X-Men: The Last Stand

Rated 4.0

A newfound “cure” for mutantism sparks a showdown between the forces of professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen). Director Brett Ratner (taking over for Bryan Singer) keeps the franchise going in fine style. As usual, character development is dashed off in quick sketches while mutant powers are shown in all the lavish detail that $200 million worth of computers can generate; the thrill may dissipate over time, but it’s great fun while it lasts. Don’t buy that “last stand” business; the story follows the paint-yourself-into-a-corner-and-knock-down-the-wall school of sci-fi, and in true franchise style, the ending sets us up for X-Men: A New Beginning or whatever they decide to call it. Do stay all the way through the credits, or you’ll be mighty surprised when the next one comes out.