[Spoilers in this post]
I finally saw the third X-Men movie, X-Men: The Final Stand. The movie that came out in 2006 and has been playing on FX for the past few months. The movie that most other comic book podcasters and comic book readers have seen already. That movie.
I wanted to not like it because I kept hearing that my favorite X-Man (Cyclops) had a very abbreviated role in the movie before getting killed off. I also heard that there were too many characters and most of them were underdeveloped. I heard that there were too many plots going on at once and it all combined to make a very muddled mess of a movie.
I liked it.
I started watching it on a number of occasions but for some reason never made it past Jean Grey walking down the stairs to meet with Xavier and Magneto. It might have been the crazy botoxy shiny faced way both men looked in that scene, I don’t know. This time, I sat down and just let it go.
The movie reminded me of the Claremont/Smith-Romita-Silvestri run of Uncanny X-Men. Lots of characters, lots of action, a discussion on philosophy and ethics with just the right amount of humor at just the right time.
The plot was pretty familiar for people who have read the Dark Phoenix Saga and Joss Whedon’s run on Astonishing X-Men. A company claims to have the cure for being a mutant, which causes all kinds of havoc in the mutant community. At the same time, the X-Men have to deal with a Jean Grey who has returned from the dead and is not on the side of good.
The effects were excellent. The scene where Jean drops her house made me pause the movie just so that I could say “Now, THAT was cool”. I was mesmerized by the end scenes where she was deconstructing everything in her path. Even without destroying a D’Bari star, you could tell that Dark Phoenix was not someone to mess with.
I think those were my favorite scenes, but I also really liked the relationship between Wolverine and Storm. The first movie was about Wolverine’s relationship with Rogue and the second was his relationship with Jean. In both of those instances, he was a father and a potential lover. In this movie, he and Storm were equals and I liked that.
In comics, I prefer Wolverine the loner, but I also like Wolverine, part of a duo. He had miniserieses with Havok and Kitty Pryde that were both pretty good. The storyline leading to his marriage with Mariko was him and Storm and I thought that was one of the many highlights of the series. In the Morrison run, there were issues with him and Cyclops and him and Jean that were great as well.
In the movies he has to play off of other characters and with Rogue, Cyclops and Jean out of the picture, it makes sense in the continuity of the X-Movieverse that he would gravitate towards Storm. The rest of the characters are too young and he never seemed to trust Xavier.
I wouldn’t go as far to say that this movie was as good as X2, but it was definitely as good as (if not better than) the first movie and I really liked the first movie.
If you haven’t seen it and can get past all of the previous negative press that this movie got, I think that you will enjoy. If you have seen it and didn’t like it, get rid of the mental ties between the movies and the comics and I think that it will surprise you with how good it is and well it fits in with the other two.