If you have not seen the movie – well, caveat emptor and all that, ok?
Basically, the story for this third X-Men follows on from the events of the last flick, where Jean Grey sacrifices herself to save her team. Scott Summers aka Cyclops is so distraught he grows a beard and mopes around, while the rest of the X-Men have their own ways to deal with it.
In the global sense, mutants are being increasingly involved as part of the human community, with Dr Hank McCoy aka Beast being Secretary for Mutant Affairs in the US Government.
Magneto and his bunch of merry mutants are on the run, while the students at Prof Charles Xavier‘s school continue to study and behave like otherwise normal kids – except they’ve got the “danger room”, and normal kids have…. biology labs.
Suddenly, though, the world as we and the mutants know it is turned upside down when a ‘cure’ for mutation is purportedly discovered, allowing mutants to suppress their mutant characteristics and becoming just another human being. Some are against it, saying that mutation isn’t a disease and so doesn’t need to be cured, while yet others feel like it is the answer to their prayers – so they can be accepted again into the human race without fear of prejudice.
Magneto, of course, uses this as proof that the homo-sapiens are trying to exterminate mutants, and begins building a mutant army to fight the government. Guess on which side the X-Men are?
Oh, and Jean Grey is found – but she isn’t quite the same….
Not quite the full banana leaf course
The thing that bugged me – a lot – about this movie is the fact that a few high-profile characters from the first two movies get marginalised in this one, leaving only a handful to shore up much of the film. Wolverine, naturally, continues to be the main star of the films, but this time Storm steps up a bit as well. Jean Grey is awesome, and her mutant powers are phenomenal. The rest, well, it’s a case of neither here nor there.
There are also probably too many mutant extras in this movie, so much that I can’t remember all of them. The ones that I can remember include Juggernaut, Kitty Pryde, and some girl who can sense other mutants and moves at super-speed. (Sorry, I’m not an X-Men fanboy, can’t you tell?)
I’m a particularly big fan of Mystique (ahem) but I was hugely disappointed with her character’s treatment in the movie. Although on the plus side, you do end up seeing a different side of her – even if it’s just for a moment.
Overall there were a lot of explosions and special effects, but very little of the relationship dynamics that played a major role in making the first two movies so good. And as Eyeris points out, this movie seems to have lost much of the coolness of the first two flicks.
And whatever happened to the one-on-one fighting scenes that were common in the previous flicks? (Think Wolverine vs Mystique, Storm vs Toad, Wolverine vs Deathstrike, etc). The closest we got to a mano-a-mano battle here was the ice vs fire fight, and that ended lamely.
Bottom line though, this movie was somewhat underwhelming. It’s kinda like going to your favourite Indian restaurant and ordering a full banana leaf course, and you end up getting served with portions that are too small and lacking salt, and after 10 minutes the waiters come back and take away half of everything on the leaf. You may no longer feel hungry after eating the meal, but you still end up coming away unsatisfied.
Too bad this movie is said to be the last of the full X-Men series (future spin-offs notwithstanding) – not exactly the best way to sign off a pretty good movie franchise.
Important notice to all would-be cine-goers
Before I end this review, let me just highlight something I learned yesterday on IGN Filmforce:
At the theater this weekend, when the credits roll, when the audiences begins to filter out of the exits… keep your seat. And then, perhaps, share this little secret with a few of your friends: the movie isn’t over.
We don’t want to spoil anything for you, but we want you to know that the scene that follows isn’t your typical post-credits tack-on. It’s a coda for one of the main characters. The scene is maybe 30 seconds in length, but it’s enough. And it will surely be one of the more talked moments in the fan community.
My friend and I did just that – we were probably the last two people in the hall, not including the cleaners.
Whether or not it’s worth waiting for the credits to end rolling…. I’ll leave that up to you.