X-Men

2000, Marvel Entertainment

I was on the fence about tackling this franchise for years after its debut; what eventually led me to bite was merely my curiosity about Captain Jean Luc Picard's appearance in the comic/superhero genre. I can't say as I was impressed by Patrick Stewart's Prof. Charles Xavier, or anything else about the film for that matter; the glut of super-powered characters left little room for much in the way of a story. It all came across as service to the comic's fans, with nothing to engage innocent bystanders. Based on its success, there must be a lot of fans out there...

 

     

CRAP

MEH

WOW

X2

2003, Marvel Entertainment

The first sequel represented a marked improvement for the franchise. In spite of the same endless parade of mutants, a more well-rounded story emerged; in particular, Ian McKellen (Magneto) gets to go toe-to-toe with Patrick Stewart for some more "adult" drama.

     

 

CRAP

MEH

WOW

X-Men: The Last Stand

2006, Marvel Entertainment et al

Alas, the improvement was short-lived, and the franchise descends into a chaotic story that really doesn't get us anywhere. It's still better than the premiere installment, but not by much. It was still a commercial success, if not a critical one.

   

   

CRAP

MEH

WOW

X-Men: First Class

2011, Marvel Entertainment et al

Yeah, I skipped past X-Men Origins: Wolverine as he was one of the least-interesting characters to me. Just as well; this quasi-reboot origin story was the best entry in the franchise to date. James McAvoy as Patrick Stewart's younger counterpart, and Michael Fassbender as Ian McKellen's alter-ego provided great onscreen personalities. And while we still had to contend with no end of mutants, director Matthew Vaughn did a decent job of keeping things from getting overwhelming.

     

 

CRAP

MEH

WOW

X-Men: Days of Future Past

2011, Marvel Entertainment et al

Again, I skipped the Wolverine story and landed squarely on the best film in the franchise (save for one huge surprise: Logan). The time-travel premise allowed James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender to reprise their roles to great effect. But the scene-stealer had to be Evan Peters as Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver: the scene where he whizzes around a kitchen, tweaking the trajectories of various small moving objects for maximum potential chaos, is a treasure all by itself.

       

CRAP

MEH

WOW

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