The X-Men Trilogy

Released: 07/14/2000                              Rated: PG-13

I never watched the cartoon from the 90s. Not that I recall seeing many advertisements for it, but it just didn’t intrigue me. I was a Power Rangers kind of girl; that’s what I was hoping to stumble upon in the morning. I don’t remember how I got into the X-Men movies, but I dug this one from the first watch.

Watching it again, I almost don’t consider it a superhero movie. This is mainly due to the Disney-owned half of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that has put out some really kick-ass entertainment in recent years. The staples of such films are these: they’re very colorful, both heroes and villains are larger than life, and the plot contains world-consuming schemes/saves (all very much like the comics, I’m sure). I don’t really feel that here; they were definitely going for a more subdued approach. But they’ve managed to create an entire world, and that’s hard to do.

On the one hand we have the humans trying to contain and possibly even eliminate a threat they fear instead of trying to understand, and on the other we have the mutants who, with the exception of a few, just want to live their life. There’s a lot of grey area, it’s not clear-cut black and white, and I love it!

Released: 05/02/2003                              Raged: PG-13

This may be one of the very few cases in cinema where the sequel is actually better than its predecessor. The world has already been established, and now we get to questions and see character.

My only gripe is the whole Logan/Jean Grey angle. I don’t know if it’s from the comics, or if someone decided to carry it over from the first movie, or if they were just trying to insert some sort of love conflict, but we would have been fine without it. And it only escalates into the next film. She was the hot doctor he woke up to in the first movie; what’s Logan’s reason for pursuing her? He really wants to get into her pants and can’t? It’s ridiculous and I can’t stand it.

Otherwise, it’s great. We get new characters and expand on some of the ones we already love. There’s mystery surrounding Logan’s past. And the villain behind it all knows what he’s doing. He’s knowledgeable in the mutants, and uses them to his advantage. AND there’s a legitimate reason for his actions. Superhero movies these days are lacking in their villains, and it’s upsetting.

Definitely check out the first two films if you haven’t.

X-Men: The Last Stand
Released: 05/26/2006                              Rated: PG-13

The third and final movie of the original X-Men trilogy is the worst. I remember liking it when it came out, of course I was in high school at the time and hadn’t developed a taste for what makes a good movie; I was just excited to be getting more. Watching it now, I had a hard time getting through it.

There’s a lot going on, and the story (I feel) constantly shifts around in an uneven way. There’s the people working on the Cure, the government looking for Magneto, the X-Men find Jean, Logan wants to help her but the Phoenix has other ideas, Magneto bands together the Brotherhood to resist the government, Rogue wants to get the Cure because she wants to be able to touch Bobby without killing him, Magneto “recruits” the Phoenix to his side, Logan goes after her, the X-Men prepare for battle against the Brotherhood while trying to save the mutant responsible for the Cure. The premise of this film could have definitely been simplified.

The CGI and green screen usage is not up to par. The very first scene is a flashback to twenty years ago when Prof. X and Magneto visit the Grey’s to see Jean. They CGI-ed the actors faces to make them look younger, and it’s just off putting. Most of the green screen is obvious and pales in comparison with the two previous movies. You’re supposed to move forward in technology with later installments, not backward.

The whole side plot of Rogue’s jealousy over Kitty comes out of nowhere. We literally go from a training exercise where Kitty and Bobby share a glance when she saves his butt, to Rogue storming down the hallway going “You’re a guy, Bobby; your mind’s only on one thing.” First of all, *cough* sexism. And secondly, where the hell did this come from?! I mean, I get it, it’s setting up Rogue leaving to go get the Cure, but this is completely out of left field for them. Drama for the sake of drama.

Honestly, Kelsey Grammer is the best part of this whole movie. I love him as Beast; I definitely feel like he had fun playing the character. Now, it’s been a while since I’ve seen Days of Future Past, but Grammer does reprise his role, and I was super stoked about that! But otherwise, steer clear of this one.

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