Letters to Holly

Sunday, May 28

X3 (no spoils)

I saw the film Saturday afternoon with Your Sister and her teaching assistant, and I'll tell you true: X3 is a hellacious superhero film. It's a proper third film in what appears to be a trilogy and not just a tacked-on sequel. It pays off some big subplots, establishes new folks, and expands the known characters. Magneto is an outright villain, Beast steals the film, and all the Hugh Jackman fangirls will have plenty to enjoy here.

However, the majority of online comic fans that I have encountered hate it. They complain it drifts too far from the original comics. It's a non-argument. This is an alternate film universe and has been since the first film. Things are drastically different, and I enjoy seeing new tangents woven and cut. This film is filled with big events; the status quo is barely glanced at, much less upheld. Once you stop clenching the beloved source comics, you'll find quite a tight adherence to their themes. Comic writers would give their right hands to craft a story this seismic and see it printed by Marvel Comics. X3 does things the comics gang can't for fear of losing that petulent audience, and that's what makes it a good movie for everybody. It isn't afraid to shake things up while moving the story along logically.

I admit, the comic purist in me has gripes. But the film fan realizes the two media have different rules about character progression. And so, I shut up, sit back, and enjoy what is here, not what I would do differently. This is a fun movie, and it does the previous films justice. Much like Batman Begins and the two Spider-Man films, it keeps what worked, adjusts what was clunky, and shows the world the relationships, themes, and character elements we comic geeks enjoyed.

Now, can Superman Returns top that?

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