This weekend, against my better judgment, I saw X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The movie was mediocre, but more than anything else, it got me thinking about my reaction to the previous movie, the 3rd X-men one.
There were two major problems I had with that film. First of all, Magneto, at least in my head, is distinguished because of his amazing plans. Giving prison guards pills to increase the level of iron in their blood (while medically suspect) is the most basic idea in terms of ridiculously circuitous plans that I imagine he might develop.
My memory is a little hazy, but in the most recent instantiation of the X-Men comic series, he mounts a plan to break out of jail that involves building a machine to fool people into thinking mutant powers had gone wild, so that a particularly impressionable youth would assume the blame, Professor X would reach out to this youth, they would get into a conflict with the government over the youth, and in the ensuing completely unrelated jailbreak that the X-Men mount, Magneto manages to escape.
Yes, it's kind of stupid, but it's also kind of awesome.
What was Magneto's plan in the third X-Men movie? Get a whole bunch of mutants together and... I guess just kind of all run at Alcatraz at once? You're serious? It looked awesome, but Velociraptors in Jurassic Park showed more forethought than that.
Also, the idea of the Phoenix is kind of an issue, I think. I don't know the canon well enough to have any opinion about what the Phoenix should be, so that wasn't problematic, but I couldn't help but feel cheated for all the wasted potential there.
If a team of superheroes has amazing powers, and finally finds a threat which their powers simply cannot oppose, they have only one choice to avoid being defeated: Find a new way in which to be heroic.
There was a little bit of that in the third X-men movie. No one could fight Jean Grey as the Phoenix, and only Wolverine was able to kill her because of their previous relationship, but it was portrayed that he was able to get up to her because of his healing powers. If Wolverine saves the day because he has healing powers... who cares? But if Wolverine saves the day because he understands that being a Superhero is more about being heroic than kicking ass, that's a movie I'd see in a heartbeat.
(Oh, and a fun fact for all you X-Men fans out there: X-Men is successful because it's Superheroes + Degrassi. Think about it.)