X-Men: The Last Stand

Mutants Fight Cure

Main Cast: Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Famke Janssen

Director: Brett Ratner

Plot Summary: In a world where mutants are real a scientist designs a “cure”, turning them back into normal humans. Some mutants want to be normal, others do not. Professor Xavier teaches peace, with mutants and humans living together. Magneto does not, seeing mutants as a higher form of life. The cure is the catalyst for a major battle between the two philosophies.

As a casual reader of the comics I can’t say whether or not this is true to the world of the X-Men. But within my group of friends the consensus seems to be that it is not: the characters were lifted, more or less correctly, into a new and different plotline.

That’s not to say it isn’t a good story. I would say that it is fair. There are two major sides, both predominantly mutants. We have Professor Xavier (Stewart), who runs a school for mutants and wishes to see them and humanity live together peacefully. In that school are most of the main characters: Wolverine (Jackman), a very tough fighter with amazing healing powers; Storm (Halle Berry), master of the weather and second-in-command under the Professor; and Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), who can generate ice from his fingertips but hopes to keep the heat going in his relationship with Rogue (Anna Paquin), another mutant who decides to take the cure and become normal.

The other side has Magneto (McKellen), who controls all metal; and Mystique (Rebecca Romijn), a shape-shifting warrior and spy. They are joined by the most powerful mutant of them all, although I won’t give away who that might be. But if you’ve seen both of the previous films you can probably guess. This mutant is truly terrifying, managing to kill a number of previous main characters during the course of the story.

As compared to the other two movies this one focuses more on action than dialogue. There is some character development, and a few new mutants are tossed into the mix. But none are really fleshed out, giving way to the war between mutants and humans. The cure acts as the catalyst, solidifying sides and, as spoken by one of the leaders, “you are either with us or not.” This eerily mirrors real life. But there is enough to differentiate between the personalities involved, more specifically Professor Xavier and Magneto.

As a sci-fi action film this is pretty good. The action is intense, the special effects are pretty darn good, and the plot hums along at a very fast clip. It may not be completely “true” to the comic story, but otherwise I can recommend this as an entertaining few hours, as long as you enjoy action over more weightier drama.

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