Boxset Review: The X-Men Collection


The X-Men Collection (2000-2019)

GENRE: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

DIRECTORS: Bryan Singer (4 films), James Mangold (2 films), Brett Ratner, Gavin Hood, Matthew Vaughn, Simon Kinberg (1 film each)

WRITERS: David Hayter, Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris, Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg, Zak Penn, Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn and more. Based on the comic books by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

STARS: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Anna Paquin, Famke Janssen, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Halle Berry

COUNTRY: US

X-Men is an American film franchise based on the Marvel comics superhero team. 20th Century Fox obtained the film rights to the characters in 1994 and after numerous drafts, Bryan Singer was hired to direct the first film, released in 2000. After each film outgrossed its predecessor several spin-off films were released, including three Wolverine films.

X-Men is the seventh highest-grossing film series, having grossed over $6 billion worldwide. In March 2019, Marvel Studios obtained the film rights to X-Men after Disney acquired 21st Century Fox. In October 2020 the X-Men films were rebranded as Marvel Legacy Movies on Disney+

 

This boxset review discounts the Deadpool films and The New Mutants as while they exist in the same cinematic universe as the X-Men films, they are only loosely related to the main series and its characters.


 FILMS

  1. X-Men (2000)
  2. X-Men 2 (2003)
  3. X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
  4. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
  5. X-Men: First Class (2011)
  6. The Wolverine (2013)
  7. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
  8. X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
  9. Logan (2017)
  10. X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019)

X-Men (2000) 104min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 14 July 2000 (USA) Summary: In a world where mutants (evolved super-powered humans) exist and are discriminated against, two groups form for an inevitable clash: the supremacist Brotherhood, and the pacifist X-Men.
Countries: USALanguages: English
PosterMovieCommentsRatingReviewer
X-Men Assembles a very well-cast and generally well-acted group of characters, but then does very little with them. In retrospect this film feels like it was just a set up for the superior sequel. 3 Mat

 

X2: X-Men United (2003) 134min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 2 May 2003 (USA) Summary: When anti-mutant Colonel William Stryker kidnaps Professor X and attacks his school, the X-Men must ally with their archenemy Magneto to stop him.
Countries: USA, CanadaLanguages: English, German, Italian, Spanish
PosterMovieCommentsRatingReviewer
X-Men 2 Lighter on action than I remembered, and definitely a bit too long, but this remains one of the best movies of its type thanks to some scintillating dialogue, classy acting and plenty of drama. One of the more cerebral Superhero films! 4 Mat

 

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) 104min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 26 May 2006 (USA) Summary: The human government develops a cure for mutations, and Jean Gray becomes a darker uncontrollable persona called the Phoenix who allies with Magneto, causing escalation into an all-out battle for the X-Men.
Countries: USA, UK, CanadaLanguages: English
PosterMovieCommentsRatingReviewer
X-Men: The Last Stand It may be packed with action, but most of the subtlety and social commentary of the first two films is lost. It was also short-sighted to kill off so many major characters given how many more films were ultimately made in this franchise. 3 Mat

 

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) 107min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 1 May 2009 (USA) Summary: The early years of James Logan, featuring his rivalry with his brother Victor Creed, his service in the special forces team Weapon X, and his experimentation into the metal-lined mutant Wolverine.
Countries: USA, UKLanguages: English
PosterMovieCommentsRatingReviewer
X-Men Origins: Wolverine Taking a rather thin origin story and stretching it out into a full-length film was always going to be tricky, but adding a bunch of weird interpretations of Marvel characters definitely didn’t help. Jackman is decent, but overall this is a bit of a mes 2.5 Mat

 

X-Men: First Class (2011) 131min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 3 June 2011 (USA) Summary: In the 1960s, superpowered humans Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr work together to find others like them, but Erik's vengeful pursuit of an ambitious mutant who ruined his life causes a schism to divide them.
Countries: USA, UKLanguages: English, German, French, Spanish, Russian
PosterMovieCommentsRatingReviewer
X-Men: First Class The backdrop of a real-world crisis works well to introduce the mutants, who are generally portrayed well. The final act is perhaps a bit undewhelming but overall it's a decent reboot of the franchise. 3.5 Mat

 

The Wolverine (2013) 126min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 26 July 2013 (USA) Summary: Wolverine comes to Japan to meet an old friend whose life he saved years ago, and gets embroiled in a conspiracy involving yakuza and mutants.
Countries: USA, UKLanguages: English, Japanese
PosterMovieCommentsRatingReviewer
The Wolverine The Japanese setting and gritty tone set this apart from most Marvel movies, and at its best it's a decent no-frills action thriller. Unfortunately the showdown with the giant Samurai-bot is more akin to typical superhero films and lets it down a bit. 3.5 Mat

 

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) 132min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 23 May 2014 (USA) Summary: The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.
Countries: USA, UK, CanadaLanguages: English, Vietnamese, French
PosterMovieCommentsRatingReviewer
X-Men: Days of Future Past A clever story brings together the old and new actors from the franchise, with Hugh Jackman the linchpin holding it together and the 70s a great setting for the core story. High on action and emotion, this is the pinnacle of the X-Men saga. 4 Mat

 

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) 144min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 27 May 2016 (USA) Summary: In the 1980s the X-Men must defeat an ancient all-powerful mutant, En Sabah Nur, who intends to thrive through bringing destruction to the world.
Countries: USALanguages: English, Polish, German, Arabic, Egyptian (Ancient)
PosterMovieCommentsRatingReviewer
X-Men: Apocalypse Shoddy effects and a pretty pathetic story, but a great start and some nice set pieces stop it being a complete failure. 3 Gordon

 

Logan (2017) 137min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi | 3 March 2017 (USA) Summary: In a future where mutants are nearly extinct, an elderly and weary Logan leads a quiet life. But when Laura, a mutant child pursued by scientists, comes to him for help, he must get her to safety.
Countries: USALanguages: English, Spanish
PosterMovieCommentsRatingReviewer
Logan To call this a superhero film does it a massive disservice. An emotional and violent road movie that is a fitting end to the Wolverine story and is exactly the mature film that many have been hoping for from this genre. 4.5 Mat
Logan A superhero film that gives no sense of hope. The acting is great and the story brave, but it all feels a little bleak. 3 Gordon

 

X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) 113min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 7 June 2019 (USA) Summary: Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix, causing the X-Men to decide if her life is worth more than all of humanity.
Countries: USA, CanadaLanguages: English, French
PosterMovieCommentsRatingReviewer
X-Men: Dark Phoenix A film almost completely devoid of value, it is a pointless entry into the X-Men franchise and showcases the worst effects, acting and script that Marvel has produced in 20 years. 2 Gordon

 


The Verdict

  • X-Men
  • X-Men 2
  • X-Men: The Last Stand
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine
  • X-Men: First Class
  • The Wolverine
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • X-Men: Apocalypse
  • Logan
  • X-Men: Dark Phoenix
3.2

Summary

It’s amazing to think that over 20 years have passed since the first X-Men film began the era of big budget Marvel adaptations and launched Hugh Jackman’s Hollywood career. Looking back, it’s fair to say that the series has probably had more lows than highs, but there have been a few great instalments over the years and the casting has always been good. Recent offerings have generally been below-par though so it seems timely that this vision of the franchise has been brought to an end by Disney’s acquisition of Fox. It’s inevitable that a new X-Men saga will be introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe but while it may offer more consistent quality of films, it is unlikely it will be quite as influential as this series was.

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Boxset review by Mat Corne & Gordon Sinclair.

 

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