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Gaith November 4 2011 02:43 AM

Eight reasons why X3 is an eternal crime against Geekdom
Just as old-school Star Wars threads inevitable turn into PT debate threads, so too has the X1 thread been seasoned with debates over X3, and, incredibly, some have come to that movie's defense. Here, then, is a partial list of why X3 is a horrible, terrible experience:

- "Things are going better for mutants lately": Somebody actually says this. This is actually a plot point thing. Remember how all of humanity started to get murdered by Mags-controlled Xavier a few months back, and how people around the world were howling in pain? I guess that that brush with death caused people to realize that there wasn't enough love in the world, and mutants should totally be embraced. Just like the USA sent al-Qaeda flowers, crayons, coloring books and Swedish masseuses after 9/11. Yeah, that must have been what happened.

This is roughly equivalent to if Return of the Jedi had picked up a few months after ESB, with the rebels having gained the upper hand in the war, and Han having already been unfrozen and married Leia. Even PT-era Lucas knew better than to have ROTS start on a more postive note than AOTC.

- A new president: Why? The one in X2 had a cool, square-jawed look to him, and since he was barely in it, he could easily have been recast if necessary. The new prez is a kindly old geezer. This is a minor detail, yes, but it pisses me off to no end. The X2 prez was given a choice by Xavier of how to proceed. What did he choose? Apparently to be tough on mutants, which a newly-hippie-fied nation rejected him for, as the X3 prez is clearly more mutant-friendly: he has one in his Cabinet, for Pete's sake.

- Everything's peachy over at the mansion: Hey, remember when Claws butchered a dozen or so American soldiers? Must not have been a big deal, what with the Cabinet official waltzing around the place and all. Maybe the new prez gave him a full pardon. Maybe Wheels mind-controlled him to.

- Cyclops? What Name So?: Okay, so Marsden pretty much left X3 for Superman Returns. It's too bad he couldn't have been recast... although, in fairness, how many other men haves faces that could fit visors like that? Oh, but -

Halle "X2 was my last good movie" Berry wanted more to do. But she was one of the few/only weak links in the first movies. Hey, why not recast her and Cyclops? Would anyone have not bought a ticket in protest? And c'mon, it's a bleedin' comic-book movie. They were on a mission, and got hit with a mutant's face-DNA scrambling virus. Problem solved, budget reduced, everybody happy.

- Bryan Singer had a pretty cool visual style going, but screw that: In order to hint at the possibly dystopian future our heroes faced, Singer filled the first two movies with lots of somber, dark blues and greens: an almost black-and-white Holocaust sequence, eerie green Wolverine flashbacks, a blue-black X-Men underground mansion/tech scheme, etc. I even like to think that this was a reference to "Tech-Noir", the visual style named by James Cameron for the look of The Terminator, which got a shout-out as the name of the nightclub where the Terminator finds Sarah Connor. It was a sleek, stylish look that fit the story, so you'd think that any other director would continue it to some extent. But no, Rattner's X3 is as Technicolor-colorful a movie as, I don't know, The Devil Wears Prada. Probably because he was planning a lengthy subplot, ditched at the last minute, about how much Kitty Pryde loves shopping for shoes.

- The Dark Phoenix Plot: Was this in the movie? I can barely remember. Oh, right, Wolvie killed Jean. Because she blew up the planet full of sentient beings, right? Oh, no, that only happened in the comics; the movies are more grounded, but Jean still had to be killed somehow, because that's her tragic arc. So surely the movie gave a reason why she had to die?
... Because she was making water levitate? That sounds perfectly reasonable. Don't bother trying to infect her with the mutant cure or anything, just stab her - and that's not a spur-of-the-moment decision; Storm all but flat-out tells Wolvie to do that beforehand. After all, it's what Wheels would have wanted. ... Right?

- How did the mutant crowd get to San Francisco?:
I'm pretty sure that the forest mutant encampment was on or near the East Coast - that's where the rest of the whole series takes place. But now, suddenly, Mags and his Occupy Alcatraz crowd is in Marin County, heading south on the Golden Gate Bridge; I guess they wanted to stop by Napa for some fresh wine.

