My Fave Five X-Men Films

Hello, friends!

As you may have noticed, I have been going through an X-Men film phase of late. With the end of Fox’s era of X-Men films, I decided to go back and watch the entire franchise, reviewing the films I had yet to review on the site along the way. Kicking off with 2000s X-Men and concluding with next year’s New Mutants, and consisting of three spin-off series, the franchise has had its ups and downs over its nearly twenty-year run. Recently, I created the definitive viewing order for all twelve of the currently released X-Men movies. But now, it’s time to look at which movies I liked most in the franchise. Here are my fave five X-Men films.

X-Men: Days of Future Past movie poster5) X-Men: Days of Future Past

I can hear you saying “What? Days of Future Past is only number 5??” Yes, but that’s nothing against the film. Days of Future Past is a magnificent film. However, it lacks the heart that most of the other films on this list has. But it does have an abundance of everything else: action, excitement, character development, and Wolverine. This is great to bring all the major characters from the core X-Men films up to that point together and gave the series the much needed reboot it needed (even if the continuity continued to make no sense afterwards). It deserves all of the praise that it has received but it is not the best film in the franchise in my opinion.

Logan movie poster4) Logan

Over the last twenty years, the superhero genre has exploded and, dare I say, has become saturated. With the genre becoming congested, new entries need to do something different. Logan did just that. Rather than go the traditional superhero route, James Mangold and company told a western / noir film that happened to feature superheroes. The result was one of the best character studies in the genre. With the success of Deadpool the year prior, Fox elected to make this film R-rated, which enabled Mangold to give us the unleashed Wolverine we have been waiting for since he hit the screens in 2000. Over the years, Hugh Jackman came to embody the character of James Howlett, aka Wolverine, aka Logan, and Logan was the perfect farewell to the character, a sobering film filled with emotion and weight, yet brimming with hope and optimism.

X-Men: First Class movie poster3) X-Men: First Class

After the conclusion of the X-Men trilogy with X-Men: The Last Stand, spin-off films for Wolverine, Charles Xavier, and Magneto began being talked about. Wolverine’s spin-off became X-Men Origins: Wolverine whereas Xavier’s and Magneto’s became X-Men: First Class. Set in the midst of the cold war between the United states and Russia, First Class shows how the X-Men came to be, breathing a breath of fresh air into the franchise after the critical flop that was The Last Stand. First Class centered around the idea that the X-Men are family, way more than X-Men or X2: X-Men United did. It might not be the flashiest or most exciting entry of the franchise but if offers some of the best character-driven moments of it.

X2: X-Men United movie poster2) X2: X-Men United

For the longest time, X2: X-Men United was the benchmark the series needed to follow to create a great X-Men movie. It was clear since X-Men that Wolverine would play a prominent role in Fox’s X-Men franchise. X2 puts Wolverine front and center, making his unknown history the focus of the story. But where this film excels is that even though the main plot line focuses on Wolverine, the movie isn’t about him, not entirely anyway. Plenty of time is spent with the younger mutants, showing how the Xavier’s and Magneto’s conflict and general discrimination affects them. The heart in this film has never been captured since (First Class came close). And for that reason, X2 has continued to rank so high for me.

Deadpool movie poster1) Deadpool

While I’ve talked a lot about heart and emotions so far, Deadpool doesn’t have the same emotional impact as the other films on this list, it was the first to be different. Despite an abominable version of the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Ryan Reynolds never gave up on the character of Deadpool. Thankfully his perseverance paid off and we all won because of it. Like Jackman and Wolverine, Reynolds uniquely epitomized Deadpool. Deadpool is one of my favorite comic book characters so to see him brought to the big screen so perfectly and accuratly brought me great satisfaction. This continues to be a film I can watch over and over again and the jokes never get old or any less funny.


And there you have it! Next year will see the release of New Mutants, the final X-Men film before Marvel Studios brings the characters into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It’s doubtful that New Mutants will find its way onto my top five given the caliber of the films on it but who knows, maybe I’ll be surprised!

What are some of your favorite X-Men films? Are you looking forward to a reboot of the characters when the appear in the MCU?

