FRIDAY REVIEW

These human Superheroes -- X Men: The Last Stand.

EDGE-OF-THE-SEAT EXPERIENCE: X Men: The Last Stand.  





X Men III - The Last StandGenre: Superhero/ Adventure
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Famke Janssen, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, James Marsden, Rebecca Romijn
Director: Brett Ratner
Storyline: As humans find a 'cure' to make mutants into humans, the superheroes must choose whose side they should take.
Bottomline: Whoa! X-citing! Director Bryan Singer will not be missed in X-MenBrett Ratner (who directed 'Rush Hour 1,' '2' and currently working on '3') keeps the much-loved franchise alive and kicking what the superheroes love to boot most.Besides, we need Bryan to be busy with better things cinema can offer: Like 'Superman Returns,' set to release in 3-D IMAX in some blessed parts of the world, in the next few weeks.But this is about X-Men. Fans will have plenty to talk about after walking out of 'The Last Stand,' with so much happening, all in one movie: More than one of your favourite superheroes die. Another returns. Something as drastic as a 'cure' is introduced which means some more of them would probably lose their superpowers. The franchise born out of the X-Men comics of the 1960s, is about a bunch of superheroes with different superpowers.

Cool and stylish

Watching one superhero having an intense dramatic crisis can itself be an edge-of-the-seat experience. Now imagine, a bunch of them with unique superpowers (that make the kid in you go 'Woohoo'), all of them in really cool, stylish and sexy costumes, saying the sauciest lines, fighting as a team and looking good. This is the kind of stuff that brings the roof down and makes the floor below give way.If you have not been an X-Men fan, this one could make you one and make you catch up with the first two movies too. If you are a fan, like most of us, you will still want to watch the first two movies again to understand why characters now do the things they do, especially the complicated romantic angle.It is rather difficult to talk about the film without giving away the spoilers. So if you have not seen the movie, stay away from those who have.But just looking at the cast line-up, it is easy to guess that Jean Gray (Famke Janssen) who dies in the second film returns.

Surprises in store

Well, that's just one of the surprises that this 104-minute film packs with its multiple superheroes, the interplay between them, their sub-plots and personal conflicts, their love-lives and of course, the central conflict among mutants led by Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and the Brotherhood formed by Ian McKellen, when humans find a 'cure' to change mutants into humans.Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) who has sort of become the face of the X-Men franchise gets the meaty part this time round. Women will have no complaints on this front. The movie belongs to the guy who carries it on his shoulders made of steel blades. Storm (Halle Berry) doesn't have much else to do apart from sporting a new wig while Jean Gray (Famke Janssen) returns to stump everybody with a dark new personality as the 'Phoenix.'The veterans Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen continue to be consistently brilliant as they have been in the series, with the latter having a bigger role to play this time around.Out of the new bunch of mutants that make their entry, Juggernaut (Vinnie Jones) makes you smile, despite being in the wrong team.Though the visual effects are spellbinding and magnificent (Watch out for the bridge sequence), this movie isn't about them. It's largely about choice and the emotions that go with it. As a result, X-Men 3 turns out to pack a wallop in terms of sentiment and emotions, especially in the climax, much like most Hollywood movies these days. Or should we say, more like Indian cinema?

Increasingly human

The trend is catching up. Superheroes are becoming increasingly human and their conflicts too are becoming overtly emotional by the day.We can only hope they don't become full-fledged tearjerkers in the coming instalments. But for that minor crib, this movie is dynamite. And don't get off your seat till the credits actually start rolling, lest you miss the last-second twist.SUDHISH KAMATH