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EP Review: X-Men 3

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A film by Brett Ratner.

Reviewed by Jonathon Sullivan.

Comments (14)

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  1. Simeon Weinraub says:

    Yeah, so this review covers all the themes and ideas that X3 was supposed to be about, and I agree that if I could see a movie about those themes and ideas, it would kick ass! However, this was a Brett Ratner film. Brett Ratner, whop I must disclose I know personally and I like, is bad at handling any material with a plot line more complex than a Backstreet Boys music video.

    In short, this is a bad movie. It could have been a great movie, but it just isn’t. I am a fan of the franchise. I am a fan of the genre. I wanted to like this movie. But having some good, but ineptly realized ideas doesn’t make a movie good. Being ther third in a good series doesn’t make a movie good. This was convoluted, special effects crutched, muttled crap.

  2. Simeon Weinraub says:

    Yeah, so this review covers all the themes and ideas that X3 was supposed to be about, and I agree that if I could see a movie about those themes and ideas, it would kick ass! However, this was a Brett Ratner film. Brett Ratner, whom I must disclose I know personally and I like, is bad at handling any material with a plot line more complex than a Backstreet Boys music video.

    In short, this is a bad movie. It could have been a great movie, but it just isn’t. I am a fan of the franchise. I am a fan of the genre. I wanted to like this movie. But having some good, but ineptly realized ideas doesn’t make a movie good. Being the third in a good series doesn’t make a movie good. This was convoluted, special effects crutched, muddled crap.

  3. Sullydog says:

    Sorry, Simeon, I (obviously) can’t agree–this movie was just too much fun to be bad.

    But what the hey–say it one more again. Third time’s the charm. :^)

  4. Coda Hale says:

    Oh hell no.

    Where was the character development? Viewers had to assume that, because the events of the movie were so, uh, last-stand-y, that each character was probably changed in some life-altering way. But for those characters still standing at the film’s end, life appears to be exactly the same, just with more monuments in the back yard.

    The movie didn’t slow down enough to let me care about any of the characters, instead rushing relentlessly through a series of plot checklists: here is where Storm questions Wolverine’s commitment; here is where Rogue has relationship problems; here is where Magneto picks up an improbably handy sidekick; here is Wolverine’s grief; here is Bobby’s inability to grow a pair. No time to display any of the emotional history between Professor X and Magneto, just show that they knew each other back in the day and call it done. Check, check, check; let’s move on to the next scene where we thumbfingeredly foreshadow some important plot details.

    While the first two films had no fewer waypoints for the plot to rush though, Bryan Singer had enough talent to present us with characters that we cared about: Wolverine’s troubled past, Rogue’s inability to touch a lover, Cyclops’ struggle with responsibility, Professor X’s empathy and vision. Each character had flaws they needed to overcome with their willpower and teamwork. It’s the same trope that the X-Men have been riding for the past 30 years, and it still works.

    X3, though, eschewed characterization for a flock of deus ex machinas so thick they darkened the sky. Each time the plot lurched off-track it was inevitably righted again by a fortuitously placed prop or mutant or mutant prop. Don’t have Cerebro? Here’s fast findy mutant woman, who we’ll call Callisto despite the fact that the only thing she shares in common with the comic book character of that name is her gender. Need a reason to keep the Institute open? Hey, Angel just wandered in, like a chiseled, wealthy, winged Mr. Magoo! Wolverine needs to get thrown? That’s what Tinman, er, Colossus is for! And nothing else, since he doesn’t say boo for the entire movie. He might as well have been a trampoline, Wolverine a Ginsu knife, Storm a taser, Cyclops a surly, unshaven potted plant…

    No, I’m definitely of the opinion that X-Men 3 was a horrible goddamn movie which completely killed my enthusiasm for the movie franchise. Two thumbs down, $10 poorer, and 2 hours of my life which make profound memory loss seem attractive.

    Sullydog, I’m glad you enjoyed it, though.

  5. Sullydog says:

    Thanks…I did!

    I guess I didn’t feel like the old characters needed to be established–I already know who they are, and I already care about them, and understand the dynamics that are important. And the new characters? I took them for what they were: spear-carriers. Eye-candy. CGI-fu.

    As for the rest of it…from what you and Simeon and some reviewers have to say, it sounds like some people are upset that X-3 was a rowdy, not-particularly-cerebral, fast-paced summer action flick and not…I dunno. _Antigone_? My position has been, and will continue to be, to take movies on their own terms. Yes, there are basic requirements for all narrative, but you don’t judge a movie like _The Incredibles_ with the same yardstick you used for _A Clockwork Orange._

    Even with that handicap, plenty of work manages to fall flat. X-3 didn’t–not for me. And at least it bothered to take a swipe at contemporary themes in way I found amusing and not too, _too_ ham-handed. I got what I expected: no less, maybe a bit more. I’m sorry it wasn’t fun for you.

    (FWIW, I believe our beloved Mr. Eley probably leans more to your side than mine on this one. Perhaps he’ll throw in his .02 if he can take a few moments from building his media empire…)

    Simeon, Coda–thanks for your input! As always, divergent views are welcome.

  6. Coda Hale says:

    The characters didn’t need to be re-established, they needed to be continued, and I really didn’t think they were. The surprisingly nuanced characters from the first two films were replaced with Dickensian caricatures: laconic Logan, surly Scott, stern Storm, wandering Warren, just-gone-crazy Jean, ball-less Bobby… all of whom had some kind of unique, repeating habit by which they could be identified to people who were only checking in at 15 minute intervals. “Huh, it’s some kid who’s backing down from a fight and some blonde guy who looks stoned. That must be Bobby and Warren.”

