Thursday, 30 April 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine Review (Some spoilers)

How can I sum up my feelings on seeing this movie in one word? Well, I can do no better than quoting Wolverine who keeps screaming “Arrrgghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!” while flexing his impressive muscles and looking up at the sky. Perhaps Hugh Jackman keeps doing this because he knows how bad the movie really is? This prequel makes X-Men 3 look like a masterpiece. I am a huge fan of the X-Men series and had high expectations for this film but I am, sad to say, very disappointed. Why? Let me explain …

What made the first three outstanding was that they were intelligent, well written, well directed and solid pieces of entertainment – even the much maligned 3rd film (which I happen to like). Remember memorable quotes such as “You are a god among insects. Never let anyone tell you different.” How about the thrilling opening sequence of X-men 2 with Nightcrawler single-handedly breaking into the White House? Not a single scene in X-Men Origins: Wolverine manages to capture that magic. The script, and direction is pretty lame and the film is, for want of a better word, generic at best. The studio has clearly gone for playing it safe and are just plain lazy. What’s surprising is that the Director, Gavin Hood, is both the writer and director of Tsosti – which is a beautiful and powerful film. It’s a shame he didn’t bring some of that Tsosti magic to Wolverine.

The actors try to do the best they can with their clunky clichéd dialogue but try as they might, they can’t save the film. Liev Schreiber as Victor Creed/Sabretooth is, to be fair, good as is Ryan Reynolds as Wade/Deadpool. I don’t want to sound like a broken record but the script and directing really lets them down. The film is CGI mad and has some of the worst blue screen effects I’ve seen for a long time. There is virtually no chemistry between Wolverine and his love Kayla Silverfox (played by Lynn Collins) and, it’s the apparent murder of Kayla that is supposed to form the crux of Wolverine’s rage and decision to accept an offer from Stryker (played by an oddly underwhelming Danny Huston) to have Adamantium fused to his bones *sigh*.

The whole sequence for the Adamantium fusing process is utterly daft. Wolverine lies above the water while (a) the process is explained to him – sort of (b) he asks for a new name tag, it’s then made, delivered and then he wears it (c) the process is explained to Generals watching … oh it does go on. And then, in the blink of an eye, it’s over. What? Hmmm? Eh? And why the heck does Gambit, one of the coolest X-Men around stop the fight between Wolverine and Sabretooth? Half of the things in this film just make no sense. Like the way Wolverine just walks off on the Island after realizing his love is still alive. And don’t even make me talk about the memory wiping Adamantium bullets *sighs again*. It’s the small details that make a film brilliant – the things you remember and think about. Trouble with this film is that you remember the details for all the wrong reasons. I could go on writing about why this film doesn’t work but thinking about it is making my head hurt.

In short, give this missed opportunity a miss. Munial, you have anything to add my friend?

AdaPANTium more like!

Yeah, I think you nailed it S1n, I'm not sure what I can add. I never had particularly high hopes for this to be honest, not least of all because Wolverine is pretty much the least interesting of the characters in X-men, but I was shocked at how poor this flick turned out. The opening montage of the two brothers featuring in every American war since the civil war set the alarm bells ringing from the off. Straight away, plot holes and questions are raised; why are they fighting in wars? What's their motivation; patriotism, love of killing, what? And how does no one notice their habit of getting shot and not falling down, or that Liev Schreiber keeps leaping about the place on all fours? And since when is Sabretooth indestructible anyway? All this before the film has even started proper. What we're then subjected to is a 90 minute study of mediocrity. The dialogue is risible. The plot is incoherent and supremely lazy. The visual effects are cheap looking and the action is tepid and uninspiring. The whole thing reeks of movie making by suit wearing committee, and gives weight to the whole reshoot/Richard Donner rumours.

The cast, as S1n points out, never stood a chance with a script this bad. No one is actively poor in this film, but no one gets to shine with characters so paper thin. For a back story origin film, there is a shocking absence of actual back story aside from stuff that happens, crowbarred into the chain of events to drag the characters kicking and screaming from one contrived set piece to the next. No motivation, no explanations. Wolverine spends much of the film trying to avenge the death of his true love who isn't dead at all, the realisation of which does nothing to calm his fury at his brother, who I was shocked to realise is the same Sabretooth of the original Xmen film - (this also makes little sense). Taylor Kitch's Gambit is a massive waste of a great character who flounces about like a tit, adding nothing and pretty much just getting in the way. Some of the members of the mutant strike team are marginally cooler, Agent Zero is a ridiculously good shot, back flipping about the place and causing the enemy to drop dead all at once, much like me
when I play counterstrike. Ryan Reynolds is also mildly entertaining as the fast talking (should have given him some decent dialogue) sword wielding Wilson, but he is let down by more mediocre visual effects, and the finale battle between him as the creepy looking Deadpool and the brothers, now united for no reason at all, a top a chimney stack also for no reason at all is so daft as to completely destroy any sense of excitement or spectacle. The whole plot is riddled by things that simply make no sense, and all the little nods to previous films are ham fisted and clumsy; the third act appearance of a weirdly chubby looking Patrick Stewart does little to tie this into the universe in any way.

In short, garbage. Unmitigated toilet.
I really can't recommend this for anyone, fans of the films will despair that this is even worse than Last Stand (which was a bad movie, c'mon S1n!) and fans of the comics will probably want to commit seppuku. I'm sure it will be very lucrative for Fox. Most fellas don't need too much arm twisting to catch a comic book movie at the best of times, and there's enough screen time of Jackman with his shirt off to encourage the ladies to perform said twisting, but don't say we didn't warn you.

Treehouse rating



Jitters said...

I would been better off saving the money i spent on Wolverine for Star Trek this weekend

S1nnerman said...

Thanks for the comment, I haven't had a chance to see Star Trek yet. My fellow blogger Munial saw it and he loved it. I'm looking forward to it!