14
May
09

Movie Review – X-Men Origins: Wolverine

First things first: Deadpool is NOT Deadpool.

There, with that settled, all of you hardcore Deadpool fans can stop reading (not sure why you guys would be to begin with, but…) and everybody else can get a taste of my review.  Obviously, Origins is the story of Wolverine’s, er, origins.  We start with his mutant manifestation and travel through time, following Logan and half-brother Victor Creed [Sabertooth] through their exploits as soldiers – American Civil War, WW1, WW2, and Vietnam.  Finally, Stryker shows up and offers the two a free pass out of prison (for going all berserker on friendly troops) in exchange for their services on his “special team.”  All this in the span of the opening credits and some change.

To sum the whole thing up, Logan doesn’t agree with Victor’s anger management issues, Victor doesn’t understand why Logan is so soft, and Stryker just wants to kill all mutants with a mutant made from other mutants. If you don’t read comics on a regular basis and any of that makes sense – you are a good one.  If that synopsis makes no sense to you, it really doesn’t matter; this is not the kind of movie you go to see if you want an engaging plot-line.

Luckily, the writers got the basics of Logan’s history right, even if they changed some things around for the masses.  Generally, I’m fine with making changes to properties for adaptions so long as the heart of the original is there; in this case, the heart is there. So, score +1.  The film also works well in the movie universe already founded by the trilogy that came before it.  Sadly, some of the young mutants they chose to help tie the franchise together (Cyclops, Emma Frost, Quicksilver just name a few) seem very tacked on are, like Deadpool, not themselves.  This was particularly noticeable with Emma Frost, as she happens to be most tacked on of the bunch – the writers knew she could turn into diamond, but they must not have known her REAL mutant ability is TELEPATHY. Score +0.5.

The fighting is intense, but heavy on the wire work, making every showdown between Victor and Logan look more fake than we already know it is.  There is absolutely no blood in this whole movie.  Fine, it’s rated like PG-13, but the game (rated M I believe) is much more true to what Wolverine is like when he fights.  He is the best at what he does, and while the movie hints at it, it comes short often.  Also, the visual effects are weak and too plentiful.  There a few sequences where practical effects would have been cheaper and would have looked BETTER.  It was almost as if the director wanted to show off the budget rather than use it. Finally, every time the metal claws show up (especially when nothing exciting is going on) they look like plastic; they appear too clean. Score -1.

To wrap everything up, Hugh Jackman IS Wolverine, no question – despite being taller than the real comic hero. His screen presence makes you feel like Logan is indeed a real guy just trying to make it in peace.  While scene were he loses his memory is kind of weak, it works, and Jackman is the reason for it. Score +2. The humor in this film is great – subtle and appropriate.  Score +0.5. Also, honorable mention goes to hip-hop mega producer will.i.am of the Black-Eyed Peas. Of all the characters other than Logan, his John Wraith was awesome.  It was great to have a teleporter on screen again, and visual effect used to portray Wraith’s phasing was one of the best effects in the film, one I actually enjoyed seeing multiple times. Score +0.5.

So, the verdict: 3.5/5.0

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a fun ride while it lasts, but it won’t leave you hungry for more.  It’s a very predictible plot, even without any knowledge of Logan’s comic past.  The special effects, sadly, are what killed the hype for this movie for me, more than the fact that movie Deadpool isn’t comic Deadpool (for the record, Wade Wilson IS Wade Wilson).  Despite what Deadpool fanatics might say, this movie is not a train wreck, it’s not gawd-aweful just because they changed a character significantly.  It’s not a Deadpool movie.  It ain’t perfect either, so catch a matinee or just wait for it to hit the rental shelves – that is if you don’t watch it bootlegged first.

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