The X-Men Series of movies has been many things during its run. Okay, good, great, and downright awful. With mixed reviews and opinions of what they have done with the X-Men characters and storylines, most X-Men movie goers and comic fans have been divided wth the series. With the unofficial war between Marvel and Fox in controlling the fate of the characters, they have not seen eye to eye and it is ongoing as I write. Marvel's desire to get them back is apparent, based on the pulling of X-Men merchandise and reduction of the X-Men comic book series. They are waiting out Fox's use of the characters so that the rights will go back to Marvel for good. Now I do love some of the movies, and clearly hate some as well, I do think the X-Men characters will be better served under Marvel. That being said, I do think X-Men has done great things for Fox and the film industry. But on the flip side, they have not been very good to X-men and here's the reasons why.
Too geared towards reality
Now they have gotten a little better per movie and other times not so much. But when it comes to superhero movies, they shouldn't be stuck to trying to fit in to our reality, it should be the other way around. They need to be adapted into the X-Men's reality. They have the powers, crazy mutations, the movies shouldn't be so grounded to reality. Take a show like Defiance... Yes, the Earth world is there but it is no longer what it use to be and the human race is dominated by every other race. Their different cultures merge together with sci-fi tech and conventional methods. If they would go beyond their powers and make other unique things more possible, this expand their storytelling. We didn't come for a real version of X-Men movies. The concept truly doesn't exist.
How do you really respond to the supernatural? It is truly unknown. I love how Sci-fi movies or shows are not restricted to a reality based format, because the stuff is not real. Have you seen many successful video game adaptations of the X-Men movies?! No, you don't. Their movies don't transfer well to video games. however, perhaps the best game they made from their stack of movies was probably the worse movie of the franchise, X-men Origins Wolverine. I played a demo that was better than the entire movie (Good Lord!). Reality handcuffs suck so just get rid of them.
Character development has been a atrocious!
It is no secret that when making these X-Men movies, they were very selective on which characters they gave the most screen time and story development for each movie. Wolverine clearly received the most work, while Professor X, Magneto, and Mystique followed closely behind. Why characters like like Rogue, Cyclops, and Storm were there but very little was expanded beyond the initial story. I can give you a hearty list of characters from these movies that are short changed, but I will start with the usual suspect format.
Suspect #1 Rogue
Probably one of the most poorly developed characters was Rogue played by True Blood's Anna Paquin. For a so so first X-Men starter movie, she was good for what they gave her. Even though she was like the foster sister being paired with Wolverine and being the damsel in distress, she was a character that you wanted to see progress throughout the series. Even though in X2 she took baby steps with her social awkwardness and power use, she was on her way to be an integral part of the team. But in the third movie, they basically wrote her off the plot completely. Her decision to bow out of a love triangle and seek a cure for her mutant handicap pretty much fazed her out of the movie. It sucked because she was on a good path but then veered off the path and essentially was cut from the theatrical version of X-men Days of Future Past. A little belated, but she is back for the alternate version of the movie, too bad my money was already spent for the original movie, sorry Rogue, I'm not paying twice for just you.
Suspect #2 Mutant Villains
With the exception of Sebastian Shaw, there are only two truly developed villains in the series, Magneto and Mystique. Any which movie the duo is in, the essentially take over the movie. Now if you are over this combo in these movies, you probably are done watching this series of movies. With cameoesque villains making a small impact in the films, they are barely remembered or you are trying forget them all together. Classic characters were stuck with one liners and or were just silent hired muscle. As much as liked Lady Deathstrike, she didn't really add anything to her character except knuckle cracking and a killer fight Wolverine. Not complaining about the fight, I loved it! But there was no soul to the character. Even under mind control, Hawkeye from the Avengers movie still added dialogue and more importance to his role verses Lady Deathstrike. And for someone named Lady Deathstrike, she didn't kill anybody. Others like Toad, 1st Sabertooth, and let's not forget, The Juggernaut, who if they gave him more, he could have been one of my favorite villains. But no, we got lameness at its fullest. They really fell to wayside and just simply disappointing.
Suspect #3 Colossus
Now he was in most of the X-Men movies, but he has mainly been there for show and nothing more. He was given very little dialogue and seemingly went with the flow depending on the scenario. One of the more physically threatening X-Men characters was than spectacular in these films. There isn't anymore to say except, boooooooooooooooo!!!
