[With X-Men: Days of Future Past opening on Friday, I'm taking a look back at the X-Men movie franchise. These reviews contain spoilers.]
As I said in my X-Men: The Last Stand review, Professor X and Magneto were the pillars of the franchise’s narrative. X-Men Origins: Wolverine wasn’t an outright flop, but it certainly underperformed, and combined with the scathing reviews from fans and critics, the X-Men franchise wisely returned to a central problem about how to fight persecution—with peace or with fury? Then they brought these characters to the forefront, and wrapped the subtext in a movie with vibrant visuals, humor, charming performances, and terrific action. By going back to the beginning in more ways than one, X-Men: First Class was giving the X-Men franchise a fresh start.