As you’d expect from any franchise with an incredibly convoluted timeline that spans sequels, reboots, spinoffs and sequels to those sequels, reboots and spinoffs, the consistency of Fox’s X-Men series fluctuated wildly over the course of 20 years. The New Mutants was recently dumped into theaters to very little fanfare and had to fend off accusations that it was the worst installment yet, a title that surely still belongs to the awful Dark Phoenix, but at the other end of the rankings, there are only a handful of films that can stake a claim to being called the best.
For most people, Logan is the single finest X-Men movie ever made, but there’s also a lot of love for Matthew Vaughn’s prequel First Class and Bryan Singer’s successfully ambitious Days of Future Past. Speaking of stronger entries in the franchise, having slowly been adding more and more X-Men titles to the content library over the last several months, Disney Plus has now just dropped another great one with X2 being made available to stream.
The first follow-up set a precedent that almost every major comic book sequel looked to emulate in the early 2000s, by increasing the scale and spectacle but maintaining a focus on the story being told. With the worldbuilding out of the way, Singer was able to take the shackles off and create a spectacular second chapter that still ranks as one of the very best X-Men adventures even seventeen years later.
X2 was the movie that saw Hugh Jackman firmly stamp his mark on Wolverine as well, elevating the character to iconic status in the process, and there are very few flaws to be found in this expansive blockbuster that took everything audiences loved about the first movie and dialled things up way past ten.