I haven’t really talked about them at all, but I have a strong soft spot for the X-Men franchise. As a kid, they were the movies I’d watch the most, at least in the superhero genre. I’ve grown up with this series, and I still love it to this day.
Even if, you know, the quality of the series has gone from ‘good’ to ‘great’ to ‘shit’, then right back again.
With the release of ‘Dark Phoenix’, which I am admittedly late on, the franchise has finally come to an end. Until the MCU releases their first ‘X-Men: Actual Marvel Edition’ movie, we can finally let this series go. But the question is: which one was the best one? Which one of Fox’s X-Men movies was the best?
*Note: I’m not counting Deadpool or Deadpool 2. They take place in the same universe, but they are so vastly different that they fall into their own category.
Right off the bat, I want to knock out the obviously bad ones. These are:
- X-Men: The Last Stand (five bucks says you don’t remember this movie)
- X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Deadpool, what the fuck did they do to you?!)
- The Wolverine (not terrible, but not great; also, Silver Samurai, what the fuck did they do to you?!)
- X-Men: Apocalypse (not garbage, but it is from good; also, Apocalypse, what the fuck did they do to you?!)
Also, I have to be honest: I still haven’t seen Dark Phoenix, and I likely won’t for a while. I’ve heard it’s better than what people were expecting, even if it is very flawed. I’ll likely review that when the first MCU X-Men movie comes out.
Or if that ‘New Mutants’ movie is still a real thing. Did they cancel that?
X-Men 1: The Cruelty of Time
Watching X-Men 1 in today’s day and age is pretty difficult. It hasn’t become a bad film, just an incredibly corny and strange one. Trying to take it seriously is basically impossible.
It’s still fun to watch, don’t get me wrong. But compared to what we’d get later, it is kind of hilarious. It isn’t a must-see, one that you need to revisit again and again over the years. But it isn’t especially painful.
X-Men First Class: A Prequel/Reboot/Whatever That is Actually Good?
We don’t get those very often, do we?
This movie is still a ton of fun to this day. This is likely the one film that I’ve revisited the most over the years, even if the ones that came after it were better (or at least, one of them was.) Going back to the younger years of the X-Men, especially Magneto and Xavier, is a ton of fun! The villain isn’t a great character, but he is a memorable and effective one.
Plus, it did give us the ‘Perfection’ meme, which shall likely last for the rest of time. That alone pushes it up pretty high.
X-Men Days of Future Past: The Old and the New Collide
I’ve heard that a lot of people don’t like this movie. But I couldn’t disagree more with them. I, for one, fucking love this movie!
Sure, it muddles the timeline to all hell. But the story is so solid, so perfectly paced, with such perfect character writing and action, that I don’t particularly care! The Quicksilver scene alone makes it a nigh perfect film! And that’s only one scene!
This movie is a ton of fun. I don’t think it’s the best X-Men movie, but it is absolutely worth revisiting. Even if the MCU versions of these characters prove better, I’ll be revisiting this one for years to come. Much like the second best film:
X-Men 2: Nostalgia Maximum!
All things considered, this movie has aged decently well. Sure, the special effects are… rough… by today’s standards. But it’s a movie from the early 2000s! What else would you expect?
This is still a good movie. The story is very solid and memorable, perfectly balancing the line between comic book cheese and genuinely serious and interesting writing. The characters are all exceptional. The action, while not visually appealing due to the aged CGI, are still creative, well choreographed, and exhilarating!
Not many people talk about X2 anymore. Nowadays, they’re more likely talking about the lows the franchise has reached. They’ll often ignore the good steps the franchise has taken along the journey.
Luckily, the don’t ignore the peak of the series.
Logan: My Childhood’s Ending
As I mentioned earlier, I grew up with this franchise. As long as I’ve been alive, the X-Men movies have been a part of me. Thus, the face of the franchise, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, was hugely tied together with me. He was one of my very first heroes. One of, if not the, first hero that I admired as a child.
Can you imagine what it’s like? Watching a hero you’ve known and admired for your whole life die? The feeling of a childhood dying right in front of you?
Logan isn’t just an incredible movie. It isn’t just a farewell to Hugh Jackman’s perfect depiction of Wolverine. It is a bloody, brutal and tragic end to the old days of the X-Men franchise. The final chapter of the classic series, making way for the reboot version to take over.
This was the movie that made me realize just how much this series meant to me. These movies made my youth, and they came to an end just as I entered adulthood. The ending alone is a huge punch to the gut. But considering how close these characters are to my heart? No ending before it had hit me that hard! I was crying like a fucking baby when I first saw this movie!
Only one other movie would hit me that hard again. But I’ve already talked about ‘Endgame’ to death, so I’ll leave that alone.
Even without my personal connection, this film is a definite classic. Everything here is absolutely perfect, from the acting to the visuals to the action. This is the perfect send off to Wolverine and Charles Xavier, the end of the classic X-Men movies, and a nigh flawless film. I wouldn’t have my childhood end any other way.
It makes me sad to see the X-Men franchise end. Yes, I know that Disney is going to reboot it and recast all the characters. Maybe it’ll be even better than the series that I grew up with. Who knows?
Regardless, these movies are some of my favorite superhero films. Sure, not all of them are great. In fact, several of them are absolute garbage. But no other superhero series has had the impact on me that this one has had.
Long story short: I’m highly biased towards these movies. Call me trash, I don’t care. I’m well aware that my tastes are shit.