May 28, 2006

Extended and amended for your reading pleasure.

Saw X-Men 3 today. I just have one thing to say about it; they should have quit while they were ahead.

If anyone even remotely reads this blog by all means, start a discussion about it, but it was terrible. So awful, it put me in a bad mood.

Before I launch into my reasons for detesting this movie, let me offer a few disclaimers. If at any time you either disagree or do not understand these disclaimers it’s best you skip the whole thing, go plop down your money for a ticket and make up your own mind. Come to think of it you should do that anyway, make up your own mind, but please, please, do not pay money to see this movie. At best get a friend who is a nutcase to buy it when it comes out on DVD that way you can watch it for free and only waste valuable time as opposed to hard earned cold cash.

I am neither a purest, or an elitist, when it comes to comic book movies. That said, I was a HUGE fan of the X-men from about 1977 to 1990 or 91. Everything that came after has been utter tripe in my opinion. Not to say that they haven’t had a few good stories peppered here and there but in general what they have done to the ‘mythology’ of the X-men is heinous at best and excrement at worst. I enjoyed the film adaptations of Spiderman and Burton’s Batman (except the last two.) I even appreciate Ang Lee’s Hulk despite everyone else hating it. I enjoyed (note: didn’t love) the first two X-men films and I’m a rabid fan of both the Crow (number one only) and Batman Begins.

Expanding on the first two XMen films. I watched them again before seeing X3 just to get myself pumped (I was really looking forward to seeing the Dark Phoenix saga from yesteryear come to life on the screen.) I noticed that I wasn’t as thrilled about them after seeing them again. They were no longer great movies, they were just okay/good movies. I enjoyed them but I realized watching them back to back that they weren’t really as good a representation as I’d noted on first seeing them. Take it for what you will.

Now you have some foundation on which to weigh your ‘stake’ in this ‘review.’ MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!

10) If Magneto can move metal why go to all that effort just to tear up the Golden Gate Bridge when all he REALLY needed to do was to use the metal that existed in his armies clothing (since they were all from the Goth/Punk school of dressing – see #9) to levitate them all over to Alcatraz and make the best damn surprise attack ever. Magneto ain’t stupid, he’d definitely be able to strategize better than that.

9) Why on earth did Magneto’s entire army look like rejects from a Vampire the Masquerade LARP and the Xmen were all pretty and clean cut (barring Wolvering that is but even he was all warm and fuzzy in this flick?) If they were supposed to be Morlocks, and I was around for the best Morlock tales ever, a little development could have gone a long way to help out this rip in the suspension of disbelief. (See development #3 later.)

8) Where the hell was Nightcrawler? I don’t so much mind him not being there but given that the film picked up not to long after XMen 2 ended at least mention he left for the German circus or something? (This also harkens to development and #3.)

3-7) This was such a big one it gets a chunk of the ten. Development. As in ‘none.’ As in ‘pathetic’. As in CRAP! An inherent flaw in the three films that only succeeds in getting worse with each incarnation. In the first movie they pretty much made it ALL WOLVERINE ALL THE TIME. Anyone who knows me will tell you that Wolverine has been one of my favorite characters in literature since I was 16. He’s an archetype that’s certain. But I also firmly believe that Wolverine, as a character, only works best in a supporting position. If you see too much of him, or know too much, his mystique, his ‘awesomeness’ shall we say, is diluted to blaise. But I could get over that. It was the first movie. They’re flexing their creative fingers. However, in that first movie you introduced not just one, but SIX (Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm, Rogue, Xavier, Magneto) other fabulous characters from the XMen mythos. So what do you do it X2 to develop them? Um, you dilute it even futher by adding more characters (Iceman, Nightcrawler, Colossus) and less time to develop ANY of them. So, knowing that, what do you do for X3??? Well, you keep all those same characters already (except of course, Nightcrawler) and you dilute it even further by adding MORE characters (Beast, Angel, Leech, Kitty Pryde). Now note, I’m not even counting the villains (with the exception of Magneto, that is.) So all in all, you’ve got 13 characters. How to develop them? By taking any real screen time to develop either character or plot and putting in a bazillion little cool special effect cameos from the likes of other ‘established’ characters in the Xmen mythos (Jubilee, Calisto, Multiple Man, – I could go on and on.) Yes, this was one big massive special fx, gee-whiz, golly jeepers, cool whiz bang of a movie.

2) The death of Scott Summers. I actually wasn’t all that bothered by the death of Xavier (it did have dramatic impact although I thought it was a bit silly the way they did it) but the death of Cyclops at the hands of the one relationship in the Xmen that has always been the representation of love and purity pissed me off so bad and was so stupid I’m not sure how much of the rest of the movie was colored for me. This is vastly releated to #1 (below) and you can get the full scope of how awful this was by just scrolling down.

1) The love triangle. (Cyclops – Jean Grey – Wolverine). Even my wife thought this was ludicrious and stupid and she never even read the Xmen. The relationship between Cyclops and Jean Grey was unbreakable. It had it’s rocky periods, but overall, the one thematical element that always existed for them was that their love was pure and true and without peer. It’s what made the death of Jean Grey (way back in the early’ 80s) so memorable and so potent. Yes, there was an ‘animal’ attraction between Jean and Logan, but it in no way was ever true love. The climax of X3 says otherwise and it completely and utterly undermines and trivializes what is probably one of the greatest story arcs in American comic history. It was assinine and it left me with a terrible, terrible feeling. It was poorly written and easily revealed that these people involved had no real clue into what a ‘relationship’ is. Even one based from a comic book.

All in all, this movie was a tragic waste of time. It ruined what could have been a good (albeit not great) trilogy of comic movies.

I only hope that Superman Returns and the forthcoming Batman sequel don’t tarnish the comic book adaptation reputation.