Suspect #4 Cyclops
As much as I am not a fan of Cyclops, boy did this dude get short changed in this series. Even though he was the apparent leader, he didn't come off like a real leader, he seemed simply the leader because that is what he is in the comics. They didn't really develop him all that much because Wolverine is the more popular character and this series was simple more about him and his relationship with Jean Grey more than anything. Scott Summers was more like the jerk jealous boyfriend that was super annoying. He brought nothing to the table that made you like him or want him in the series at all. Brett Ratner and Bryan Singer helped bring an end to him so to speak only for him to come back In Days of Future Past to remind us he is still a jerk. This was a tragedy because he never got a fare shake in this series, and with younger X-Men entering the revamped series, the older version will remain in character purgatory. James Mardsen is a fine actor and I actually wish they made his Cyclops more cooler than a laser beam to the bask side.
Suspect #5 Storm
This is biggest miss on this list of suspects is Storm. As far as the female characters go, she had the most potential to be the best of all the characters, maybe even over Wolverine....no. But unfortunately, whether it be character background (Which was zippo) or the casting choice of Halle Berry to play her, it was all wrong. Don't get me wrong, she a few good moments in the movies, but she was not all that special. X2 and even though she said very little in Days of Future Past, was her best performances as Storm. Storm was a pretty stale character vacant of personality and dialogue made for a middle schooler. I think back then, it wasn't as obvious, but Halle, though very beautiful, does not have the acting chops you were lead to believe. I think if she was a better actor, she would have demanded more for her role than being a secondhand actress. C'mon, you got an Oscar for God's sake.......well, we know why.
Bottom line is these suspects are guilty for having no origin stories and no real development to really feel much of anything for these characters. GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY!
Continuity issues ruined the series
Oh did they make of mess of these movies. Well from two different Sabertooths entirely and confusing timelines and appearances of certain characters (Professor X....(Sigh), this has been the weirdest set of superhero movies I have seen in the modern era. You have to start after the very successful sequel to a sub par 1st movie, this is where the wheels started to fall off the wagon. X-Men: The Last Stand was one of the worst if not the worst movie of the entire X-Men franchise. This is not the last time I will reference this awful movie, for which this series most affected by it, forcing them to reboot the entire series via X-Men 1st Class, only to combine them in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Bryan Singer elected to not return to do the third movie in favor of directing the not so successful movie Superman Returns. And with that, his casting of X-Men's James Marsden (Cyclops) to the film, scheduling made it difficult to him to juggle both movies, so Cyclops was put to death in X-Men: The Last Stand. There were more woes to this movie throughout, what added more problems was the equally awful X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Here they took Wolverine and Sabertooth and made them brothers when Logan and Sabertooth have no recollection of each other's relationship. Given, Wolverine got shot with a magic Adamantium bullet that was designed.... to make him forget stuff...... Just think about that for a moment and let that sink in. Also in this story, Professor X makes an appearance, you'll love this. So the timeline of the events of this story happened in the 1970's.....
In the Days of Future Past the events occurred also in the 1970's and.... he still had his hair... and I think he was walking...uh....young Professor X couldn't use his powers and walk at the same time, kind of like chewing gum and...whatever, but here in Origins Wolverine, he could do both. Gee his aging process is all screwed up. I am sure FOX wants to forget this movie ever happened, apparently they did. Speaking of the Professor, In the reboot'ish X-Men 1st Class, he and Mystique had a past relationship, something that was not established in the first three films. Based on the emotional connection they have, it is far-fetched that Charles or Raven would completely ignore each other throughout the series. Having no acknowledgment of each other is annoying to me because we all know they originally didn't have a past together which makes this another messy part of the series. Why make relationships that didn't exist in the first place? It doesn't make any sense to me.
Want to add more madness to it, they tried to wash away the bad decisions that were made in X-men: The Last Stand by resurrecting a few people, like Cyclops ad Jean Grey in [X-Men: Days Of Future Past](tag:203942). Now with the next X-Men movie being filmed, Apocalypse, Cyclops and Jean Grey are back in the revamped series and it is now the 80's. How interesting, in The Last Stand, Professor X and Magneto were meeting Jean Grey to recruit her for Charles's school. She was probably no more than ten years of age. Strange, I think Scott was already a teen in three different decades.
