Thursday, June 01, 2006

a boring, whiney post about pop-culture

X-Men III is schlock. I would have asked for my money back if I had actually paid to see it. It's a b-movie with an a-movie budget--written by hacks with cornball dialogue, glacial pacing, boring choreography, and clichés galore. I think the best word to summarize it is unimaginative, from the production design (the pristine white science lab with extras in white coats all scurrying around and peering into things to look science-y and Magneto and his band of merry evil mutants in the forest), to the characters, the plot, the use of mutant powers (repetitive use of telekinetic levitation, telepathic voices echoing in peoples heads, equally opposing blasts of fire and ice from Iceman and Pyro in a standoff, a general lack of acrobatics from Beast... The list goes on), and the dialogue:

Wolverine: The whole world's going to hell, you gonna just sit there?

Warren Worthington, Sr.: Warren, it's a better life. It's what we all want.
Warren Worthington III: No, it's what you want.

Jean Grey: Would you die for them?
Wolverine: No, for you.

A few examples of other grievances:

- blatant inconsistencies, like a scene turning from day to night from one shot to the next, without the passage of time

- Angel, besides being a completely useless character in the film, looks ridiculous, striking cheesy, heroic poses throughout

- the decision about keeping the Xavier Institute open is out of context and is abrupt and seemingly thoughtless

- the head scientist working for Worthington is a science lab cliché

- whereas in previous films, Magneto and his group appear as a more radical mutant activist / terrorist group, in this movie they're just portrayed as evil and any kind of moral ambiguity is shoved aside to make it a good guy vs. bad guy battle at the end as opposed to a conflict of ideas

- Jean Grey, the most powerful mutant on the planet sits around and does nothing for most of the movie... when she finally does do something, she levitates some stuff and disintegrates things... that's it.

- why didn't Magneto take out Wolverine and Colussus by himself at the end? They're made of metal. He could've have twisted them into knots instead of letting them kill a dozen of his mutant cronies.

- why move the golden gate bridge to get to Alcatraz? It was just a little ridiculous.

- throughout the diagolue was trite, characters lacked depth, the story was slow.

... Highlights:

- Shadowcat... decent acting and some pretty cool use of her powers... well, a couple of times... was useful as a foil for Rogue

- Wolverine... despite some shitty fight choreography, cheesy lines, and too much lone wolf bullshit, Hugh Jackman still managed to put in a pretty decent shift as everyone's favorite mutant badass.

- Preview for the new Jet Li movie looked fucking radical. That shit is going to be an hour and a half of awesome.

- Preview for Superman looked pretty good. I think it was the third trailer... no John Williams soundtrack to this one, which is a bummer... but Kevin Spacey is going to kick ass as Luthor, even if the rest of the movie blows chunks.

- Jean Grey levitates and disintigrates things... yeah, it was repetative, but it was pretty cool at first...

...Congratulations X-Men 3, you made my list of top 5 bad blockbuster hollywood movies I wish I had not seen:

1. Star Wars: Episode II
2. X-Men III
3. Star Wars: Episode III
4. Star Wars: Episode I
5. Batman & Robin


Sanity Clause said...

Thanks for the heads-up, Will, but I'll probably see it anyway. As a semi-reformed comic book junkie who remembers when Stan Lee was young, I'm still drawn to these spectacles of excess and inevitably ask how they could go so wrong when they start with forty years of storyboards and dialogue to work from. In fact, I was surprised to find a nearly favorable review of X-3 on Reserving judgment for my own impressions of The DaVinci Code, Poseidon, and MI-III, I would suggest that you broaden the scope of your "worst blockbusters ever" beyond the fantasy-sci fi genre to include some other types, as listed at this site:
Happy viewing!

Ben said...

Thank you for writing this post, so I don't have to. I whole-heartedly agree. I walked out of the theatre saying "that wasn't so bad, but it wasn't that good, either", and my opinion on it has fallen further everytime I think about it. I was furious when Magneto moved the Golden Gate Bridge, because it seemed like the least effective way to solve the problem. And why not just drop the damn bridge on the island? And why the unnecessary uses of the word "bitch"? I completely enjoy the word, but using it just to be edgy or get a cheap chuckle from the audience is a sign of poor writing, bitch.
Frankly, I don't even blame Rattner all that much. I read an article which said that most of the visual design was already in place when he signed on, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. On the other hand, who the hell hired these writers? Inspector Gadget? Elektra? Last Action Hero? xXx: State of the Union?!? Why do these guys still have jobs?
I also didn't really like the way they made Professor X a complete dick. I know it's supposed to show that he's not always right or something, but it's not well written at all.
And I know Magneto's mutants were all supposed to be fairly low-powered, but they can't take out the pathetic fighting force the X-Men managed to assemble? And you mean to tell me that the soliders didn't have ANYTHING metal on them, whatsoever? Explain their radios to me, then.
Look on the bright side, though. At least they didn't drag the Shi'ar and all that crap into things.

Flushy McBucketpants said...

To be fair those writers also worked on X2, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and the comedy central staple, PCU. All of which, I thought were quite enjoyable.

Regarding the worst blockbusters... what perhaps makes the Star Wars prequels so bad is that they had such amazing material to work from, not to mention the fact that the original trilogy was amazing. And I guess my list has as much to do with bad filmmaking as with films that are just disappointing. I should probably rename it the top 5 most disappointing blockbusters... but with the exception of episode I and Batman & Robin, none of those movies had the buildup required to totally crush the soul of the viewer, or if not their soul, at least make them doubt that their childhood revolved around anything of redeeming value. If I actually remembered them, I would probably expand my list to a top seven and add Superman III and IV. After all, they're so bad, Bryan Singer decided to ignore the fact that they were made while concocting his sequel.

I am also a semi-reformed comic book junkie (in that I don't go to a comic shop every Wednesday to pick up new releases) and I wish I had not seen X-Men 3. I would rather watch Titanic.

Anna said...

X-Men III is the biggest let down of the summer. I was very excited to realize that I could see it on Friday since I had already taken the day off. I loved the two previous X-Men movies and now my heart is crying after it's pitful, lackluster crappiness. I came in wanting to get all caught up in an exciting experience and fight of good against evil and everything in between. Also, why the hell did they kill of everyone? No there's no hope for a fourth movie that will again transport me to another world where mutants fight not only each other and evil governments, but fight to uplift our hearts and make us feel that "yay humanity(mutantanity)" feeling I got from both of the previous movies.

This movie did not make my heart smile, it made it weep in disapointment.

aducore said...

I'm going to see the movie tonight, just to see if it's as bad as everyone says. Kyle mentioned something about the best part being the preview for "Snakes on a Plane"... no comments?

Flushy McBucketpants said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Flushy McBucketpants said...

i didn't get a snakes on a plane preview... maybe that should be added to my criticism. fuck you x-men 3 and your not arbitrarily following a reel of short clips of other movies that did not include snakes on a plane. fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

Ben said...

I got a Snakes on a Plane preview, and was actually a little disappointed because it just feels too serious. Still, I think I wet myself in anticipation.
And on an entirely unrelated note, is it just me, or are some of the word verification images getting almost too distorted for even humans to make out?

Flushy McBucketpants said...

yeah... sometimes I get a character string so distorted it actually does look like a word.