I was sitting at my computer desk watching some YouTube, and while casually browsing through my twitter feed, I noticed someone had retweeted a gif from the new X-Men movie, Dark Phoenix. My first thought, ‘why is this still be released?’
My second thought, and the topic of today, is why the hell can’t they figure out another ‘bad guy’ to use instead of Magneto? I’ll give you a list of every film in the franchise and list when Magneto is in it, and plays a ‘bad guy’ role.
X-Men: Magneto attempts to turn political leaders into mutants so they will understand the struggle and sympathise with mutants.
X2: Magneto works with the X-Men to take down Striker only to turn the tables at the end and use Professor X’s vulnerable state to make him attack all the non-mutant humans in the world.
X-Men The Last Stand: Magneto doesn’t want a cure for mutant kind, and sets Phoenix free, guiding her toward destroying the place where the cure is made.
X-Men Origins Wolverine: Magneto isn’t here.
X-Men First Class: Magneto is out for revenge and at the last moment, turns on Charles and attempts to use the weapons of mankind against themselves.
The Wolverine: appears only in the post credits scene
X-Men Days of Future Past: in the future Magneto is helping the X-Men, but in the past, Magneto turns against the X-Men, destroys a football stadium and attempts to kill the president on love TV, while using the sentinels against humans.
X-Men Apocalypse: Magneto helps a man, but turns on mankind again when his wife and child are murdered. He almost destroys the entire world, but stops short and then helps kill Apocalypse.
Logan: isn’t in it.
X-Men Dark Phoenix: once again, Magneto appears to be the antagonist. Obviously it isn’t released yet, and frankly after numerous delays and reshoots pushing the release date back almost a full year…do we even care at this point?
The problem with Magneto constantly being used as the bad guy in X-Men films, is that after a few times, he’s now just less of a threat to the viewer. Magneto has always been the best villain the X-Men have ever battled against in the comics, but it’s only because Magneto isn’t the bad guy in the traditional sense. He’s wants the same thing as Charles, mutants to be recognised, only problem is Magneto goes about it the wrong way. While Charles is about peace and harmony, Magneto believe Mutants are the next stage in human evolution and are the superior race.
After a few film appearances, Magneto has just lost his edge. Lately he’s had a happy life, only for that happiness to be ripped away and for him to attack. Dark Phoenix seems to be going that same route.
Now, Magneto hasn’t always been the sole villain in the films, but he has done a heel turn at some point. The only film in the series where I honestly thought it may be different was First Class. I went in hoping the franchise would start fresh and reboot the series from the 1960s and move forward from there, but all it seems to have done is solidify the originals while giving us more back story between Magneto and Charles. Something we never needed.
Magneto should’ve appeared a few times throughout the franchise to antagonise the X-Men, but he should never have been their main underlying threat all along.
First Class gave us a wonderful origin for Magneto, showing us his childhood pain and suffering, as well as his attempts at revenge and redemption. If the franchise had decided to reboot the series from that film onwards, we could’ve had him meet up with Charles later on, form a true friendship/bromance, and then had him turn against humankind, and in turn, Charles. The moment would’ve been more epic to boot.
Instead, we got the redemption and revenge plot all in one film.
I guess what I’m trying to say is the X-Men film franchise is terrible. Since day one, characters have not been handled with respect and the franchise has only gotten worse over time. There is no continuity between the series, and characters swap and recast like it’s a mutant ability. Bryan Singer never understood the characters or comics as a whole, and that shows when watching the first film. The man was never invested which is why he jumped ship for Superman Returns…another problem for another day.
But Bryan Singer and his strange ways isn’t the only problem with this series, as a whole it just needs to reset. They had the opportunity with First Class, and failed to stick to their guns. I gave up on the franchise many years ago, and Dark Phoenix is just another in a line of X-Men movies that won’t please me. And from early screenings, it doesn’t appear to be pleasing anyone.