I will agree with Brother Mike that the latest installment in the X-Men series isn’t nearly as good as the previous two, but I would disagree that it is as bad as Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith (Nothing can hold a stench next to that turd).
The original plan was for me to take Justin and Danielle to the 4:50 showing of X3 at the Galaxy Theater using two free passes Brenda had. That would have worked, had the show not been sold out. The theater gave me a third free pass, so the three of us had free tickets to the 7:35 showing. We killed time by going to Faust park and playing on their new playground equipment (which is one of the best playgrounds I have seen). The kids were nearly eaten by a ferocious mutant caterpillar (fitting since we were going to see a movie about mutants).
When we got back to the theater, it was surprisingly packed. I didn’t think X-men would be popular this late into it’s run on a Thursday night. Perhaps it is just run-off from the Superman Returns crowd. The show started a little late, which normally wouldn’t be a problem, but it did mean that the kids were going to be up pretty late. The previews for Pirates 2 and My Super ex-girlfriend looked pretty good.
Anyway, about the movie…
If you didn’t already have knowledge of who the new characters were based on, the movie was watchable, but the characters would seem very flat (almost no character development for any of the key mutants). If you DID have prior knowledge to give the characters depth, you might be offended at how badly the characters were portrayed/used. This brings me to my biggest complaint about the movie — length. In the age of 3 hours movies, an hour and fourty-five minutes doesn’t cut it. They could have/should have added twenty to thirty minutes of character development and plot twists. Like Mike said, the movie is very predictable and linear. The only surprises were the sheer number of major mutants they killed off.
If you are looking for mindless, action packed, entertainment, the movie would probably work for you. The dialog was poor, but again, not nearly as bad as Star Wars III. I asked the kids what they thought, and they rated the movie as okay, but not great, so either the story wasn’t to their liking, or they were looking forward to more than just special effects. They liked the first two X-men movies better as well, so obviously this one was missing something.
Caution spoilers follow,
My biggest complaint is probably the story lines, and again this could go back to the movie length. The two main story lines, a cure for mutants, and the return of Jean Grey could have been their own stories. The problem is, the storiesdidn’t intertwine, and neither was developed enough. The cure for mutants could have been a lot deeper topic – they barely touched the surface of why some mutants might want to give up their powers and why others would be offended. They touched on the ethical points of forced cures, but not enough. Basically they didn’t focus on the story enough to see where it would take them.
The return of Jean Grey as the Phoenix was a complete waste. They barely touched on her power and she just sat back during the first major battle. She could have and should have destroyed most of San Francisco in a fit of rage. She was far to big a menace with far too much potential for the short cut solution they came up with.
The viewers were cheated out of two good stories. The movie had potential that was never realized. Hopefully they will do better for X4 (and yes, they probably will do an X4).