When a cure is found to treat mutations, lines are drawn amongst the X-Men—led by Professor Charles Xavier—and the Brotherhood, a band of powerful mutants organised under Xavier's former ally, Magneto.
X3 is a complete disaster. Worst X-Men movie ever. See rant below: Not only is the Phoenix storyline butchered, but the script rewrites the personalities of its key characters. Since when were Cyclops, Xavier, and Magneto such assholes? Halle Berry's demand for more screentime basically means she shows up in more scenes. Her character has no arc and often says lines that contradict what she said in previous scenes. Rogue has also turned into a whiny sidenote, part of a shoehorned in love triangle, which is disappointing given that the trilogy started from her perspective. Throwing in as many mutants as you can on the screen, some with powers that would be good if this were an X-Men spoof, but here it's played for absolute seriousness. It also means every character is essentially one note because there's no time to develop anyone. It certainly doesn't help that the movie carelessly removes or kills off half the team from the previous two films. Instead of shocking me, I'm sitting there never sure who I should be rooting for (except for Wolverine). X3 hurtles through scene after scene to get from one action set piece to another, and at just 93 minutes, there's never any time to process the plot. Of course the movie has to sequel bait with a final scene that suggests everyone will eventually get their powers back. What a way to render the entire movie pointless. Lastly, this movie cost $215 million to make. Only about a quarter of that money shows up on the screen. The CGI, green screen, and makeup effects are obvious and look horrible. So the movie looks like crap, tells it's story like crap, and treats it's characters like crap. X3 is crap.
***A good finale to the original trilogy*** I think the X-Men films have been so popular because the X-Men dare to be different. The concept of the X-Men strays far from superhero conventions. If you approach the X-Men films thinking you're getting something akin to Superman, Spider-Man or Batman, forget it. The unique concept of the X-Men is that humanity is starting to evolve to the next level and humans all over the globe are starting to manifest superhuman powers from the mutant "X" gene. Two mutant leaders, who are also old friends, take highly contrasting positions. Charles Xavier starts a school for mutant youths in upstate New York. His attitude is positive and his goal benign. Eric Lensherr or Magneto, on the other hand, is fed up with the paranoia of non-mutants. He starts a "Brotherhood of Mutants" with a clear attitude of superiority. And, as they say, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. You could say that Xavier takes the approach of Martin Luther King Jr. while Magneto goes the route of Malcolm X, an interesting comparison. Although everybody has their favorite, I feel all three films in the original trilogy are of the same general quality - "X-Men" (2000), "X2: X-Men United" (2003) and "X-Men: The Last Stand" (2006). "X-Men: The Last Stand" is generally well-regarded but has a very vocal segment of fans who revile it. This makes little sense since, despite having a new director, the film has the same tone and principle actors as the previous two and brings to culmination the ideas presented therein. Aside from the final fight between Magneto's Brotherhood and Xavier's X-Men we get the resurrection of Jean Grey and her struggle with the dark side of her psyche. Some complain of the deaths of two prominent characters, but how often are characters resurrected in comics? Isn't one significant character resurrected in this very film? Others complain about the supposed short runtime and lack of depth but X3 has the exact same runtime as the first film (104 minutes) and there's plenty of depth to mine, take Rogue's dilemma over taking a cure in order to have human intimacy, Phoenix's incredible inner conflict symbolizing the universal clash of flesh and spirit (id and super-ego), Cyclop's grief and astonishing discovery, Pyro's moral degeneration, Mystique's plight after getting kicked out of the Brotherhood and Wolverine's struggle to do the right thing despite his deep love, to name just six. On the downside, the big clash on Alcatraz Island feels routine and dull. They should’ve kept the focus on the Dark Phoenix, but the producers probably felt this would take away from the other characters, plus they wanted the clichéd big battle sequence. Nevertheless, there’s enough good here to appreciate. GRADE: B+