Fanboys rejoice (or at least relax): Rush Hour director Brett Ratner did not kill the X-Men. Well, not cinematically, anyway. While it's not as visually rich and smart as the first two, this sequel isn't the disaster we all feared, either. In fact, it's kind of like the Return of the Jedi of X-Men movies: great, but not perfect.
It helps that the story--in which a permanent cure for mutation sparks some serious ethical debate and mutant-on-mutant action--was written by Zak Penn, who held the same job on 2003's X2. It also helps that he turned one of the comic's most powerful storylines, that of Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) grappling with her limitless, god-like "Phoenix" powers, into a strikingly human subplot. And Ratner sticks close to the look and feel of the first two, even while amping up the action with some spectacular set pieces and chase scenes and adding some weirdly touching moments between Janssen and Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, as well as Ian McKellen's irresistible baddie Magneto and Patrick Stewart's Professor Xavier. Let's hope this isn't the Last we see of these mutants.