May 27, 2006

X-Traordinarily Ordinary

First, a hearty shout-out and thank you to not only Yet Another Comics Blog (Rocketo is going to be a new member of my pull file), but also to the Crocodile Caucus, who's posted about the Blog This, Pal Blogiversary Contest. You have a few days to enter, and you can win a free graphic novel!

Anyway, like several of my comics blogging brethren, I had mixed expectations about X3: The Last Stand. Sure, the first two films had exceeded expectations, becoming nearly picture-perfect examples of how to adopt comics to films. However, with a switch in directors, and the inevitable concerns about fatigue, it's easy to wonder whether the film would hold up.

Good news - it's not a bad film, and has some wonderful moments.

Bad news - it's a very workmanlike film which tries a little too hard. Part of it is that the script puts in so much from the X-Men comics that it seems as if, knowing this is the last film (if the movie underperforms), the attitude was, "Hey, let's throw in stuff for the fans." It also doesn't help that Brett Ratner focuses much more on big action moments - nothing wrong with that, but the first two films focused on character as much as explosions. (I'll grant you, the first ten minutes - with a key flashback - are reminiscent of Singer's work. And the Mystique scenes have a certain snap to them - however, the rest of the movie falls short).

In short, the faults of the movie share the faults of the comic - which is why I quit reading the comic long ago. Instead of providing a legitimate backdrop (the first two movies), where mutation was seen as a metaphor, we get nothing but angst. There were some great moments, but they are all from the comic - the first sequence after the credits, the "fastball special", Wolverine's battle scenes...(and the whole "plastic weapon with the cure in it" is a clever twist) but on the whole, the movie is rather flat. It's not bad - just annoyingly mediocre. Definitely a rental for later, not really a must-see.

(Notes on the pre-film trailers: first, whose bright idea was it to remake The Omen? What kind of person would even consider writing a lame movie entitled My Super Ex-Girlfriend? And all I gotta say is...Snakes on a Plane will rock. So much that I want this guy to write the sequel).

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