YMMV / X-Men Film Series
aka: X Men 1

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  • Complete Monster: Sebastian Shaw; Ajax; Apocalypse; Dr. Zander Rice & Donald Pierce. See those pages for more details.
  • Dork Age: Both X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine fall under this in a period less-than-affectionately called "Rothman's reign of terror", referring to Executive Meddler Tom Rothman, the executive working at Twentieth Century Fox when those two filmsnote  were made, he was responsible for Bryan Singer's departure for the third movie, as well as the many woes faced in the Troubled Production for the first spin-off. Both movies are widely considered to be the worst out of the entire series, and pretty much the entire bunch of movies that followed (X-Men: First Class, The Wolverine, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Deadpool, and X-Men: Apocalypse) were specifically written to right the wrongs that had happened under Rothman's watch (as he'd been let go by the company in the middle of 2012).
  • Fandom Rivalry: An intense and often bitter one between fans of the X-Men films and those of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fans of the latter hate seeing the X-Men films succeed and respond to every little thing they disagree with with demands for Fox to turn over the franchise to Marvel, with a popular target being deviations from the source material (despite the MCU's own history of altering characters and events to suit their own narrative). Meanwhile, fans of the X-Men franchise accuse the MCU of being formulaic, simplistic and kid-friendly, and believe that Disney would be unwilling or unable to manage the more mature and darker themes that are central to the mutant narrative. Another common argument is that Disney would never have green-lit R-rated films such as Deadpool and Logan (which was proven to be true when Bob Iger said as much), although it should be noted that even MCU fans tend to really like movie Deadpool and/or movie Wolverine.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Logan/Rogue is much more popular than Logan/Jean or Bobby/Rogue, and it's actually the #1 couple of the original trilogy. They have since been overshadowed by the Charles/Erik pairing after X-Men: First Class—just look at the difference in the sheer number of fanfics on Archive of Our Own for proof. The shippers Took a Third Option indeed.
  • Franchise Original Sin: The first two X-Men movies that were universally considered to be amazing for their time have problems that the later movies keep intensifying to make the entire franchise become extremely Love it or Hate it among comic books fans: the lack of color in cinematography and design in a franchise and genre famous for its colorful costumes, the significant deviations from the comic (to the point that many people think that the films are almost ashamed of being labeled as comic book movies, which was later proven to be true when James Marsden and Hugh Jackman admitted that Bryan Singer had banned comic books from the film set), the spotlight hogging of Wolverine, Professor X and Magneto, the severely underused and Demoted to Extra mutants that were leads in the comics, etc. These are problems that are increasingly less forgivable in the later market when superhero movies prove themselves to be able to satisfy critics, fans and be box office successes.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: A meta example: Hugh Jackman was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2013. Cancer is cell growth taken to dangerous and uncontrollable levels. Now consider what Hugh Jackman spends a lot of time doing as Wolverine... Also, cancer is caused by mutation.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • For those who have seen Star Trek: First Contact and the team X-Men films before Children of Dune, it's very amusing that the Borg Queen is the grandmother of Professor X. By virtue of being a Kwisatz Haderach (a being who can access the genetic memories of its female and male ancestors), Leto Atreides II (played by a young James McAvoy) has intimate knowledge of the Lady Jessica (portrayed by Alice Krige) that he finds very uncomfortable, which mirrors Captain Picard's distress that the Borg Queen knows everything about him when he was assimilated into her collective. Patrick Stewart also appeared in Dune.
    • Anyone who is a fan of both McAvoy's Xavier in the X-Men First Class Trilogy and Will Graham from Hannibal will notice the striking similarities between the two characters. (You can read a more detailed comparison in the Referenced by... section in the Trivia tab, but for the sake of this entry, it's enough to know that Will is a "pure empath" who is physically and emotionally scarred by his abusive love-hate relationship with the murderous Hannibal Lecter—heck, Hugh Dancy and James McAvoy even look somewhat alike.) The X-Men Film Series fandom coined the term "Mutant husbands" to describe Charles' and Erik's homoerotic friendship, so all Cherik shippers who had watched the Hannibal episode "And the Woman Clothed with the Sun..." burst out laughing when Freddie Lounds called Graham and Lecter "Murder husbands."
    • In the premiere episode of MacGyver (2016) (which stars Lucas Till as the titular hero), Vinnie Jones was cast as a baddie, so it's funny to see Havok and the Juggernaut face off in a non-superpowered scenario.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right:
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny:
    • The first two X-Men movies have largely been overshadowed in the mid-2000s by the Spider-Man Trilogy, and The Dark Knight Trilogy and of course the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but at the time, the first movie was a surprise hit that proved vital in convincing Hollywood that superheroes could be viable again after Batman & Robin had killed the genre several years earlier. People tend to forget that alongside Blade, the original X-Men films were massively influential in terms of tone and costuming, arguably becoming the Trope Codifier for Movie Superheroes Wear Black (although Tim Burton's Batman can claim that as well).
    • Also, up till then, superhero films tended to be star-driven vehicles in order to avoid a perceived comic-book ghetto; you needed a $20-million headliner like Jack Nicholson, Val Kilmer, or Wesley Snipes to pull in a mass audience, and ones that didn't like The Phantom and The Rocketeer got destroyed at the box office. Here, the two biggest under-50 names were Halle Berry and Anna Paquin, both supporting characters (and both women!) and two of the three central leads were played by aged Shakespearean actors, while the other was an Australian unknown in Hugh Jackman. Nowadays, especially in the Turn of the Millennium and The New '10s movie landscape where star vehicles have given way to ensemble pieces driven by premise and spectacle, superhero films have no qualms about casting unknown actors or actors who had never headlined before, knowing that the license will do the selling and the movies will propel the actors to further heights instead of the other way around.
