Friday, May 01, 2009

XMO: Wolverine movie review

So I went to see X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The reviews I've read have been all over the board. What follows is my take on the movie. Fair warning, I'm a Wolverine fan, so my judgment may not be 100% objective.

The best part of the movie was the beginning, which shows Logan and Victor Creed's progression fighting besides each other in war after war, going from the Civil War to WW I and II and finally Nam. This short bit is very telling as you see the differences that develop between the two brothers. Victor becomes more and more blood thirsty while Logan tries to reign him in. The sequence ends with Creed killing a commanding officer and Logan trying to intervene, fighting by Victor's side, ostensibly to protect his brother but I think really to protect the arresting troops from Victor. They get sentenced to death by firing squad, which isn't very effective against mutants with healing factors.

The next stage begins adding characters, namely Team X which includes the likes of Wade Wilson (Deadpool) and John Wraith. I really wish we could have seen more of this team in action instead of just establishing demonstrations where each character goes into action one at a time so that we can see what they do. However, the abundance of characters in the movie is also a flaw. Too many fan pleasing appearances, not enough story or time to do the justice.

This problem continues as they add Gambit, mainly for the sake of adding Gambit. Not that the character isn't cool or that the actor doesn't do a good job, he just wasn't needed.

Of course, like all of the X movies, the writers take liberty with canon, throwing in Emma Frost with her diamond-skin mutation just because fans like her. Scott Summers makes an appearance, but at least we understand why in the first X-Men movie he didn't recognize Logan. However, his eye beams are more like lasers than kinetic blasts.

Since it's a comic book movie we have a lot of stuff that doesn't make sense. Granted, it's a comic book action movie, so any relationship with reality is going to be a casual one. Not only are Wolverine's claws too big, another character has an even more unlikely set of weapons. Seriously, wtf was someone smoking? There are some other divorces from the real world in the final fight that come down to a combination of lazy writing and "oh! That would look cool!" bullshit.

Finally, Colonel Stryker, the chief bad guy, is stupid and/or insane. A couple of times he just lets Logan wander away, and he also seems surprised when his obvious bad guy schemes fail to get people to do what we want. "No, honest, you can believe me this time."

That's not to say I didn't enjoy the movie. The action is better than the X-Men movies (though the Nightcrawler invading the Oval Office sequence in XM2 was frakkin' awesome). The interaction between the characters, especially Logan and Creed is great. Obviously Hugh Jackman has Wolverine down pat. Liev Schreiber is great as Sabretooth, turning a throw away thug into a bad guy with menace and wit. Ryan Reynolds makes a perfect Wade Wilson and might even get his own movie.

There's a lot of good moments in between big action pieces. Maybe we'll get to see more of them when the DVD comes out, including all of the post-credit easter eggs.

My rating: 3.5 metal-clawed wound-healing flying-monkeys (but remember, Wolverine fan, your mileage may vary).

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home