The Watchers Issue #9: Ken's X-Men Movie Ranking & Retrospective

Out of the gate we are getting the controversial opinion out in the open, I enjoy the X-Men movies probably more than anything else that's been released as far as comic book movies go. Yes, I will admit there have been some clunkers but there have also been some great ones. I would like to state that while I seen the original 3 X-Men films and the 3 Wolverine solo movies in the theater, I hadn't seen any of them since then so it was my first time seeing X-Men (2000) in 17 years! I know Fox has committed some atrocities when it comes to faithfulness to the source material but, I'm not the type of person to get uppity about it if it still makes for an entertaining ride, and for my money the X-Men movies for the most part do just that. Without further ado lets get on with the run down.

  10) X-Men 3: The Last Stand   While I don't loathe this film like everyone else there are a few things about it that make me dislike it besides everyone elses obvious reasons. In the post-credits scene we see Professor X has survived . HOW!? I'm happy that he lived to see another day but they could have at least explained or shown how he ended up un-vaporized and in a hospital. The biggest blunder this movie commits to me though is the absolute waste of finally being able to do something with Rogue. Instead of finally giving her time to shine she takes the cure and a part of my soul dies with her powers. Thankfully, as we know from Magneto's powers resurfacing slowly as he sits in the park, the cure isn't permanent. Positives? The final fight is cool and the danger room scene is awesome and has the most accurate representation of the sentinels ironically. Also, how can you not love the dialogue between Kitty Pryde and Juggernaut.

10) X-Men 3: The Last Stand

While I don't loathe this film like everyone else there are a few things about it that make me dislike it besides everyone elses obvious reasons. In the post-credits scene we see Professor X has survived . HOW!? I'm happy that he lived to see another day but they could have at least explained or shown how he ended up un-vaporized and in a hospital. The biggest blunder this movie commits to me though is the absolute waste of finally being able to do something with Rogue. Instead of finally giving her time to shine she takes the cure and a part of my soul dies with her powers. Thankfully, as we know from Magneto's powers resurfacing slowly as he sits in the park, the cure isn't permanent. Positives? The final fight is cool and the danger room scene is awesome and has the most accurate representation of the sentinels ironically. Also, how can you not love the dialogue between Kitty Pryde and Juggernaut.

 9) X-Men Origins: Wolverine  Yes, we all know what this movie did to Deadpool but, outside of the final act I think this film is enjoyable and fun. Seeing this movie on release I had no knowledge of it's source material sins. Learning more comics wise definitely soured it for me but I knew it wasn't the best of the X-Men movies back then anyway. Origins actually does do some things well like explaining Wolverine's memory loss. As far as doing wrong it's been stated a thousand times over what the problems are but as a dumb, fun action movie it isn't that bad. Plus, it did give us an enjoyable version of Gambit and the opening credits scene with all the wars is pretty sweet.

9) X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Yes, we all know what this movie did to Deadpool but, outside of the final act I think this film is enjoyable and fun. Seeing this movie on release I had no knowledge of it's source material sins. Learning more comics wise definitely soured it for me but I knew it wasn't the best of the X-Men movies back then anyway. Origins actually does do some things well like explaining Wolverine's memory loss. As far as doing wrong it's been stated a thousand times over what the problems are but as a dumb, fun action movie it isn't that bad. Plus, it did give us an enjoyable version of Gambit and the opening credits scene with all the wars is pretty sweet.

 8) The Wolverine  When I first seen this movie I enjoyed it for the most part but I remember there being a few things i didn't like. Upon re-watching it my feelings stayed very much the same I still think the movie is fun an I enjoy the setting but the things i dislike weight it down a lot. While I do love the setting and the train fight scene is still crazy, the villains aren't that great and the concept of stealing Wolverine's healing factor just isn't that interesting to me. There's also not enough smart-ass Logan in this film which definitely hurts it. I didn't find out till recently about the films alternate ending that features the classic costume; seeing it now makes me infuriated that they cut that ending seeing that costume in subsequent films would have been amazing. 

8) The Wolverine

When I first seen this movie I enjoyed it for the most part but I remember there being a few things i didn't like. Upon re-watching it my feelings stayed very much the same I still think the movie is fun an I enjoy the setting but the things i dislike weight it down a lot. While I do love the setting and the train fight scene is still crazy, the villains aren't that great and the concept of stealing Wolverine's healing factor just isn't that interesting to me. There's also not enough smart-ass Logan in this film which definitely hurts it. I didn't find out till recently about the films alternate ending that features the classic costume; seeing it now makes me infuriated that they cut that ending seeing that costume in subsequent films would have been amazing. 

