With great power comes great responsibility. With peanut butter comes jelly. With your mom comes an entire biker gang behind an Arby’s, and with every new installment of a superhero movie comes the opportunity, nay, the RESPONSIBILITY, to rank all of those installments numerically. So it is, on the eve of the release of X-Men: Days Of Future Past, that we find ourselves with the task of ranking all of the previous X-Men movies. Just know: I didn’t choose this blog life, this blog life chose me, and thus it is I who will create the infallible, indefatigable, ecumenical, undisputed X-Men movie rankings for all eternity, for it is both my birthright and my birthduty. KNIVES OUT!
It’s more difficult to rank X-Men movies than it is to rank, say, Spider-Man movies, because whereas the Spider-Man movies range all the way from amazing to atrocious, the X-Men movies mostly only range from solid but unspectacular to the Brett Ratner one. At its heart, X-Men is really the story of a rocky bromance between a disabled psychic and a Holocaust survivor, and most of the movies thus far have been in the B range, with various mixes of good and bad. Except, of course, for the Brett Ratner one, which is inarguably terrible. So on that note, let’s just start at the bottom.
X-Men: The Last Stand
One thing that’s always struck me about the X-Men is that the best mutants have powers that are really well thought out (he can heal fast and has an indestructible metal welded to all his bones!) while the worst ones all have powers that feel like someone screamed them out while being hung upside down and being beaten with sticks. “His mutation is that he’s uh… kind of like a toad! Oh God please make it stop!”
On that note, X3 gave us “I’m the Juggernaut, Bitch,” a gay angel, some ill-defined street punk mutants, and a dude in the forest whose mutant power was throwing sticks. It’s easy to forget how terrible this movie was, mainly because the entire movie is entirely forgettable. We also have it to blame for spawning the whole “and a CGI version of the Golden Gate Bridge gets destroyed for some reason!” trend, for that scene where Magneto rips off the entire Golden Gate Bridge in order to… get his buddies from Alcatraz to San Francisco. Right, so the giant set piece of the entire movie featured a guy who can control LITERALLY ANYTHING METAL ripping off a famous bridge to use it as… ANOTHER F*CKING BRIDGE (only much shorter). It’s not so much that it doesn’t make sense (and to be honest, I do wish they established some ground rules for exactly HOW MUCH metal Magneto can control, because otherwise he could just make planets crash into each other and destroy the whole Solar System and– MOM I NEED MY INHALER!) it’s that it throws all logic out the window in order to do something TOTALLY MUNDANE AND BORING. He used a bridge as a bridge. Jesus Christ, you’re all fired.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
I debated whether or not to include this in the rankings since it’s technically a Wolverine spinoff and not an X-Men movie, but it does have “X-Men” in the title so I guess I have to. The best thing you could ever say about X-Men Origins: Wolverine is that it wasn’t as bad as X-Men: The Last Stand, and that’s all you should really ever trouble yourself to remember about it. Taylor Kitsch as Gambit! Danny Huston stealing Brian Cox’s Stryker role! A mute Deadpool! Three Mile Island is the landmark that gets destroyed!
Oh, and remember how Will.i.am. was in it?
Trust me, it’s better forgotten.
I remember liking this when it came out, but that was 14 (!!!) years ago now, in a pre-9/11 world of frosted tips, pooka shells, and pure innocence. I rewatched the whole thing the other night, and while I still enjoyed it overall, mainly it reminded me of how in 2000, Wolverine basically had to keep apologizing for being in a superhero movie. He makes fun of the X-Men name, the X-Men lair, the tight leather X-Men uniforms… “What would you prefer, yellow spandex?” Storm asks. (*CUE KNOWING AUDIENCE LAUGHTER*) META.