X Men Origins: Wolverine

Rating –  *


First, the good news…………… hang on, let me think for a second………… ok, at least Jackman still looks the part and plays it well. He’s clearly fond of Wolverine’s character and the X-Men story. From what I’ve seen in interviews he comes across as a genuine, hard working bloke. It’s a shame that this spin-off film was infamously leaked online almost a month ago. After hearing all the negative feedback (which was based on an unfinished work-print) I tried to ignore these unfair judgments and go to the cinema with an open mind. I did, but it’s still a shit film, sorry Hugh.

The strength of the original X Men films (at least the first 2) was their ability to humanise the mutants. Their powers worked as metaphors for all sorts of real life minority groups and the political prejudices they encounter. Their appearance was also key to you taking them seriously enough, that’s why Wolverine never wore yellow spandex. There’s a really fine line where these characters become unintentionally funny. That line was first crossed by Brett Ratner in X Men 3. Remember how stupid Beast looked? It took me right out of the film and made me think “why is Frasier hanging upside down dressed as a blue bear?” Compare that to an equally bizarre (and also blue) character from X2, Nightcrawler. Yet his introduction is suspenseful and stylish. Sadly everything is Wolverine continues the downward trend of X Men 3. This is perfectly represented by a shot in the opening titles. In the middle of a decade spanning montage, Wolverine and his brother are shown fighting as soldiers in real life wars. The tone is clearly supposed to be serious but how can you not laugh at the sight of a guy running up Omaha beach on all fours like a dog?!

The visual effects throughout the film are shockingly shoddy. Wolverine’s claws often resemble pre-vis quality CGI stuck on as an afterthought. The finale takes place in a terrible green-screen world intended to be the top of a nuclear cooling tower. Even worse, Wolverine is fighting a character who looks like he walked off the set of Mortal Combat.

I’m focusing on how crappy the film looks because there’s not much else to discuss. The plot is pointless and adds nothing interesting to what we already knew from the original films. With absolutely no memorable characters, scenes, or dialogue it’s hard to even remember most of Wolverine, let alone recommend it.

~ by thewholebuffalo on July 20, 2009.

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