Oh my stars and garters! When it comes to the X-Men films, fans have either been long awaiting a reboot or for Disney and Marvel Studios to pull a Sony and share the rights to characters that they created. The latter being unlikely. Now although Fox wants to continue playing in their own sandbox, producer Simon Kinberg confirmed that after next year's Logan, the entire X-Men franchise will be getting that much deserved reboot. To be honest, I'm glad Fox still has the rights to the X-Men properties. If they were to return to Disney/Marvel at some capacity, it would take much longer to flesh out all the characters and make individual spin-offs for certain mutants. That's not to say that Fox doesn't have problems, because believe me, I have a laundry list of issues with their treatment of one of my favorite superhero teams.
When it comes to Fox, they have absolutely no idea on how to stay true to the source material. I'll give Disney/Marvel that acknowledgement, but whether it's distorted timelines, character's powers or continuity, there are many hiccups that make the franchise cringeworthy.
One of the main feats I love about franchise storytelling is how consistent stories can be with one another. That's not the case for the X-Men. The continuity became discombobulated for me in 2006, because of an opening scene in X-Men: The Last Stand. In that scene, young versions of Professor X and Magneto visit the home of Jean Grey, to recruit her for Xavier's Institution. Not only that, but Charles was walking. Fast forward to 2011, where we're presented with First Class. During the climax, Charles is hit in the spine, thanks to a ricocheting bullet caused by Magneto. Magneto flees and Charles is now paralyzed from the waist down. In the the end, young Charles is in a wheelchair and starts his school without the help of Magneto. That's odd, because in the first film, Charles elaborates that Erik helped him start the school, as well as building the mutant tracker known as Cerebro.
2009 came and brought the abomination known as X-Men Origins: Wolverine. In this movie, Sabertooth (played by Liev Shreiber) returns, but as a brother to Logan. Sabertooth also appeared in X-Men, but he was more of a mindless henchmen (played by Tyler Mane) to Magneto, than a wisecracking errand boy to Stryker in Wolverine Origins. Since Origins took place in the past, how come Sabertooth didn't recognize Logan during the encounter in the forest?
Speaking of Origins, there was another character introduced in the film that would later appear in a future movie with a different backstory: Emma Frost. In Origins, Emma (played by Tahyna Tozzi) was among the mutant teens held prisoner in Stryker's Island and was used as an insurance policy if her sister, Silver Fox (played by Lynn Collins), abided Stryker's demands to lure Logan. Although she's never called Emma, she has one particular power that another Emma possesses: diamond form. Emma Frost (played by January Jones) came into sight again in X-Men: First Class, but as an adult. How does one appear as a adult then back to a teenager? Well, Bryan Singer, the main director of the X-Men films, has gone on record to say that that's not the real Emma Frost, but someone with her power set. According to the comics, Emma Frost is the only mutant to be endowed with both telepathy and the diamond form. Why couldn't they stay true to the source material? Oh wait, this is Singer and Fox we're talking about.
As a lover of comics, when I think of X-Men, I think of a squad of mutants fighting for the greater good. When Fox envisions X-Men, Wolverine is center stage. Don't get me wrong, Wolverine is absolutely one of my favorite X-Men characters, but noticed how I said, "One of?" Meaning there are plenty of other mutants that should have been at the spotlight, as well. The only films that didn't focus on Logan being the main protagonist are First Class, Deadpool(briefly mentioned) and Apocalypse. Come to think of it, every movie, even his own, had him up to bat, while the other characters played second fiddle with barely any dialogue.
There are many characters that are just as important as Wolverine that appeared in film form, but weren't used properly. Among those are: Gambit, Jubilee and Colossus. While Gambit's solo film is supposedly on hold, his appearance in Origins was very brief. Real X-Men fans know about his romance with Rogue, his on and off again relationship with the team and that he could blow just about anything he touches, besides his cards.
One can argue about Colossus' screen time and relevance to the franchise as a whole, but for me, he was more of a walking prop. Let's forget his appearance in Deadpool for a second and focus on the other films. Though they hinted at it during the end of Days of Future Past, Kitty Pryde and Colossus are a couple in the comics. It would have been so befitting to see them delve into that relationship in the movies akin to Bobby and Rogue's onscreen romance.
Speaking of befitting, they missed a huge opportunity with Jubilee. During the climactic battle of Apocalypse, fans assumed that Jubilee would be getting a piece of the action, as did I. Sadly, that wasn't the case. She appeared throughout most of the marketing for the film (see promo below) and a guide for Cyclops, Jean and Nightcrawler at the mall. As a strong advocate for ethnic diversity in Hollywood, wouldn't it have been joyous to see a popular Asian comic book heroine in battle, using her powers?
Since we're still on Apocalypse, that Danger Room ending was enjoyable and cringeworthy at the same time. It was enjoyable, because we finally had a chance to see the X-Men wear costumes identical to their comic book counterparts, as opposed to wearing black leather suits. However, it was cringeworthy to see two members of the Brotherhood, a group of evil mutants, join the team: Mystique and Quicksilver. Granted, in X-Men comic mythos, Pietro (played by Evan Peters) disbanded from the Brotherhood to join the Avengers, but from time to time he would aid certain X-Men, but he never officially joined the team.
As for Mystique, where do I begin? First off, she was never the leader of the X-Men. If anything, she led the Brotherhood during the Days of Future Past arc in the comics. In the comics, she recruited a gang of mutants to help her take down Senator Kelly. In the film of the same name, I thought they were going with that approach when she appeared at the military base to salvage other mutants for Trask's experimentation. Instead of recruiting them, she set them free. Another thing that bothered fans was the fact that she stayed in human form for a majority of the films. The reason being is because Jennifer Lawrence's skin would have a certain reaction to the makeup, thus showcasing the Jennifer Lawrence we know and love. She says she loves playing the character, it's just the makeup that she has an issue with. Well, fans and movie goers had a problem with her portraying a blue version of Katniss Everdeen for three films.
All in all, Fox has my full support when it comes to this reboot. If they want to correct their mistakes in the past, stay true to the source material, otherwise we'll have issues.
What were some issues that you had with the X-Men films?