We went and saw X-Men III last night. It wasn’t as good as the first two, but not for lack of familiar elements or cool nods to fans. They threw in a Sentinel and a couple of “fastball specials”; included Beast and Angel so that all five of the origninal X-Men (Beast, Angel, Cyclops, Iceman and Jean Grey) would be in the same movie; had plentry of Wolverine kicking butt and calling Beast “furball” and Colossus “tin man”; had Magneto show off his awesome power by ripping the Golden Gate Bridge off its pylons; had cameos by Stan Lee and Chris Claremont; added more mutants than you can shake a Morlock at; got Rebecca Romijn naked; and even managed to wink at an un-funny internet parody. Beast came off quite well, actually. Much better than I feared. And the story itself wasn’t bad.
They continued to mess with the X-Men canon, but that’s pretty much been ripped up and tossed into the air like confetti even before the movies started mucking things up. About the only thing that made me go “WTF?” this time was Callisto’s makeover. If I hadn’t been told who she was, I wouldn’t have known.
So, why didn’t I like it so much? I’m not sure. Maybe it was that they tried to squeeze so many things into such a short movie. These days, I expect a movie to be 3 hours if it’s got that much to tell. This one comes in at less than 2 hours. That makes for a lot of cutting between storylines, and while it’s not hard to keep up with, there are a few scenes that seem to get cut short (the Danger Room sequence at the beginning, for example). There are just too many mutants competing for screen time. Focus, Pinky, focus!
I also didn’t like the Dark Phoenix Saga getting reduced to a bit role in a movie about a mutant cure. They never set out to do the whole thing right (including battles on the Moon, the Shi’ar Empire, the Watcher, and the whole cosmic thing), so why did they feel like they even had to put it in? Sure, the scenes where Jean goes fiery are great, but she is never the fearsome destroyer of worlds. She’s more like a zombie with a bad temper and mad TK skillz.
The last stand? Well…maybe… I somehow doubt that the powers-that-be will give up on their cash cow quite so easily. Not to spoil it, but nobody they can’t live without in a future film dies, and the world isn’t exactly 100-percent mutant-safe. I’d be willing to bet on seeing another X-Men film eventually.
Oh!! We always stay to the bitter end, but most people bolt out of there. This time, I had to go to the bathroom, and I almost decided to wait for Whiny and V to come out, but I went back in just in time to see the final scene. Do not leave until the end credits are done.