(out of 5)
After the enjoyment of the first installment and the thrilling adventure of the fantastic sequel, this third entry in the X-Men series is a letdown. Weak character development, unimaginative direction and a very cheap-looking production are to blame for this limp experience, in which the mutant superheroes are under threat from a chemical cure that has been developed to turn mutants into normal humans. This keeps the good old citizens of America from feeling threatened by those who are different than themselves, but while responsible professor Patrick Stewart wants to work with the government, reckless Ian McKellen desires full-scale war. The political allegory is obvious, but director Brett Ratner doesn’t have Bryan Singer’s knack for enriching the story with personal aspects in between the giant action scenes. What little conflict there is relies on misogynistic templates (the girl superhero can’t control her powers, where did they think that one up?) and typical sexual complications. Cast members Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin, Rebecca Romijn and Famke Janssen (in a terrible wig!) are all back for more, but mostly they just look bored.
Directed by Brett Ratner
Cinematography by Dante Spinotti
Music by John Powell
Production Design by Ed Verreaux
Costume Design by Judianna Makovsky