May 30th, 2006

The best part of this movie-going experience was the teaser trailer for Snakes On A Plane, or more specifically, the mixed reaction of the audience, with a portion applauding and hooting, and the rest completely baffled (one guy behind me actually said “Are they joking? Is that actually coming out?”). This is not meant as a harsh judgement of the movie…it just couldn’t top my delight in that moment. X-Men III: The Last Stand is a movie-universe-only film. Leave your comic/cartoon-based preconceptions and character knowledge with the other half of your ticket-stub, because they could seriously damage any enjoyment you might wring out of this film, and there are some juicy bits of mutant tastiness to be had. Oh…and be prepared for some losses…OK, a lot of losses. Like, “Oh my God, they did not just do that” losses. Followed by “What? But they already…in one movie?” losses. The story begins with a very well-done flashback sequence to the days when Charles and Erik were chums, seeking out Mutants being their mutual cause, and Jean Grey being one of thier first and most impressive finds (Stan Lee’s cameo was particularly cute in this one). After a brief (and probably confusing for non-fans) Angel introduction, We’re brought into the current timeline. Scott is a broken man, haunted by dreams of Jean’s death. Magneto and Pyro are still on the loose, but Mystique has been captured again. We’re introduced to a Hank McCoy played adroitly by Kelsey Grammer as a former scientist turned diplomat and cabinet-level appointee as head of Mutant Relations (although his reading Scientific American seemed a bit lightweight of a choice…Nature, maybe?). The crisis-evoking event of the day is a new drug kept hush-hush through FDA approval until it could be presented for public use…a drug which suppresses all mutant characteristics, and is being marketed as a cure. Of course, this provokes massive turmoil among the mutant community, and Magneto is quick to take advantage. And that’s pretty much as far as I can go without some degree of spoilage, which I’d rather not do. As I implied earlier, I’m somewhat divided on this film. As a fan of action movies in general, and superhero movies in particular, this episode provided a lot of the right kind of stuff. I’d say it’s inferior to either of its two predecessors, but not terribly so, and some of the effects (Okay, I can’t help a little spoilerificness…I particularly liked ROT-13: Cubravk’f cbjref) were spectacular. The comic fan in me, though, hates this movie. It hates what it does with major characters, it hates the way certain characters are portrayed, and it particularly despises one decision made by the X-men (ROT-13:Ornfg naq Fgbez nterrvat gb hfr Gur Pher ba Zntargb. Nofbyhgryl fgbznpu gheavat. Ybtna V jbhyqa’g unir nf zhpu bs n ceboyrz jvgu, ur’f na hggre centzngvfg; ohg V pna’g frr gur Bebeb be gur Unax V xabj sebz gur pbzvpf znxvat gung pnyy.) I can put that aside enough to enjoy the film, but it saddens me that its creators felt those choices were necessary, and it damages my impressions overall. If you aren’t a die-hard fan of the comic, go get your first decent dose of Summer action, and enjoy the show. I, for one, won’t mind a repeat viewing at some point down the road. If you can’t divorce yourself from your preconceptions of this story and these characters, you might want to give it a miss. It will probably just irritate you. It might even infuriate you. Choose wisely…Oh, and stay through the credits!

5 Responses to “X-Men III”

  1. veggiesteph says:

    I am right on with your review here. I loved it and hated it, for most of the reasons you cited.

  2. JConstantine says:

    Good review, mate, and you nailed it right on the head.

    A suggestion, if I may: I understand your wanting to prevent spoilerage, but for longer bits like the second encoding, it’s easier if we can just copy and paste the phrase to decode it if we don’t mind. Maybe have the coding, and thenk a link to the rot13 site from there?

    Good job.

  3. Skwid says:

    Thanks for the comments, Steph and Trey.

    How ’bout that, Trey?

  4. Kristy says:

    Wow, thank you for this, I absolutely agree. It infuriated me, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get past the utter absurdity of it all. A few things I didn’t like- Phoenix and her inception story, the merciless killing of multiple main characters (nevertheless how they die), and Rogue’s decision (which, really, I’ve always been unhappy with the Rogue portrayed in these movies, from the attempt, failing, and dissapation of her fake accent, to her disgustingly weak-minded character of this third episode).

    But, I thought that Kelsey Grammer as Beast was a brilliant move, he did a great job. I was happy with Jean’s powers, (although unhappy with her lack of… acting/speaking), and the way they came about developing the “cure” was especially inventive, but overall I don’t think the movie could be saved from my preconcieved notions. I was just really let down because the Phoenix Saga was my favorite sub-story from the X-men universe, it just irked me that they did it such a disservice. And I’m still so angry!

    Have you seen that one show on Sci-Fi or G4 that’s something along the lines of “Who Wants to be a Superhero?” It’s a reality show where so many people compete to be the best superhero with the alter-ego of their choice- if they win, they get a made-for-TV movie starring their character, and a comic book deal. It’s the silliest premise/show I have ever seen, and yet Stan Lee is the host/star. That just really seems to irk me too- why Stan Lee, why!? Save for Superman, I’ve since been converted to a Marvel girl m’self.

  5. Skwid says:

    Hey, Kristy. I never did catch WWtbaS?, although I was curious of the concept. Stan Lee has long, long since been someone everyone knows will do something just for the money, though, and that show stank of that.

    (Psst…Supe’s DC…not Marvel)

    Thanks for stopping by!

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