Wait, how did they cross those 3,000 miles? They didn't have a Blackbird, and they sure as heck didn't fly en masse. Did Jean teleport them there? That would actually make a bit of sense, but it's not even implied. Hey, if Jean could teleport them to Marin, why not just send them straight to Alcatraz?

Oh, right: the wine in Napa. Never mind; it all makes sense now.

So you want to storm a sparsely-populated island?: In order to capture a single kid? And you have hundreds of deadly mutants? Better take all of them. Remember how Mags almost killed all of humanity with just one helper in X2? And how exciting that was, because it showed how devilishly smart he was? No? It's okay; the writers didn't, either.

- The Golden Gate Bridge, or the Death of Scale: Wait, Mags couldn't reach for any tiny slivers of metal near his plastic prison, but can now rip the Golden Gate Bridge off its foundations, move it a mile or two, and then continue holding it up without even visibly straining himself? (Remember, without foundations, the bridge would normally split immediately.) This is so totally out of proportion with any powers shown in the Singer movies, it's not even funny.

- The Golden Gate Bridge, again:
Hey, remember how I just said that Mags must have been keeping the Bridge stable after moving it? Well, it stays stable after he's depowered. It doesn't get much dumber than this in just about any movie, comrades.

- Wheels may still be alive, and Mags may still have powers: so why the frick did I watch this movie again?!

Bottom line: if you can forget X1-2 ever existed, have never seen them, or both, I guess X3 might be a decent enough movie taken strictly on its own terms. But you enjoy Singer's two flicks at all, X3 contains so many stylistic, tonal, and narrative departures that, for this BBSer at least, the pain involved in suppressing objections such as the ones above will forever prevent me from enjoying it.

Robert Maxwell November 4 2011 02:50 AM

Re: Eight reasons why X3 is an eternal crime against Geekdom
I really don't like X3. I get that others do, and they are entitled to. I just thought it was a huge letdown from the first two.

Gojira November 4 2011 02:52 AM

Re: Eight reasons why X3 is an eternal crime against Geekdom
I own all three X-Men movies (I am getting the new one next week) and I never understood the complaints about the third one. I like it.

Set Harth November 4 2011 03:14 AM

Re: Eight reasons why X3 is an eternal crime against Geekdom

Space Therapist wrote: (Post 5326440)
I never understood the complaints about the third one.

It's all explained above.

Presidents shouldn't have term limits; killing Jean was really about saving water as opposed to people, and thus pointless; a film NOT killing off Xavier is a problem because there's no point in watching any film that doesn't kill off Xavier; other main characters such as Cyclops or James T. Kirk should be unkillable; the quality of a film about Jean Grey is solely determined by its level of slavish adherence ( or lack thereof ) to the Dark Phoenix saga from the comics; underground X-mansion corridors, even if identical to the ones in Singer's films, are automatically inferior if Singer isn't around; when Jason Stryker falls into your lap, it makes you devilishly smart, but in other circumstances you're a punk if you need help to defeat a force whose weapons happen to be completely unaffected by your mutant power. Do not want.

Goji November 4 2011 03:17 AM

Re: Eight reasons why X3 is an eternal crime against Geekdom
Having a new president or relatively minor logic gaffes didn't bother me. But as a non-fan of the comics, I didn't like how most of the characters from the previous two movies, at least the interesting and likable ones, seemed to keep disappearing or getting killed off only to be replaced by far less interesting and likable ones. Most of them seemed to be written just differently enough to be distracting too, like how Wolverine was suddenly more of a goodie-goodie, Professor X was more sinister, Jean Grey no longer had a personality at all (other than being ANGRY) and Storm was all of a sudden second only to Logan in terms of importance and screen time (I guess since all the other original good guys were dead by that point, it kinda made sense, but...). I'd probably hate it more if I was a die hard X-Men fan. As it is, it's just a lousy way to end a series. See also: Spiderman 3, Return of the Jedi, Star Trek Nemesis, etc.

