I finally saw the third X-Men movie yesterday (we don’t have the time to get out and see many movies these days, although that should change soon). I’ve heard tons of folk talk about how bad it is, but I enjoyed it. Note that this doesn’t mean I think it has great artistic merit or something–I’m perfectly capable of enjoying sucky movies if they entertain me. Here’s why I enjoyed X-Men and don’t particularly care that it wasn’t a “great” movie:
There were definitely some small details that didn’t entirely add up, but at least they were small. When dealing with weird & wacky superhero stuff, ‘unbelievable’ things (like, say, having total control over metal due to a quirk of genetics) are okay; it’s internal consistency that matters. There are a few minor consistency problems in the movie, but they weren’t really deal-breakers for me, and in general they were things I could come up with a rationale for.
There was so much stuff packed into the movie that a bunch of plot lines really didn’t get enough screen time, and this robbed them of some of their potential emotional impact. The movie could have been twice as long as it was, easily. While I’d rather have seen those plot lines dealt with in more detail, however, I did at least enjoy what was there.
I really don’t care whether the movie stuck to ‘canon’. I’ve heard a bunch of folks deride the movie as awful because it broke canon, so let me be more clear–I DON’T CARE. Comics, books, stories, etc. are a totally different medium than movies, and you cannot translate directly from one to another with rare exception. I always take the movie or television version of a book, etc. as a wholly separate entity from the original and judge it as such, because it’s self-defeating to do otherwise–you’ll almost never be happy with the results. You’re dooming yourself to misery and annoyance for no good reason. I might say, “I liked the way they handled this in the comic better,” but I’m not going to say, “it’s different so it’s BAD.”
All this said, even I have my limits with regard to bad movies, and I reached them a week or two ago. If you think X-Men 3 was bad, go see “Detour,” otherwise titled “Cannibal Detour”, now playing on Comcast On Demand listed under one of the premium channels. I honestly believe it’s the worst movie I’ve ever had the misfortune to stumble across. I actually stopped watching about halfway through because I couldn’t stand it any more, and sheer inertia will usually keep me watching even crappy movies just to find out what happens at the end. The only reason I watched even that much was the sort of train-wreck sense of fascination that sometimes comes with marveling at a truly disastrous scene.