Snikt! Snikt! Snikt!
It's a little late, but I thought I'd speak up and say how great a movie Xmen: The Last Stand is. I enjoyed it more than the first two. The reviews have me dumbfounded. X3 is exactly how a movie with a gajillion super-powered characters should be handled. Everyone just chugs along and does what needs to be done, says what needs to be said, and doesn't pause to tease you with a little bit of heavy philosophizing that the movie's not going to have time to give you a good payoff for anyway. We know most of these guys and their motives, already... we can extrapolate what's going on in their heads just by watching what they say and do, the little gestures, the passing comment here and there. That's what the movie gives us in a fairly brilliant manner. No one is allowed to get on a podium and preach to the audience for anything more than five seconds. They are always talking to each other, relating to each other, or beating the crap out of each other, and the audience is just there to watch these guys live out they're lives as honestly as they can.
X3 does share one problem with X2 that had me very annoyed with X2, and that is there were too many characters to keep track of, and no time to give everyone their due. But X2 gave just a little of bit every character to remind the audience they're missing something of everyone's story, and after each bit of exposition rudely yanked your attention away to something else. Some folks like that little bit of weight. Me? It feels lukewarm and a little A.D.D. to me. It frustrates. Either focus on a couple of things (like X1 did and did pretty well) or don't bother with the heavy stuff at all. X3 doesn't try to meet every one of its characters halfway. Instead it assumes you know these guys already, throws them into situations where you sort of know know what everyone's thinking, and then lets the battle play itself out. That works. Really, it does.
Granted, X3 is not as character-driven as the first two. I'd argue however, that that it didn't need to be, because again, we already know the important players here. We just need a good story for them to be in, and there's a pretty good story to be found here. The new characters admittedly do not get as much attention as some would like, but I thought what little there was was sufficient. Hank McCoy was handled fairly brilliantly (and never overstayed his welcome on the screen, which made him all the more endearing), and Angel, Juggernaut, and Multiple Man get to show off their abilities, which is all I needed them to do.
My one major complaint is that, once again, Cyclops gets the shaft. Some things never change, I guess.