Does it ever wake you in the middle of the night? The feeling that one day they will stop making X-Men movies?
No, you're right, that will probably never happen. Still, it feels like the end of an X-Men era: Next month, the last installment of the X-Men: First Class trilogy will be released on iTunes for digital download. The not-so-concluding film X-Men: Apocalypse wraps up 16 years that produced six movies X-Men fans (almost) all love. In honor of this epic event, take a look at each movie and decided the best, worst, and why.
Wolverine and Rogue are thrust into the middle of the ongoing conflict between Professor Xavier's X-Men and Magneto's Brotherhood of Mutants. To help force public acceptance of mutantkind, Magneto has designed a machine that he plans to use to mutate most of the world's leaders at a summit in New York City. When Xavier discovers that this forced mutation will only kill the humans exposed, he sends the X-Men to save the day.
- The film has a solid story that served well to introduce our favorite band of mutants
- The characters were almost all perfectly cast and faithful to the comics
- It was effectively paced with a good balance of character development and special effects
- It avoids spending too much time explaining things that don't need to be explained; they didn't inundate us with mutants; they left us wanting more!
- Rogue was a shell of her comic book counterpart
- Storm's accent was... odd, and she was not the empowered Storm we know.
What do you think of the X-Men's first film?
'X2: X-Men United' (2003)
A few months after the events of the first X-Men movie, Colonel William Stryker, a military scientist, uses an imprisoned Magneto for information so he can storm the X-Mansion. His plan? To create a replica of Xavier's mutant tracking machine, Cerebro. Stryker takes several prisoners, including Xavier, whom he brainwashes into using the new Cerebro to locate and kill all the mutants on the planet. The X-Men team up with the Brotherhood to prevent Stryker's mutant genocide, but not everyone survives.
That opening scene with Nightcrawler
- John Ottman's music score
- It has a solid story
- Stunning cinematography
- There's an awesome Wolverine v. Lady Deathstrike fight
- Let's not forget that cliffhanger ending!
- Wolverine discovering his past may be an over-saturated storyline
- Cyclops was underused
- Rogue continued to be a side character
- Lady Deathstrike was underutilized
They say the second film is always the best. How did 'X2' measure up?
'X-Men: The Last Stand' (2006)
The third X-Men installment sees a pharmaceutical company develop a "cure" capable of suppressing the mutant gene, provoking controversy among mutants. Meanwhile, Cyclopes returns to the site of Jean's death where Jean then resurrectes as the Phoenix. Magneto, outraged over the cure, declares war on Homo sapiens with Jean Grey turned Dark Phoenix, who is increasingly volatile and homicidal. Storm leads the X-Men into battle to take on Magneto, leaving Wolverine to stop Jean, a task he can only complete by killing her.
- Lots of action
- Storm became the X-Men leader
- Kelsey Grammer was fantastic as Beast
- We finally see the Danger Room
- Iceman went into full ice-mode
- Kitty Pryde had more than two seconds of screen time!
- It lacked the emotional depth of its predecessors
- The adaptation of the Dark Phoenix was underwhelming
- Unnecessary character deaths
- There wasn't enough screen time and development for new characters like Angel
- Rogue decided that she is underutilized in every film, so rather than finally being awesome, she got 'cured'.
What do you think of Brett Ratner's contribution to the X-Universe?
'X-Men: First Class' (2011)
A prequel to the original series, this film introduces us to the first class of X-Men, including Professor Xavier, Mystique, and Magneto during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. As this new team tries to work together to combat Sebastian Shaw, a megalomaniac intent on starting nuclear war, Charles and Erik develop different philosophies, leading to the formation of their opposing teams, the X-Men and the Brotherhood.
- Great period piece that got us all excited about X-Men movies again!
- Fassbender and McAvoy were great as young Xavier and Magneto
- It was fun to see the older X-Men during their younger years
- Cool origins for Cerebro and the Blackbird
- It has an awesome yet brief Wolverine cameo.
- The writers took liberties with the relationship between Raven and Xavier
- Moira MacTaggert was only the character in name
- The Hellfire Club was completely underplayed.
How would you rate this groovy 'X-Men' prequel?
'X-Men: Days of Future Past' (2014)
Considered an "inbetweequal," this film is a sequel to both X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: First Class. Set in part in the year 2023, the surviving X-Men from the original trilogy send Wolverine's consciousness back fifty years to his younger self to prevent Mystique from assassinating Bolivar Trask. If Mystique succeeds in killing Trask, it will lead to the creation of the mutant hunting Sentinels that have launched a global war against mutants and humans alike in the future.
The casts, both young and old, in the same movie
- The sentinels were also awesome (both new and old)
- It has a fantastic opening fight scene
- The X-Men score from X2 came back!
- Great, albeit loose, adaptation of the comic book story by Chris Claremont
- Blink, Warpath, and Sunspot all make an appearance!
- Havok made a small, useless cameo for someone that was a main character in the previous film
- Storm's role was limited
- Xavier didn't take Quicksilver to Paris when that would have been useful
- Rogue was cut (which was a bummer because it looked like she might finally be awesome, before The Rogue Cut revealed that to be false).
This movie scored big worldwide, but how did it rank with you?
'X-Men: Apocalypse' (2016)
In this concluding prequel film, Apocalypse, a god-like mutant awakens after thousands of years. Disillusioned with the world, he recruits a team of four powerful mutants to help him cleanse the earth and begin a new world order. In upstate New York, Professor X has a new generation of students including a young Jean Grey, Scott Summers, and Kurt Wagner. Raven, with the help of Professor X, leads the new X-Men to stop Apocalypse and his four horsemen, Storm, Magneto, Angel, and Psylocke.
- The introduction of our favorite original trilogy heroes as youngsters
- John Ottman's music
- Jean's on-the-nose line about trilogies
- Cyclops was actually a person and he did things!
- Magneto's tragic story-arc
- Jean meets Wolverine... creepy, but also kind of cool
- The brief appearance of the Phoenix (sometimes less is more)
- Sadly, Wolverine's cameo, much like Stryker's, seemed unnecessary and really didn't serve to further the plot except for leading Mystique et al to armor and a plane
- Jennifer Lawrence was not that blue this time around, and even less present in general leading many to feel she was over the role
- Storm and Psylocke were completely underused
- Apocalypse was too awkward, bulky, and slow to be menacing.
The last installment of the core series: Yay or nay?
Now that you have walked down memory lane, it is time to choose your favorite of the bunch. Each X-Men film brings something fantastic to the series and having our favorite team on the silver screen with such talent is a true gift for fans. So, fellow would-be students at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, or, perhaps, members of Magneto's Brotherhood of Mutants, vote for your favorite X-Men movie and discuss in the comments below.