 7) X-Men  The one that started it all, definitely still worth watching but it wasn't as mind blowing as when I seen it as a 5 year old the 2nd time around. I can still remember how exciting it was seeing the trailer for this movie back in the day and I actually still have the VHS tape. X-Men did a great job introducing the public to these characters and established the universe pretty well setting up a franchise that's going to be 20 in a few years. I can't really complain about this movie because it was the first of it's kind and if this movie hadn't done well we would definitely be looking a much different Hollywood. I guess I can say why doesn't Sabretooth talk? but its not like he needs to. Perhaps the best thing this movie did was bless us with Hugh Jackman as Wolverine who is probably on the Mount Rushmore of superhero actors with Robert Downey Jr., Christopher Reeve, and Adam West. Fun fact: a 5 year old Ken went as Wolverine for Halloween in 2000 with a costume much too big for him and continued to use it in and outside of Halloween season for a few years after until I out grew it.

7) X-Men

The one that started it all, definitely still worth watching but it wasn't as mind blowing as when I seen it as a 5 year old the 2nd time around. I can still remember how exciting it was seeing the trailer for this movie back in the day and I actually still have the VHS tape. X-Men did a great job introducing the public to these characters and established the universe pretty well setting up a franchise that's going to be 20 in a few years. I can't really complain about this movie because it was the first of it's kind and if this movie hadn't done well we would definitely be looking a much different Hollywood. I guess I can say why doesn't Sabretooth talk? but its not like he needs to. Perhaps the best thing this movie did was bless us with Hugh Jackman as Wolverine who is probably on the Mount Rushmore of superhero actors with Robert Downey Jr., Christopher Reeve, and Adam West. Fun fact: a 5 year old Ken went as Wolverine for Halloween in 2000 with a costume much too big for him and continued to use it in and outside of Halloween season for a few years after until I out grew it.

 6) Deadpool  Some people would be pissed and tell me this is far too low and that this movie is excellent and I would agree, it is excellent. However I have never cared about Deadpool and despite loving this movie I still don't care about him that much. That being said this movie is fun and its hilarious. This movie totally gave Hollywood the kick in the pants the superhero genre needed. I think this movie does just about everything well but my non-existent feelings towards the character stopped me from being incredibly hyped about it. I like the pacing and it's flashing between past and present makes for a good pace and story. Also, the jokes are great especially the 4th wall breaks. I don't really have any complaints outside of a few more cameos would have been nice to tie it into the X-Men universe more and  maybe we could have gotten some more Negasonic Teenage Warhead. 

6) Deadpool

Some people would be pissed and tell me this is far too low and that this movie is excellent and I would agree, it is excellent. However I have never cared about Deadpool and despite loving this movie I still don't care about him that much. That being said this movie is fun and its hilarious. This movie totally gave Hollywood the kick in the pants the superhero genre needed. I think this movie does just about everything well but my non-existent feelings towards the character stopped me from being incredibly hyped about it. I like the pacing and it's flashing between past and present makes for a good pace and story. Also, the jokes are great especially the 4th wall breaks. I don't really have any complaints outside of a few more cameos would have been nice to tie it into the X-Men universe more and  maybe we could have gotten some more Negasonic Teenage Warhead. 

 5) X2: X-Men United  I can still remember the hype when this movie was announced a movie that shattered my brain as a kid was getting a sequel that was likely to be bigger and better and thankfully that's exactly what we got. The stakes are cranked higher in this film and the action and tension are awesome. Seeing X2 after all this time and still loving it warmed my heart. Obviously the next movie changed things but, I remember being shocked at Jean Grey's death as a kid. Nightcrawler is still pretty cool though not as cool as when i was younger, the fight scene though particularly Wolverine Vs Lady Deathstrike were awesome to see again. The only complaint I have is while Colonel Striker is arguably more evil he doesn't have the presence that Magneto does. So i think it's a downgrade in the villain department in some aspects. Unlike Magneto there's no part of Striker to sympathize with so points off there from Omniverse's villain sympathizer.

