Wolverine: X-Men Origins

Fox, as a movie studio, frustrates me to no end.  Given the chance to do something great, they tend to pass.  X-Men was a good start for them in the comic-book genre.  Audiences enjoyed the movie and fanboys were fairly well-satisfied (even though there were still complaints).  X2 wasn’t bad, but you could feel the influence of the marketing department on the story.  Then Fox let Bryan Singer get lured away by Warner Brothers to do Superman Returns – this ended up being bad for all parties concerned.  Then X-Men 3 came out and effectively killed the franchise.

Or so we thought…

Despite all of the horrible reviews and audience reactions, Fox greenlit the Wolverine movie.  This was done for two reasons: a big opening weekend for X3; and the idea that by giving the audience the one character they cared about his own movie.  It’s too bad that a writer wasn’t included in the budget.

The movie revolves around the development of Logan into the badass we know as Wolverine.  The audience is given a front-seat view of how Logan was driven to allow himself to be injected with Adamantium (not a spoiler since it was well-documented in X2) and become a loner.  As a bonus, we are given insight into the relationship between Logan and Sabretooth.

So what was good? (format stolen from Herc at Ain’t It Cool News)

  • Casting – Hugh Jackman is Logan, a part he was born to play; Liev Schreiber makes the movie more interesting every time he appears as Sabretooth; and Ryan Reynolds was briefly entertaining.
  • Opening Credits – Much of the growing up story is done over the credits and I would have enjoyed seeing more of those periods.

So what was bad?

  • Unfulfilled promises – Fox would have been better off calling this movie Weapon X rather than Wolverine.  Too much of his origin is ignored (bone claws as a kid – how; rapid healing was thought to be only power).  It seems that Fox wants to perpetuate the idea that Wolverine only began when the Adamantium was added.
  • Inconsistent linking to previous movies – The lab where Logan gets “hardened” is shut down and abandoned, yet X2 established it as a continually running facility that produced Lady Deathstrike; Cyclops and company rescued as kids by Logan and a “young” Professor X, but no mention of earlier meetings by either party in X-Men.
  • Bad special effects – The claws seemed more fake than they were in previous movies – this is a danger when too much CGI is used; bad application of youthening process to Patrick Stewart for a young Professor X; overreliance on CGI in end-battle creates a feeling that none of the characters on either side are in true danger – let real people take real hits.

I wanted to like this movie; I really did. I was even moderately enthused to go see it.  However, it just has too many problems to overcome.

My advice:  cable or DVD – dollar theater if you have to see it on the big-screen; too many good movies out there to waste a full price ticket on this sad affair…

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