    Now this worked for Dickens and the comic books because both were packaged in serial form, but after two hours in a row the effect is numbing. They weren’t the X-Men in my mind, but rather some sort of X-Men shaped objects, jostling around, looking dire and shouting. I genuinely expected there to be some sort of body-snatching/mind-control/xanax-in-the-water element to the plot.

    But even their sole identifying traits went out the window once the plot required it. I mean, really: Magneto is the very soul of strategy for the whole film, and then once he’s making his, well, Final Stand, he falls back on waves of henchmen and car-chucking? It’s like getting out of a tank to engage in a fist-fight. If the character’s main quality, besides the whole metal thing, is deviousness you don’t expect him to pop the hatch, climb down, and adopt a kung-fu stance; you expect him to quickly and efficiently make a smoking crater out of his target and move on to the next item on the agenda. The only purpose behind defying that expectation would be humor, but watching Magneto throw Buicks at the X-Men wasn’t funny ha-ha.

    I didn’t want cerebral, necessarily, I wanted engaging, which is a quality that both The Incredibles, A Clockwork Orange, and Antigone all have. X3 just had ‘splodies and inexplicable behavior on the part of established characters.

    The eye-candy was OK, but it’s just a fancy rendering engine demo unless I can bring myself to believe in the characters. I mean, during Beast’s fighting scenes I remember thinking “Hey, look at Dr. Crane go! He’s pretty limber for a WASP!”

  7. Tana says:

    I want to have my say here. I have read the comics and enjoyed the comics thoroughly. This was not the X-men!! This was a load of crap named the X-men. This was way off the comics that I just could not stand it. Why do they need to change it? They have hundreds of great story lines in the x-men comics. They have great characters that in this movie they had to go and warp them. Thye made a new story and kinda had the same characters in there. Maybe it would have been better if I hadn’t read the comics, and hooray for all those you enjoyed the movie. I thought it was crap!! It changed the characters so much that it should have pissed off any hard core Marvel fan. That’s my rant, I have more, but I’ve gotten enough off my chest. Crap, crap, carp

  8. Lucas Jodokast says:

    couldnt agree more, i didnt like how the first movie was pretty far from the original story (the second one was better) but this third one is just complete garbage, i agree completely , WHY CHANGE IT?
    now the series has been completely ruined by this pathetic addition, its just a complete excuse to make money and show off special effects :(

  9. Nick says:

    i was so pissed after seeing this movie. the first 2 were absolutely amazing, the ending with jean grey in X2 was awesome, because we all knew she’d come back as the phoenix but wow did they evr screw that up with this one. sigh where to start, well maybe it was good bcuz half of the x men die in this movie and it happens so fast that by the end of the movie ur expecting someones gonna die, just wondering who its gonna be and once they die its like who cares evryone else did. i agree with the poster above, no time at all to show emotion, like xavier dies and evryone mourns for like half a day. and i never have seen all of the cartoons or read the comics but was she really this dangerous in them? she kills her husband and the professor and almost evryone else? and whats up with Rogue? shes one of my favpurite characters and she throws her powers away, thats just stupid, and the girl who goes through walls, wasn’t she like 12 in X2? now shes on the front line? and mystic, her powers are gone from saving magneto, and magneto just goes….aww u saved….but your useless now bye. and then he loses his later and wait to finish the movie off we have magneto almost movie a chess piece with his mind after losing his mutation. by the way there are tons of other errors but i would be here all night writing them so im just gonna stop it here, and if there ever is an X4, i doubt i will even want to see it since X3 IMO ruined the whole series.

  10. Lucas Jodokast says:

    she was crazy in the cartoon but only because the phoenix wasnt something that was inside of her all her life, it was an alien spirit that possesed her while trying to defend some crystal that has alot of meaning with them (this really anoyed me how they changed the original story so badly)
    seriously the whole phoenix thing didnt even need to be in the movies or at least they could have done it properly

  11. Marcus Hast says:

    I’m late to the party, but I just recently listened to this review to get a feeling for the format. Unfortunately since I felt the movie was complete crap and a waste of my time and money I can’t really trust the reviews. (I had already seen the movie before I listened to the review though.)

    I could go on about the problems in the movie: (Warning, spoilers.) How there were logical idiocy (yes, let’s have the heroine lie in her panties in the infermary, I hear that helps the healing process). To how the movie rushed through everything to the point where you just didn’t care anymore. Further on to how the dialog (which could have saved the movie) was so atrocious that you just wanted to beg “Please kill me now!” (I think Patric Steward did this actually.) And then when you thought you were safe there comes the continuity errors. (More spoilers) Like how Wolverine is seemingly in the next room to see Xavier die. But then he is mysteriously in the other end of the now humongous house so he can’t get to the same room before Magneto and Phoenix has some more atrocious dialog and walks away. Seriously, crap like that annoys me more than anything.

    Now I could bitch and moan even more about this movie. And I most likely will in the future; because to be honest I get more satisfaction out of complaining about the movie than seeing it. It almost makes it worth watching it, but not quite.

  12. Archangel1772 says:

    I’m just glad I waited for it to come out on dvd. I’m only out $2.50 for the rental instead of $9.00 for a movie ticket. The movie would have been enjoyable as an action blockbuster if I weren’t an X-men fan. Being a fan, it was just ridiculous. Of course, the first two weren’t much better. Why do movie makers feel the need to change everything? Obviously the X-men are very popular, having been in pulication for so long, so why change the characters? Why make Rogue and Iceman teens? Why wait till the third movie to include Angel (one of the original X-men)? If they make a fourth movie, they should call it X-men: The Apology, and do it right.

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