To the third film in the X-Men series – X-Men : The Last Stand. Following the huge success of X2, Bryan Singer opted to leave the franchise, in order to take on the challenge of Superman Returns rather than the third film in the franchise.
Leaving only a partly formed notion for the 3rd film, Singer handed over the reigns to director Brett Ratner, with a screenplay by Simon Kinberg and Zak Penn.
The story picks up relatively closely to the end of the events in the 2nd film. Following the events at Alkaline Lake, Scott has been especially impacted, whilst Storm is working hard to build a new team from the younger members. The entire mutant world is shocked to hear that a cure for their ‘conditions’ has been discovered based on the unique gifts of a young boy.
The reaction to the news of a potential cure to the mutant genes in addition with fewt of the reaction from human kind leads the X-Men on a new course of conflict with Magneto’s ‘Brother hood of mutants’.
In the cast we see the main ensemble returning with larger roles offered to both Halle Berry and Famke Janssen (whose performance is probably the stand out of the film). For new additions, Ellen Page is a highlight (as is Kelsey Grammer) with Vinnie Jones as ‘Juggernaut’ at the opposite end.
Frankly, in my opinion, no film in a significant franchise has ever caused so many issues for the overall franchise than this one. Its overly brave approach in character twists and storyline wreaks havoc with the potential for future films and left the series breaking off into individual character prequels (although at least one was already well in development) and later some clever work to reboot the overall X-Men series. But even with with screenplay attempting such bravery and courage in making statements, its riddled with pointless moments and lacks so much of the tension, drama and darkness of the first two.
The cast do everything that they can with what they have to work with and certainly the first half of the film is far more well constructed that the latter. It was a genuinely disappointing addition to a series that had offered so much in its first two films.