I don't agree with a lot o'that, Nell.
I'm sorta in the middle.
The pacing, yes, was less than I would have desired... but, surprisingly, didn't bother me as much as I would have thought. Hopefully, with an extended cut, it should feel much richer and fuller.
I very much agree about Rogue. She would contemplate taking the cure, but wouldn't. I see what they went for, they wanted to surprise us. Which they did. I, myself, believe they invested the wrong message. It should have been, "Don't rid yourself of what makes you original." But I can also understand why she took it. These characters, especially Rogue, are more human than their comic counterparts. So, knowing that the cure is only temporary, I really have mixed feelings on that subject.
Nightcrawler should have been there, yes. This movie did lack a certain feel that X2 had, at least, for me. Nightcrawler's strong faith and outlook really provided something special for X2 and could have done the same for X3.
I'm so thankful Gambit was not in X3. If you look at those characters you mentioned, Nell, you'll see that they really didn't do much other than die. I wouldn't want Gambit to be wasted like that. They decided not to use him because they knew they had no room to do him justice. They were right. Maybe if they had a longer movie and more character space; Gambit could have enough effective time to give him at least a miniscule amount of characterization and possibly a team change.
I'm a huge Cyclops fan. Anyone who was here before the movie came out knows that. But what happened with Scott did
make sense. In the comics, Mastermind killed Scott's astral form during an illusion. this is what drove Phoenix crazy evil. This is what happened in the movie; except it wasn't an illusion. It was more realistic. I don't truly believe Cyclops is dead... I mean, there has to be some explanation of Jean becoming Unconscious. My theory to that is after her power became to much from holding his optic beams back, she accidentally let go, he flew back into the woods, untintentionally shooting her with his optic beams. Or something like that (But that would ask the question, "Why didn't they try to track Scott down?"... I suppose you could say he was unconscious as well?). Either way, Scott was important to the storyline. He woke Jean, and his death was enough to make her snap. If you think about it, this movie really shows that Jean's only love was him. Someone had a great signature (Sorry for not finding who) that said something along the lines of, "She would rather be dead with Scott than live with Logan." That's true. I do think Scott could have been effective in the final battle, and yet, now I don't. He did deserve to be there, for Jean's sake, but he wouldn't of lasted. Sure, Logan shouldn't have been able to survive the demolecularization storm, but it's more probable he would than a man with no accelorated healing factor. Also, knowing that FOX didn't want Cyclops at all makes me value the role he did have even more.
There should have been a Phoenix Aura. Hands down. That would have made this movie that much better. People long to see their favorite characters and stories make it to a live version. Ya know, with actors, not comic panels or cartoons. And people want to see the movie/TV show accurately depict something they know and love. The Phoenix aura could have been mind-blowing.
It's just a matter of opinion. But like I said, I am waiting for an extended cut (with the other endings hopefully tacked on as well) to make a final judgment.