Let me start this by saying that there has thus far absolutely not one solidly good X-Men film (in my opinion) in well...ever. Each and every single solitary one has disappointed me in some shape or form. I can't narrow it down to one specific thing, or even one specific character portrayal. But when I learned that there was going to be "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," I was excited. Besides Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman was the only actor that I felt portrayed one of my beloved X-Men accurately. I never read the comics, but I watched the shit out of the Saturday cartoon growing up. Wolverine and Storm were my favorites.
But then that film as well sucked balls. I can't even remember fully what happened in it. I was so excited--just the Wolverine and Liev Schreiber (who I adore) and...just no. I've blocked it from my mind--that's how traumatizing I found it. And then "X-Men: First Class" renewed my hope....until I saw it. I loved Fassbender, McAvoy and Bacon, but the rest of the class stunk to me, as well as the directing, and even the musical score. It was awful.
And now...I'd been cautiously excited about "The Wolverine"--the trailer looked great, and James Mangold was in the director's chair ("Girl, Interrupted," "Identity," "3:10 to Yuma"), and Scott Frank as one of the writers ("Minority Report")...and then I got even more pumped up about it by seeing an extended trailer at San Diego Comic Con (report on that business soon).
I have to say, it didn't disappoint at all. It was BRILLIANT. It totally redeemed the franchise, and made my fangirl heart sing. The story was intriguing and engaging, the directing was flawless, and the film felt more grounded than any X-Men film ever (i.e. in a Dark Knight sense). Even Logan's hair seemed realistic/made sense. And the scene after the credits--part of it made no sense, but I was overwhelmed by such a sense of joy that I didn't even care.
In short, I can't wait for "X-Men: Days of Future Past" in spite of my dislike of some of the casting.