Old 10-20-2008, 01:08 PM
X-Men 3: The Last Stand

I haven't seen one franchise get a third movie right since Star Wars back in '83 with Return of the Jedi. Bourne Ultimatum was actually able to do it, but in our modern industry, it seems impossible to get it right THREE times. The X-Men franchise certainly wasn't able to. Why is that? I'll briefly try to tackle this mystery in my review.

INTRO: Who is this kid and what is he doing in that bathroom? Exactly, I have no idea why he hogs the opening screen time or why we are even supposed to care about his relationship with his father. The writers here are trying to create conflict between people and mutants, but the only thing they accomplish is informing us that their plot is laughable and void of any real weight. I don't care about flyboy or his dad, and I don't care about the politicians or authorities. Show me the main characters from the first films, and get into what happened to Gene Gray. Oh good, it isn't TOO horribly long before our attention is on these aspects...

PLOT/PACING: The war between humans and mutants here is the worst attempt at drama and loyalty I've ever seen. An ultimatum scene between Storm and Wolverine, and a coma of a scene between Angel and his father is the best they could do? We don't even know "wing-boy" and his affairs are a complete disinterest to us. Making him the introduction and outro of the film isn't anything stellar or deep. It's just a mundane event and a complete mystery as far as the audience is concerned. I never got the feeling that this "war" was anything but superficial. An over-hyped excuse to show characters shouting at each other and big fight scenes. And along with this war with no emotional substance, they throw in the Phoenix Saga. It's like they took THAT plot-line and pressed the fast-forward button. It would have been better to not have that at all (with all its inconsistencies and contrived motivations) and focused more on the war story-line. It definitely needed help. I do like how they have no problem with killing off major characters, though. The way it's done is completely artificial and unbelievable, but it adds a bit of weight to their pitiful story.

ACTION: The thrill of seeing live-action mutant powers is gone. Now, as a team of writers, you have to show us something cool and innovative. This was a success in the last film, with new and incredible mutant powers galore. Here, nothing really stands out. We've seen all these powers before and none of them are done differently or in any way that makes them unique to the series. Wolverine's same healing act and Storm's white contacts aren't enough anymore. The "house scene" is great though, and you won't believe what happens.

CHARACTERS: When watching this, I don't get the same feeling as when I watch other comic-book films. Spider-Man, Incredible Hulk, and Batman always impress upon me the realism factor. Not that X-Men wasn't done realistically, but I can never take these people seriously. Sometimes actors become so relaxed that they may stray away from acting techniques first used, or directors become TOO lenient in what they allow the actors to do. Either way, all the X-Men seem contrived and fake. Halle Berry is just a joke as Storm, and the smart and intelligent Gene Gray is a mad lunatic. Why would she kill Cyclops? Why would she kill the professor? Is Magneto an idiot? They continue to give him the best lines, but he's so distant and fake as a character, the audience can't even relate. His decisions are insane compared to the clever and powerful Magneto of past films. What about Prof. X? His performance is like watching the out-of-character Picard in First Contact. Since when would Prof X do or say any of the things they have him attempting in this film? BE CONSISTENT. Well, at least our main character is believable enough. Half the time, he may be a little over-the-top with the whole "I'm an untamed rogue, but a good guy" routine, but I like him anyway.

CONCLUSION: Magneto is the biggest disappointment for me in this movie. He doesn't show any of the slyness and power that he should have as the leader of his little band of morons, and he doesn't even use his over-powered puppet in the end to get what he wants. He waits so long that the Humans are finally able to rally an effective offensive and shut their party down. Usually in these bad final films, the ending is the all-out fireworks display that tries to compensate for the trash you've had to sit through. Well, we aren't even fortunate enough to get that. What a hack ending for a hack movie. I'm just glad I saw Beast do some damage...

SYNOPSIS: The X-Men franchise was graced with film adaptation and comic-book fans nationwide applauded at its success. Unfortunately X-Men 3 isn't deserving of any of the applause due to lack of innovation, out-of-character performances, and laughable plot lines. When your audience not only can't believe, but hates what's happening onscreen, the movie gets a BAD rating.

Watching X-Men was so cool when it first released. Seeing the powers in real-life scenarios and void of the bright neon spandex was amazing. I'm sad that this third entry couldn't deliver what the first two did. Oh well, the ending teases us with hopes of another film, that may be able to redeem itself. Hey, what happened to Gambit?

More from eulian @ www.eulianthecritic.com
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