God damn it, FOX. Once again, you've proven your mastery over horse-feces and bastardizing franchises knows no bounds.
X-men Origins: Wolverine
is all about the star of the past X-men films, Wolverine...what? Oh, that's cute. You thought the other X-men were the stars as well? That's adorable. Anyway, they're about the origin of Wolverine who starts his young life seeing his father murdered and running away with his brother to find a new life. After they're adventuring, James has developed a distaste for killing so he falls into a life of seclusion and peace, that is until his past comes back hurtling into his life. The story itself, when you take a step back and see the entirety of it is actually pretty interesting, however, it's the execution of the storytelling that really drowns the possibilities. The tension of Wolverine's escape and tracking of his stalking predators is hindered by the fact that the filmmakers felt it was necessary to have him stop on by and see all of the mutants that they could possibly cram into the movie. Gambit, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Charles Xavier, and so many other mutants are just inserted to attract the fans to see their favorite muties on the big screen and most of the time, they have no real purpose of being there; you could easily substitute half of these characters with generic mutants and no one would ever know the difference. Perhaps the biggest problem I had with the film was with the lack of characterization of the characters in general. Every character seems to be just a plot device to tell Wolverine where to go next, and the film never really develops any personality to the characters. And the dialogue? It pretty much ranged from horrible and cliched to acceptable and slightly clever.
To the positives, while some of the CGI was horrendous, there were also a good number of scenes where the special effects did come through spectacularly. I liked the fact that the movie was surprisingly dark given the childhood origin of Wolverine, and the twist in the third act that really drove the pain of Wolverine's loneliness home. As a side-note, I did like the couple that took in Wolverine out of kindness to give him some reprieve of his pain. The makeup and design of the film in general is pretty good, especially the makeup for "The Blob". The acting was all around decent; Jackman and Schreiber carry the film, and many of the secondary actors for the movie (Reynolds, Durand, Huston, and Monaghan) act well despite their limited dialogue in the film. While many complain about the action scenes, I thought they were done well, especially the scene where Wolverine takes on a helicopter. The humor in the film is actually one of the highlights as it manages to cling on to the sympathy of the audience; Reynolds (for his first appearance, anyway) as Wade Wilson was spot on as he exterted that machismo and overconfidence of the character of Deadpool. And to be honest, Deadpool fans, just be glad that he got as much screentime as he did, even though his character is pretty much gone for the rest of the movie.
I did not expect much from the film since it would star a pretty over-showcased character in a story where I already know the outcome of some of the characters (I hate most prequels because of this *ex. Godfather part II*). There are plot holes and inconsistencies left and right, and while I did not think the two original X-men movies were at the top of the list of great comic-book based movies, they at least made of story with developed characters and a focused narrative. This movie shows just how dried up the teat of the X-men franchise has become, leaving it a shadow of it's former self (although it is a very visually entertaining and summer blockbuster ingratiated shadow). A film with so much potential is just shelved for a pretty straightforward action movie.
X-men Origins: Wolverine
: Low Matinee
The biggest compliment that I can thank Jackman for is for showing off the fact that hairy guys can be the chick-magnets, too. Ride on, my hairy brother. Ride on.