When Cinematical editor James Rocchi asked for someone completely uninterested in X-Men to do one of our two reviews on the new X-Men flick, I knew it'd be me. It's not that I don't end up enjoying the occasional comic flick if I happen to catch it; they're just not (with the exception of Spider-Man) the first films I tend to see. There are only so many films a busy girl can see, and my movie viewing-and-reviewing hours tend to be more devoted to indies, foreigns, and docs. The idea, I suppose, is to have someone reviewing the film purely on its artistic merits, untainted by any fangirl bias. I'm telling you all this upfront so you don't have to waste your fingers typing, "You're clearly an idiot who knows nothing about X-Men, so why the hell are you reviewing this film?" comments. You're right, I am almost totally ignorant of the world of X-Men, so take this review with that heaping portion of salt.
Because I am not a comic-geek, I wasn't obsessing over whether Brett Ratner would screw up this franchise or how much better it would have been if Bryan Singer had directed, or whether Kelsey Grammar would be at all convincing as the Beast. I saw X-Men and X-Men 2, and the most memorable thing about both films for me is the good cop-bad cop dynamic between Professor Xavier and Magneto and the philosophical issues underlying the evolution of mutants and how society would treat them.
X-Men: The Last Stand opens with a mutant-friendly President having established a Department of Mutant Relations, which actually made me laugh. How typical is it that the government would slap a layer of bureaucracy over a deeply divisive issue and call it done? Pretty damn likely. Things are cruising along pretty nicely for newly-appointed Mutant Ambassador Hank, aka The Beast (Kelsey Grammer), a furry blue mutant wearing the armor of respectability in the form of an ill-fitting suit, whose days are apparently filled by hanging upside down in his spandy-new paneled office waiting to be summoned to meetings. And the next meeting Hank is summoned to is a doozy -- the revelation that a "cure" for mutancy has been developed and is soon to be made available to the mutant public: Not forced on them, no -- of course the government would never do that. Your government has only your best interests at heart, right?