X-Men 3: The One Where They Break the Franchise

Many things agitate me. I’m just one of them types. But as far as my nerdery is concerned, nothing has irked me more than what I keep hearing about the Brett Ratner’s entry into the X-Men movie franchise. First it was the dismissal of Alan Cumming as Nightcrawler in favor of … Beast. The Kelsey Grammer casting wasn’t a misstep, thank god. But the reason: they didn’t want two blue characters. So they took out a fan favorite in favor of another blue character who has been both not blue (remember, he was grey at first) and not furry at various points. They could have chosen any incarnation and maintained Nightcrawler in the whole of it. This is a minor irritation.

But the announcement that Stan Lee is going to say “What the f—?” in the movie is the straw that breaks the camel’s back, and proves that Brett Ratner is everything that is wrong with movies. He has the grand blockbuster in his head, and it has to have edge, it has to have an unpopular prostitute character just because she’s an edgy character, it’s got to have the Stan Lee cameo push the envelope too.

While there is nothing wrong with edgy (at times), pushing the envelope to push the envelope results in nothing more than empty flash, a fireworks show. The explosions aren’t real; it’s just some bright colors in the sky. If there were a reason for Lee, the father of many a childhood dream, to say “What the f—?” then so be it. But as it stands, there’s not. If memory serves me correct, the fornicatin’ word is allowed thrice in a movie before it jumps to “R.” So Brett Ratner is gonna use one of them, and tarnish Lee’s reputation in the process, true believers.

Stacy X seems to be a way to just sex up the image a little. This is the same purpose Mystique was (sort of) used for, but in her case it had a greater purpose in the plot (again, sort of.) Stacy is more fireworks, more cheap trinkets, a character no one liked except a misogynist Hollywood glitzifier like Brett Ratner.

When Brian Singer was on board, there was hope. When he quit, it died a little, but then Matthew Vaughn, like the character Famke Jannsen would play, helped hope rise again.

But now the Phoenix may well kill the franchise that helped comic films enter the mainstream. Let’s just hope Ratner has enough head on his shoulders to stop the madness and do what Singer did: Appeal to the fans while telling a compelling story, instead of focusing on fireworks.