X-Men thoughts, spoiler free

I generally go to see comic-book movies with friends who read many comic books, so as someone who has read very few at all (and essentially no superhero ones), I often find myself with a different perspective than those sitting next to me when the credits roll.

I couldn’t tell, from the snatches I overheard, whether the consensus among said friends was that they liked it or disliked it. Personally, I liked it.

Having said that, its biggest flaw was its density. That clip you’ve seen in the trailers, of Juggernaut smashing through one wall after another at high speed, is a good metaphor for the script. Virtually every quibble I had (with one very spoiler-y exception; ask me about it in person) grew directly out of the speed with which the story slammed through its component parts. Some of that, I think, can be attributed to the shift in personnel between the second and third movies, and the concomitant shift in narrative focus. Had they continued on with the elements they’d set up in the first two films, I think they would have been fine;
conversely, had they been setting up the elements of this third film during the first two, again, I think they would have been fine. As it was, much of the material in the third movie was starting from a dead stop. Is it any wonder the acceleration required to get to the end was so extreme?

I really think I want there to be an extended edition on DVD. My opinion is that this was a good movie, but it could be better than good with the right insertions. More stuff with this character, more context for that decision, and some actual denoument — it would be interesting to see.

0 Responses to “X-Men thoughts, spoiler free”

  1. mrissa

    Thank you for avoiding spoilers so early in the show’s run. I really appreciate it.

    I also tend to go to comics-related movies with comics fans and come out with a totally different perspective (“X2” was a big one that way).

    And I wonder how many directors are cutting their theater releases with an eye to DVD in the plot/character development sense: where before it might have been “we can’t leave that out!”, it might become “the people who care about this can see it on DVD.”

    • Marie Brennan

      I’d be quite an ass, posting spoilers when the only people who could have seen the movie are East Coasters who went to a midnight showing. 🙂

  2. moonandserpent

    I loved some of the pieces, but loathed the overall thing. And not because it wasn’t “true to the comics” or whatever. It wasn’t true to the first two films, to start with. Followed by if mutation is a metaphor for all the things it’s supposed to be a metaphor for, then the film is downright offensive.

    • Marie Brennan

      The change of direction does bother me a little, I’ll agree — I feel rather teased on a few counts. As for your latter comment, I need more time to think it through, but I think you’re touching on the one gripe I had that wasn’t related to pacing.

    • wadam

      Totally agree about loathing the movie, overall. To give something away given away in the trailors…

      I said at the end of the last movie that the phoenix could not be good on film. If they were going to be true to the comics and brought in the Shi’ar, it would have been stupid; and if they did something else, it would end up just as stupid. The problem with the Phoenix the way they did it is that if its not supernatural in some way, its not convincingly ultra-powerful — its just Jean’s ordinary powers on steroids. There’s so much more to the phoenix than what they portrayed, and so much that is chillingly frightening, but while it works on the page, it could never work on film. Different medium, different kind of aesthetic, very disappointing.

      Plus, beyond technical concerns about geekdom, its supposed to be a trajedy, but they ignored all of the usual requirements to make it work. They don’t establish the characters at the beginning, they don’t make you care, and so when bad things happen, you just shrug it off and hope they get on with the action. If they had just spent a little bit of time, before the conflict, showing us how good life can be at the Xavier institute, the payoff would have hit infinitely harder. But as it stands, the best I can say is that some of the special effects were cool.

      So sad.

  3. fallenrose

    I largely felt the same way. Though as soon at the end clip was done, I heard friends bitching about how much it sucked because it wasn’t just like “the book” and so I just got mad and left. I am really tired of going to movies with gamer folk and having a least a few people afterward proclaim loudly to anyone nearby how much it sucked and how it didn’t follow the original storyline at all, etc.
    I enjoyed it, though I am with you on the fast pace of the movie.

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