X-Men: Apocalypse hits theaters tonight, and it will be following the KT Readers’ pick for Best X-Movie of All-Time: X-Men Days of Future Past. Just edging out this year’s Deadpool, DOFP captured the crown in voting that saw nods to six of the eight existing entries (someone voted for X-Men Origins: Wolverine….I want to find you). My favorite film in the series is X2 followed by X-Men: First Class, but the readers have spoken and DOFP is our official answer to The Mutant Question.
Until The Dark Knight, X-Men 2 was the gold standard for comic book movies. It remains my favorite of the series, and though there are tons of great moments, I love it when a film opens with something jaw-dropping. X-Men 2 opened with a mind-controlled Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming) storming The White House, teleporting, BAMFING, and fulfilling every X-fan’s dream to see the fuzzy elf realized in the comics.
Nightcrawler is one of my favorite X-Men, so it was great to see him, but it wasn’t just his appearance. No one had choreographed a fight for a teleporter before. His fighting style utilizing his teleportation and his tail is so unique that you were sucked into the movie in the little over two minutes it took Kurt to breach The Oval Office. Unfortunately, Alan Cumming had a miserable experience working on X2 and never returned, clashing with Brian Singer and chafing at the elaborate make-up necessary for the character. A younger Kurt Wagner will make his debut in X-Men: Apocalypse played by Kodi Smit-McPhee. He’s got some large, oddly shaped shoes to fill. For more of Alan Cumming, check out The Good Wife on CBS (just finishing its seven-year run). His character is reason enough to binge watch the drama.
We are now two weeks away from X8 or X9 if you count Deadpool as an X-Men film. I do, because there’s no way he’s not going to be woven into the fold in the future. Though X-Men: Apocalypse is not getting the kind of reviews we’ve come to expect from a Brian Singer X-Men film, the franchise will go on, and hopefully to better things. It’s a shame though that probably the best villain never to make it on the big screen is going to be wasted and thrown in the “Mr. Freeze bin” of tainted blue dastardlies. Vote for your favorite X-Film and we’ll have the results when Apocalypse opens on May 27, 2016.
Today heralds the return of director Bryan Singer to the cinema with Jack and the Giant. While it doesn’t seem like this is going to be a classic on par with his earlier work (Rotten Tomatoes has it at 49% at the time of this piece), I’m just glad he’s back. His career got off to such a spectacular beginning and, let’s not forget, we owe this man for beginning the modern comic book movie renaissance with the first two X-Men films. Singer got his start in Hollywood as an assistant to Richard Donner whose Superman saga he brought to a close in Superman Returns. I think the stress of that production and the backlash from some fans really shook him and threw him entirely off track. I love Superman Returns. I’ll have to do a whole column on it sometime, but I think it’s absolutely fantastic. So here are my top 5 Singer films and I cannot wait to see what he has in store for us next year with X-Men: Days of Future Past.
1. The Usual Suspects (1993)
2. Superman Returns (2006)
3. X2: X-Men United (2003)
4. X-Men (2000)
5. Valkyrie (2008)