Originally Posted by The Guard
THE LAST STAND gets a bad rap because fans hated the fact that the comics weren't put onscreen (which had never happened in the X-Men films, and was never going to happen in that franchise), and because they don't understand film demands/issues like, oh, say, LOSING your Cyclops to SUPERMAN RETURNS. Wolverine starred because he'd been the star since X-MEN. Fans seem to think that if Bryan Singer had stuck around, Cyclops would have been one of the main characters, and we'd have gotten a more faithful Dark Phoenix story, and that somehow X3 would have undone the flaws of the previous two films. There were some legitimate suggestions that Brett Ratner isn't as talented a director in terms of actually shooting the film, but he handled the action, emotion, themes and performances quite well.
Xavier died because that was part of the plot. It required Wolverine and Storm to step up, come back to the X-Men and lead a Xavierless team made up of younger X-Men. And Xavier's death was a powerful sequence, and well handled.
Cyclops died because James Marsden wasn't available for the entire shoot, and because Fox exec Tom Rothman doesn't like the character, and because the plot then called for it as a motivating factor for Dark Phoenix, but given the limitations, his death was handled wonderfully. His sequence with Jean prior to his death has some of the best and most emotional moments of the franchise.
Rogue taking the cure? Come on, now. It's perfectly logical...and the cure is shown to be TEMPORARY at the end anyway.
There is so much to like about X3.
The inclusion of The Danger Room, complete with Sentinel moment.
Kelsey Grammer's Beast, and pretty much any sequence he's in, is fantastic.
Ellen Page's Kitty Pryde is fantastic.
Mystique has more importance than she has at any point in the franchise. Her "cure" scene is fantastic.
Warren Worthington has a role every bit as large and connected to the main story, as say, Pyro in X2.
Colossus didn't have a large role, but he had a much bigger role than in X2, and got some nice moments to shine.
Pyro VS Iceman threaded throughout the film.
Storm finally gets more to do, and displays more variety in power.
The Dark Phoenix concept is handled well, at least psychologically, and her power displays were immense.
Magneto was a heck of a threat, but also a grayer one than he had been in two previous films. He manipulated Jean, broke Juggernaut and Mystique out of containment and organized a terrorist group. He was very effective for the most part.
And beyond that, the themes are handled well, the character interactions are handled well.
The plot is a little straightforward, but the acting is good, the music is good, the action and effects are good. And perhaps most importantly...X3 may actually be a better written movie overall than X-MEN and X3in many respects. The story, despite being a straightforward one, is laid out in a more complex way, and there is more and better handled character development than in either of the previous two films.
Was it rushed? A little, but the movie that was scripted was still made. Could it have been longer, bigger, better, more faithful, etc? Probably, in several respects. But it had one of the largest budgets of any superhero film at that point, despite the franchise not being as big a draw as say, the Spider-Man films. But it was still a pretty big film, with huge action sequences and great effects. Not being everything it could have been doesn't make it a bad movie in the least. Fans are indeed way too hyperbolic about it.