Ten years and a reboot later X Men 3 #2 finally got the franchise to the fireworks factory or in this case, to the CGI fire bird.
The previous two films in the franchise (First Class, Days of Futures Past) set a high bar for Apocalypse to live up to creatively and commercially. Luckily the first X Men 3 (The Last Stand) as well as Origins Wolverine set a very, very low bar. So the average bar height set by both eras of X Men movies left a medium, reasonably placed bar for the second X Men 3 to reach or jump over.
The combination of Last Stand being one of my most disliked films ever, and Days of Futures Past being one of my favorite comic book movies ever, has created a rose-colored paradigm of which I see anything on a screen with X Men in the title. I have a specific soft spot for X Men because of the fabulous 90s cartoon. I also have a general softspot for popcorn blockbusters that make genuine attempt to be films/works of art rather than just another disposable consumer good.
The opening sequence of X Men Apocalypse is so good and so comic book authentic, it almost creates a let down when the rest of the movie doesn’t follow suit with its authenticity to the source material. This is not an Age of Apocalypse movie, which is unfortunate but understandable. However, the effort and execution of adding depth to all of the main characters and to even the second the tertiary characters during the middle act is much appreciated and does the job of creating emotional investment in the story arc.
The climax of the movie had me popping like a kid again and required restraint to not stand and clap. Though what unfolds at the end of this X Men 3 would have been more fitting at the end of the first X Men 3, it’s better late than never. The writing, acting, cinematography, and directing all came together beautifully.
The scene before the final credits rolled left me hoping/wondering if a live action series is on the way with a clear tip of the cap paid to the 90s cartoon with a very out-of-place Mystique, though Mystique has been misplaced in every movie since they cast an A level actress to play a B level villain.
Better late than never is what kept coming to mind as I left the theater. Though this movie is very much what The Last Stand was supposed to be, nothing can wash the taste of that Brett Ratner disaster from my mouth or my mind. However, the new trilogy led by James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawerence has been of a consistent high enough quality to forgive the shortcomings of he original trilogy.
And by shortcomings of the original trilogy I of course mean the third one was so bad it was enough to taint the excellence of X2 and the acceptable quality of the original X Men movie. Seriously what the fuck were they thinking with The Last Stand?!
Anyway, a live action series would obviously welcome. An entrance into the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the Infinity War movies would be ideal. But if those are both pie in the sky wishful thoughts, then a fourth installment with this cast is very much welcome as the New Class Trilogy has given me every reason to believe that another film will be a high quality piece of pop art as long as they don’t allow Brett Ratner to cast Hugh Jackman’s replacement.