We’ve been hacking heavily on X-Men 3 pretty much ever since Bryan Singer and Layer Cake helmer Matthew Vaughn exited and Brett Ratner joined, treating every new tidbit of info with borderline disdain (it’s amazing how much derision one guy can accumulate, huh?). And now our first look at the third mutant opus has arrived.

The verdict? Well, I’m not going to eat every single one of my words, but I’ll certainly have a verbiage snack.  Over the course of the brief teaser, I went from having a complete lack of interest and faith in the film to actually wanting to see it. Certainly more than Rush Hour 3, at least.

Oh, there are gripes, to be sure – Beast’s makeup unfortunately looks pretty lousy, Vinnie Jones’ Juggernaut muscle-suit seems a bit ridiculous, and part of the movie apparently takes place in James Cameron’s post-SkyNet future. But Angel looks nifty, the return of Jean Grey as a dark entity is obviously a major focus (judging by her consorting with Magneto and his army), and the promise of all-out superpowered warfare could become a reality. Well, in the movie, not actual reality. Yet.

Anyway, the story apparently involves a scientist who creates a “cure” for mutants, and those gifted or afflicted take sides and discuss the pros and cons by punching and shooting each other with freeze rays and optic blasts and spinning really quickly.