This movie is like the previous installments, but more. The story, as anyone who hasn't been in a cave for the last few months will know, revolves around a company which has developed a "cure" for mutation, which delights some mutants, but annoys the hell out of others.
One nagging absence is Nightcrawler, introduced in X2, who fails to make even a single appearance, and no explanation is offered. Wolverine fans will, however, be delighted. Strangely tamed for the first two movies (at least compared to the comics), he's on full form for the third, ripping his way through a series of brutal fight scenes in typically bestial fashion.
Speaking of all things bestial, Kelsey Grammer as Beast seemed an odd choice, but given the character's witty, urbane nature when not fighting, Grammer fits well, and doesn't damage the role for the fight scenes, where he proves he can be just as violent as his beclawed compatriot.
And if there's any casting choice that seems odder than Grammer as Beast, it's ex-footballer bad-boy turned actor Vinnie Jones as Juggernaut. But, again, the decision is vindicated when Jones shows he can pull this one off, too.
Ellen Page, who starred in that horrific waste of time, Hard Candy, actually manages to put in a decent performance as Kitty Pryde (the girl who can walk through walls).
This third (and possibly final) installment in the X-Men series pulls no punches. As the geeky guy in Scream 3 put it: Nobody is safe. Don't expect the cast to walk away from this one intact.
Doombreed rating: ****1/2
The other piece of news from this movie is a kind of good news/not so good news affair.
The good news: The next Marvel release is Ghost Rider, the story of a carnival stuntman possessed by Zarathos, a demon of vengeance, bound by his nature to avenge stuff. Like Anya from Buffy, just without the whole ditzy-blonde-cuteness.
The not so good news: Nicholas Cage is playing Johnny Blaze, the lead.
Okay, so I didn't believe Hugh Jackman would be any good at Wolverine, so maybe it'll work out. Ghost Rider was my favourite comic as a kid, narrowly squeezing out Iron Man (which, rumours suggest, is also in the works), so this movie is going to have to work hard to live up to my expectations.
Here's the official site.