With X-Men: Apocalypse due to be released this May, it seems a good time to look back over the long-running franchise. The divide between X-Men Origins: Wolverine and X-Men: First Class was just two years, but there's a noticeable difference in the films. But which half of the franchise was better?
The older films started in 2000 and included Patrick Stewart (Professor X), Ian McKellen (Magneto) and Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) as it's main cast. The films centered around the rivalry between Professor X's X-Men and Magneto's Brotherhood of Mutants over mutant rights.
Were the original X-Men films better than the new ones?
As the start of an epic franchise, these films were amazing. They marked the beginning of a large demand in superhero films, including the MCU that came just later, and some of DC's biggest films like The Dark Knight. Considering the time they were created and the budget (a reasonably small $75 million), the first film was the first step in making a great franchise.
Looking back, a lot of people assume that the original X-Men trilogy weren't very good. This is because the storylines are a bit flimsy, and they seem out dated in today's market. However, at the time they came out, the X-Men films were some of the best blockbusters around, and paved the way for the second half of the franchise. The films are very nostalgic for people who watched them when they originally came out, but considering the technological advances in filmmaking, it's easy to dismiss the older films in comparison to the newer ones.
These films were so good because they were a new kind of sci-fi film, and marked the start of what would become a very popular franchise, which has been running for over 15 years now. I personally thought they were great films, and my only problem with them was that Storm was never given any time for character development. At all.
So were the newer films better?
X-Men: First Class was released in 2011 and marked the beginning of the prequel series of X-Men. This film featured James McAvoy (Professor X), Michael Fassbender (Magneto) and Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique) as it's main cast. These films showed how the X-Men got together, and how Magneto and Professor X went their seperate ways (as well as how Professor X ended up wheelchair-bound).
These films are often viewed as superior to the originals, but they might seem better because they had better technology and greater budgets ($160 million for First Class).
These films had arguably better plots and special effects, but they lack the charisma that the older films had. Also, a lot of people are angry that the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past might have cancelled out the events of the original trilogy. In fact, at the end of the film, it was suggested that X-Men: The Last Stand never happened.
However, these prequel films had a lot of characters that fans wanted to see in the original trilogy - Havoc, Quicksilver and Banshee to name a few. Quicksilver was given an especially good reception in Days of Future Past as a popular comic book character. Furthermore, this year will bring Apocalypse, one of the biggest and most anticipated X-Men villains.
Overall, they were all very good films and brought life to an old franchise successfully. Although they can feel like an entirely different franchise, they gave an eagerly awaited background to some of X-Men's key characters.
Which half of the X-Men franchise do you think is better?