More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Movie Review: X-Men 3: The Last Stand

X-Men 3 is the latest installment in the X-Men franchise that have been adapted from the Marvel comic books. The first X-Men movie was a trailblazer, it started the ball rolling for many comic book adapted movies, such as Spiderman, Daredevil, Fantastic Four, Elektra, Catwoman and Hulk just to name a few of the popular ones.

The first X-Men movie was very good. The first movie contained a strong central storyline on the emotionally lost and cynical Wolverine (played beautifully by Aussie Hugh Jackman) who slowly discovered his powers and was slowly brought into the world of mutants. Also there was the good versus evil aspect where we knew who the good guys were and that they were fighting evil that was trying to take over the world.

In this latest installment of X-Men, I couldn't really tell who the good guys were. I was flipping between who I should support. The whole movie was quite a mixture of strange events that didn't seem to join together too well. Firstly we got the reprise of Jean Grey, who it turns out didn't die from the last movie. According to Xavier (played by Patrick Stewart), Jean's unbelievably strong powers must have "created a telekinetic field around her when all the water dropped". Writers for Days of Our Lives take note. That's another idea you can use to bring back a dead character who supposedly drowned. Anyway, Jean is confused and basically has split personalities, the normal her that can control her powers and the "Phoenix" her that can't control her powers and will kill everyone.

With Jean's revival, there is a battle on to take control of her and her powers for personal use. Jean firstly does some destruction to show how great her powers are. This basically involves Famke Jannsen, who plays Jean, to stare into the distance and have her long red hair blown about and her skin to start thinning so you can see her veins. Thats the extent of the acting that Famke has to do in this installment. Jean lets rip and I'll just say that a couple of characters won't be getting a call for X-Men 4. Or maybe they'll make it after all and be saved by some sort of magnetic force field that protects them.

So Xavier wants to protect Jean by limiting her powers while Magneto (played by Mr Versatile himself Sir Ian McKellen/Gandalf/Teabing) wants to utilise her powers to fight a Government that wants to "immunise" mutants so that they will no longer have their special powers. A host of different mutants wage into the battle over what should happen. There are all the old characters such as Iceman, Rogue, Mystique, Pyro and Storm (a heavily underused Hailey Berry, who having won an Oscar for her great portrayal of a drunk women is now playing such a light role) to new characters such as Dr Henry McCoy (played by an unrecognisable Kelsey Grammar) to Juggernaut (played by a massive Vinne Jones). The mutants divide into those who follow Magneto and want to wage war and those who support Xavier and Dr McCoy and want to find a diplomatic way.

After lots of great visual effects that audiences seem somewhat immune to now, well I am anyway, we get battles over the mutant vaccine. The movie has taken a long time to set up to this point, and to be honest, I don't know what they were really trying to say. They showed how Jean was powerful from when she was young, cut to a new charcter called Angel who is a mutant and whose father happens to be a minister and who wants to administer the drug. We also get Magneto saving other mutants and trying to convert them to his cause. There is also some supposed tension between Rogue (Anna Paquin with a slight Kiwi accent) and Iceman over not being able to touch each other due to Rogue's power. So Rogue is torn between whether to take the vaccine or not. So if all this is confusing to you now, it was just as confusing to me. The story didn't have a strong enough central story and all these side stories are just vehicles to show all the characters powers I think.

On to the main story, I was even more confused there. Who was I supposed to be supporting. Firstly you don't like the "homo sapiens" as Magneto calls them because they are trying to force the mutants to conform by changing who they are. But then you also hate Magneto and his group because they are killing people to try and obtain the vaccine. Then the X-Men, Wolverine, Storm, Dr McCoy, Iceman, Shadowcat (she can walk through walls) and Colossus (he's really strong) are mutants themselves but kill their own kind to help the humans to supposedly protect this vaccine that won't be good for them. So I was just sitting there and thinking who am I suppose to be sympathetic to. In the end I didn't really feel like supporting anyone, though I did have a soft spot for the original X-Men in Wolverine and Storm.

The movie also ends quite abruptly with such a cop out. After building up Jean as such a great power and how she is struggling internally to fight her demons in "Phoenix", it just ends with such an easy and unprobable solution. Lets just say it was totally unsatisfactory and totally not what the characters would do. Even the very end where you would think some things would get wrapped up better, its just ends with a stupid montage.

Overall this movie doesn't stand up to the quality of the previous two. It lacked the stronger storyline and despite these movies always being pretty light on emotional connection, this one was worse. The special effects were stunning as usual but felt like they were used to replace story. This movie had some bits of humour which was rather staged and lacked the more natural humour especially in the first movie. Overall I was quite disappointed and just confused.

Overall Rating: ** 1/2 out of 5.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

ass man?

5/28/2006 6:03 PM  
Anonymous Ivonne said...

Great review, Thanh!

I'd bee looking forward to this movie and was disappointed by all the negative reviews. I guess the movie makers just assumed that people will go and see it based on the success of the last two.

5/29/2006 11:36 AM  
Anonymous Damien said...

I have to say that I agree. I found the plot to be non-existent, and the storyline predictable. Still, it was better than spending a couple of hours mowing the lawn...

My advice to those who must go and see it - stay until the credits finish.

5/29/2006 1:50 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Ivonne, I think they knew that people will go watch regardless. The problem nowadays is that word spreads fast, via mobiles, sms, blogs etc so that even a few hours after the release, it may already have bad word of mouth.

Damien, I also found the plot to be pointless. It probably was better than mowing the lawn, but mowing the lawn is free. I want to use my hard earned money on something good rather than boring.

5/29/2006 6:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I wasn't that impressed to be honest! I liked the first and the second, but it seems they just make X-men 3 without putting must thoughts into it.
I really enjoyed the special effects and stuffs. Was very dissapointed with the character of Jean, it would have been a better movie if they try to make a story line base on her character.

5/30/2006 12:53 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Yeah Jean's character could have made the movie totally different. After all, a big part of the movie was focused on her and her skills, so why not explorer all facets of that rather than just showing her getting angry all the time and something else exploding.

5/30/2006 5:53 PM  
Anonymous Oblivion said...

What a shame! I was really hyped up about this movie. I guess when you change directors it makes things totally different. Not saying the new bloke wasn't any good, it's just it would be real hard simply picking up the pieces left behind.

Terminator 3 is another example of second sequel gone wrong.

5/31/2006 3:55 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

The change of director didn't help the movie. However, you would think that with such a large budget, they could have concentrated a bit more on the story rather than the special effects.

5/31/2006 6:47 PM  

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