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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

X-Men 3 Review

My lovely wife and I went to see X-Men 3 on Monday. My wife is a fan of the movies, and she used to watch the cartoons as a child in Mexico. (As a side note, you have not lived until you have seen Darkwing Duck in Spanish.) As for myself, I liked the cartoons as well, and never really got into the comic books, even though I wanted to. So, while we’re familiar with the X-Men, we’re not beholden to the comic storylines.

That being said, we loved the new X-Men movie. I was prepared for the worst, and was extremely surprised. The pacing is a little slow, and the new mutants are little more than window dressing, but the story is fantastic.

Here’s the story, in case you haven’t heard, revolves around a “cure” for mutants, derived from a mutant boy named Leech. While some mutants welcome this cure, others, such as Magneto, view the cure as a way to stamp out mutantkind, and draw the line thusly. Along the way, Jean Grey returns as the Phoenix, an uber-powerful mutant who can do, well, basically anything. She’s highly unstable, though, and is a danger to herself and others.

Brett Ratner, the director, has a reputation for making bad films. X-Men 3 is by no means a bad film, though, and it’s easy to see why. Ratner spends the film trying to ape Bryan Singer’s style for the previous movies, and, for the most part, it works. In some ways, it’s kind of cute, like the little flourishes that he hamfistedly tries to put in the make himself seem like a better director. He’s not Singer, that’s for sure, but in Singer’s absence, he fits the bill.

The effects are mostly pretty great, aside from a few fakey-looking things, as in most heavily CGI-ed movies. The Beast is very well played by Kelsey Grammer, and he looks great too. Angel’s wings look good, even though all he gets to do is fly around and looking broodingly handsome. A bunch more mutants get thrown into the mix, mostly on the side of Magneto, but they’re not really well developed.

So what makes this movie as good as I say it is? The story is fantastic, Jean Grey is amazing, and Wolverine, as always, is a fascinating character. Speaking of Wolverine, he’s much less tormented this time around, more definite in his pursuit of evil, which actually is a good thing. It completes the circle, from tormented soul to recovering warrior to bold knight. Is it what happens in the comics? I don’t know. Who cares? It works.

All in all, I found this movie extremely enjoyable. Sure, there’s some things that are a little off, but as a trilogy-ending movie, it really doesn’t miss.

One last thing: Don’t leave the theater until after the credits are done.

My score:

8.8/10