School of Movies
X-Men: The Last Stand & X-Men Origins: Wolverine

X-Men: The Last Stand & X-Men Origins: Wolverine

January 10, 2014

[Digital Drift 2014]

0m: This is the worst. The very worst onscreen incarnation of the X-Men, and not simply because it screwed up the Dark Phoenix saga in a way that will take many years to remedy. It is in point of fact abundantly clear on investigation that meddling Fox executives combined with a creative team who seemingly didn’t care what occurred onscreen or what state they left the series in once the enforced release date was reached created the perfect Storm to send a potentially accomplished franchise hurtling into the doldrums. It’s one of the few movies that actively required erasing from existence to correct the horrendousness that it entailed. But allow us to elaborate on these points. We promise that even if you disagree with our impassioned rantings that you’ll be entertained. 

1h 13m: I never thought I’d find myself defending this film. In actuality we’re not, we’re just saying it’s not the worst X-Men movie and stating the few reasons why it’s not entirely awful. Don’t get us wrong, it’s a stinker nonetheless. Tedious action, lame mutants, barely characterized beyond their powers (again), CGI claws that never fail to distract, stupid script riven with plot holes, ruined fan favourites Deadpool and Gambit, balsa wood performances and most of the cast seem like they’re having a thoroughly terrible time. Worst of all this mishandled not one but two key Wolverine stories. Weapon X and Origin, in a way that means there’s no point attempting them again, so sour will the taste of this remain. It very nearly killed the already flat-lining X-Men series. But we’re the best we are at what we do and what we do ain’t pretty, so we also highlight the few stronger points that make it not quite as complete a failure as everyone remembers. The pinpricks of light in the darkness. Enjoy… Bub.

X-Men & X2: Mutants United

X-Men & X2: Mutants United

January 9, 2014

[Digital Drift 2014]

0m: Looking back on the 2000 original it is both extremely important in legitimising the real life comic superhero movie for modern times and increasingly a relic of a bygone age when this sort of thing was considered a flaky risk and where low budgets, self-conscious cast members, dismal costumes, short running times and pedestrian action sequences were acceptable. That being said there are also some excellent performances within, especially Stewart, McKellen and the breakout star, Huge Action. Had this been a mishandled flop, the course of the Marvel movie might have been very different. Then again, Spider-Man was already in production and it’s possible a reboot would have changed the course of the X-Men in movies, one that has instead sailed on for fourteen years and off into the future.

2h: This is one of the all-time fan-favourite X-Men films, following up on the promise of the slight original with far more detail, exciting action, grander scale and emotional wallop. We give it a ton of credit for its strong points which expand the world and further legitimizes the mutant conflict. However this movie also contains two of the most series-breaking scenarios at its climax. Everybody was having too much fun at the cinema to notice at the time and nobody ever mentions this, but we’re going to… X2 pretty much destroys the characters of both Charles and Erik in a way that is only remedied in First Class eight years later. Overall it’s still a very strong entry in the series and far above the dregs of The Last Stand and Origins, but there are character and narrative inconsistencies that need to be taken into account.

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