(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) – Over Christmas break, Disney bought 20th Century Fox along with every property of the corporation. This not only means that Mickey Mouse controls The Simpsons, but also The Fantastic Four, Deadpool, and of course, the X-Men. These superheroes are now owned by Disney, who own Marvel Studios.
Basically, every Marvel character can now appear in Marvel movies – Finally. This makes it possible for the X-Men to appear in future Marvel Cinematic Universe films, but it also marks the end of the original X-Men movie franchise.
X-Men were adapted from the popular comic series of the same name. It followed a superhero team of mutants that fight to save the world from potential threats, all the while fighting against oppression from the human majority.
On the big screen, X-Men became a blockbuster franchise, with eight film entries – nine if you count “Deadpool.” The quality of these movies range from some of the greatest superhero films, to some of the crappiest.
The first movie was released in 2000 and was fittingly named “X-Men.” It starred Shakespearian-trained actors Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier and Ian McKellen as Magneto – helping make both actors nerd icons for life.
Also, a controversial casting choice was made on who should play Wolverine. Fans disapproved the choice to cast an unknown Australian actor that is too tall for the part. Comic books fans can be really picky sometimes, but Hugh Jackman was casted anyway, and I think it worked out fine.
The movie as a whole is decent, but it is noted, along with “Batman Begins,” for helping give superheroes films a darker tone. The second entry, “X2,” was important in terms of character development and overall quality.
Both movies were directed by Bryan Singer, but for the third film he was replaced with the infamous Brett Ratner, best known for the Rush Hour franchise and “Horrible Bosses”. He’s not considered the worst director in Hollywood, though he is considered to be one of the biggest d-bags in Hollywood due so many sexual harassment charges.
Despite viewing it as a guilty pleasure, I’ll admit “X-Men: The Last Stand” might be the worst “X-Men” movie – that or the spinoff released afterwards, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine. “The Last Stand” was so bad, the characters would have to literally repair the damage in a sequel.
With these latest installments, the franchise desperately needed a reboot and it had to be good. “X-Men: First Class” was a prequel set in the 1960s during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It chose to recast new actors to play Xavier and Magneto in their youth. The film was a success, helping the franchise regain its footing.
Between “X-Men: First Class” and it’s follow up, another Wolverine spinoff was made, this one was just called “The Wolverine.” In which, Wolverine went on his own solo adventure in Japan – its okay.
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” was the next film and one of the best. The movie was unique because it featured both actors from the prequel series, returning actors from the previous series and the returning director Bryan Singer. Wolverine has to go in the past to prevent the Sentinels program from ending the world, and erase what happened in “The Last Stand.” Like I said, it was a bad movie.
Then what followed was the most surprising smash hit superhero flick since “The Guardians of the Galaxy.” “Deadpool,” is technically an “X-Men” film and technically Deadpool himself is a mutant. This movie had a hard R-rating, with bad language, bloody action and a lot of raunchy humor. Like in the comics, Deadpool is completely self-aware. He fully knows that he is in a movie, making jokes while looking at the audience.
These movies helped keep Fox’s superhero films afloat, because “Fant4stic” wasn’t helping, which is another terrible superhero movie.
After that came “X-Men: Apocalypse,” which, with its so-so quality, undid all the goodwill from the previous films – they were on a roll too. Because of “Apocalypse,” the momentum of the franchise slowed down, and it was time for the series to come to an end.
“Logan” was the final chapter, and arguably the best film overall. It’s worth noting that many of the X-Men movies were inspired by X-Men storylines from the comics. “Logan” was inspired by the “Old Man Logan” series, and if you thought the movie was violent, the comic books are even worse. Like “Deadpool,” “Logan” had a hard R-rating. In it an aging Wolverine must protect his young clone, X-23, from a shady government program. Despite being filled with brutal violence, it still told a very emotional story and offered a satisfying conclusion for the film series.
I’m still waiting for Wolverine and The Hulk to have their long-awaited showdown. Hopefully the MCU will find a way to learn from past mistakes and feature these beloved characters.