Set Harth November 4 2011 03:24 AM

Re: Eight reasons why X3 is an eternal crime against Geekdom

Goji wrote: (Post 5326481)
Wolverine was suddenly more of a goodie-goodie

Compared to what, the beginning of the first film? That's called character development, another famous crime against the rules of filmmaking. Wolverine as a member of the X-Men was portrayed consistently throughout the trilogy.

Anwar November 4 2011 03:42 AM

Re: Eight reasons why X3 is an eternal crime against Geekdom
As for the "Governments are okay with mutants" stuff, they had been given the proof that it was all the fault of a lunatic racist human scientist.

With Stryker and Weapon X out of the way, pro-mutant folks in the government had an easier time pushing their agenda.

Then again, I had problems with how Singer did things bringing the X-Men to the big screen. He should've introduced other factions like the Hellfire Club, Sinister or the FOH rather than falling back on Magneto as the only mutant bad guy.

Admiral_Young November 4 2011 03:44 AM

Re: Eight reasons why X3 is an eternal crime against Geekdom
Singer was planning on using the Hellfire Club in the third film. He never got the chance to do that. Emma Frost would have been played by Signourney Weaver (or at least that is who they had in mind).

X3 was a mess and disappointing.

Herkimer Jitty November 4 2011 03:46 AM

Re: Eight reasons why X3 is an eternal crime against Geekdom
Since Singer was going for a more grounded approach, pretty much all of the X-Men bad guys from the comics were D'Qed from being in the film series.

Flying Spaghetti Monster November 4 2011 03:56 AM

Re: Eight reasons why X3 is an eternal crime against Geekdom
from Ebert;

The government has a Department of Mutant Affairs in "X-Men: The Last Stand," and it is headed by the mutant Dr. Hank McCoy (Kelsey Grammer), also known as Beast. The Mutant Community seems on its way into the mainstream, the goal long envisioned by Prof. Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), the head of the school where young X-Men learn to develop and control their powers. The school purrs along proudly with Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) as a role model, but then a kid named Leech surfaces, and all bets are off.
His body produces an antibody to mutation; inject it into X-Men, and their mutant powers disappear. They become regular folks with the same limited powers the rest of us use to scrape by. Leech is played by Cameron Bright, whom you may remember from "Birth," the movie where he was a child whose body was occupied by the mind of Nicole Kidman's late husband. Bright has large dark eyes and ominously sober features that make you think he might grow up to become chairman of the Federal Reserve, or a serial killer.
He's invaluable to the billionaire Warren Worthington II (Michael Murphy), who lives in shame because his son Warren III (Ben Foster), also known as Angel, has a 16-foot wingspan. A flashback shows young Angel in a room full of blood and feathers, having tried to cut the wings from his back. This self-hate is nurtured by Worthington, whose shame about his son translates into hatred of mutants in general. He buys Alcatraz, imprisons Leech, begins to manufacture the antibody and campaigns for a "cure" for mutation.
But what if mutants don't want to be "cured"? What if they're happy the way they are, and cherish their differences? Xavier has always tried to encourage that kind of thinking, but Magneto (Ian McKellen), his archenemy in X-Man land, takes a more direct approach. He wages war against Worthington and all those who would foist a "cure" on the mutants. Although Magneto has always been the villain of the series, this time he makes a good point.
So strong is Leech's anti-mutant power that a mutant need only stand near him to lose his or her abilities; maybe the antibody works through pheromones. Meanwhile, Mutant Cure Clinics spring up around the country and are picketed by pro-Mutant militants. Extremists arm themselves with guns that can fire the antibody, and go out to shoot themselves some mutants. Beast, as the administration's Cabinet minister in charge of mutant affairs, is caught in the middle.
There are so many parallels here with current political and social issues that to list them is to define the next presidential campaign. Just writing the previous paragraph, I thought of abortion, gun control, stem cell research, the "gay gene" and the Minutemen. "Curing" mutants is obviously a form of genetic engineering and stirs thoughts of "cures" for many other conditions humans are born with, which could be loosely defined as anything that prevents you from being just like George or Georgette Clooney. The fact is, most people grow accustomed to the hands they've been dealt and rather resent the opportunity to become "normal." (Normal in this context is whatever makes you more like them and less like yourself.)
"X-Men: The Last Stand" raises all of these questions in embryonic form, but doesn't engage them in much detail, because it is often distracted by the need to be an action movie. Consider, for example, the lengths Magneto goes to in order to neutralize young Leech. The kid is being held on Alcatraz? Very well then, Magneto will stand on the Golden Gate Bridge and use his powers of industrial-strength levitation to rip loose a whole span of the bridge and rotate it so that it joins Alcatraz with the mainland and his forces can march on Worthington's fortress.
Countless innocent citizens die during this operation, falling from the bridge or otherwise terminating their commutes. It seems to me that Magneto in this case is -- well, a terrorist. So fanatic is his devotion to mutants that he will destroy the bridge in the service of his belief. Xavier, however, is like (how does it go?) the vast majority of mutants who are peaceful and responsible citizens.
One of the distractions in all the "X-Men" movies is that the X-Men are always getting involved in local incidents that have little to do with the big picture. They demonstrate their powers during disagreements and courtships, neighborhood emergencies, psychological problems or while showing off. After three movies you'd think they would have learned to coordinate their efforts, so that Storm (Halle Berry), for example, is not suddenly needed to brew up a last-minute storm and save the neighborhood/city/state/world.
My guess is there are just plain too many mutants, and their powers are so various and ill-matched that it's hard to keep them all on the same canvas. The addition of Beast, Angel and Leech, not to mention Multiple Man, Juggernaut and the revived Dr. Jean Grey (reborn as Dark Phoenix) causes a Mutant Jam, because there are too many X-Men with too many powers for a 104-minute movie. There are times when the director, Brett Ratner, seems to be scurrying from one plot line to another like that guy who had to keep all of his plates spinning on top of their poles.
All the same, I enjoyed "X-Men: The Last Stand." I liked the action, I liked the absurdity, I liked the incongruous use and misuse of mutant powers, and I especially liked the way it introduces all of those political issues and lets them fight it out with the special effects. Magneto would say this is a test of survival of the fittest. Xavier would hope they could learn to live together.

