Movie Review: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

>> Friday, May 08, 2009

Yes, I was disappointed too.

I've heard weeks ago that X-Men Origins: Wolverine is available to download online and I had a moral dilemma. On one hand, I just started to get trigger happy with my torrent; on the other, I was sure that I will go to see it in theaters just because I love my X-men. It's not until 5 friends told me how much they hated the movie that one of the hands won out.

I'm not particularly proud of that actually, especially when it's kinda a hassle mixed with pop-up commercial advertising shadiness. But after half an hour of waiting, I've got my hands on a leaked version of the movie. This is an unfinished version where some special effects are not entirely done, it features computer generated landscape that is not colored and actors still with obvious wires attach to them. I figured it doesn't affect the storyline much and it's quite an education on the film making world.

James Logan aka Wolverine and Victor Creed aka Sabretooth were mutant half-brothers that inherited healing powers from their fathers that enable them to heal faster than normal humans. Their powers also allowed them to age much slower. Because of their powers, they've grown to be excellent soldiers participating in various wars that helped built America since Civil War. After Vietnam, they were recruited into a team of special ops by General Stryker and the group disbanded after a massacre in Nigeria occurred. After some group member got killed, Wolverine was brought back into action as the life of people around him got threatened.

To put it bluntly, this prequel to the X-Men Trilogy, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is trying to cash in on Hugh Jackman's fame and attempt to explain the origins of his character Wolverine. Maybe it's just me and my prejudice, I've never liked the Wolverine/ Weapon X series much; he's too grumpy and egotistical and it goes against the spirits of X-Men where you do anything by teaming up together.

Somehow the movie lack substance. It doesn't require 90 minutes of blowing up stuff to explain that few bits it's attempting to do. For a mutant movie, I much rather see different superpowers in action than car and houses being blown up. For us fans, we know that Wolverine is Canadian, so I'm a bit disturbed to see that he was participating in American wars. Although I was entertained to hear that Sabretooth and him were brothers, I can never figure out the relationship between them two and even though the movie made a clumsy attempt to explain it, it's still interesting.

Clumsy and rush is the theme with introducing other mutants, maybe because the mutants chosen in this round have no obvious superpowers other than their superb fighting abilities. Will.I.Am, who plays teleporting John Wraith, whose amazing star power is in fact a breath of fresh air. Taylor Kitsch's Gambit doesn't have a trace of Cajun accent and I was confused on the scene where he insists on fighting Wolverine when he should be taking revenge on his former captor instead. The fight between Wolverine and the Blob in the name of exercise seems to be ridiculously pointless and just for show. Even with traces of Watchmen (What purpose does it serve to have Bolt dead?) and Superman (Were the old couple there just to show Hugh Jackman's naked body a bit more?), the storyline is overly simplified and lack substance.

What infuriates me is that Emma Frost in this film turns out to be an innocent little girl that shows part of her powers for 5 seconds but in the trailers she was shown like she was a main character. Most rescued mutants just ran away without showing their powers. As a spoiler, Deadpool was killed at the end but now there are talks about him getting a spin off, while his character played by the good looking Ryan Reynolds had no chance of developing his character in this movie at all. In fact we didn't really get to know anyone much other than Wolverine, his girlfriend, Sabertooth and Colonel Stryker. Even though I dislike X-Men 3, at least that movie was flashier and with a better plotline.

I didn't think it was possible but I submit that this film is worst than X-3. I'm glad I didn't waste money seeing this film. D+

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