Director Bryan Singer has finally returned to the series he started with [X-Men: Days Of Future Past](movie:203942). It only took him 11 years to come back, but once he did, the series was in better shape than ever. Matthew Vaughn made the best X-Men film yet with X-Men: First Class and director James Mangold delivered a solid Wolverine solo adventure with [The Wolverine](movie:34674). Vaughn, especially, brought the series to a new level of fun with his Bond-esque take on the world. He was supposed to direct Days of Future Past, but instead went on to make [Kingsman: The Secret Service](movie:713143), so it worked out just fine for him. As for Singer, after a major bomb in [Jack the Giant Slayer](movie:17038), he returned to familiar territory, delivering another X-Men film that's killing it in the box office and managing the tricky task of pleasing almost everyone.
Admittedly the series has had its highs and lows. Even on the first film, in which Fox no faith, Singer was rarely trusted by the studio, given an almost impossible release date, and a small budget for a tentpole release. But he made it work, making a film that helped kick off the comic book movie fad.
Now fans couldn't be happier with the direction in which the series is heading, and to celebrate, why not praise some of the more unforgettable moments from the nearly 15-year-old franchise?
Here are the five best scenes from the X-Men series...ever:
There was a lot of fan outrage over the casting of Hugh Jackman. It wasn't the first or last time fans freaked out over casting despite not having seen the actor's audition and not knowing what a director is going for. But Jackman silenced those knee-jerk reactions with Logan's introduction. Screenwriter David Hayter gave the character a worthy intro, showing us an animal fighting in its cage. Jackman couldn't have been more dominant and present in this scene. One look at this guy and you know who he is: The Wolverine.
Another terrific introduction. While it's disappointing we haven't seen the fun Nightcrawler from the comics, Bryan Singer's take on the character still worked. Not only that, he put the character's power to good use. Singer has always thrived with contained set pieces. Looking at his X-Men films, the epic third act battles are rarely what people discuss, it's the Nightcrawler opening, Quicksilver taking guards out, and Wolverine viciously stabbing soldiers who invaded Xavier's school. Singer is best in small doses, as proven by the White House attack scene.
Erik Lensherr: Nazi Hunter
If this bar scene is any indication, X-Men: First Class could've focused purely on Erik going around killing Nazis and it would've been a fantastic movie. It's a tense moment that shows how unstoppable Erik can be, how bloodthirsty he is. First Class does an excellent job at getting us to empathize with Magneto in a way Singer's films never did. That's not a diss on Sir Ian McKellan, who's good, but Fassbender's younger Magneto is easier to empathize with, even at his worst. This is just one of many Fassbender's fantastic scenes as Erik.
Charles and Erik on the beach is the series at its most dramatically compelling. In a short amount of time Vaughn, screenwriter Jane Goldman, and Fassbender and McAvoy sold their friendship before their all-too-soon of a breakup. It's a shame we didn't get more films with the two of them by each other's side, but the end of their friendship still holds weight, because you can tell Erik wants nothing more than for Charles to be by his side and how awful he feels about hurting his friend. There's real sadness and anger in this moment between them.
Run, Quicksilver, Run!
Quicksilver's design is bafflingly bland. The goggles, the cheap-looking jacket, and the Pink Floyd shirt...it's as if Singer is embarrassed by the colorful nature of some of these characters' designs. And yet, Quicksilver is terrific. He's funny, cool, and has the best scene in the movie. It's hard not to wish he doesn't have more screen time, but for the time that he does stick around for, it's a much needed blast of energy for the movie. When he breaks Magneto out and takes out those guards it has the kind of humor we should see more of in Singer's X-Men films. This is just a really well done action sequence, from top to bottom.
Did I miss any scenes? Are there any you'd like to see on this list? Let me know in the comments!
[X-Men: Days Of Future Past](movie:203942) is now in theaters.