Now that you have all, hopefully, had the chance to watch X-Men: Days of Future Past, I thought it would be a good time to countdown the X-Men movie franchise from worst to best.
I have had the chance to watch most of the series again recently, and feel as if I am in a good position to rank these movies now. I have no doubt some of you will disagree with me here, and that’s fine, but you’re wrong. I am, of course, kidding, and your opinion is always welcome here. With that in mind I have included not one but two polls at the bottom of this list, so you can vote on your favourite and least favourite movies from the franchise.
Warning: Minor spoilers lie within.
7. X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Some will no doubt disagree with me here and will instead put X-Men: The Last Stand at the bottom of their list, but for me the first Wolverine solo movie was much worse than The Last Stand. An overabundance of characters, dodgy CGI, weak action scenes and a daft plot all contributed to a very muddled movie that director Gavin Hood never did quite find the right balance with. The only saving grace was Hugh Jackman’s always likeable performance as Wolverine, but this movie still deserves its place as one of the worst comic book movies ever.
6. X-Men: The Last Stand
The third X-Men movie was meant to be the high point of the franchise and bring all the threads from the previous movies to a satisfying conclusion. The story involved the government finding a cure to the mutant “disease” and of course, the conclusion of the Dark Phoenix saga. Instead, we received a very average and hugely unsatisfying end to what had, until this point, been a very good superhero franchise. Replacing director Bryan Singer with Brett Ratner was a bad choice, and despite some good action scenes, he never had the subtlety or nuance of Singer and left a lot of people very disappointed.
The first movie in the franchise got off to a solid start, and was one of the first movies to start the current wave of excellent comic book movies that are being made today. The movie does look dated now, with some ropy CGI and characters who weren’t yet fully formed but it still laid the groundwork for everything that came after it. It’s a little odd to look back at the movie now, and it’s like looking back at the first season of a successful TV show where everything is a little rough around the edges but you know things will only get better.
4. The Wolverine
Again, some of you may disagree with me here, but I really liked Wolverine’s second solo outing, with the movie even making my top ten movies of 2013. The quiet tone and slow pacing perhaps put some audience members off, but I really enjoyed the way the movie was a character study of one of the best X-Men characters, and even managed to look at things like life and death, which are pretty big ideas for a superhero movie with the only thing lacking was a really great villain and another action scene or two.
3. X-Men: First Class
Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class was a turning point for the franchise and once again presented us with a movie that was both smart and action packed. The movie served to re-introduce Professor X and Magneto, and also introduced us to a few new characters too. What was really great about First Class was not only its sense of humour and 60’s style, but the way it played on real life events, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and how we finally got to see how two great friends were tragically torn apart due to a difference of opinion on the direction their species should head in.
2. X-Men: Days of Future Past
Anyone who has read my review of Bryan Singer’s latest effort or paid any attention to my Twitter feed over the past week will know how much I enjoyed this movie. Days of Future Past serves as a reboot of the franchise, while keeping only the events of X-Men: First Class as canon, and is a big reminder of how good a director Bryan Singer can be. Carrying on from the events of First Class and having most of the movie set in the 70’s, with Wolverine being sent back from an apocalyptic future to stop said apocalypse was a smart move, and was not only a great X-Men movie but also a great superhero and science fiction movie.
1. X-Men 2
This was a tough call indeed. With my excitement having not yet dissipated after seeing Days of Future Past, I really wanted to put it at the top of this list. However, I do believe that it deserves a second viewing before being crowned the best X-Men movie yet. With that in mind, X-Men 2 has to be number one. The movie had everything; action, drama, tension and a cliffhanger ending that was a million times better than most post-credits stingers we see nowadays. With several stand out action scenes and the emotion levels ramped up to 11, X-Men 2 still serves as the highpoint for the series, even if Days of Future Past runs it very close.
So, there you have it. The X-Men movies ranked from worst to best by me. As always, let me know your thoughts in the comments section below, or on Facebook or Twitter and please, don’t forget to vote.