Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wolverine’s Adamantium Claws Dull Rather Quickly

TIFF. has announced the Midnight Madness and Documentary films that will be screening this year (Press Release)

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Here is the thing I do no understand about studios in relation to comic book movies. The studio sees that there is a huge cross section of people who either read comics regularly or grew up reading comics. The studio decides to adapt the comic book to the big screen and then proceed to eliminate everything that made the comic great to begin with. Now I do not expect comic book movies to be shot for shot interpretations like The Watchmen. I am fine with taking creative liberties as long as the essence of the characters remains intact. Yet I am getting sick and tired of these comic book movies that have no real significance besides taking money out of people’s wallets.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine provides further insight into Logan’s (Hugh Jackman) and William Stryker’s (Danny Huston) tenuous relationship. This includes a period were the two men work together on a special mutant ops team with the likes of Victor Creed (Liev Schreiber), Wade Wilson/Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), etc. The movie also displays both the events that make Logan become Wolverine; and his encounter with several young mutants who will eventually make up the X-men team.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a perfect example of a movie trying to survive on nothing more than name recognition. Despite incorporating a few elements from the numerous comics in which Wolverine is featured, Origins is primarily concerned with both creating a new movie franchise and linking up to the existing one. The problem with this is that a large chunk of X2, the only good flick in the X-men movie franchise, already explained Wolverine’s origins. Frankly, X2 not only told a more captivating story but it did so in far less time than in X-Men Origins. This new take on Wolverine’s past is both boring and silly.

Since we already know the procedure Wolverine goes through and William Stryker’s role in it from X2, you pretty much are just watching people go through the motions. What makes this movie truly ridiculous is both the lack of any real logic and the inept character interactions. Wolverine has a heighten animal-like senses and worldly knowledge, yet he is easily tricked by the weakest guises. Also, since Wolverine is pretty much indestructible, thanks to his healing ability, you never get the feeling that he is ever in danger. What made him so compelling in the other X-men movies was not his mutant ability but his interaction with other mutants: the love triangle he had with Scott and Jean, his reluctant father figure role to the younger X-men, etc. Sadly there is nothing in X-men Origins as interesting. Most of the movie plays like a pop up edition of the game “name that character.” While it was nice to see characters like Deadpool and Gambit (Taylor Kitsch), a personal favourite, I could not help but question why they were even there in the first place? All of the mutants featured in X-men Origins are dim and lifeless characters. Besides a few special effects there is nothing memorable about them at all. This is a shame considering that the movie actually featured a fairly good ensemble cast on paper.

After X-men: The Last Stand I did not think that the X-men movie franchise could get any worse. Yet X-men Origins: Wolverine proves that the bar can go even lower than you could ever expect.

For more Big Thoughts From A Small Mind's 2009 Reviews


  1. It was such a wreck, I love Wolverine and while I knew going in that it was going to be a retelling of things we, the audience, already knew - I was willing to look beyond all that.

    I was willing to look beyond the incredibly crazy involvement of Deadpool and Gambit, I was willing to look beyond the over the top in your face placement of characters for franchise sake.

    However, please tell me a story that makes me feel for the characters. Tell me a story that makes me *want* to see the next few movies you're lining up.

    It's sad really because the X Men have a rich enough, dark enough history to make a good film, like you referenced w X2.

    and now Ryan Reynolds is tapped to play the Green Lantern and supposedly Deadpool? Yikes.

  2. I saw this when it came out back in May. I think it was a cheap Tuesday, which made the movie 'kinda' digestible. I generall like Jackman, Huston and Schreiber as actors. Their presence made this movie tolerable. The lines were so cheesy and everyone was delivering them with such seriousness, it was pretty funny. Still, despite the moderate enjoyment I got out of it, I'm not crazy enough to call Wolverine a 'well made film.' It really isn't.

  3. What I cannot figure out is how they plan to spin a Deadpool movie out of this? It is not like the guy had any lines in the second half of the film.


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