X-Men: The Last Stand
is the third installment in the popular superhero franchise, and it's an exciting one with a splash of fresh new characters. When a scientist named Warren Worthington II announces a "cure" for mutant powers, it raises an interesting philosophical question: is mutant power a disease that needs a cure, or is it a benefit thathomo superior
enjoys over "normal" human beings? No surprise that Magneto (Ian McKellen) and his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants resist the idea that they need to be cured, and declare war on the human race. But it's a little tougher for the X-Men, led by Professor X (Patrick Stewart), Cyclops (James Marsden), and Storm (Halle Berry). If you're Rogue (Anna Paquin), for example, your power means you can't even touch your boyfriend, Iceman (Shawn Ashmore). To compound matters, someone previously thought dead has returned, and might be either friend or foe.
With director Bryan Singer having moved on to Superman Returns, the franchise passes to the hands of Brett Ratner (Rush Hour), whose best work is done in the big action sequences such as a showdown between mutant armies. But it's difficult to manage the sheer volume of characters when adding longtime comic-book stalwarts such as Beast (Kelsey Grammer) and Angel (Ben Foster), and one character in particular deserved better than an off-screen dismissal. And fans of the original Dark Phoenix comic book story might be underwhelmed by...