them to get back to the ACTION…which is extremely lacking in The Last Stand. Only towards the end do we really see much ACTION for an action film.
I felt this movie was all over the map, the plot feels heavy and the subplots like irritating knats. Gone is the sharp, witty banter. None of the characters, in their brief time on the screen, feels true to the comics or the previous installments. Overall, big expectations were crushed under Ratner’s direction of the film and the scriptwriters. I think many fans will be very disappointed, perhaps even outraged, at how the movie was handled in a slipshod manner. If you must see X3, I recommend waiting until its DVD release.