X3 is no X2 — but, then, what is?

Finally got around to seeing X-Men: The Last Stand this last weekend.

How did I like it? Well, in judging its merits, the question really is: Should it be compared to the other X-Men films or should it be compared to other superhero movies?

If you compare this movie to other X-Men films, it doesn’t fare very well. For one thing, Brett Ratner is no Bryan Singer when it comes to the characters’ quieter moments. He also seems to lack Singer’s belief that this stuff should seem as real as possible. Plus, the film’s low budget and rushed production schedule really show through, making the scale of the plot look kind of silly.

However, if you’re comparing it to all other superhero films, it’s really not that bad. Never forget, this is a genre that includes Catwoman, Daredevil, and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen — not to mention both of Joel Schumacher’s Batman films. So while it may not be up to snuff with the (nearly) wall-to-wall quality of a Batman Begins (cough, cough Katie Holmes) or an X2, it has its moments.

Some of them, believe it or not, come from James Marsden. I’ve not been a big fan of his so far in the series, but here he really makes a lot out of his limited screen time. To be fair, at first his scenes feel overblown and silly, but when you realize that was Cyclops’ big send-off, they’re fairly operatic.

Also, Kitty Pride is really incredible in this film. Rather young to be involved in an “another woman” subplot between Iceman and Rogue, I say, but, on the other hand, the remarkable poise and bravery she showed in the “hold the line” sequence is almost enough for me to overlook the strangeness of the X-Men keeping child-sized leather jumpsuits on hand.