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X-Men 3 : The Last Stand

May 30, 2006

On Saturday the 27th of May, I, my wife, and several of our friends hit up a 2pm matinee showing of X-Men 3: The Last Stand. I and Brian would have probably had to give the movie a miss, had things gone according to plan. We weren’t even supposed to be up here that day.

Instead, we were supposed to be in Chicago enjoying the Play! Videogame Symphony. Thanks to some overeager spambotting of my Games.Slashdot email address, I was unable to communicate in time with the PR folks who said they were going to organize my tickets. Without assurances of tickets, Brian and I stayed in the Madison. X3 was supposed to assuage our annoyance by providing an afternoon of forgettable action. I, at least, would have been better served taking my chances with Chicago.

Warning: Spoilers Ahead.

Mostly, the movie was a disappointment. I’d become used to the well-crafted action sequences of Bryan Singer, and Ratner just didn’t have the chops for a project of this size. I like the Rush Hour films, but his spectacle-based film-making just wasn’t the right fit for this story.

More than poor directing, though, the writing simply crushed my enjoyment of the experience. The deaths of Scott Summers and Professor X, both within half an hour of the start of the film, were as senseless as they were poorly executed. There was a goodly amount of needless teen angst scattered throughout the film. I felt that toned very poorly when arrayed against the backdrop of grown-up (thought mutant) problems. The constant hinting at the inevitable Wolverine movie got very old very fast, the Phoenix was underused as both a character and a plot device, and the stupid ‘Juggernaut, bitch’ fan toss-out was completely inappropriate.

What was missing was respect. The last two films at least tried to capture some of the essence of the characters and setting, while this one squandered the experience on big explosions and ridiculous effects shots. The only bright spots of the film were the talents of Ian McKellen and Kelsey Grammar, both of whom got some nice moments in the sun. Even then, Magneto’s strength as a character was seriously undermined several times throughout the film. The ignominious end to his powers felt very metaphoric to me; A powerful wielder of elemental forces reduced before my eyes to an old man in a cape.

It’s not enough to say that X3 is bad, though. It also got me in trouble. The way I expressed my dislike of the film would go on to have domestic repercussions, because I can’t keep an opinion to myself. So … many thanks for stealing my money and lowering further my opinion of Hollywood, X3. You also managed to get me in trouble at home. Maybe for X4 they can send Hugh Jackman directly to my doorstep to kick me in the balls.

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  1. You might enjoy this review as written by my friend Chris. He has a theory how this pile of crap came to be:
    http://redswami.livejournal.com/33451.html


  2. I didn’t like it either. Way to ruin both the Genosha and Dark Pheonix storylines by trying to mash them together. The should have stuck with the Genosha line (I had no problem that they moved it to Alcatraz), but explored the parallels of ‘curing’ mutants and ‘curing’ homosexuals.

    Also, the “here’s a character”, “here’s a character” thing was stupid, and there were editing mistakes in the last battle sequence.


  3. Gah! Spoiler warnings, please! I’m still planning to see this despite your distaste! I didn’t need to read about the deaths of major characters! Fie on you, sir!


  4. Hee. :)

    I included them to perhaps dissuade you from going. Prof. X Dies! He’s killed by Dumbledore and Wash when they crash Serenity onto his head!


  5. If you stay for after the credits there is a OMG he’s not really dead scene for one of the characters mentioned above.



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