X-Men Origins: Wolverine
You must understand that any comic book film that comes out I have to approach from a fan's perspective. I've been reading comics since I've had the ability to do so, and therefore I become a little defensive when the source material has been raped and pillaged. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is an exercise in mediocrity. From the special effects to the writing, this movie is just not good at all.
What really disappoints me about the movie overall is that we have been treated, recently, to a quartet of wonderful comic book films: Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Iron Man, and The Incredible Hulk. These films are great representations of sticking to the perfectly good source material or going in new and exciting directions. What this film represents is the old notion of "let's change story elements just because we can." Now I understand that not every film based on a comic needs to be treated like a sacred text and remain unaltered, but changing characters' powers and names for no good reason just doesn't fly.
Another disappointment is the sheer stupidity of the script. I don't want to go into many details because I don't want to spoil anything, but I do have to say that if you want to erase the memory of someone with a healing factor you have to do a little more than just shoot them in the head!
When one goes to see a summer blockbuster you expect certain unchanging elements.
One: lots of exciting action. Wolverine does meet these criteria to the letter.
Two, fluff. I don't expect anything close to intelligent and neither should you. Yes, Wolverine meets this as well.
Three: great special effects. This brings me to another issue I have. All three X-Men films exhibit fine effects, so why does a spin-off that is almost guaranteed to make bank skimp out? There are two noticeable screw-ups that really churned my butter. A scene midway through the film has a close-up of Wolverine examining his metal claws and the computer effect is so bad I cringed. Another scene shows a familiar face that is made to look younger but frankly looks like his face is glowing and made of Silly Putty.
I do have a couple of compliments, on the other hand. The performances of both Hugh Jackman in the title role as well as Liev Schreiber as Victor Creed/Sabertooth are very good. As a matter of fact, I would be up for an exact remake of the first X-Men film if only to replace the Tyler Mane Sabertooth with Schreiber's. Schreiber truly understands the unyielding sinister nature of the character and shines on screen in a way that I did not expect. I also enjoyed the performance, albeit brief, of Ryan Reynolds as Wade Watson/Deadpool. Reynolds was a great choice as the "Merc with a mouth" and has proven himself before as a capable action star. Too bad the writers had to screw him up at the end of this movie.
Ultimately, I think I would have less of a problem with this movie as a whole if it had come out before some truly great comic films that got it right. The fact remains is that X-Men Origins: Wolverine is just lazy writing and filmmaking. 20th Century Fox has plans for more Wolverine films as well as origin films for Magneto and the original team of X-Men, but if this one is any indication of what's to come, then count me out. My only hope is that Marvel Studios will gain back the film rights for all their licensed properties and we will no longer have these problems.
One last thing, stay past the credits for a bonus scene. There are two different secret endings. Which one will you get?
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