Monday, May 29, 2006

Not So Shining X-ample...

Let me preface this review with the description of the love I have for the content depicted on the screen yesterday evening. Since I can remember having the concept of money, I had bought comic books - four of which were always "must haves" - Amazing Spiderman, Xmen, Batman, and just about every comic I could get my hands on that was created by John Byrne. Proof of this can be verified when looking at the storage space of my home to see the vast structure that is made out of white comic storage boxes, backing boards and plastic storage bags.

My comic-collecting days ended in the early 90's when RENT became a higher priority than the stack of unread comic books. Nonetheless, the power of the comic book and graphic novel realm was something significant.

That said, it's clear that the Xmen movies that have been release previously have held quite a bit of power for me in the realm of bringing something near and dear to my heart. Bryan Singer leaving the franchise was a surprise, and shock to me, and as we had the Fantastic Four arrive, I was scared that we might be in for trouble with what is easily one franchise that has soooo much potential for Fox. His vision for the last two films was truly epic, and he clearly understood what was going on with the key characters. Sadly, that understanding seems to be missing from this submission to moviedom.

SPOILERS: If you've not seen Xmen: The Last Stand, then you shoudl consider not reading on. You've now received fair warning and I don't want to hear about it later. :)

I am and was all on board for the first 20 minutes of this film. The look, the characters, the brooding attitudes, the camerawork - all very Singer, without question, including a very attention getting credit section/intro that was again, outstanding.

The characters that were so very well rounded in the last episode of this series, are now literally 2-D cutouts that just feel very paper thin. I have to wonder to myself if much of this was due to the introduction of new characters, which when we weigh all of the benefit of the introductions - I firmly come down on the "introduce less people" side in order to foster story and the worth of characters. Sadly, it seems as though the "fix" for this is to KILL KNOWN AND ESTABLISHED characters which again - this soon into the series is next to suicidal.

Cyclops - Mr. Xmen himself (though, very lightly portrayed by James Marsen) - KILLED my Phoenix. A fantastic "death" scene, but WOW. You've just killed the heart of what was the comic book for longer than I've been alive.

Professor X - It is quite possible that if Patrick Stewart wasn't ever cast as this person, the movies may not have been the literal "Juggernaut" that they have become. He has exuded leadership and the focal point for thinking in situations where you very possibly may need to do something OTHER than act. Well guess what? He's dead TOO!

To think back now, a day or so later, I honestly believe that the rest of the movie wasn't really taken in because of the SHOCK of seeing Xavier disintergrated in front of our eyes. That's not a Fanboy perspective, it's the viewpoint of a dedicated fan and interested movie goer just can't quite believe what he just saw. After talking to the person I went to see it with, I think perhaps another viewing might be necessary to determine what the rest of the film contained.

Look for an update here soon.