X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Big-budget cluster-fuck X-Men Origins: Wolverine comes out today, May 1st. I, like millions of others, watched the leaked prescreener, anxious to see how the movie compared to last year's Iron Man and of course, The Dark Knight. Those two films forever changed comic book movies, Iron Man with it's under the radar political commentary and Downey Jr.'s drunken Tony Stark, The Dark Knight with it's visual effects and the over rated, but still great, Heath Ledger Joker performance.

Comic book movies seem relatively simple to put together, the characters are already established, there are, in cases like these, thousands of story lines you could base your screenplay after, and hundreds of supporting characters you may chose to meet your film's needs. No one expects the movies to follow the same continuity as the comics, but we like hints the director knows what's going on-- little nerd "cameos" that get us excited. Continuity in film is where it starts to get a little tricky, and where Wolverine even has casual viewers asking nerdy continuity questions and sighing loudly.

It's no secret that Marvel has big plans for their "movie-verse" (which it's rumored will get it's own earth number, as in 616, 219, etc.) slowly connecting the films with things like Captain America's shield in Tony Stark's workshop and Nick Fury slowly making contact with the different heroes, for their big Avengers movie, scheduled for 2012. X-Men Origins: Wolverine takes place before the three "X" movies, so when Wolverine meets young mutant Cyclops, it brings up questions about why they didn't know each other as adults? Small things like these seem insignificant, but also are telling of how disorganized the film feels.

The main issue with the movie isn't that it doesn't follow any kind of comic book or movie continuity, it's that Wolverine may be the most popular character Marvel has, and the movie isn't as good as the weekly Wolverine one-shots. The acting is almost on a Star Wars level of poor, it only has slightly better writing going for it, none of the performances stand out as the best because they are all sub-par. Any shocking cameo that would have been exciting have been taken away from us not by the leak, but by the promotional material itself.

The movie wasn't all bad, scenes of Creed (later Sabretooth) and Wolverine battling in the American Civil War and storming the beaches of Normandy during WW2 were visually impressive as well as told a narrative of their friendship before Creed goes "feral". The brotherhood they share (which in the film is literal, the two coming from the same parents) is finally shown, deepening the relationship between the two similarly powered mutants.

"Merc with a Mouth" Deadpool is the second most notable character to Wolverine, the Liefeldian trigger happy Weapon-X survivor is played by Ryan Reynolds, but instead of a terminal cancer patient, he's just a plain old mercenary. Once he actually becomes "Deadpool" he's referred to as "Weapon-XI", and instead of a healing factor, he's given the powers of all mutants, much more like the Dark Reign X-Man Mimic. The only reason this is something of note is the huge push that Deadpool has been getting the past few months, multiple comics, one-shots, and crossovers. Old fans will be disappointed and new fans won't understand the differences between the characters.

There are few scenes in the movie that have you revisiting the ideas behind them, and there is no motivation to see the movie twice. Even as a huge Wolverine fan I had a hard time getting through it, and felt only disappointment afterwards. The only the question that X-Men Origins: Wolverine presents is "How do you fuck up a Wolverine movie?"


julian said...


I was getting pissed off just from you telling me about it. This is just what I wanted to read right now.

Brandon G said...

yeah, between this and the dragon ball it's still amazing when filmakers drop the ball so bad on established shit(I wonder how many times that's been used in DB reviews?)

I always felt that wolverine has got to be the easiest character write for.--I bet hulk would be hard.

but yeah Wurd.
I will devote the time I was going to watch this movie to some Rock in witch mountain ish.

samuel rules said...


The BeeGees-
Instead you should watch something with The Rock in it.

I like the period when Hulk kinda dressed sexy, with that brown speedsuit? He was such a hunk, the INCREDIBLE HUNK!
I haven't even thought about seeing the DB movie, I think about it and get weirded out because it actually exists.

brandon said...

Not even talking about stuff our readrs know about, but remember my idea for a gay porno comic book movie with Andrew called the Incredible Hunk??

samuel rules said...

yea, that comment was half for you too, haha. inventory back room bullshit.

Vee (Scratch) said...

This post nails it all the way. I only have a small note to add.
Hugh Jackman is listed as the executive producer and he really favors the whole PG-13 rating because he wants everybody to enjoy this brand of violence. He

I'm really disturbed by a bloodless-Disney-style but very violent fight between two guys stabbing each other.

-- Extra Nerd Moment --Question:
Creed just beats you to near death. When you wake up, it is clearly several moments later in a hospital.

Now your bones are being laced with adamantium. You lose consciousness and your hearts stop beating for several seconds. Your heartbeat slowly begins to beat and you HEAR a conversation under water concerning your general health. THEN you spring into action as your muscles quickly adjust to the extra weight???

"How do you fuck up a Wolverine movie?"ANSWER:
Just make it Hollywood.
1. pan up as he screams for his loved one
2. Make him look really cool as he walks or rides away from an explosion.
3. Continue to copy Hardboiled style Japanese choreography and make it a staple for action films.
4. Allow more than one, two, three, or more visions control the direction of the film.

This is probably the last X-Men film I'll pay to see in the theaters.

Vee (Scratch) said...

4. Have many people control the artistic direction of the film.

david e. ford, jr said...

i know that i am WAY behind the times and everything, but since this is the first X-Men movie to come out since i've become a comics reader, i find myself asking "why the fuck would they cast hugh jackman as wolverine?" i mean, yeah, i'm sure everyone else has gone through like the 11 steps of the grieving process or whatever on this one, but it just strikes me as the kind of decision that would've been relatively easy to get right . . . and yet.

it gets into this thing that we've talked about as a group (why this has to be this 'insider' thread, i don't really know) which is that movies are sort of kinda easy and yet obviously also kinda difficult to make well. sammy's post picks up on this with his ultimate question--how do you fuck it up? even my extremely limited knowledge of wolverine stories informs me that i would have a relatively easy time coming up with a scenario for a wolverine movie. jesus, they could simply have taken "Saudade" and more or less straight adapted it into a screenplay and it would've been GREAT. *sigh*

oh well, here's to THE INCREDIBLE HUNK being superb!

julian said...

Hey guys, let's begin production on The Incredible Hunk when Sammy gets back. What do you say?

samuel rules said...

sorry i didn't get back to this until now dudes, i'm in fucking ITALY!

I watched Gran Torino on the plane and fuck clint eastwood just needs to play OLD MAN LOGAN in the movie cause muggafuggin-millar WILL make that shit.
just saying DAWGS