According to the reviews, X-Men Apocalypse is either a fun Summer movie or the worst film Bryan Singer’s ever made.
While you’re making sense of the critics’ response to the latest film though, we’ve got you covered with these 100% true factual opinions about all the X-Men films that got us here, ranked from worst to best, because everybody likes to end on a high note.
If you’re thinking of an X-Men mega marathon this year, maybe consider skipping…
The Worst: X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
It’s trash. The action was uninspired and the plot made no sense. Undoubtedly the worst film in the franchise, and it actually went out of its way to ruin the character of Deadpool. Also, what’s Will.i.am doing here? Perhaps Logan’s Weapon X days were better left unremembered. Fortunately, some convenient timey-wimey bullshit would later wipe this film from existence, along with…
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
Singer left this project to direct Superman Returns, which may have been one of the biggest mis-steps in history. Last Stand was a tangled mess of a plot which managed to take on multiple storylines from the comics (Dark Phoenix, “Gifted”) and screw up both of them. They also killed off all the good actors, some of them off-screen. As an added insult Superman Returns was terrible too, so it was all for nothing.
As corny as some elements might seem now (“Know what happens to a Toad when it’s struck by lightning?”), on the whole the film still holds up. We’ve come a long way since, but X-Men 1 was the film that kicked off the superhero genre in earnest – a legacy that’s still going strong 16 years later.
The Wolverine (2013)
Unlike the other one, this Wolverine film was very watchable – especially for the weeaboo in your life. Set after X-Men 3 in a Yakuza-filled underworld, it did exactly what a spin-off should do: deliver a tightly focused story with one character rather than indulge in worldbuilding (although there’s a little bit after the credits). The Silver Samurai villain was a bit underdeveloped, though.
X-Men: First Class (2011)
After Last Stand and Origins it seemed the franchise had finished itself off with two of its worst entries. All our favourites had been killed, retroactively ruined, or both. Where else was there to go from here? Enter a new director and an all-new cast. Fans were wary when they saw rumours about a young Xavier/Magneto film, but First Class’ blend of mutant conflict and real-world politics proved a winning combination.
X2: X-Men United (2003)
Prior to the reboot, many fans hailed this as the best in the series. X-Men 2 upped the stakes with more mutants (Nightcrawler!), and used a human villain and political intrigue rather than falling into the trap of escalating supervillainy (oh hi Apocalypse). Brian Cox was great as Stryker, and it even set up storylines about Weapon X and the Phoenix (both of which would be wasted in later films).
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
First Class was a strong reboot, but DOFP is where the new direction all came together. The split between dark future/1973 action gave fans the best of both casts, setting newcomers McAvoy and Fassbender against the classic Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. It was great seeing some old favourites from the Singer era again, even if most of them died horribly.
The Best: Deadpool (2016)
From the moment the opening credits roll you know you’re in for a masterpiece. Deadpool doesn’t offer any of the heavy themes of the other X-movies, but it does deliver a well-wrapped package of humour, action and knowing references without treating the audience like idiots. It also had one of the greatest marketing campaigns of all time.
Wow, Ryan Reynolds managed to be in both the best and the worst!