5) X2: X-Men United

I can still remember the hype when this movie was announced a movie that shattered my brain as a kid was getting a sequel that was likely to be bigger and better and thankfully that's exactly what we got. The stakes are cranked higher in this film and the action and tension are awesome. Seeing X2 after all this time and still loving it warmed my heart. Obviously the next movie changed things but, I remember being shocked at Jean Grey's death as a kid. Nightcrawler is still pretty cool though not as cool as when i was younger, the fight scene though particularly Wolverine Vs Lady Deathstrike were awesome to see again. The only complaint I have is while Colonel Striker is arguably more evil he doesn't have the presence that Magneto does. So i think it's a downgrade in the villain department in some aspects. Unlike Magneto there's no part of Striker to sympathize with so points off there from Omniverse's villain sympathizer.

 4) X-Men: Apocalypse   This one is definitely much higher than probably anyone expected but, this is Ken's world so deal with it. When I first watched this I thought okay, why did everyone hate this so I decided to watch it again a few weeks later after it had left my mind and I still loved it the second time. I know the movie has its problems the villain is done in a lame way and did we really need another Quickilver slo-mo scene? but, there's so much of this movie I really like. The biggest and best part of this movie for me is the re-breaking and eventual redemption of Magneto never before has the villain sympathizing been so strong. I've never been one to cry from a movie but when Magneto's wife and daughter are killed it's pretty gut wrenching because the poor dude just finally found peace. When Magneto turns against Apocalypse and eventually nails the final blow on him it really is a victory for everyone. Growing up with the X-Men films I also grew up watching G4tv, so seeing Olivia Munn as Psylocke was really cool. I'm a fan of the character and i think she was portrayed enjoyably but, she definitely was lacking in the dialogue department. One thing this movie could have benefited from majorly was and R-rating because while i absolutely love the seen where Hugh Jackman is full on Weapon X, the dismemberment and blood levels of Logan would have made the scene even better. This movie is honestly a strong contender for my personal favorite but i recognize it's not the technical best one. Oh, and as someone who catches the reference of the song playing when Angel is recruited by Apocalypse. Yes, just yes. 

4) X-Men: Apocalypse 

This one is definitely much higher than probably anyone expected but, this is Ken's world so deal with it. When I first watched this I thought okay, why did everyone hate this so I decided to watch it again a few weeks later after it had left my mind and I still loved it the second time. I know the movie has its problems the villain is done in a lame way and did we really need another Quickilver slo-mo scene? but, there's so much of this movie I really like. The biggest and best part of this movie for me is the re-breaking and eventual redemption of Magneto never before has the villain sympathizing been so strong. I've never been one to cry from a movie but when Magneto's wife and daughter are killed it's pretty gut wrenching because the poor dude just finally found peace. When Magneto turns against Apocalypse and eventually nails the final blow on him it really is a victory for everyone. Growing up with the X-Men films I also grew up watching G4tv, so seeing Olivia Munn as Psylocke was really cool. I'm a fan of the character and i think she was portrayed enjoyably but, she definitely was lacking in the dialogue department. One thing this movie could have benefited from majorly was and R-rating because while i absolutely love the seen where Hugh Jackman is full on Weapon X, the dismemberment and blood levels of Logan would have made the scene even better. This movie is honestly a strong contender for my personal favorite but i recognize it's not the technical best one. Oh, and as someone who catches the reference of the song playing when Angel is recruited by Apocalypse. Yes, just yes. 

 3) X-Men: First Class  I don't know how but for some reason I missed all the "Prequels" in the theater which is a shame because I love all of them. After I watched First Class I felt like I had robbed myself of a great theater experience because I thought the movie was fantastic. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender did an amazing job taking over for Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. First Class makes the origins very intriguing and does a great job at giving the franchise a breath of fresh air when it really needed it. Although i enjoy Kevin Bacon as the films villain his lack of any villainous get up is kind of off putting but, this is the beginnings of everything after all. I also enjoyed Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique and Hugh Jackman's cameo is absolutely wonderful.

3) X-Men: First Class

I don't know how but for some reason I missed all the "Prequels" in the theater which is a shame because I love all of them. After I watched First Class I felt like I had robbed myself of a great theater experience because I thought the movie was fantastic. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender did an amazing job taking over for Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. First Class makes the origins very intriguing and does a great job at giving the franchise a breath of fresh air when it really needed it. Although i enjoy Kevin Bacon as the films villain his lack of any villainous get up is kind of off putting but, this is the beginnings of everything after all. I also enjoyed Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique and Hugh Jackman's cameo is absolutely wonderful.

