The first X-Men film in the now long-running franchise has a reputation for being considered the turning point for Hollywood superhero films. Sure, Batman and Superman had major studio releases with big box-office success, but it wasn't until the success of Bryan Singer's X-Men film in the year 2000 that studios started the mass acquisition of the intellectual property of popular superheroes. In the years following X-Men, Spider-Man and The Hulk were turned into big-budget Hollywood Blockbusters, paving the way for the eventual rise of the Hollywood superhero era we live in today.
There have been six X-Men films now that X-Men: Apocalypse has been released, and that’s not including the two spin-off Wolverine films and the recent Deadpool movie – which does technically belong to Fox’s X-Men Cinematic Universe. Some have been really great adaptations of the characters and stories from the comics while others have been less successful both critically and financially, but every film has within it a scene or a moment that exemplifies why fans keep coming back for more X-Men, sixteen years after the original film was released. Here are 12 of the best moments that do just that.
12 Birth of The Brotherhood (X-Men: First Class)
11 Wolverine’s Claws (X-Men)
10 The Golden Gate Bridge (X-Men: The Last Stand)
9 Sentinels Kill The X-Men (X-Men: Days Of Future Past)
8 Berserker Wolverine (X2: X-Men United)
7 Magneto Escapes (X2: X-Men United)
6 Magneto v. The Police (X-Men)
5 Assault On The White House (X2: X-Men United)
4 Becoming Beast (X-Men: First Class)
3 Danger Room Training (X-Men: The Last Stand)
2 Quicksilver! (X-Men: Days of Future Past)
1 The Chess Game (X-Men)
At the end of the fist X-Men film, Magneto has been defeated and placed in a glass prison where his abilities can’t help him escape. We see Charles Xavier sitting across from him in his cell, as the two discuss the future of mutant kind over a game of chess. This scene perfectly demonstrates what make X-Men such an original and captivating franchise: Magneto isn't a two-dimensional mustache-twirling villain, and Professor X isn't a generic embodiment of truth, justice, and the American way. Their relationship, their motivations, and their actions are complex, and it's sometimes difficult to see who's right and who's wrong. This scene demonstrates that complexity and sets the thematic tone of the franchise that holds it together, even in its most recent iterations.
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