Like anybody who cares about comics, I was extremely worried when Bryan Singer left the X franchise to move on to Superman Returns (understandable move for him, though). When it was announced Matthew Vaughn was taking over, I was…curious. I didn’t know anything about him, except for that he had done Layer Cake, which I heard good things about. But like a thief in the night, he took off too (and now he’s working Neil Gaiman’s Stardust, a story I love!). So in stepped…Brett Ratner. Oh dear.
The Rush Hour guy.
Oh dear, oh dear…

Well, guess what? I think X-Men: The Last Stand was pretty good. In fact, with a few exceptions, I think it was almost as good as the predecessors.
ALMOST. X2: X-MEN UNITED remains my favorite, and I do have some issues with the liberties and artistic license the movie takes, but overall, I think Brett Ratner did a good job.

Famke Jannsen gives a great performance as Jean Grey, better known here as Phoenix, as in the classic Dark Phoenix storyline. I never actually read that storyline, but I know it’s considered some of the best stuff ever written in comicdom. (Chris Claremont, the writer of said storyline, and countless other X-Men and solo Wolverine tales, actually has a extremely brief cameo in this movie, as does the ubiquitous Stan Lee.) But I like the way Famke pulled off the scared innocence, but especially the creepy, all powerful class 5 mutant madness. Nice!

Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine is once again the key character driving the movie forward. As always he does a really great job. I would have liked for him to be a little more wild…let loose the berserker side of Logan we all know and love, but oh well…

Halle Berry wasn’t bad as Storm, but, I dunno, I don’t think she has the regal flair Storm should have. She IS an African princess, after all.

Sir Ian McKellan was, as usual, perfect. Very talented man, but we all know that. But a bit more of a surprise to me was Kelsey Grammer as Dr. Henry McCoy, AKA Beast. A lot of people shuddered at the casting, but in terms of vocal skills and eloquence, he’s perfect for the big blue beast with the soul of a poet. I dunno, after a minute of seeing the shock of a big blue guy on the screen, I warmed up to it fine and it didn’t bother me at all. Good job, Frasier

A big disappointment to me was Ben Foster’s Angel. Well, he’s never referred to as Angel, because he has like no freaking screen time! So I’ll say that Ben’s Warren Worthington III was well played, looked great, but was sadly underused!

There was a lot of good in this movie, but I think maybe they shouldn’t have tinkered with comic book continuity so much. Overall however, Brett Ratner retained the level of quality and sophistication Bryan Singer did, so I think X – Men: The Last Stand was a pretty good flick.
Just be sure you sit through all of the credits at the end...

B +