I’ll preface this review by stating that I’m a huge X-Men fan and have been for quite a while. This movie originally came out in 2006 and was directed by Brett Ratner. The flick was written by Simon Kinberg and Zak Penn. I also want to preface this by saying that I’m writing this after my second viewing of the movie. I saw it once right as it came out and I just watched it again and figured now was the time to get it done. I also just re-watched X-Men & X2 but this happens to be the first of the three reviews that I’m writing… but I digress. This review will contain spoilers. If you haven’t seen this yet, plan on seeing it and don’t want to be spoiled then you should stop reading right now.
NEW CHARACTERS: Each X movie introduces quite a few new characters and this one is no exception. We finally get to see The Beast (played perfectly by Kelsey Grammar). Hank McCoy is a staple in the X lineup and it surprises me a bit that they waited until the third flick to get him in there.
Two others that get some decent screen time are Angel & Juggernaut. Angel is actually seen very early in the movie and then really doesn’t show up much until near the end. His father is actually the one that develops “The Cure” that is a major plot point in this movie. “The Cure” is designed to suppress the mutant gene permanently. It starts out as an optional procedure and then when Magneto and crew get wind of this they decide to declare war on all non-mutants. Of course then the government turns “The Cure” into a weapon to be used against the mutants.
Juggernaut has some great scenes and some pretty snappy dialog as well: “I’m the Juggernaut bitch”. He did look a bit hokey to me though. Not sure how they could have done it better but in a series of movies about comic book characters this one just looked a little too “comic booky” if that makes any sense.
Some others that are shown (though briefly) include Multiple Man, Leech, Glob, Spike, etc. These second tier mutants all join Magneto in his quest to destroy “The Cure” and anything that stands in their way.
THE PLOT: As I said, I’m a huge fan of the X-Men comics. With that in mind, I’ll simply say this: WHAT… THE… FUCK! I’m not suggesting that you need to re-tell the comic stories panel by panel, but this is just crazy. These dudes killed a TON of X-Men throughout this flick. By the time the movie ends there are very few X-Men left.
Charles Xavier/Professor X: DEAD
Scott Summers/Cyclops: DEAD
Raven Darkholme/Mystique: NO LONGER A MUTANT
Eric Lehnsherr/Magneto: NO LONGER A MUTANT
Marie/Rogue: NO LONGER A MUTANT
Jean Grey/Phoenix: DEAD
Mystique sacrificed her “mutanthood” in order to save Magneto and then he promptly turns his back on her cause, “you’re no longer one of us”. She gets her revenge though and leads the government right to Magneto and his bunch of mutants. In the end, Wolverine & The Beast take away Magneto’s mutant abilities by giving him “The Cure” to him as well. Rogue makes a decision to go and get cured so that she can finally be with Bobby Drake (Iceman).
Speaking of Rogue and Iceman… this is just a plot point that we could have done without. Rogue & Bobby have been together since X2 and apparently have not knocked boots ever (seeing as it would kill Bobby). So, we’re given this storyline where Rogue is going to cure herself so she can get busy with the Iceman but he’s starting to catch the eye of Kitty Pride. Ho hum. Axe the entire storyline and it would make for a better movie.
Jean Grey “dies” at the end of X2 after she sacrifices herself to save the rest of the X-Men. During her death scene we get a glimpse of her as “The Phoenix”. While this isn’t the way it was told in the comics I didn’t really have a problem with it. She comes back in this movie as The Phoenix and MAN is she a bad ass. She’s so powerful at this point that she essentially can make stuff/people disintegrate. She (of course) cannot control her emotions/power and chaos ensues. She makes dust out of Professor X (which if you ask me is a shitty way for such a powerful character to go) and during the final battle scene lays waste to humans and mutants alike. She’s shown as a REALLY powerful character right up until Wolverine tells her that he loves her and sink his admantium into her. Ahh… true love.
THE ACTION: Absolutely incredible. With the possible exception of the opening White House scene in X2 this is as good as it gets in the film X Universe. Wolverine shows just what a bad ass he is as he takes out a slew of mutants in the forest. There’s a scene in here where Mystique, Juggernaut, etc. are rescued by Magneto and crew which is awesome. Speaking of Magneto there’s an incredible scene where he moves the entire Golden Gate bridge. We get to see The Danger Room for the first time and it does not dissapoint. Finally, as I’ve said previously in this review, the last battle scene is great… on a larger scale than anything we’ve seen in the previous two movies and (based on the plot described above) a good “final” scene of the X franchise.
CONCLUSIONS: This is a great action movie. But if you’re a big fan on the X books you may be a tad bit let down based on the plot because so much stuff is handled VERY differently than the way it is in the floppys. I’d be interested to hear from non comic fans to see how they viewed this movie. Overall I’d say it’s definitely worth a rental and if nothing else will keep you saturated with X material until the new Wolverine movie comes out in 2009.