Ryan Chartrand

“X-Men: The Last Stand” is easily the most Hollywood of the “X-Men” films, but no matter how much I try to hate it, the fact remains: I want to see it again.

You needn’t worry if you skipped out on the first two “X-Men” films for whatever fake reasons you may claim (the whole “I’m not a geek” thing doesn’t work anymore). The story is really quite simple for anyone who understands what the word “mutant” means and doesn’t notice Halle Barry’s suddenly shorter hair.

In the latest episode, a company develops a mutant cure that will force anyone labeled “mutant” to conform and become normal people like Larry King. But mutants like the great Magneto, played by Sir Ian McKellan, however, think cures are for people who watch too much “Grey’s Anatomy” not those who can move the Golden Gate Bridge with their mind. Alas, a great “final stand” ensues between the rebel mutants and the rest of the world.

Without the comic book film genius of Bryan Singer, the man behind the reigns of the first two “X-Men” films, fans of the trilogy have been very doubtful about the great “X3” hype. It didn’t help that they hired a Mariah Carey music video director, Brett Ratner, to direct it all. Yet somehow he – with the help of some decent writers, a giant bowl of special effects and the same lovable cast – put the “X” in “X-Men” (whatever that means).

By the time the two hours are up, you had better take a breather and try to remember it all. The writers crammed tons of somewhat accurate information from the comics into the film and somehow still managed to keep the average moviegoer entertained with big flashy lights and fireballs. Unfortunately, some of the more epic and important scenes are rushed in order to fit more plot into the constantly moving storyline.

New additions to the cast proved to be both wonderful and terrible. Kelsey Grammer made my day playing Beast, the brilliant, blue furball who gets a whopping five-second action clip (think Yoda in “Star Wars: Episode II”). On the other hand, what could have made all my dreams come true was instead a very poor tribute: Juggernaut. “X-Men” fans had best turn their brains off whenever Ratner’s ridiculous version of Juggernaut wastes screen time. Overall, “X3” is proof that Hollywood costumes can look great on attractive models and bodybuilders, but without any acting talent, it’s all a waste of time.

I’ll never understand why Singer thought it was more important to go off and make a terrible “Superman” remake (I might be a DC Comics fan but this is ridiculous) when he could have finished the “X-Men” trilogy right after it had finally become worthwhile.

Nevertheless, “X3” has all the mind-blowing special effects and nostalgic “X-Men” references that anyone could want in their summer starting line-up. Unfortunately, the way Singer made it all work as one harmonious entity with spirit and character is gone. A great start for the summer, but a mediocre end to a trilogy.

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