Saturday, May 27, 2006

X-Men 3, Audience 2.

I have gone on record as saying how conflicted I was about this movie, how I wanted it to suck as it's not being directed by Bryan Singer and also how I didn't want it to suck as I do love the other 2 so much. Well the end result is I sort of liked it but it ultimately frustrated me.

Fox are evil and their insanity in the way they handled the first 2 is what caused Bryan Singer to walk away from part 3 (well, that and the upcoming Superman Returns, obviously). It's a well known fact that X-Men was originally scheduled to be the big Thanksgiving movie in 2000 when Fox suddenly decided to move the opening to July 4th, shaving almost 5 months off the post production schedule. It's frankly a miracle the movie ended up as good as it did when those kind of insane pressures are placed upon it. On the special edition DVD, they show the moment Singer is telling some people about the move in opening date. Clearly he is furious but he's reining it in and as the camera pans away, it goes past someone I assume is his assistant who mouths "he's so pissed" at the camera. You don't say. X-Men 2: X-Men United had a tough shoot with flared tempers and cast walkouts and of course BlackAssGate but the end result was truly brilliant a big summer blockbuster with brains and heart that also made sure you got plenty of bang for your buck.

And so now we have the third installment in the franchise, X-Men: The Last Stand, Ratner's blunt object to Singer's razor blade. The main plot, that a cure for mutants is discovered opens up huge potential and sadly barely any of it is realised. The dilemma that some mutants might be happy not to have their powers while others revel in them is briefly touched on as is the after effects of suddenly having the powers they love so removed from them. But oh so very briefly. The fact that the cure is created by the father of a mutant is ignored. IGNORED! The other main plot line, the re-appearance of Jean Grey is fumbled too. Ratner doesn't seem to know what to do with her except have her wander around silently with a new dye job and look upset every now and again. There are only two scenes that deal with the extent of her power and one is way WAY too long and the other is the final moments of the big battle and is anti climactic when it should be poignant.

There are many other characters and mini plots swirling around in here and not all of them have satisfactory arcs and conclusions. Some of the cast (Ben Foster, Aaron Stanford) must wonder why they bothered showing up. Others cast members will have the audience wondering how the hell they got into the movie (Vinnie fucking Jones). And ultimately, it's very frustrating that with the two big plot strands and all the mini plot strands and new characters fighting for space, two thirds of the way through Ratner obviously thought "ah, fuck it" and decided to concentrate on pointless set pieces and crazed action. I left the theatre annoyed by what could have been rather than overwhelmed by what was.

And just to underline what could have been, the international trailer for Superman Returns was shown in front of it. And my GOD it looks incredible. In. Cred. Ible.


dirk.mancuso said...

I know I am in the minority, but I have never been a huge fan of the X-Men movies (a big fan of James Marsden, however, so I see them). I've always thought they were too overloaded with too many characters to be able to do any of them justice.

When I saw all the new characters for this one, I just rolled my eyes. I knew there would not be enough time for Famke Janssen and James Marsden, the two reasons I go. Please tell me that they kill off Rogue in this one. Anna Paquin has got to be the creepiest teen ever. And I don't see it getting any better as she enters womanhood

Popcultureboy said...

Unfortunately for you Mr Mancuso, Anna Paquin is still breathing when the end credits roll and will more than likely be in the next movie (Last Stand, my ass). There is however a good guy body count in this film and, well, let's just say you won't be happy with it.

Eric said...

Spoiler ALERT!!!!

I cannot, for the life of me, buy that they let Wolverine be the one who stopped Phoenix. Aside from the fact that she could so easily handle Xavier (which I think is a sham, as in he had to let her win - but I'll save my all-powerful Xavier rant for another time), her destructive display before Wolverine goes to stop her SHOULD have highlighted the fact that she could have dusted him before his healing factor could even kick in.
Cheap. Cheap, cheap, cheap. I know everyone loves Hugh and Wolverine but it was wrong. If anyone stopped Jean, it should have been the TRUE people who loved her: Cyclops or Xavier.
Missed opportunity.

Cookie said...

All too true, with your review, poppy.

But didn't you want Wolverine's trousers to get blown off by the Phoenix?

Popcultureboy said...

I know! I was amused how his trousers just wouldn't come off.