Major Beefs with X-Men 3: The Last Stand
Oh Jeebus Lord.
Stay close. I smell suck
No spoiler protection on this article, cos I don’t care, so be advised.
So what’s really wrong with this movie? Is it the nerd nitpicks? Like how if Kitty Pryde really phased Juggernaut into the floor, he would die? Or how Juggernaut’s powers and Dr. McCoy’s blueness aren’t caused by mutations? How Storm insists on hitting people — even people with pincushion faces — when she can use, you know, lightning?
When all you have is a Ratner, everything looks like a nail
Why Storm has black roots, when her hair grows white? Or why she sounds like she’s from Alabama instead of Kenya. Or why all Halle Berry’s characters have the same walk (wait, that’s just my beef.)
Stop telling me it looks like Della Reese
Maybe it’s the production nitpicks, like Jean Grey’s Capsela coma helmet. Or Magneto’s lair made of tin foil. Wing CGI both gratuitous and inferior to Emma Thompson’s in the “Angels in America” miniseries. How, if you put an actor in so much blue fur and makeup he can’t move around, it’s going to impair his performance.
Shawn and Aaron just remember two days of waving their hands at each other
How there were two, count `em two, times that Ratner sent out a round of two-tees-to-bowtie dolly shots, but you can’t tell what the crap everybody’s reacting to so significantly.
I`ll transport us to a previous sequel
Maybe it’s the story nitpicks, like (and there are so many to pick from) why Magneto sends in ground troops before the flying cars on fire. Why six X-Men go to fight him instead of pulling a few more useful students to hang out — Jubilee springs to mind. Why nobody but Iceman seems to care where Rogue went, and Angel’s story arc kind of falls over and dies.
Too high to hear cries of bystanders killed by falling glass
Why they keep Mystique behind bars instead of in one-a-them mutant prison closety things. How the American public ever elected such a craggy, hangdog president. Why the anarchist mutants use the same system for classifying mutants that The Man does. Why every anarchist mutant looks like they’re going to see My Chemical Romance.
Then there’s the fact that the “cure” they describe (by the way, I totally giggled to see a hundred young adults in black leather getting excited about “The Cure”) is really a treatment, and would wear off in a couple of months. Magneto should think about that before he boots Pepper Dennis and retires as an old Jew cliche in chess park.
Or how Hank McCoy shows up late for a meeting with THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
Talk about colored people time!
No, no. The worst thing about this movie — the thing that makes its flaws unforgivable, unlike Fantastic Four, is that it’s mean. Really mean. And by the end not only did I stop liking the characters (except Jean and Wolverine, natch; I kinda stopped liking myself.
There’s one good thing in this movie and it starts with `H`
Now, there’s a place for mean. I like good, judicious cruelty as much as the next guy. When Wolverine lights a cigar off of burning debris, that’s good. When Magneto drips with contempt (see “We love what you’ve done with your hair” — hell, just see all of X2, ain’t nothing like that here; that’s good. When Mystique does almost (almost) anything, that’s good. But this movie is cruel for sport.
They say don’t judge the artist, judge the art. Well, Brett Ratner is a 97-minute asshole. By category:
- Insensitivity For tragic cultural references handled with emotion and dignity, see the first five minutes of the first X-Men. For confusing cheap shots, see X3’s Mystique deny her “slave name” and slander her captors as “Homo… Sapiens,” then stick around for a Holocaust tattoo flashed as a last squirt in a pissing contest. Yummy.
- Brutality No character is safe. No one is so famous, anonymous or recently introduced that this movie won’t ash them like a clove cigarette. Hundreds of people — military and civilian, mutant and human — get graphic deaths intended to net more “gee whiz” than “oh no.” It begs the question — what would the human cost be if the X-Men just let Magneto take and kill the kid? Isn’t this a Saving Private Ryan albatross to stick on a thirteen-year-old’s neck?
You deserve another picture of Wolverine
Want more? How about a weeping child bloodily trying to gouge the wings from his back? This could have been a moving scene, but nope — exploitative and gross. Need more self-loathing? Porcupine-guy feigns comforting hot Iranian doctor so he can kill her.
- Black Humor Again, there’s a place for black humor. But playing for laughs Jean ripping off Logan’s belt against his will ain’t one of them. Neither is “I`m Juggernaut, bitch,” delivered with the same botched timing as Storm’s infamous “same thing that happens to everything else” line. At least Kitty, recipient of this “bitch,” looks about 16. A ten-year-old girl gets a “shut up, bitch,” too, but she’s really Mystique in disguise so it’s funny, right?
For more anti-female fun, there’s how Storm electrocutes Callisto so her labret piercing glows. Wacky!
Kitty does call Juggernaut a “dickhead” in return. Ah, count on Master Ratner for a touch of class.
- General Bitchiness Haven’t seen this much unmotivated meanness since Showgirls. Rogue snaps at Iceman. Professor X snaps at Logan — multiple times — then blames him for Phoenix’s escape, and generally acts like a monster ass in a really weird and out-of-character way (“I don’t have to explain myself, least of all to you.”) When Storm takes over, she acts just the same. Power corrupts, but only enough to make you really snippy.
Also, the music was over-the-top and sucked out loud.
To be fair, the emotional arc of Logan and Jean was pretty satisfying, which says a lot considering the festering dung heap it’s perched atop. But that’s, like, five minutes of the movie. Not even worth surfing past on USA, nahmean?
Candy Apple Purple is the new black
(Additional heckling and comic nerd research provided by Andrew Stephen Coombs.)