joeyf's X-Men Origins: Wolverine review

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Wolverine

 

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is not a character study, nor a source material adaptation, it is a summer popcorn flick and maybe, in some regard, it should be.   If there are any comic characters that prompt that type of film, perhaps it is Wolverine.   The major failures in this film is that it never attempts to explore any direct personality traits and subplots that shape as a consequence of Logan’s abilities, and instead sticks to clichéd action scenes and formulaic pacing of segments and act structure.  And while the script alone was bad enough to warrant a page-one rewrite, there was obvious missteps taken, with the script in question, that could of made the movie somewhat of a unique story, and not just a forgettable summer film.  Somewhere along the development line, in an early draft of the script, there probably was inclinations towards a truer version to these characters, but were later abandoned so they can make more room to fit in sequences of Logan walking away from explosions.
 
I am not entirely against the idea of using the film canvas to create another Marvel Universe for these characters to play in, so in some regard, I am willing to accept deviations in story arcs and the universe.  I am not willing though to accept lazy storytelling and shortcuts -- especially when there is slight changes that could have been made to explore certain dynamics of these characters.

Logan and Victor join Team X and suddenly, through a quick observation in slow-motion, Logan has a change of heart and walks away.  These are mutants with animal like urges and sensibilities.   Logan and Victor's rivalry could have started here, as each of them vie for the Alpha Dog spot of the team, ending with Logan eventually losing this battle prompting Victor to use his famous “runt” title on Logan.  Two men who are animalistic by nature, and this early in the film, could have portrayed as such, rounding out the story a bit giving their journey a steeper slope.    But Logan never develops in any way as a character, and for some insane reason, Victor actually moves backwards starting off as a monster and eventually ending up as Logan's bro in a buddy-action flick.
 
While this variation of Sabertooth is definitely an improvement over the bestial idiot from X-Men 1, the script still undermines him quite a bit, and goes a tonal direction with the character that seems awkward.  The studios wanted an anti-hero, but the story needed a villain.   Deadpool most certainly did not warrant himself to be a villain in any way in this movie, no matter how many lazer beams or "Baraka blades" you give him.  When Stryker mentioned the "mind control device", my first instinct was that it was going to be their way to make Deadpool crazy; have his personality fight through the mind control device verbally and mentally, consequently creating a chatty, insane, deadly Wade Wilson.  But instead, they took one of the most colorful characters to say the least, and turned him into a mindless zombie; what seems to me like a blatant disregard by the studio, but i digress.  The script should have trusted Sabertooth as it's villain, and jumped into that idea with both feet.
 
This film refuses to add any, pre-existing or new, dimension to the characters that have existed on pages for years.  While people can argue the simplicity of these characters, there are still unique qualities to them that should have been explored, and to spend $150 million to ignore those aspects and focus of "bringing down a helicopter" seems disrespectful by the filmmakers.

1 Comments
Edited by etragedy

Excellent review. Spot on. 
The film almost entirely lacked character development and trampled all over the origins (Wolverine and Sabretooth as immortal merceneraries?)

Liev Schreiber was terribly miscast as Sabretooth, and the Deadpool character 'the Merc with a mouth" as a mute - who thought that was a good idea?
 
And the X-Men films were actually some of the best comic adaptations up till now.

Other reviews for X-Men Origins: Wolverine

    Becoming the Wolverine 0

    After recently seeing The Wolverine at the cinemas yesterday I decided to go through the X-Men film collection, but this time in chronological order, starting with this.PlotSPOILER FREEWolverine grows up with his brother Victor Creed, progressing through multiple wars before joining up with Weapon X. He then later has to return to Weapon X's leader, William Stryker for help, getting his Adamantium claws in the process.ReviewOverall this was a good film, but it wasn't brilliant, and had a lot of ...

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