All of our heroes return, with the exception of Famke Janssen as Jean Grey. This time she is re-incarnated as the Phoenix, Jean’s power-hungry altar ego. The plot involves a mutant “cure,”a drug that will restore mutants to homo-sapien status. The X-Men must appeal to Jean/Phoenix and stop the government from using the cure as a weapon. Meanwhile, Magneto (Ian McKellan, Apt Pupil) has his own designs for the cure, and he has attempted to harness the immeasurable power of Phoenix to assist him.
Here’s what I liked: Phoenix. She was awesome. Evil, but awesome. She is basically the most powerful mutant ever. More powerful than Professor Xavier, Magneto, you name it. She gets a taste of unbridled power, and the consequences are tragic for the X-Men. Can Jean Grey be saved, or is she lost forever? Like its predecessor, The Last Stand addresses our notions of normalcy, tolerance, and acceptance. In a great scene Storm (Halle Berry, most recently of Catwoman) questions the need for a cure. Nothing is wrong with being a mutant, she asserts. Easy for you to say, says the Beast (Kelsey Grammer of Frasier). Storm is beautiful. Beast is….well, a beast for cryin’ out loud. A hairy blue beast. The majority has margianalized the mutants to such an extent that they assume the mutants would jump at the chance to become “normal.” It’s interesting to see which of the X-Men have accepted their existence, and those who would change it, if given the opportunity. Psychological aspects aside, The Last Stand is an all-around great flick. I cannot understand why some critics disliked it. Oh well. To each their own, but take my word for it: a deep, darkly entertaining movie. I’d say it’s the best of the summer, so far.