Me. That’s who.
First and foremost let me start out by saying I’m not an X-Men fanatic. I haven’t read all the issues or very many really. I’ve followed X-Men in the past enough to know most of the big story lines but if I went one on one with a true believer, I’d lose. That said, like many teens in the 80s, I was obsessed with Wolverine and even own a few of the coveted Claremont/Miller issues.
Second, I’m not a fan of Brett Ratner. I’ve seen his Rush Hour films and a few others and I’d have to say for the most part he’s a banal director with nothing remarkable to his credit. In fact his take on Red Dragon is pretty crap. But I’m not a “hater” as it were and I do know he’s a bit of a fanboy as he often turns up on featurettes about Jackie Chan and Eddie Murphy. So I know he knows, at least, a thing or two.
But ‘X-Men The Last Stand’ has always perplexed me. Simply because, and I say this before taking deep breadth with the knowledge of the ire this comment may inflict upon myself, I find X-Men 3 to be a pretty darn good movie. And more often than not, I see and hear a lot of deriding not only this movie but also Ratner himself.
Here’s a few comments from imdb:
"F U Brett Ratner your movie is meaningless.."
"Brett Ratner is a chode"
"(Sucks more…)Then being forcibly masturbated with hot sauce as lube”
And that was just a few minutes looking.
I mean, I think I get it. This movie has it’s share of plotholes but most blockbuster movies do. What the problem really seems to be, is in 90 minutes Three major characters are killed and three others lose their powers. In one movie six very prominant characters become obsolete. I get that.
But as a whole I think this movie is very fun and, frankly, has the best performance by Ian McKellen and Famke Janssen in their entire franchise history. Even the emotional ending between Jean Grey and Wolverine works for me despite it not being entirely logical. In fact I’m not the only one who has this ridiculous thought. Despite a negative review Harry Knowles is forgiving of Ratner:
"This isn’t Brett Ratner’s car wreck… oh sure, he was just the hired hand at the wheel who managed to keep the car basically on the road, but he didn’t pick the car, nor did he fill the tank. No, this car, road and explosions were timed, set and sabotaged by Tom Rothman. I actually believe Brett could have made a pretty decent X-MEN movie had he been given the time to adequately adapt the film. "
That comment has sat with me over the years when hearing criticism of X3. Yes, it’s not a great movie: it’s very underdeveloped, characters die and X-Men fans are left behind in favor of “the masses”. But…
As a movie we are introduced to a wrinkle of X-Men mythology that is very interesting. The “Cure” to human mutation. What if, in the mid 60s, African Americans could be turned white? What if a homosexual could take a pill and become hetero? Say what you want but that main plot point in the movie is handled pretty well. It is met, initially, with disdain but then some give it some thought and a few even desire it. Even if a solution seems unethical, often there are many who concede to it. While the main thrust of the movie seems headed to a giant showdown, the internal plight is universal and very relevant. In fact, I find it the most compelling story of the first three films.
While some characters have minimal screen time (Storm/Rogue) others seem to enjoy strong arcs. The best of which belongs to Jean Grey, her character becomes the main antithesis to the Cure, once she is, somewhat confusingly, resurrected, she becomes a walking apocalypse to human beings. All the while being torn over her total superiority over humans and mutants alike but also feeling latent compassion for them particularly Logan.
This ultimately leads to a somber but emotional finale where Wolverine faces off against her, and despite facing his own demise and losing the love of his life, he kills her. Despite the movies better efforts to just be a popcorn film this scene is still very emotional and worthy ending in the three film arc. Ratner nails the emotion needed in this scene and then ends the movie with some fun teases.
Yes, the movie is rushed and yes many of the characters seem bland but compared to most of the blockbusters this movie seems solidly footed in descent material to ponder. Plus while I can appreciate fans being disappointed by this movie, it’s certainly head and shoulders above other super hero movies like: Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Hulk, Ghost Rider, Electra and thouest biggest turdith: X-men Origins: Wolverine. Woof!
I was very happy this weekend when I saw Days Of Future Past and it’s “retcon” of the original X-Men movies. It was a return to form for Bryan Singer and Fox studios. It seems that they are well aware of the mistakes of the franchise has made and, after Disney’s acquisition of Marvel, grateful to the X-men films and what they have done for the studio. While I like The Last Stand, no doubt it, along with it’s idiot brother ‘Origins’, are low points everyone wants to put behind them.
But let’s still look at the bigger picture when beating on X3. It’s a good movie that could’ve been great but it’s still good.