I saw X-men 3 on the Saturday after it opened, and have been meaning to post my thoughts on it ever since. Since I'm the only comics geek friend to several people, they keep asking my opinions and, while I'm happy to wax philosophical about the transition from comic books to film at pretty much any point in time, I do think I oughta put all my thoughts on X3 in one place. That's here.
This might get long; moreover since I'm writing it in bits and pieces throughout
a busy workday er two days er A WEEK of pure hell at work, it might get rambley. I might also make up new words like rambley. I'll also let you, dear reader, know before I unleash any spoilers.
Ok, I feel you've been duly warned on all the dangers of proceeding.
Boring comic/movie geek stuff ahead.
Here's the frame-of-reference section of the review: I'm a long time, on-again-off-again, comic book geek. I was a huge X-men fan for many years and still own a ton of issues in dusty boxes. I still read comics, however I don't read as many mainstream titles as a I used to. Also, I'm a big fan of movies and can recognize the inherit differences in the two mediums.
I'll get this part out of the way right up front: I really enjoyed X-3 and I think it's getting a bad rap in some circles. I'm a big fan of the first two movies and I'd agree that it's not as good as those two, but it's also different.
I think the feel of the movie suffered a little with the loss of Brian Singer (the director). Brett Ratner is just a different sort of director and it shows. I don't think, however, that he was the weakpoint in the movie.
I also don't think the acting or over-all plot were problems either. Some of the dialog was a bit weak though. There were one or two times when Magneto was making a speech and it just felt a little trite. So what if you've got such a great character as Magneto played by Ian fuckin' McKellen and it STILL doesn't work? It's the writing, kids. Sir Ian doesn't just phone it in.
The main flaws were certain plot points that just didn't work...
SPOILERS AHEAD, true believers.
For example, at the end of the movie when Wolverine kills Jean, that should have been the most poignant point in the movie. An X-man knowing he's got to take out one of his own. It's a good, dramatic idea. Why didn't it work for me? Because the kid who could NULIFY MUTANT POWERS was on the same damned island. (His name, in the books, is Leach by the way.) Why not just grab him and introduce him to Jean. Good bye, mean 'ol Dark Phoenix.
Ok, I realize that's not the most dramatic solution to the problem, but even if you removed that (i.e. plugged that plot hole by removing Leach from the island beforehand) it's still a moment that couple of been made more pivotal by having, say Scott (Cyclops) kill Jean. After all, they were together. She's the love of his life. Also, it's a bonus for the actor that plays him too; he gets more than 5 minutes screen time.
There are also some 'wtf' moments, such as the 'whole bridge thing'. If I invoke major suspension of disbelief powers, I can rationalize it by saying Magneto was essentially showing off his power by moving the entire Golden Gates. In actuality, though, I think it was actually Brett Ratner showing off and I don't think it worked very well. Especially since they never explained it beyond Juggernaught saying he can't swim. As if any of them were planning to swim to fucking Alcatraz in the first place. >.<
There are a lot of