Let me preface this review by saying that for a long time I believed both X-Men and X2 were slightly overrated. Sure, they were okay, but I always thought that it was more about Wolverine rather than the X-Men. Some of the casting was great (Stewart and McKellen are perfect), but some of the characters were treated terribly and I never quite forgave them for not putting Jubilee in the films.
The whole thing reeks of a second tier crew picking up the reigns left dangling by their first tier predecessors. Everything from the script to the production design to the direction is lacking. It's not awful, just average. And incredibly inferior to what's come before it. I never pegged myself as a Bryan Singer fan, but he was sorely missed through every frame of this travesty.
And yeah, they ruined the whole Dark Phoenix thing. Big time. That whole storyline should have been dropped and saved for its own film instead of squeezing it in here. That's my main annoyance. They have two of the best written comic book story arcs and they shove them into one film and see what happens. There's no love or care for any of the source material.
Oh, and Cyclops. You bastards. That's borderline unforgivable. Granted the first two films pushed him in the background but here he was just erased completely. Literally. Guess what? We didn't need any more of Storm. In fact, the consensus seems to be that Halle Berry sucks. It should have been Cyclops that had to get a handle on his emotions and take charge of the team once Xavier was killed. It should have been him and Logan facing off against Jean in the end. Their proverbial triangle should have become a literal one. One could have been ready to destroy her and one could still have been trying to protect her. Huge opportunity missed. Those three words pretty much sum up the whole film.
There is no emotional resonance here. It's hard to care about anything we're watching. No one mourns the death of Cyclops. Even seeing his and Jean's tombstones later in the film didn't affect me at all. Watching Magneto fall or realizing Rogue gave up her powers... nothing. Didn't feel a thing. Wolverine is reduced to wallpaper. Set dressing. There is no character arc for him or anyone else.
And if you're going to try and be so bold as to kill three beloved characters and neuter three others, have the balls to stick with it. But they don't. By the end of the movie there's an explanation for how to undo everything that's happened. The movie is essentially pointless. There are no lasting consequences for future films.
The entire film feels like it's been made out of spite because Singer decided to make Superman Returns rather than this. It's not the way a film should be made. X-Men 1&2 were made from love and nurture. X-Men 3 is cynical and dirty.