Posted by: Nathan | May 29, 2006

‘X-Men III’ Review

***No spoilers in the top part; a warning will posted above the spoilers***

Well, since I know Jason will be writing about this soon, and Nate‘s beaten me before on posting (see his Bonds post), I’m going to get on the horse and write this. So what if Jason beats me? I still have things to say.

I had high expectations for X-Men III The Last Stand because the first two were so well-done and enjoyable; perhaps the highest compliment I can pay to this film and director Brett Radner is that it did not disappoint. I’ll break it down as we go, but I highly recommend seeing this one in the theater if you can afford it: it’s a great movie.

One of the things I’ve always loved about the X-Men movies is that they balance characterization with action better than any of their less-good counterparts (cf. Spiderman…yech). X-III continued this lovely trend. The X-folk always get to use their sweet superpowers in varying situations, and the writers do an excellent job of finding ways that they can use their individual abilities without it seeming contrived (for the most part anyway). There are plenty of fight scenes in this one (let’s face it: we always love to see those), and that was gratifying and fun.

The quality characterization continues in this one, but with a few exceptions that I’ll save for the spoiler section. I would’ve liked to have seen more of certain characters, but the plot called for other things. There was plenty of cool stuff involving Jean Grey, Wolverine (as always), Storm, Magneto, and others, while each of the characters continued to be believable.

The plot in this one didn’t disappoint either. As you probably know from the previews (this won’t ruin anything for you), this one features a “cure” for mutantism. Naturally, Prof. Xavier’s bunch and Magneto’s crew react very differently to this new development, and action ensues. X-men does an excellent job making sure the viewer sees all sides of each issue that’s presented, and then having the X-people try to strike a balance between militant mutants and innocent humans. It is commendable that the X-men are always fighting for an equilibrium in a world of opposites, and it’s a metaphor that rings true for the audience in many ways.

This movie also continued the tradition of introducing more characters from the comics. In this version, the viewer meets Angel, Beast, Juggernaut, and a slough of no-name mutants. The characters from the books were very cool; the generic mutants played too large of a role in my view, but I’m nit-picking here.

All-in-all, it was a highly enjoyable feature film that is worthwhile to see in the theatre if you can, especially because of the visual and sound elements. There’s a lot to enjoy, but not a lot to take home and ponder. I give it a high B+ at 8.4/10. Go see it.

***WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD! WARNING!***

These spoilers may sound whiny, but they are things that must be said.

  • In each X-men movie there’s a scene wherein the X-guys go out to battle, and they’re always toward the climax of the movie. This film was no exception, but the actual characters who went were far lamer. Since Xavier and Cyclops were dead, and Jean had defected to the dark side, we were left with Wolverine, Storm, Beast (okay so far), Iceman, that girl named Kitty, and that Metal guy.What’s up with that? Kitty?! I want to see the big guns go out there! Oh well–it was a good fight scene anyhoo.
  • What happened to Nightcrawler? I love that guy. Am I forgetting something?
  • That Rogue never develops into anything is a complete disappointment. Why is she in these movies at all? She’s such a cool character in the comics and cartoon world, and I don’t understand why they didn’t give her her absorbed powers so she could fight. That would’ve been far far cooler than Kitty. In the end she chooses to take the cure, and that makes sense for her in the film, but it’s still really lame.
  • It was sweet to see Beast in action fighting at Alcatraz, no? Good stuff.
  • I was overjoyed that they gave Magneto his power back–if only a little bit–at the end. As a viewer, I never want to see that guy go down; he’s so cool. Plus, Ian McKellan is awesome.
  • I would’ve liked to have seen Angel do more.
  • I thought it was great that Wolverine got to kill Jean at the end; it was quite a tragic moment, and it makes sense that Logan was the guy to end her life since he heals so quickly and she was vaporizing everybody in sight. Great moment: “I love you, Jean.” Stab and hold. Then the cry. Great cinema. Sure, I think Jean either kills herself in the comics or Cyclops does, but this worked out well.
  • I missed Cyclops. Killing him off so early was stupid.
  • Why didn’t we get to meet Jubilee or Gambit? Bummer.
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Responses

  1. Great review! I don’t think I need to write my own now.

    I too missed Gambit/Remy LeBeau and his cards. All X-men lore I know is from the animated series and one or two pieces gathered from fans of the comic books. It was good to see beast fighting, but I miss him hanging around with his books.

    Nate says I should have stayed until the credits were over. Indeed, it’s a teaser much greater than Magneto still having some power, although quite stranger. Honestly, Prof. X being played by anyone other than patrick stewart would mean much, much less to me, but I may still enjoy more movies.

  2. You make me quite excited to see this movie. I shall stay until the end of the credits. Great review.


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