X-Men Orgins: Wolverine

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

When I first heard there would be a Wolverine movie, I was thrilled. It could mean only one thing, I mused. They were going to film Barry Windsor-Smith’s excellent Weapon X. I mean, what else was there? Wolverine had tons of adventures, but none of them is more compelling than the tale of his transformation into a bestial super soldier at the hands of the secret Weapon X program. While very violent, the comic book was not devoid of depth and commentary on the human condition. It would make for an excellent, deep, psychological movie – quite different from most of the usual superhero flicks of late. But that would be a good thing – it would illustrate the world that superhero movies don’t have to be pulp entertainment.

It was silly of me to think they would go in that direction. The more rumors I heard, the more concerned I was about the direction it was going. When I found out that Gambit, Deathpool and Blob are going to make appearances in it, I knew they were definitely not concentrating on the Barry Windsor-Smith story.

It turns out that they decided to loosely base it on the Orgins story which I did not read and therefore can’t comment on. As far as I can tell however, the plot was bastardized to the point where it is barely recognizable. For example the film establishes that Sabertooth is actually Wolverines brother which is contradictory to the Marvel lore.

I could sit here all day, and pick this movie apart pointing out the countless departures from the original source in a Simpsons comic book guy fashion, but there is really no point. The X-men movie franchise already has tradition of treating their source materials with high degree of contempt, and re-molding the universe to their own needs. This has actually worked for them in the past 3 X-Men movies so I can hardly blame them for following the same route with Wolverine.

I can however fault them for the horrible, nonsensical, cliche filled plot. Arguably it is better than Elektra and Ghost Rider. When I saw the former, I really wanted to gauge my eyes out like the folks in Event Horizon. When I tried watching the later, my DVD player broke. It turns out the shitty movie overloaded the stupidity suppression circuit and I had to get it replaced. Good thing the damn thing was still on warranty. Wolverine movie floats slightly above these two Marvel turds – which really doesn’t say much. It is definitely the worst installment in the X-Men series.

The film has just no redeeming qualities. The story is jumbled and nonsensical. Rather than pick one facet of Wolverines complex past and running with it, David Benioff and Skip Woods tried to give us an epic tale that covered everything from the hero’s childhood, involvement in wars, the Weapon X experiment and beyond. They have also decided to inject the plot with a dramatic brother vs brother rivalry and forcefully tack on a romantic subplot. Cause, you know – nothing heightens the drama, and motivates the hero like a dead girlfriend. The fact that said girlfriend is alive only for about 5 minutes and we don’t really get to know her is irrelevant.

The whole picture is executed in a Michael Bay rapid fire fashion punctuated by huge explosions, car chases, insane stunts and special effects. You almost feel like watching a sideshow of Wolverines greatest moments.

  • Wolverines childhood. *click-click*
  • World War II *click-click*
  • Vietnam *click-click*
  • Special Ops *click-click*
  • Romantic Relationship Tiem *click-click*
  • Dead Girlfriend *click-click*
  • Weapon X *click-click*
  • Gambit Cameo *click-click*
  • Revenge Tiem *click-click*
  • Deathpool *click-click*
  • Stupid explanation how Wolverine lost his memories *click-click*
  • Roll Credits

It wastes no time for nonsense such as actually developing the romantic relationship, or actually sopping the rapid progression for some explanations or reflections. No, Wolverine is constantly on the move.

Don’t get me even started on the cameos. This movie manages to totally squander not one, but two of the most popular characters that came out of the X-Men range: Gambit and Dethpool. Let me put it like this – they pulled a Venom on both of them.

It’s like this – if you ask Spiderman fans who is the most bad-ass, most memorable and most dangerous enemy Peter Parker has ever faced most of them will probably say Venom. Not Green Goblin, not Carnage – fucking Venom. Eddie Brooke is the iconic and the most beloved of Spiderman antagonists. But something happened to this great villain during the transition to the silver screen. Someone decided to cast Thopper Grace to play his role – the frail, skinny dude whose claim to fame is playing a big pussy on That 70’s show.

Same thing happened to Gambit. In the comic books he is an aloof bad boy with an attitude and his rocky relationship with Rogue is the source of one of the longest running ‘ships in the history. In fact, I’m pretty sure people were ‘shipping for Rogue and Gambit before the term “shipper” was even coined.

