Report Card - Fox's 'X-Men' Universe
On 'Report Card' I choose a director or film franchise; usually one that has released a movie recently and grade them on an "A+" to "F" scale. All of the film grades will be averaged for one final score. It should be noted that this is my opinion and it's just for fun. If you agree or disagree, please comment below and I would love to have a conversation.
Today we will be giving Fox’s X-Men Universe its grades
12. X-Men Origins: Wolverine
It’s been a while since I saw this film, and that’s because I never had a desire to revisit it. I was burned and didn’t want to be burned again. The movie is not outright terrible save for some truly baffling decisions. If you turn your brain off it almost functions as a decent action film, though the CGI is often very poor. At the very least it gave us a pretty brilliant opening montage featuring Wolverine and Sabretooth fighting through some of the biggest wars in US history.
11. X-Men: Apocalypse
What a mess this movie was. From the poor character design of Apocalypse, the monotony of CGI filling nearly every frame and the recycled, half-baked plot-lines, X-Men: Apocalypse is such a disappointment, especially when juxtaposed against the excellent Days of Future Past. The only thing saving this film from the bottom of the barrel are some great performances from its leads. Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence are still giving this film their all despite being saddled with a poor script.
10. X-Men: The Last Stand
Look, I had fun with this one when it first came out, I actually liked it quite a bit. Upon reflection I’ve realized how poor some of the decisions in this film were, but that doesn’t mean I still didn’t have a decent time with it. It’s definitely the weakest of the original trilogy and has some serious problems, but it had a handful of redeeming qualities.
9. Dark Phoenix
I thought this film would be the pits with all of the turmoil during the production and the repeated delays. Well, it’s not, but it’s hardly the epic conclusion I hoped we would get to the franchise. It’s one of the more bland X-Men films and doesn’t make too much of an impression, but it’s fast-paced, features committed performances and does it’s best to not offend anyone. It’s unmemorable, but still a decent time-waster.
Here’s where I might take some flak. I know this film is dearly beloved by many, but it sort of rubbed me the wrong way. I felt like there was an emphasis on raunchiness that didn’t quite fit with the Deadpool that I wanted. It’s sense of humor was also not quite my bag. I still like Deadpool and think it’s a refreshing breath of fresh air and it succeeds on many levels, but it’s the lesser of the two Deadpool films in my opinion. That said, I love Ryan Reynolds and he is pitch-perfect in this role.
This film deserves a lot of credit for setting the stage for super hero films to come. It gave us some of the most iconic superheroes and though the effects don’t hold up, the dramatic beats still do. This is thanks to a stellar cast including Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine, Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier and Ian McKellen as Magneto. It won’t light your world on fire today, but X-Men still stands today as a good, and crucial superhero film
6. X2: X-Men United
I know this is regularly regarded to be one of the best X-Men films, and I understand why. X2 upped the ante and raised the stakes, it also gave us a satisfying look into Wolverine’s tragic past and shows up the horrors Striker is capable of. For me, it’s on the same level as the first film, though that awesome Nightcrawler sequence pushes it just a smidge ahead of its predecessor.
5. The Wolverine
Maybe it’s the beautiful location, maybe its James Mangold’s directorial flourishes, maybe it’s just finally being able to experience a satisfying solo Wolverine film, I don’t know, but The Wolverine just worked so well for me. I love how personal this film is and how it deals with Wolverine’s grief. It’s not a perfect film, things sort of fall apart in the end, but it was never enough to derail the film for me.
4. Deadpool 2
Deadpool 2 is a worthy and much better film than the original. There are more laughs, the action is great, the film looks good and it even managed to have some heart, which is really saying something considering the main character's general flippant nature to anything and everything. The superhero universe's greatest offender delivers again!
3. X-Men: Days of Future Past
The ambition of Days of Future Past cannot be understated. Combining two timelines and uniting the younger generation of X-Men with the older ones is done nearly flawlessly. This film is epic in all of the right ways and gives us some of the best action, and some of the best dramatic moments to date. This should have been the culmination of these films and stands as one of the best in the series.
2. X-Men: First Class
This film was everything I wanted it to be and more, which is surprising because I think many weren’t anticipating this film to be that great. This was a time when people thought the X-Men series was done and that they were running out of ideas. Matthew Vaughn proved us all wrong. X-Men: First Class injected the franchise with new life and is filled with awesome moments and is satisfying on almost every level.
Logan is a fitting send-off to Hugh Jackman's Wolverine/Logan as we've come to know him. The end to this film is so poignant and bittersweet that while I'm sad to see him go, I'm overjoyed that he left on such a perfect note. Logan is the best X-Men film and it’s going to take a herculean effort to top it.
It may not be the best series ever, but the X-Men series certainly made an impact on me and in my opinion, has much more good films under its banner than bad ones. Overall, the journey has a been a good and memorable one, and was well worth taking.