Until next time, cheers!

Logan Review

Logan movie posterSynopsis
In 2029, mutant-kind is on the brink of extinction.  An aged Logan (Hugh Jackman) is hiding in Mexico with Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Caliban (Stephen Merchant).  When a woman finds Logan and asks for his help to transport her daughter, Laura (Dafne Keen), to a supposed mutant haven known as Eden, Logan and Charles set out for the US-Canada border while protecting Laura from Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) and his band of Reavers.

Review
Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in X-Men is one of those castings that was perfect.  Over the years, he has put his heart and soul into the role and has come to embody the character. It’s one of those actor/role combinations that I can’t imagine any other way.  Now, after 17 years and nine films, Jackman retracts the claws for good and hangs up the cowl, but not before giving the best performance of the character yet.

The X-Men movies have all fallen victim to having too many characters to juggle.  Some have adapted and made it work well (X-2: X-Men United), others have not (X-Men: Apocalypse). Even the other Wolverine movies have felt bloating with the amount of support characters they have tried to include.  Logan, on the other hand, keeps the focus very much on Logan, Charles, and Laura. There is a reason it is called “Logan” and not something like Wolverine 3.  The character moments are what drive the story forward.  The little interactions between Logan and Charles, who has become somewhat of a father-figure to Logan, and Logan and Laura, who in essence has become his daughter, feel intimate and authentic.  There are other characters as well but they are antagonists whose purpose is to move the story forward.

Logan is the most mature and darkest of not just any X-Man movie but superhero movies in general.  I don’t just mean “mature” with the violence but how it approaches the characters as well.  As I mentioned before, this story is all about Logan, Charles, and Laura as a bizarre, mutant family.  Most superhero movies tell a story around the characters’ superpowers. This movie, on the other hand, tell a story about characters who happen to have superpowers.  This makes it unlike any superhero that has come before.

After the success of Deadpool, Fox decided to go with an R-rating for Logan, which is something the character has been missing all these years. Wolverine has always been an aggressive, violent character and his cinematic version has always felt to me that he has been held back by the PG-13 rating.  Now, the character can really let loose.  Logan takes full advantage of the R-rating, showing even that an aged Logan is something to be feared.  This film would not have worked if it was restrained by a lower rating.  Laura is a younger, more rough-around-the-edges Wolverine, whose pure savageness needed to be unfiltered.

This film is a lot longer than it feels.  With a runtime of over two and a half hours, it just flew by.  I felt invested in the characters and the story.  It had its action moments and its character moments. It was never moving too fast nor did it ever feel like it was dragging.  There was a perfect balance between the loud action sequences and the quieter character moments.

I thought Logan was GREAT 😀 You’d be hard pressed to find someone who has come to embody a character the way Hugh Jackman has become Wolverine.  As a farewell performance for the character, Jackman gives the best performance of the character to date.  A tight familial dynamic between Logan, Charles, and Laura and intense and exciting action scenes make Logan not just good Wolverine movie but a great movie in general.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
James Mangold – Director / Story / Screenplay
Scott Frank – Screenplay
Michael Green – Screenplay
Marco Beltrami – Composer

Hugh Jackman – Logan
Patrick Stewart – Charles Xavier
Dafne Keen – Laura Keen
Boyd Holbrook – Donald Pierce
Stephen Merchant – Caliban
Elizabeth Rodriguez – Gabriela
Richard E. Grant – Dr. Zander Rice
Eriq La Salle – Will Munson
Elise Neal – Kathryn Munson
Quincy Fouse – Nate Munson

Trailer Round-Up – 1/23/17

Wilson

The Ottoman Lieutenant teaser trailer

I Am Michael

The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature

The Belko Experiment trailer #2

Collide trailer #2

Power Rangers

Logan trailer #2

Logan international trailer #2

Colossal

The Lost City of Z international trailer

 

 

Trailer Round-Up – 10/24/16

The Boss Baby

Assassin’s Creed trailer #2

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter international trailer #2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 teaser trailer

A Cure for Wellness

Logan

Arrival trailer #2

Nocturnal Animals

My Dead Boyfriend


Which of these films are you excited to see?