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Thursday, October 12, 2006 

Mini-review: X-Men 3

The standing theory amongst film critics cleverer than I is that just because Bryan Singer happens to be gay, homoeroticism must pervade every frame of the first two wildly successful X-Men films. Though with Singer off in favour of returning Superman, the hurried installation of hetero-hack Brett Ratner in the franchise's third (and ostensibly final) instalment seems to suggest something more in line with the churlish machismo of the Rush Hour films. Alas, an entirely different kind of camp infiltrates X-Men:The Last Stand, the kind where Ian McKellen can foist the Golden Gate Bridge over to Alcatraz whilst bellowing, “Charles always wanted to build bridges!” and –geddit?- literally doing so. Suddenly Iceman ‘coming out of the closet’ to his folks in part II seems nuanced.

That's not to completely disregard this comic book fare. It's certainly more to the point than Superman Returns. But clocking in at a lean 104 minutes, Last Stand eschews characterisation in way of dumb one-liners and a schizoid dual narrative (mutant cure= bad, crazy Jean Grey= bad) which would make even the most complacent Hollywood screenwriter blush. Any goodwill toward our hard done-by mutants friends is reliant on the innate affability of Kelsey Grammer or any broody emotional hold-over which may have miraculously stumbled its way across from the first two pictures. In the end, just about as bafflingly threatening as the rise of the Conservative party; but come closing time as gleefully vapid as David Cameron the environmentalist. All filler, no killer.

if my thoughts were elegant, witty and more steeped in film knowledge, you took them out of my head. good stuff.

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