The summer blockbuster season is finally upon us again. Fun, big budget escapist fare that makes tons of money and entertains the living crap out of us. X Men Origins: Wolverine is the first out of the gate and the result is an overwhelming yawn.
You see Woverine is not so much bad as it is just kinda stupid. Hugh Jackman is good as usual but good just isn’t good enough when you are talking a movie where finally Wolverine is the only real focus of the film.
The movie begins in Canada in 1845 with a couple of kids. You see James is in bed sick with a mild fever and his dad is nursing him back to health while James’ older brother Victor looks on saying how brothers need to work together when, for no real apparent reason a fight is heard off screen. When the boys father leaves to investigate you hear a shot and young James jumps out of his bed and races to his now dying dad’s side. James looks across the room at the big man who just shot his dad for no reason other than “he was drunk” and with his horrified mother looking on James has 12 inch claws erupt from the angry young boys fists. James rushes over and impales the man who killed dear old dad only to be told my the murderer that the man who he killed wasn’t his dad but that he was. Ok great, why do I care and really what does this mean?
Then suddenly as the now dad biological father dies James runs out into the deep dark woods when Victor follows and helps his fugitive brother escape from various townsfolk. This allows for the coolest sequence of the whole movie in which you see both James and his brother fighting in every major war in American history, from fighting for the union army in the civil war to the trenches of WWI and storming the beaches of Normandy, France to kick some Nazi ass. Then in Vietnam Victor goes crazy and his blood lust makes James upset. So, when Victor attacks and kills a senior officer and his brother protects him they are put before a firing squad and of course cannot die because of their mutant healing abilities they both share.
Enter Stryker, a military man who wants to turn the two mutants into special ops assassins or leave the two to rot in a jail cell in the jungle heat. So far the movie is cool, you get a bot of a history lesson and you get an idea of who these guys are which is basically a couple of super soldiers who are amazing killers. So now suddenly the crack squad of mutant black ops guys are in Lagos, Nigeria and are after a diamond smuggler but we don’t know why to begin with. So there is some really fun shooting and a big explosion and a sequence where you meet Ryan Reynolds as a character named Wade who, while an amazing swordsman can’t seem to keep his mouth shut or stop making witty one-liners.
So after all the bad guys are dead Stryker asks for the source of a black rock which of course is the metal which will come to be known as adamantium. So in the hasty search for more of this super metal a bunch of local villagers are threatened by the mutants James walks away from the team and turns his back on his brother to become a lumberjack in his native Canada. I know that is what I would do.
So here is where the movie falls to pieces for me. You see now it is six years later and James is in love with a school teacher and he gets a visit from Stryker who informs him that someone is knocking off the members of the elite mutant bad-asses and that he just might be next. Well you can guess what it is going to happen boys and girls and Victor comes after James and his woman and kills her and so begins a tale of revenge with the classic aerial shot of James, now Logan suddenly screaming NO! into the heavens. Cliche police please come right sway!
So I won’t go on anymore but I need to go over why this movie is so bad. First off the biggest problem for me what continuity of the story and the film makers need to introduce character after character without any sort of development. Why have someone show up and basically mug for the camera and add nothing for the story or have any real purpose for being there? The movie introduces characters just to appease a group of people who want to see the characters we all know from the comics and do nothing to develop them or flesh them out at all. So suddenly you have, hey look kids, it’s the Blob or hey I know you really like Gambit so let’s throw him into the story too!
You see this movie takes place six+ years after Vietnam but there are hummers and cool helicopters and other stuff that is just too modern to be what I would assume is around the late 70’s or early 80’s the climax of the movie takes place at 3 mile island in Pennsylvania and tries to explain the nuclear near disaster that happened in ’79. So why does Cyclops who is a 15 year old show up here? Oh and if that is about accurate aging then that makes Cyclops in 2000’s X Men 36?
The movie goes off the deep end in so many parts and the movie is so poorlywritten and it goes so far to make the movie so mediocre that I just cannot get why this thing was made. Remember how good Iron Man was? Remember how amazed you walked out of the theater feeling? This is not that movie, it isn’t even close. This movie feels forced and complacent and just generally half-assed in a few places. There is a scene which you really need to se to believe with Logan in a bathroom figuring out his metal claws and the effect looks so fake it is actually laughable, like the effects team was told to stop work to save cash.