HOW DO YOU FUCK THIS UP?!
X-Men Origins: Wolverine should’ve been an easy movie to make. The story of Wolverine was already written down as a whole comic, so it’s not like the filmmakers/screenwriters had any lack of material here. This is not something incredibly difficult. This should’ve been a hole-in-one. Instead, it turned out like some people were competing to make one of the worst superhero movies ever.
No, I don’t use the “ever” term lightly; Daredevil‘s non-director’s cut, The Punisher and shit, even The Shadow were better plotted out than Wolverine. Watching the Wolverine movie was like watching a few hours of WHAT-IN-THE-HOLY-FUCK strung together.
The movie begins with young James and young Victor Creed – James’ father is killed by Creed’s father and this is where James discovers he’s a mutant. Enraged by the death of his dad, James pops a pair of nasty looking bone claws and kills Creed’s father, only to discover Creed’s father is his real dad. Victor and James scamper off, and the most well-done sequence of the film is a montage of James and Victor throughout the years, fighting in every major war since the late 1800’s.
After a nasty fight that takes out their commanding officer in Vietnam, the two are court-martialed and sentenced to death. It’s too bad that both of them have insane healing factors, so – as James puts it – the sentence “doesn’t take”. William Stryker shows up, offering them a chance at redemption because of their special talents. They accept but it’s not long before James has a change of heart.
The team Stryker assembles is comprised of Wraith, a shapeshifter; Deadpool, a smart-mouthed sword-wielder; Agent Zero, a master gunman who never misses; Fred Dukes, a guy who can punch things really hard; Beak, an electrical manipulator and of course, Victor and James. When Stryker carries a mission too far and when Victor’s enjoyment of bloodthirsty killing is brought the forefront, James leaves. He adopts the name Logan, settles in the Canadian Rockies with Kayla Silverfox and builds a new life. When the team is slowly being killed off, one by one, Stryker shows back up to end his happy homelife.
There are so many problems with this movie that I almost don’t know where to start.
Special Effects: They’re so bad they’re laughable. Most of the movie is has terrible CGI to the point that it’s almost distracting to watch. A friend of mine commented on the explosions as being like “everything that blew up had explosive ordinance in it”. While I give action movies a lot of leeway on this sort of thing, Wolverine‘s special effects are ridiculous for 99% of the movie. A scene at Three Mile Island is so bad, I could see people in the theater throwing their hands up in frustration. (I was, too.)
Plot: Incredibly stupid, especially if you’re remotely familiar with the source materials. A good example would be Beak, played by Dominic Monaghan, who should leave this off his CV (his performance is not anything worth mentioning in the “good” column). SPOILER: Creed is ostensibly killing the mutant team members for their DNA in order to help genetically engineer the perfect mutant weapon – Weapon XI. Do any of Beak’s powers come in handy for Weapon XI? …No. What was the point of killing him then?
The movie also doesn’t follow the franchise’s own canon, which makes it unbelieveable to watch. The movie’s so focused on blowing shit up that the plot at times crosses into the grotesque. When Stryker realizes that he’s made Wolverine indestructible, he shoots him with adamantium bullets because his brain will heal…but his memories won’t.
No, really, read that again and think about it. That is the explanation the movie gives you. Adamantium bullets will make Wolverine lose his memory. How? We don’t know. It’s like everyone in my movie theater simulatenously cocked their heads to the side and said, “…The fuck?”
Someone expected me to pay $10 and be satisfied with that bullshit?
Acting: Dominic Monaghan, as I’ve said before, is not good in his 2 seconds of screentime as Beak. will.i.am from the Black-Eyed Peas is in this movie. Why, I’m not sure. It seems as though the prerequisite for his character, Wraith, was to have a terrible Southern accent and be willing to wear a lot of turquoise jewelry. In that regard, will.i.am succeeds. In every other way, he is astonishingly, depressingly bad to watch.
Hugh Jackman is shirtless and growly as Wolverine, which is how I like him, but the amount of terrible, shlocky lines they give Jackman and Liev Schrieber is painful. Schrieber mainly shows up, bares his teeth, growls and gets some snarky lines in. Yeah, yeah, nothing to see there.
Ryan Reynolds, though, is a joy, and I don’t say that as just a Deadpool fangirl. He really gets Deadpool, and for the 5 minutes he’s in the movie as Wade Wilson, he nails it. When he has to play Weapon XI, it’s so sad for him. The idea here is that Wade Wilson’s body is used as the vessel for Weapon XI, so Reynolds reappears as a mutated version of Deadpool. It’s so stupid that it makes my soul cry. GIVE THIS MAN HIS OWN DEADPOOL MOVIE.
Overall Film: Absurd. Grotesque. Ridiculous. Overblown. How many millions was this made for? I believe that Wolverine was (obviously) never going to be high art, but there was a way to make it actually WATCHABLE. In this, it fails and the only thing the group I was with could find solace in is that maybe the MST3K guys would do a Rifftrax for it when it’s released on DVD.
Comic Book Nerd Note:
NOTE TO PEOPLE WHO MADE WOLVERINE:
Why in God’s name did you think Deadpool was acceptable to change like this?!
Deadpool didn’t need to be changed, because Deadpool’s a comedy goldmine on his own. For those of you who don’t read comics (and I haven’t in an insanely long time), Deadpool’s known as the “merc with a mouth”. The best descriptor for Deadpool is…adorably psychotic. He’ll stab you for the last Cheeto. He loves Bea Arthur. He’s also apparently aware that he’s in a comic book. He is a massive jerk, but with great comedic timing and hilarious escapades.
Changing him into this weird Weapon XI thing showed incredible, jaw-dropping insanity. How do you fuck up Deadpool? Give him five minutes of lines and then sew his mouth shut.
Dear sweet heavens, the things that could have been.
As far as Gambit goes, while I waited a long ass time to see him in a movie, Taylor Kitsch wasn’t bad. He wasn’t great, but not bad. With all the shit blowing up right and left, couldn’t they have spent a little extra money to make sure he had Gambit’s correct eyes?
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go find a reputable comic book store where the employees aren’t creepy so I can buy a bunch of copies of Cable & Deadpool to ease the soul-ache I got goin’ on. Wolverine isn’t just terrible, it’s a clusterfuck of badness. If this movie were a dog, someone would put it down. Onwards to the brain-cleanse …