 2) Logan  This is easily one of the best films I've ever seen and it was very hard not to put it in the top spot. Everything about this movie is excellent. I don't have a single negative word to say about it other than the ending is incredibly heart breaking but, I think we all walked in knowing it was coming. I would have liked a little more closure on what became of the children but i know Fox will be telling us all about that soon enough. Hugh Jackman's Wolverine performances are always great but, I think he deserves every award they can hand him for this one. I'm a big fan of X-23 and although the character is younger in Logan, Dafne Keen is already starting on the path to being the next icon for the franchise. We know this was Hugh Jackman's goodbye to the character and as beautiful as it is I'd like to see him in some form in the X-Force movie even if it's just something that's only in Laura's head. If we have to stomach someone new wielding the claws it would have been a good way to introduce them by casting them as X-24. I think Logan was a perfect send off and I hope Fox decides to keep him gone for awhile and lets some other X-Men run wild for awhile.

2) Logan

This is easily one of the best films I've ever seen and it was very hard not to put it in the top spot. Everything about this movie is excellent. I don't have a single negative word to say about it other than the ending is incredibly heart breaking but, I think we all walked in knowing it was coming. I would have liked a little more closure on what became of the children but i know Fox will be telling us all about that soon enough. Hugh Jackman's Wolverine performances are always great but, I think he deserves every award they can hand him for this one. I'm a big fan of X-23 and although the character is younger in Logan, Dafne Keen is already starting on the path to being the next icon for the franchise. We know this was Hugh Jackman's goodbye to the character and as beautiful as it is I'd like to see him in some form in the X-Force movie even if it's just something that's only in Laura's head. If we have to stomach someone new wielding the claws it would have been a good way to introduce them by casting them as X-24. I think Logan was a perfect send off and I hope Fox decides to keep him gone for awhile and lets some other X-Men run wild for awhile.

 1) X-Men: Days Of Future Past  One of the best X-Men stories makes for one of the best films. My first viewing of this movie I was very worn down and had seen so many other X-Men movies before it my brain was fried so I didn't fully appreciate it until the 2nd time and I can tell it's one of those movies that will just get better every time. This movie did a lot for the franchises continuity and served as a send off for some people who had been with the franchise since its beginning. The story is epic and the action scenes are amazing. I really enjoy the dark future visuals though I'm not a fan of the sentinels redesign it does make sense story wise. McAvoy and Fassbender pick up right where they left off in First Class with excellent portrayals but adding Jackman into the mix makes this film even better. My only complaint is I think the Quicksilver slow-mo is stupid. There are a few times in the movie where you think they have everything worked out and that everything should be fixed but the world of the X-Men franchise simply doesn't allow it so as soon as you think it's done it yanks you right back in. While I think this is technically the "Best" X-Men film it's possibly also the least accessible because of the knowledge of the characters needed to fully understand the scope of who they are and why everything is so important.

1) X-Men: Days Of Future Past

One of the best X-Men stories makes for one of the best films. My first viewing of this movie I was very worn down and had seen so many other X-Men movies before it my brain was fried so I didn't fully appreciate it until the 2nd time and I can tell it's one of those movies that will just get better every time. This movie did a lot for the franchises continuity and served as a send off for some people who had been with the franchise since its beginning. The story is epic and the action scenes are amazing. I really enjoy the dark future visuals though I'm not a fan of the sentinels redesign it does make sense story wise. McAvoy and Fassbender pick up right where they left off in First Class with excellent portrayals but adding Jackman into the mix makes this film even better. My only complaint is I think the Quicksilver slow-mo is stupid. There are a few times in the movie where you think they have everything worked out and that everything should be fixed but the world of the X-Men franchise simply doesn't allow it so as soon as you think it's done it yanks you right back in. While I think this is technically the "Best" X-Men film it's possibly also the least accessible because of the knowledge of the characters needed to fully understand the scope of who they are and why everything is so important.

We know FOX obviously isn't going to stop the X-Men machine anytime soon and while not everyone liked the most recent X-Men main series film I think they've been on a role and personally can't wait to see what comes next. As for a few thoughts on the franchise as a whole, I do think some characters have been underused in their movies both story and action wise such as Rogue and Psylocke but, that could always change. On the other hand, the X-Men films do a better job of having a villain you can sympathize with in Magneto over anything else in the superhero genre especially in the prequel films. I also think the films are the most relevant towards actual issues as throughout the series we see the constant persecution of mutant kind who want nothing more than normalcy. Anyways, there you have it the X-Men world according to Ken. Thanks for letting me share my opinions and experiences with a franchise that means a lot to me and may your claws stay sharp! 

Steven McGeorge