After a re-watching, the second X-Men film holds up as the best of the “originals.” Wolverine’s best when slicing through nameless black-ops goons and Nightcrawler’s opening scene is fantastic. Colossus shows up to be briefly awesome and then is woefully forgotten and Magneto is possibly at his most daunting (though his dialog is less polished.) The story is the smoothest of the series even after adding more characters to an already character-heavy cast. Halle Berry is awful as ever however, and the subplot centered on Rogue’s and the other young characters’ teen hormone problems is distracting at best.
After First Class, I wanted to revisit the first X-Men to see if the character interactions were still intact. They weren’t of course. Xavier and Magneto’s relationship worked even better than before but Xavier and Mystique seem to have forgotten that they’d grown up together. The other members of the First Class are suspiciously absent as well, Beast being the most notable omission. Still, the Wolverine-centered plot led to good action sequences blemished with terrible one-liners. Halle Berry strengthened her hold in my mind as the worst actress in far too many movies I enjoy.