Sunday, May 03, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

The Summer Movie Blockbusters have begun and I actually got to see the first one on time. In some ways I almost wish I had been a little late. I knew going in that Wolverine was getting bad reviews and that most critics believed it to be lacking what some may call a plot. But I thought what the hell, I'll take a chance. Wolverine ended the weekend at 87 million but, honestly, I think they could have made 80 million if Hugh Jackman ran half naked through the movie just yelling with his eyebrow slightly raised. Cause that's almost what this was.This is supposed to be Wolverine's big origin story about Weapon X and when he was born and so forth. We see Wolvie as a cub, for some un-explainable reason, he is ill and his father, who looks like Hugh Jackman, is concerned. In less than a minute there is an arguement and some guy, who kind of looks like Liev Schreiber, has apparently killed Wolvie's pop and acknowledges that the guy dead on the ground, who looks like Hugh Jackman, is actually not Wolverine's father. --Huh?-- Little Wolvie is so angry that he stabs to death his new found daddy with his bony claws and runs off with his new brother, the stable boy, Victor. Begin war montage now. This has to be the most convuluted and idiotic origin I have ever seen. What was the purpose of any of this other than to establish that Wolverine and Sabertooth, aka. Victor Creed, are brothers. I know they cribbed that from Wolverine's Origin comic book but my question is why? There is a larger story there but I guess they weren't interested in telling that story in detail. Which is the overall problem with this movie they tell bits and pieces of stories from the comics but never fully flesh them out to have them make sense in the context of the film. Which brings me back to the war montage--it looked kind of cool--Civil War, World War 1, WW2, Vietnam -- but was that it, is that all they have done with their immortality? What did they do between wars?I will say most of the action pieces were entertaining but given that almost everyone fighting is un-killable it kind of takes the suspense out of the scenes. Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool was really fun--for the ten minutes he was on screen. And I won't go into the mess they make of his character near the end of the film. Of course we get to see the young William Stryker (Danny Huston) spend billions of dollars making Wolverine indestructable then quickly turning on him after the operation with the intent to kill. Again, wha? What was the point of spending all of that money on Adamantium if you weren't gonna let him use it? In the end it was a showcase of characters you recognize from the comics, all thrown in for shits and giggles, but given nothing of real substance to do. The Blob (Kevin Durand), John Wraith (Will.i.Am), Emma Frost/White Queen (Tahyna Tozzi), Cyclops (Tim Pocock), Silver Fox/Kayla (Lynn Collins), Bolt (Dominic Monaghan), Zero (Daniel Henney) and Gambit (Taylor Kitsch). We got to see a hint of their power so we can say oh, yeah cool mark him/her off the list and then we move on. This is not how they should be making comic book movies. I would have thought Producer Hugh Jackman would have at least understood this. The crazy thing about the whole endeavor is that I really enjoyed Sabertooth/Victor Creed (Liev Schreiber) in fact he was the bright spot of the whole movie. The only problem -- how does this version of Victor Creed fit into the continuity of the other films? As my friend Cody pointed out to me -- Liev is way smaller than Tyler Mane from the first movie and of course looks nothing like him. But Tyler Mane's Sabertooth was a brutish idiot who spoke two lines. Wolverine's Sabertooth was brutal sure but he didn't seem like a fool--not to mention he was a little blabby. In my humble opinion they should have just re-booted the X-series. Start out fresh and tell the story right for Christ-sakes. From the looks of the after-credit scenes it looks like they will be re-visiting Wolverine in Japan--could be cool just this time keep out the mutants that don't belong there ok.If you are looking for some mindless action and some pretty so-so special effects go and see Wolverine. If you are in any way invested in the character or the previous films I would avoid it like the plague because you will be disappointed.
Grade 2 and a half buckets


Lost Ronin said...

First off the movies are on their own time line and continuity.

Secondly the Sabretooth portrayed in the movie is probably the best one I have ever seen and could have been better. The fact that it is not Tyler Mane is a bonus and faulting a mivie for having a different actor is moronic especially when the newer choice is so much better.

As for them not going into depth about his "immortal" past was for the better unless we want to sit down for a ten hour movie. The fact the they skimmed over it to let us know there is a lot more of his story was a nice touch. It leaves viewers wanting more for possible future installments or books or even to get non-comic readers to go buy them and find out. It was more of an origin that leads up to the first X-Men movie and in that aspect they did well.

It was a good action movie!

My point I guess is that being tunnel visioned by the comics and what has been done prior is weak and learning to enjoy a movie for what is presented before you is what the main point is for everyone to do. There are no real flaws to the movie seeing as to how nothing presented in it was done before that would set any standards.

Grade 4 Katanas!

Jeff said...

First off - I completely recognize the X-Men movies are on their own time line and continuity. That's not the problem. As I mentioned in my post, if you read it, was the lack of plot altogether. Also if you are going to crib from existing comic book storylines like they did in the beginning of the movie they should have explained it better cause it was told in a terrible way.

A good writer can explain the story of an immortal in less than an hour--he must be real shit if he needs ten hours. I just thought overall it was sloppy storytelling.

Also it doesn't bother me that much that Liev doesn't look like Tyler Mane what I do care about is that we are supposed to believe that he is an ignorant beast in X-Men and a clever talkative jackass in this one. It's not the actors it's the character that is different. I agree with you I wish that they had done Sabertooth the way they did it in this movie. I loved his performance I just think it doesn't fully work for continuity with the other film.

I am not tunnel visioned by the comics--I just think that if they are going to do something original with the character they should do it. But if you are going to take actual plot points from the comics tell it properly. I think that's fair.

So you saw no flaws in this movie--who's got tunnel vision now. I thought it was fun piece of action but there were certain things that I just didn't like. But come on the effects in a lot of places were pretty bad. And there was again no real plot--no character development nothing. I know it's an action flick--and that's fine if that is all it is.

But the movie seems to want to promote itself as more than just an action movie--so on that other level I think it fails. Plain and simple.

Still 2 1/2 buckets

Speck said...

The Xmen movies are NOT on their own timeline.

Why bother casting the same actors and having special guest appearances by actors from the series if they are separate from each other. There was an attempt to keep continuity between them all.

I'm not going to rewrite all my complaints, which I've done 2-3 times already.

suffice to say this movie is a HUGE let down. Even if you're not a wolverine fan and have never read a comic this movie is a pile of shite. Its a mess of a script, its a jumble of characters who dont need to be there and are never fleshed out. The CG sucks hard. The big action sequences were over the top in a retarded manner.

Its a failure that made 85mil, 160mil worldwide. So, that just means we gets to see more failures get made.

Captain Mike said...

Best. Movie. Ever!

And what made it extra special was how abundantly clear it was that the crew's walkie-talkies were distributed and serviced on set with amazing skill and dexterity. You can't make a good movie without good communication, I always say. When you consider the tough environmental and physical factors they were dealing with (mountains, forests, rain, wind, mud, helicopters, machine guns, explosions, naked movie stars), this is a stunning achievement.

I sure hope whomever they put in charge of that arduous task got credited for all his hard work!