Scott Summers 1960's
Scott Summers 1970's
Scott Summers 1980's X-Men Apocalypse
In X-Men Apocalypse, Scott and Jean will be in their teens.... Well, at least Beast is on par, age wise.... I guess. And how weren't the Sentinels ever in play in any of the other movies if they indeed were't shut down before Days of Future Past?! See, this is what happens when you don't start from the very beginning. Time travel can change events but the birthing process is a different story. It's really woeful when you really think about it. Probably best to do a clean reboot without all the entanglements.
Source material is FAR more superior
Let's face it, the comic books are king when it comes to the storytelling of the X-men series. There is so much nostalgia to the classics stories... that is why it is so disappointing seeing a watered down version of them on the movie screen. It comes off like fan service when it is more like a disservice to them. Though Xmen: Days of Future Past was a success, it was the Hugh Jackman Wolverine show, as if they can't tell a story without him. Yes he was a part of it, but Shadow Cat was who actually went back in time, not Wolverine.
One of my most disappointing stories that we didn't get and was just there just because was The Phoenix Saga. They just her brought in for no reason at all, and the dark version for that matter, and she was not portrayed as she should have been.
The main story in The Last Stand was about the cure where in actuality Apocalypse should have been involved to use the cure as hoax to recruit his four horsemen. Phoenix, if anything should have been there to stop him. She actually should have had her own movie. But instead, she was an empty shell of ultimate power and her power wasn't anything like turning people into cell fragments. And how is it the most powerful mutant is controlled ad muted by Magneto?! Pick up a Dark Phoenix comic and read how off the movie was. The Phoenix had a big voice and devoured anything in path. The only person strong enough to destroy her was herself. Wolverine never had the stones to do it. Don't do this to a classic character and ignore her epic story.
No story extending to the intergalactic universe
Which leads to us into the next subject, no aliens or intergalactic adventures. This series has been pretty grounded and free of extraterrestrials. Quite simply, this has been about mutants and humans, ONLY! It is a disappointing and broad in scale. You have the most powerful mutant in Professor X and you don't think his power wouldn't extend beyond the stars?! Why not? He of all X-Men would have to wonder mutant evolution could be a result of alien influence?
Characters like Lilandra, Professor X's love interest, and the Gladiator are on the shell ignored by Fox. It is sad to see them unused and pretty much lost in the Fox property rights. We should have known better it wasn't going to happen when the Phoenix power was inside Jean Grey verses it coming from outer space and that is a living entity. Feeling jipped yet? I'm sure if the X-Men characters had a soul, I'm sure they would be irate.
No connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe
This may not be the biggest problem with the series, but I think their style and the way they are shaped their cinematic world, they have made it nearly impossible to one day merge with the MCU. With popular characters such as Professor X, Magneto, and Wolverine not playing a part of some sort in Marvel is a missed opportunity. Hugh Jackman wanted to be in an Avengers movie and seemingly his desires were ignored by Fox, it is somewhat a final nail in the coffin. There have recently been talks of possibly merging together of the unproven new Fantastic Four franchise with X-Men, which is scary to say the least. I think they are contemplating that simply because they have seen Marvel's success with that, one could say they did Days of Future Past to head in that very direction one day. Taking the old and new cast in one movie is interesting, but they never actually meet in the film. I personally don't want this version of X-Men in the MCU. We have not seen the X-Men's true potential yet. I can go on about the non relationship between Marvel / Disney and Fox, but what's the point? It will not change their current status. I just want the rights to go back to Marvel. That's it.
Look, I don't hate the X-Men movies entirely. There are at least three that I believe that are very good, but I would be lying if I didn't have my issues with them, you've read the article. I think doing fan service can hurt if the desired effect is not reached. I think that getting only a few characters fleshed out can be a problem that leads to repetitious storyboards, case in point, Magneto ends up being the villain at the end of five movies.... FIVE! The level of unpredictability is gone. And with the new movie X-Men Apocalypse to arrive 2016, what should we expect? Should we have expectations at this point, or should we just except the design for what it is and just keep supporting the films?
Oh mylanta! Well, that's that! Me, I know that with Fox, we will never get the X-Men that you want from the comics, the one we deserve. I know that Fox will never collaborate with Marvel. And I believe storytelling should not be compromised like it has been in the X-Men movie series.
What do you think? Comment below.