In the movie he is played by Taylor Kitsch who wouldn’t be able to bull of bad boy or aloof if his life depended on it. Not only that, but he gets no respect whatsoever – Wolverine swats him off like an annoying fly and makes it abundantly clear that the card throwing kid poses no danger to him whatsoever. Gambits powers are appropriately nerfed to reflect the fact that his role in this movie is to be Logan’s butt boy. Instead of violent explosions, his cards make a pathetic “piff” sound and make about as much impact as a stronger gust of wind. Not to mention that after the initial fight that takes place at a poker table, Gambit loses his signature pack of cards becoming even more useless than before.

Deathpool gets even worse treatment – the wise cracking, mentally unhinged, unpredictable superhero known for his uncanny ability to spew out 8 pop culture references per second is rendered… mute. As a consolation, he is pumped with extra set of powers he did not have in the comic book such as teleportation, Cyclops’ deadly eye beams, retractable katanas mounted in his wrists and admantium skeleton. It doesn’t matter cause he is not around long enough for us to care.

Yes, the movie has a lot of special effects. So what? Show me a recent movie that does not have amazing special effects? I honestly think we are past the point where on-screen pyrotechnics and blue screen tricks could actually impress someone. No one actually goes to the movie theater these days to see impressive explosions and wire-work. The only people who are still compelled to comment on the quality of the CGI work are professional movie critics. Regular people go to the movies to watch an interesting story – not a string of computer animated effects.

This is where the movie seems to suffer. The creators seem to be more concerned in making it look impressive rather than telling a good story. They want huge explosions and picturesque shots that would look great on a movie poster. So we have the obligatory scene where Wolverine sets off a big explosion and then walks away towards the camera in slow motion while a fireball erupts behind his back. We have him burst out of the vat at the Weapon X lab, retract his claws and roar into the camera. We have the classic scene where the hero holds his dead girlfriend in his arms and screams “Noooooooo!” at the sky while the overhead camera slowly zooms away.

Seriously – I’m glad we were not playing the “spot the canned action movie cliche” drinking game while watching this thing. That could lead to severe alcohol poisoning – maybe even some deaths. X-Men Origins: Wolverine has them all.

You know what is the worst part here? The previous 3 X-Men movies, actually managed to flesh out Wolverine’s character much better than the picture devoted solely to him. How sad is that?

It’s a bad movie. Save your money, and rent it once it comes out on DVD. It’s probably not even worth that.

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6 Responses to X-Men Orgins: Wolverine

  1. Morghan UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Debian GNU/Linux says:

    You’re too late, we already went to see it. My wife thought it was every bit as stupid as I did, and she has no clue about any of the stories it’s slaughtering.

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  2. jambarama UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Yeah that movie was terrible. I really liked this parody script – it is worth a read.

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  3. Zack UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I hated this movie but the sad thing is my GF actually liked it. Now she wants to see X1-3. I told her this first one is the worst and if she liked it, she’d LOVE the first 3. We already watched X1 and she agreed it was much better than Wolverine…

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  4. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    @Morghan: Yes, the stupidity is evident even without the knowledge of the source.

    @jambarama: LOL! Thanks for that. I got a chuckle out of it.

    @Zack: Heh, I have a seeking suspicion that she initially liked it because of the fact Mr. Jackman is shirtless and flexing throughout most of the film. I find that it is much easier to drag the fairer sex to see superhero movies if they feature a popular lead actor. :P

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  5. ZeWrestler UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    I don’t think I’ve been more disappointed in a movie in a long time. Honestly, I think the biggest disappointment though was the feeling I had at the end when the credits came up. I was like, “Is that It?” You are stopping there. When am I going to learn about these characters.

    I’m mixed about the avengers movie coming out after seeing this one. hopefully Ant-man, Iron Man II, or Thor will be better. Otherwise, its pitch fork time.

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  6. Mack UNITED KINGDOM Safari Mac OS says:

    I liked this movie. I agree with you on everything but actaully think it was a better movie for it – Because I don’t trust the people who make X men movies to do anything close to a good “commentary on the human condition”. Case and point – The endless, tedious, confused and pointless melodrama in Star Trek that the directors probably thought was a gripping “commentary on the human condition”.

    I, for one, enjoyed the stupid explosions and deadpool blowing up a giant funnel and such, and was happy to yawn through the stupid flimsy character bits for them, and wouldn’t have it any other way

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