I remember when I first saw the X-men movie. I was so pumped about it. I had been a huge X-men fan for so long and this was a dream come true. I’d grown up reading the comic books and watching the Saturday morning cartoon on FOX, and seeing these characters that I loved so much come to life on the big screen was just an amazing feeling. And then X2 came out. And all of us fanboys collectively crapped our pants. X2 was BETTER than X-Men. That’s practically UNHEARD OF, for a sequel to be better than the first movie. I mean, you had Nightcrawler in there BAMFing all over the place like a… well, like a BAMF. We got to see Pyro blowing stuff up, and the 8-year-old arsonist in all of us relished every beautiful explosion. Then there’s the fight at the end between Wolverine and Deathstrike… Are you effing kidding me…?! It was so amazing! He stabs her in the stomach with a needle that’s connected to a tube that pumps so much adamantium into her body that it LEAKS OUT OF EVERY ORIFICE IN HER HEAD! We didn’t know it at the time but, this was a superhero-movie revival. This was the beginning of something BIG… and then, just as magnificently and satisfying as it came, it began to go. X-Men: The Last Stand came out in 2006 and, much to our dismay, undid EVERYTHING that the previous films had so wonderfully created. Here are some examples of statements that could be overheard in the theater during screenings:
“Did they just ****ing kill Cyclops?”
“Archangel is being such an emo kid.”
“Did they just ****ing kill PROFESSOR XAVIER?!”
“They just took Mystique’s powers from her. This is ridiculous.”
“DID THEY JUST ****ING KILL JEAN GREY?!!!”
“I knew we should’ve just rented Daredevil.”
To say that us long time X-Men fans were disappointed would be a MASSIVE understatement. We were crushed beyond repair. The only way we could’ve possibly been more upset is if FOX executives had exhausted every resource at their disposal to acquire every X-men comic in existence in order to use the pages as toilet paper.
But then a glimmer of hope shined… X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Finally! The baddest-ass member of the X-Men was gonna get his own movie where he could lay waste to everything in his path!
FOX’s official response: “NOPE! SUCKERS!”
I mean, it wasn’t nearly as bad as X3 but it wasn’t MUCH better. Getting to see Logan’s bone claws was pretty great, but the scene where Logan is looking at his new adamantium claws in the mirror? The CGI was so bad that he might as well have had The Incredible Mr. Limpet coming out of his hands. And just because Ryan Reynolds is great as Wade Wilson, doesn’t mean we’re gonna forgive the abomination that is Deadpool in the movie. Sure, that last fight scene between Logan, Sabertooth and Deadpool is pretty freakin’ awesome, but am I the only one that thought someone dug out an old Baraka costume left over from Mortal Kombat: Annihilation and said “Eh. This’ll do.”? (I mean he had swords coming out of his arms EXACTLY like Baraka! It just seems more than coincidental. I’m bitter)
Anyway, this is where we FINALLY get to the point of this article… Not just my pissing and moaning, but some obvious inconsistencies of these films…
In the first Wolverine film we get to see Logan’s and Victor’s (Sabertooth) relationship and how far back they go. We get to see that they used to be “brothers” and spent their lives together chasing battle after battle and fighting side by side in every war. (Side note: this is not accurate to the comic books, but that is not what this is about.) At the end of Wolverine, two notable things happen: (1.) Logan is shot is the head and loses his memory, and (2.) Professor Xavier shows up to help the captive mutants who’ve escaped… and he’s STANDING. Both Feet. Firmly Planted.
In 2011, X-Men First Class was released. For me, this made up for everything bad that had happened in X3 and Wolverine. The characters were more complete. The story was more substantial. It felt like they were trying to stay as true to their source material as possible. It’s just a superior film in almost every way. But again, something we should take note of… Xavier is shot in the back and says that he can’t feel his legs. Then, just before the movie ends, we see him in a wheelchair.
Now let’s jump back to the first trilogy of X-Men films. Wolverine and Sabertooth meet for, what sure seems like, the first time in X1 and they rumble quite a bit. So this whole movie, through every fight, Sabertooth never once is like, “Been a long time Logan. You on MySpace?” Let me stress this, for the ENTIRE Wolverine prequel we’re shown Logan’s and Victor’s relationship but back in X1 THERE IS NO REFERENCE to said relationship AT ALL.
Also, how is it that young Xavier is SHOT IN THE BACK in the First Class prequel and then clearly confined to a wheelchair, but somehow he’s just loitering around in Wolverine? Additionally, in X3, during a flashback sequence, we see older Xavier and Magneto visiting a young Jean Grey and her parents, and Xavier just strolls into the house on both legs, like he’s been doing it forever. WHAT?! WHY THE…?! HOW DID…?! EVERYTHING I’VE EVER KNOWN IS A LIE!!! (Is my use of capitalization getting the point across?).
The argument I’ve heard for the Wolverine/Sabertooth inconsistency is this: “Well, maybe Sabertooth just continued to devolve into a primal state that caused him to not have the intelligence to remember Logan and their relationship.”
I call BS.
The argument for why Xavier walks in Wolverine and X3 is this: “Well, he has the power to move things with his mind so it’s possible that he just used hi telekinesis to make his legs move.”
Again, calling BS. And here’s why…
I honestly believe that the creators and producers of Wolverine (and consequently, all of these films) didn’t give a damn about the other X-Men movies. I think the conversation at the production table on Wolverine went something like this:
“So Wolverine loses his memory, but what about Sabertooth? He just goes the entire X-Men movie without acknowledging his past with Wolverine?” “Didn’t I ask you to bring me more pages of X-Men Comics? I just ate like 3 burritos and my stomach is going berserker.”
FOX never intended for the X-Men trilogy follow-up films to be consistent with the timeline from those first films. I don’t think it ever even crossed their minds until They saw the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and it dawned on them, “Hey, people like it when these things are cohesive!”
In July of this year The Wolverine was released and it’s more consistent with the films in that it takes place after the events of X3 and therefor is the most current in the timeline of the films. For the sake of not dropping spoilers, I’ll leave details of this movie out, but I will say that there is a mid-credits scene that contains a line of dialogue that attempts to casually explain a couple of the irregularities of the films but all that line mostly did was piss me off. Next year FOX will release X-Men: Days of Future Past, which will bring together all of the X-Men from all the films (minus a few… departed characters) and will most likely try to salvage what little constancy there is left to maintain. The Days of Future past story from the comic books involved time travel so I’d say there’s a chance they’re gonna try to pull a Star Trek and be like, “It’s an alternate timeline! Betcha didn’t see that coming?!” But then they’ll probably pull their t-shirt collars up over their heads, hold up their arms and, in classic Beavis fashion, loudly proclaim “I am the Great Cornholio! I need X-Men comics for my bunghole!”
So what do you think? Do you think these inconsistencies be easily explained or they just examples of film studio laziness? What other plot or story irregularities have you noticed in these or other superhero series films?