Monday, May 29, 2006
There are flaming cars, levitating houses, walls of water and an X-travagant action scene in which the Golden Gate Bridge is devastated and repurposed in spectacular fashion. The credit list for stunts and visual effects for X-Men 3 goes on forever, and it's not surprising. The stunts are non-stop and we marvel at them all. Yet the heart of this third film about the mutant Marvel comic characters is overtaken by splashy effects. That's not to say I didn't enjoy director Brett Ratner's showy, visual style, but emotionally, I felt a little like Anna Paquin's Rogue, unable to touch the characters I love.
All our favourites are back as well as some fresh new faces. Look carefully in the opening sequence, when Patrick Stewart's Charles Xavier and Ian McKellen's Magneto enjoy the benefit of anti-ageing software, when they are shown twenty years earlier. Good effect. Stewart and McKellen are worthy adversaries, as they remain on opposing sides of the new war which battles for the survival of mutants as a race. The notion that individuality should be treated as a disease is an interesting one and can be considered as the starting point for many lively discussions.
Love yourself as you are, is the moral of the film, and while love plays a central part, our emotions seem to be too gobsmacked by the action to be overly affected emotionally. There are too many characters doing too many things. In the beautiful body stakes, Hugh Jackman impresses again as Wolverine, and Halle Berry is mysteriously exotic as the weather-controlling Storm. Ellen Page as Kitty, who can walk through walls is a welcome addition, and the scene when Vinnie Jones' massive Juggernaut crashes through the walls through which tiny Kitty has already morphed, is a wonderful comic touch.
In chess, the pawns go first, says Magneto, and while pawns, bishops and kings alike reach the end of the game, X Men 3 X-cells at the X-tremes.
Cast: Famke Janssen, Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Thriller
Director: Brett Ratner
Producer: Avi Arad, Lauren Shuler Donner, Ralph Winter
Writer: Simon Kinberg, Zak Penn