Technobuilder November 4 2011 04:02 AM

Re: Eight reasons why X3 is an eternal crime against Geekdom
1.) Brett Ratner
2.) Brett Ratner
3.) Brett Ratner
4.) Brett Ratner
5.) Brett Ratner
6.) Brett Ratner
7.) Brett Ratner
8.) Brett Ratner

RoJoHen November 4 2011 04:36 AM

Re: Eight reasons why X3 is an eternal crime against Geekdom
I must agree with every point made in the first post. Those are just eight reasons, though. I have plenty more.

Ultimately, though, I think all of this movie's problems can be traced to a blatant disregard for anything that happened in the first two.

Kestrel November 4 2011 05:09 AM

Re: Eight reasons why X3 is an eternal crime against Geekdom

Anwar wrote: (Post 5326522)
As for the "Governments are okay with mutants" stuff, they had been given the proof that it was all the fault of a lunatic racist human scientist.

With Stryker and Weapon X out of the way, pro-mutant folks in the government had an easier time pushing their agenda

I agree, and this is a pretty obvious answer. A new president also seems like a pretty silly complaint - do we have any idea how much time has passed between X2/X3 from the opening? Not so long that Colossus, Kitty, and Bobby aren't still students, but probably easily long enough for a new (and more mutant-friendly) administration.

The Cyclops and Jean Grey points are good things to complain about though.

Also, I counter your remaining points with "I'm the Juggernaut, bitch!" and (more seriously) Ellen Page's Kitty Pryde. :devil:

Admiral_Young November 4 2011 05:11 AM

Re: Eight reasons why X3 is an eternal crime against Geekdom
Brett Ratner and Zak Penn!

Herkimer Jitty November 4 2011 05:17 AM

Re: Eight reasons why X3 is an eternal crime against Geekdom
I actually think this movie could have used a little less cowbell. T'was drowning out the rest of the band.

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