“At least we can all agree the third one is always the worst.”
So says a character in X-Men: Apocalypse, the latest actioner using mutants to hold a mirror up to contemporary society’s prejudices. It’s a dig at X-Men: The Last Stand, the third in Fox’s original trilogy and long considered to be the worst of the series. (Well, assuming you don’t count the abysmal X-Men: Origins — Wolverine.)
It’s not just X-Men: The Last Stand, though. While in most movie trilogies, the second entry in the worst, superhero trilogies are an anomaly. Since the first movie is usually bogged down by an origin story, the second movie is almost always the best — recall Superman II, X2: X-Men United, Spider-Man 2, The Dark Knight, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier — while the third is almost always the worst.
When 2011’s X-Men: First Class rebooted things, showing how the characters once played by Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, and Rebecca Romijn began, it caught people off-guard with how good it was. Days of Future Past, being the second movie, proved to be the best X-Men yet, topping the first in always every way. X-Men: Apocalypse is the third in this new trilogy. And you know what they say about the third one. Continue reading