While I’m no Brodie Bruce, I was pretty big into comic books at one point in my life.
Beginning in the mid-eighties and lasting through the end of high school, I spent way too much money on comic books, most of which I still have. My favorite book, which I have a still near-encyclopedic memory of, is the X-Men. So, I’m extremely familiar with all of the X-Men characters and storylines from the beginning until about 1995 or so.
I’ve enjoyed the X-Men movie franchise. With X3 being titled “The Last Stand” and a lot of scuttlebutt about how this is the end of the franchise, I walked into the theater expecting to be disappointed. I was actually surprised by my reaction to the movie.
There are two ways of looking at the movie: what it was and what it could have been.
For what it was, X3 is an entertaining movie. It’s a good action movie, that picks up right where X2 left off. And for the story that it’s telling (confined to the movie universe and not related to the comic series), it tells it well. The action sequences that are there are real good. I liked the story about the “cure” more than I thought I would, and I thought the end scene (not the after-credits end scene, because I didn’t see it) was great.
However, the pacing is a bit off. After a fun little danger room sequence, the plot slows, moving from exposition scene to exposition scene to exposition scene.
It also felt like the movie tried to shoehorn in new mutants, with no real purpose. You’re watching the movie, and then it slows down to introduce a new mutant, who has to show everyone their powers, not really having that much to do with the storyline at all.
My biggest problem with the movie, though, was not enough Colossus. That didn’t really surprise me, because he’s never gotten the respect he deserves.
Geez, it sounds like I didn’t like the movie at all! But the movie I saw, I liked.
As for the movie that wasn’t, well, that disappointed me. Fox could have a very lucrative franchise with the X-Men and it’s looking like they’re choosing not to take this route. There are plenty of good stories, (in particular, the Dark Phoenix saga) that they could have used. This movie shoehorned about 50 issues of a comic book series into two hours. And while I liked the story they told with it, they could have done so much more, not just with the story, but also with the franchise.
But then again, this is the world of movies. People expect Snakes on a Plane to make money. What do I know?
Brian over at the Morning Toast also has a look at X3.