I Would Rather Get Super AIDS Than Suffer
Through X-Men 3: The Last Stand Again:
A Long and Rambling List of Greivances
Mike Keegan - June 18, 2006
Bryan Singer's first two X-Men movies are a textbook example of intelligent and engaging action/adventure movies. The films' extended (or, ahem, "x-tended") metaphor of mutant persecution as sexual persecution (see: Bobby Drake's "coming out" to his parents in X2, Rogue's whole "I'm not like everybody else!" arc in X1) was presented in a smart and effective manner, with an understatement pretty much unknown in the milieu the X-Men movies were designed for (which I guess would be the level of cinematic purgatory reserved for summer blockbusters and comic adaptations). How does X3 start? Warren Worthington trying to cut off his nascent wings in a bathroom, while his dad pounds on the door.
You know! Like jerking off! Like he was jerking off and his dad was going to walk in on him! Hahahahaahah! Everyone can relate to that, right?!
This introductory scene pretty much sets the tone for the crass, ugly, lowest-common-denominator schlock fest that continues.
X3 may as well be called "STORM IT UP!" because that bitch is all over the thing. It was a good decision to hand over the whole movie to the series's weakest character and worst actress. I think prior to the movie's start, there was a meeting at the X-Mansion where Professor Xavier pleaded with everyone to be nicer to Storm, because the first twenty minutes of the movie are just people complimenting her.
Wolverine is a neutered shadow of himself from X2 and certainly the comic books. He is reduced to a caricature (a trap these movies have so well avoided until now), all bark and no bite. Instead of a loner with a separate agenda and a tangental allegiance to Professor Xavier, he's basically a school chaperone and lapdog. I call bullshit on an X-Men movie free of beserker rages.
Cyclops's death was lame. Professor X's death was lame.
Beast was terrible. Did they test Kelsey Grammer's make-up before they started shooting, or did they slap blue house paint on him and shove him in front of the camera? He didn't even act like Beast. It was retarded to squander him like that.
Why wasn't Bobby Drake covered in ice when he was fighting? Isn't it safer for him, and doesn't it look bad ass? I was always under the impression that it is and it does. His epic battle with Pyro looked like Mortal Kombat 2. They can control fire and ice, but they just throw fireballs and iceballs at one another?
"Budget!" I shout.
No character had more than three scenes, and two of those scenes existed just to propel the plot in the most literal terms possible, with literal, transparent and generic dialogue running throughout. For example: Warren Worthington's first scene is him trying to cut off his wings as a little kid. Sometimes being a mutant is a problem. Warren Worthington's second scene is his super-rich dad trying to give him the cure he created. Sometimes parents are in denial about their kids' problems and want to solve them even though that isn't what the kid wants. Warren Worthington's third scene is when he saves his dad from falling out of a building. In the end, it's best to accept people for who they are, because they might have wings and can save you from falling to your death.
Juggernaut was an abortion of a character. Utterly wrong and useless on every level.
The Mutant Cure storyline was hackneyed. Joss Whedon's Gifted TPB is brilliant and a huge success in all the ways X3 is a failure. Please read it to see the X-Men handled correctly. I don't know why Fox didn't just hire him to make this movie, if they were going to rip him off in such a half-assed way.
Colossus was an American?! What the fuck?
Magneto's huge army was approximately twenty tents in the woods, and none of them had mutant powers.
The climactic battle sequence looked very much like a stage show at Universal Studios Orlando, which is to say -- a couple of flame jets and burnt out car husks and motorcycle jumps and we'll call it a day.
Phoenix is the most powerful mutant in the history of the world, but her power has a range of about twelve feet. And although the most powerful mutant in the history of the world is a telepath, she can't tell Wolverine's going to stab her? WTF? (I could go into a big digression about how it was fucked up they said Phoenix was just a part of Jean Grey and not the Phoenix Force, but I think that would get a tad dorky even for this forum... Also, on a similar tangent, was that supposed to be Callisto? And were those ravers with dumb tattoos supposed to be Morlocks?)
At this point, I think it would be expected of me to say "Despite my problems, it was cool to see the Fastball Special," or "Despite my problems, it was cool to see a dismembered Sentinel head," or "Despite my problems, it was cool to see the Danger Room," or something like that. But I don't think it was cool. I think it was fucking patronizing to see that shit. You know, all the little "fan" touches that I'm sure the filmmakers are very proud of and will point out to interviewers from Wizard Magazine. It's goddamned patronizing to see elements of the things you love about X-Men shoehorned into this rotting garbage. Perhaps they should worry less about fitting in a Days of Future Past homage and worry a little more about making a halfway decent movie.