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Judge Eric Profancik • Location: Cincinnati, OH
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X-Men: The Last Stand
May 29th, 2006 8:02PM

I am not going to debate the accuracy of the film and its characters to the history of the comics. No. I don't read comics so I couldn't begin to tell you the difference in Wolverine's comics over the past decades nor even the twelve different comics that have X-Men in the name.

I liked X-Men, I liked X-Men 2 a bit more, but X-Men 3 doesn't continue the trend. Not as good as its predecessors, this "final" installment in the franchise is a likeable summer flick, but it doesn't build on the "mythology" "created" or enhanced by the first two films. This time around we get more mutants, more action, more CGI, and less character development. Even worse, we like some of these characters a bit less this time around.

Without Singer at the helm, Ratner did a bit of a rush job in putting this one together, and it does show at times. Ideas aren't fully fleshed out, shortcuts pop up in the narrative, and the never-satisfying less-is-more matra comes to try and save the day.

But it doesn't.

We have so many more mutants, so much more story (well, ideas at least), and so much less time to tell it, X-Men 3 is not a wholly satisfying experience. It's no spoiler to tell you Jean Grey isn't dead, but she almost could be for how she's used in the film. Here's Kitty but who is she? Here's Leech, but who is he? And here's The Beast, who at least does get some time to flesh out his character. I really did like this new mutant, played wonderfully by Kelsey Grammer, surprised by his duality.

If you enjoyed the first two films, there is something to like in this one. It's not in the same vein as the others, but it can't be with a different director working under much different conditions, but it does work well enough as simple summer entertainment. I was a bit underwhelmed, yet I enjoyed seeing these characters onscreen again. It didn't hurt to meet some new mutants. And, I'm always a sucker for some quality action scenes and the movie ends with a good one.

Just make sure you catch the matinee.


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