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Old November 4 2011, 02:43 AM   #1
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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.
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