Current Soundtrack: Indie Spinner Rack #27
It was a sad day when Bryan Singer went off to do Superman Returns and the studios wouldn't wait for him to come back and do X Men 3. Because then we might have had a better film.
Brett Ratners take on it isn't bad, but its not good either. Whether because it so rushed, he inherited production problems or whatever (see http://imdb.com/title/tt0376994/trivia for various behind the scenes info), it lacks any real heart or emotion, instead using shock tactics of killing off major characters to propel the plot along to a flat ending.
Missing the opening spectacle of Nightcrawlers attack on the White House in X Men 2, we instead go back in time to when Charles could walk and Erik had a fondness for floppy hats as they track down a young angsty Jean Grey to offer her a way to control her growing teep and teek abilities. Fast forward ten years to a young Warren Worthington III (later known as Angel) trying to cut off his wings, then again forward to a 'not to distant future' and a continuty bending danger room exercise of a post apocalyptic Days of Future Past future devastated by Sentinels, which Logan takes out using the fan favourite Fastball Special with the help of Colossus (not as dirty as it sounds, honest).
The plot is a mishmash of the Dark Phoenix saga and the more recent Gifted storyline, where a 'cure' is found for the x factor gene which causes mutations. Cyclops hears his dead girlfriends voice in his head, drawing him back to the lake where she supposedly died, only to have her reappear in front of him. Obviously not everything is as it should, and as soon as they kiss Scott's face starts warping...
Immediately the film starts going wrong from this point, when Cyclops, one of the core characters of the X Men, is killed off screen and within 10 minutes of the film starting, killed with no rythme or reason by the Phoenix identity now controlling Jean. However instead of the roving cosmic entity from the beginning of creation comic book origin, Jean's maleovent psychic outbursts instead are caused by breakdowns in her mind of blocks placed by Xavier in an effort to control her ever growing powers. And you know, that makes more sense. But...
When both Magneto and Xavier go back to try to talk to Jean, and the inevitable brawl ensues outside, Xavier tries to reach Jean through the Phoenix in a technically very well done and shocking scene, and is incinerated for his trouble.
Yes, that's right. Incinerated. Two down.
Now, i applaud any film that takes major risks like killing off two main characters before the midpoint of a film, but it needs to be done for the right reasons. And here it just felt like it was done for pure shock value, like there was nothing else they could come up with.
The centre for the controversial cure on Alcatraz island is attacked by Magneto and his new enlarged Brotherhood of Mutants after some major (and pointless) alterations to San Francisco's skyline, and as the big players are neutralised and fall on either side, it once again comes down to Jean/Phoenix and Logan. By this time Phoenix has wiped out a few hundred people, mutants and sapiens alike, and its only thanks to Logan's rapidly regenerating healing power is he able to get close enough to Jean to profess his love for her, before snikt, he kills her.
Yes, thats right. Snikt. The worlds most powerful psychic, able to warp reality around her and raise from the dead, killed by two adamantium claws. As you do.
The ending is equally abrupt, with a long pull out shot of gravestones and Logan back at the School for Gifted Youngsters, before going to a neutered Erik Lensherr, alone in a park, at a chessboard, reaching out with his fingers... before the metal chess piece moves, ever so slightly, on its own. And for those wise enough to stay after the end credits, you'll also see the reemergence of Xavier in another body.
So not the best of the three, a few missed opportunities, but worth watching for Xaviers death scene alone.