    • The films also showed superheroes with powers and skills entirely different from Marvel and DC, showing how unique and special superhero action could be, with many citing Nightcrawler's opening in the second film as a major example of the kind. Before the only super-powered being (as opposed to Badass Normal or Empowered Badass Normal like Blade) was Superman's Flying Brick skillset whereas this film showed magnetic, telekinetic, telepathic, teleportation-based powers that hadn't really been shown in movies before.
    • As Bob Chipman pointed out however, the fundamental reason why the movies don't quite have the same reputation was that it converted the comics into a kind of action movie rather than a true adaptation and engagement with the material unlike the Spider-Man Trilogy and other films. The films never quite became a full ensemble like Joss Whedon's The Avengers did where each super-powered being was fleshed out and had their powers, abilities and skills major effect on the plot and the action, it largely did revolve around Wolverine, Rogue (and later Magneto and Xavier), while characters like Cyclops, Storm and others were sidelined while fan favourites like Kitty Pryde never got a full moment to shine. It was also quite serious and humorless in tone partly in reaction to the camp of the Schumacher Batman films which worked for a while but also made the films feel harder to see on repeated viewing.
  • Signature Scene:
    • XMen has Magneto confronting Wolverine in the train, and later stopping all the bullets fired by the police and then turning them back.
    • X 2 Xmen United has three by itself: the Nightcrawler opening, the attack on the X-Mansion (where we first see Wolverine unleash his claws through human flesh) and Magneto's grisly escape from the Plastic Prison.
    • X-Men: The Last Stand has the opening sequence with the de-aged Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen (the first time the technology had been used in a major film) and the attack on Alcatraz, with Ray Winstone's Juggernaut insisting he's the Juggernaut.
  • Strangled by the Red String: The supposed "great love" between Logan and Jean Grey is hard to take seriously since they only knew each other for about five days at most. The majority of the first film's plot takes place over roughly two or three days, then Logan goes off to Canada to find out about his past; they spend a day or two more in each other's company in the second film as they prepare to stop the villain, and she dies at the end of the mission, and in the third film, she's come back evil and spends most of their scenes together crazily beating the crap out of him. Plus, in the first two films, Jean was already in a long-term, loving relationship with Scott. Truly, a love story for the ages.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • Unfortunately, even more so than in the source comics. Magneto and humans who want to try and control mutants both make far more convincing arguments for their positions than the X-Men and Xavier, who never try to do anything to bridge the gap between the two species and spend their time keeping the status quo in check.
    • In X-Men, Kelly specifically mentions a girl who can walk through walls, and asks "What's to stop her from walking right into a bank vault — or the White House?":
      • In the very next movie, a Brainwashed and Crazy Nightcrawler is able to teleport into the White House and kick the Secret Service's collective ass, proving Kelly right.
      • In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Bolivar Trask tells Nixon that Mystique can impersonate anyone, and could use her power to turn into him, walk into the White House and order a nuclear strike. Once again, he's absolutely right.
    • X2: X-Men United: The villain in X2 is so extremely anti-mutant that he would experiment on and enslave his own son to exterminate them all. In the process, he enslaves another mutant to attack the president of the US, just so he can offer a target for the president to authorize an attack on. Before the strike, though, an objection is made that the target is a school. The villain responds sarcastically, "sure it is", showing X-ray imagery of a secret jet underneath the school's basketball court. A dispassionate observer should note, actually, that that is actually extremely suspicious. Normally, schools don't have military-grade equipment hidden in their facility, and after all, "schools" in some parts of the world have been used as recruiting centers/supply bases/etc. by terrorist organizations before — both for the purpose of camouflage, and making attacks on them politically troublesome. The president then orders a non-lethal infiltration and capture mission, which from his position is entirely reasonable.
    • Throughout the franchise, everything that Magneto warns Xavier about comes true:
      • In X-Men: Days of Future Past, the Bad Future has gotten to the point of mutants and mutant sympathizers and potentials being rounded up and herded into internment camps in a scene very obviously based on the Holocaust, exactly the type of thing Magneto believed would happen.
      • In X-Men: The Last Stand, the mutant cure is weaponized in guns that shoot syringes of the cure and these guns are used to combat them.
      • In X-Men: First Class the US and Soviets launch a barrage of missiles at the mutants, not caring that half of the ones present just stopped World War III. Most of Magneto's actions in the series after the first film are about launching counter-attacks after the humans make the first move against mutants.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Probably one of the biggest criticisms laid against these movies is that the Spotlight-Stealing Squad of Wolverine, Professor X, Magneto and Mystiquenote  take away screen time from several other characters who are deserving of attention. Cyclops is commonly cited as getting the absolute worst of this treatment (and in effect criminally under-utilizing actor James Marsden, who many agree was a pitch-perfect casting choice), as he's the main character in many of the comics, but he's Demoted to Extra in X-Men: The Last Stand, and he wasn't a major character in X2: X-Men United. An adolescent Scott Summers (portrayed by Tye Sheridan) does have a significant role in X-Men: Apocalypse, though, so the Alternate Timeline appears to be repairing some of the damage.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: The latest victim of this seems to be the role of Gambit, having been Darrin'd from Taylor Kitsch, who previously portrayed the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, to Channing Tatum. A common complaint is that, aside of Tatum's questionable acting chopsnote , he looks and sounds nothing like the character in question. And even if the role was going to go to another actor, fans seem to prefer a more convincing one for the part like Josh Holloway or French actor Gaspard Ulliel. That said, the movie is now firmly in Development Hell.

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