For those of you who have seen prequels I and II, this movie picks up where II left off with some interesting twists (you’re probably as surprised as I was to see Famke Janssen among the cast list). If you haven’t seen the earlier episodes, “X-Men: The Last Stand” opens with enough historical background to bring you up to speed. It explains that the good mutants, led by Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) are at war with the bad mutants, under the rule of Magneto (Ian McKellen). There are enough complex themes, action scenes and surprise twists to keep you entertained and on the edge of your seat.
The action centers around a war between two competing philosophies; one that wants to become “normal” and the other that believes their condition is not an illness, but a unique gift. The message here is deeply symbolic of the struggles we face when looking at people who are different from ourselves; whether those differences are cultural, racial, or physical.
To add to the complexity, there are also several internal battles between good and evil within the souls of certain key characters. All in all, with a few quantum leaps of continuity, the movie is compelling and attention-keeping. The special effects, especially the transplanted bridge and the “birdman,” are amazingly realistic.
Parents will want to keep little ones away, since there are many intense scenes with graphic death and destruction, barely keeping the film within Dove’s guidelines for an ages twelve plus approval rating. Fortunately, there was little blood overall and the violence is contained within a fantasy type of environment.