Sunday, May 3, 2009

No code of conduct, no interest

These days, superhero movies are almost guaranteed to be a box office hit. This modern revival of the age of superheroes is partly in thanks to X-Men. Back in 2000 when the movie X-Men came out, it opened to $54 million, which was decent. Each subsequent sequel opened to even more.

And it might be safe to say that America sort of fell in love with Hugh Jackman at that point. As Wolverine, an already popular character, Jackman was a central figure to the first movie and the second one revolved around his character even more. It only made sense that he should get his own deal.

It sure seemed as if X-Men Origins: Wolverine was going to be the first summer blockbuster movie. However, after some bad early reviews and the movie being leaked online a month early, that early prediction seemed to be less secure.

That being said, Wolverine by all rights shouldn't be counted as the first summer blockbuster. The movie is bad. I say this with complete disappoint because I went in thinking the movie was going to be awesome. I know superhero movies don't always get good reviews even when they are good, so I didn't pay much attention to the critics.

I should have.

What you will see if you watch Wolverine is two hours of sloppy plotline, pointless characters and a bad guy at the end that no one really cares about.

The format for the movie sort of feels like this: Logan is little and this happens. He and his brother do this. They get involved with this. Then this happens to him so he does this. Then something else happens so he does another thing in response. Then he finds out this. Then he searches for so-and-so. Then he finds the thing he was looking for. Oh, by the way, big boss battle. Also, we need to tie this up so it fits in, sort of, with the first X-Men movie.


Jackman has corny lines and he doesn't seem as interesting as Wolverine as he did for the X-Men movies. This isn't necessarily his fault. This is whoever wrote the script and whoever thought it seemed interesting. Instead of actually giving an interesting back story to one of the most complex characters of X-Men, they threw together a sloppy film to try and bank on Wolverine's popularity. In all seriousness, this movie could have been broken into at least two, possibly three, good, well thought out films.

In the movie we meet Logan as a boy when he first discovers he's a mutant. He and his brother, Victor, run away together and, as a result of their healing abilities, live a very long time, fighting in multiple wars until they get thrown in jail and are rescued by William Stryker (Danny Huston, 30 Days of Night), who we should remember from X2. Stryker recruits the two of them for his team of mutants that we don't really understand what it is they do, just that eventually Logan gets on his moral horse and leaves.

A few years later, Logan is settled down with a lovely woman. That can't last. So after he's disrupted from his cozy life, he gets the metal claws we all know and love, courtesy of Stryker and goes only by the name Wolverine. But, he goes AWOL and starts attacking Stryker and his operation. Turns out brother dear, Victor, aka Sabretooth, has been looking for Logan. Somewhere along the line, Victor stopped being protective of Logan and now wants to kill him. It makes very little sense.

In an attempt to make the fanboys (and girls) happy, they threw in a lot of characters from the comic books: the Blob, Bolt, Silver Fox, Gambit, Agent Zero, Deadpool, young Scott Summers aka Cyclops and young Emma Frost. Now, some were necessary but most were pointless and aggravating.

Gambit was totally unnecessary and was probably only put in because he is also a popular character. And young Scott and Emma, who later become the leaders of the X-Men and lovers, were almost ridiculous. Why were they needed? How did they further the plot? Oh, right, to make the end bad guy more bad.

The only good thing about the entire movie was Sabretooth (Liev Schreiber, Defiance). He gives a gritty performance as Logan's brother. He truly becomes a man obsessed with finding his brother and proving that Logan was wrong for leaving. Schreiber is interesting and ammoral, and maybe the movie should have been X-Men Origins: Sabretooth.

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree. This movie was the epitome of the problem that has progressed with each X-men film: name-dropping. There are a lot of great characters to be used in X-men, and Fox is trying to draw people in to see the movies by using as many as possible. Justice is hardly done to any of the characters when they are thrown into the midst of a storyline that they never really had anything to do with in the comics. I absolutely hated Gambit, who is normally my favorite character. Overall, it felt like I was watching the story scenes of a bad video game based on the movie.