Yesterday I wasted $11 at the movies seeing Wolverine: Origins. I want my $11 back. The movie overall was not horrible, it was a passable movie shot on cameras and performed by professional actors. The performances were very capable and I really liked Liv Schreiber’s Sabretooth, Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool and Hugh Jackman continues to be a great Wolverine. The addition of Gambit was interesting – albeit short – and there were some great action moments. My biggest gripe is that this movie was disappointing. Chronically disappointing. Things would happen and get your expectations up and then the ball would be dropped right when you expect the payoff.
In this review I’m going to be revealing SPOILERS so if you plan to see the movie then don’t read on. Also, if you plan to see the film I’m sorry.
It is important to realize that I am a comic book guy. I’ve followed Wolverine since the 80’s in his own series and in the X-Men. I’ve read the back issues including his earliest appearances and, although I have not read the Origins limited series, I am quite adept at using Wikipedia and have caught up on the details that surround his life. I have read the amazing Weapon X series that was done by Barry Windsor Smith in it’s original release in Marvel Comics Presents and, although I completely checked out in the 90’s (when comics went to shit) I have seen some good story points come out of those times. I know his continuity and have a respect for the wonderful stories that have been told with this character. I had an expectation that Marvel and Fox would have at least shown similar respect.
I was wrong.
I did not expect the same kind of attention to detail that we got from Watchmen, and I know that movie continuity gets to be different, but the writing on this film – or at least what was released – was just irresponsible. There are many things that are left up in the air even in comic book continuity, so the idea that Wolverine and Sabretooth were brothers did not bother me, I could get on board for that, but I ask the question, “at what point did Sabretooth get all big and dumb, like he was in the first X-Men movie?” Liv Schreiber did a great job and I REALLY liked his portrayal of of the character, but it didn’t jive with, or was justified for, the X-Men movie that is supposed to take place after.
Also, Deadpool, a great character. A funny character. Ryan Reynolds does a GREAT job! The biggest problem? HE’S BARELY IN THE MOVIE! They were also a bit liberal with the powers he was granted by the Weapon X program. And where those powers came from. And who was trapped in the cages at the end!
I’m just going to rant because I’m trying to be organized about this but I keep getting distracted by different things.
OK so where the hell is the actual Weapon X program? There wasn’t one. Wolverine was designated Weapon X, as in Weapon 10, meaning there were 9 before him. We still don’t know who they were although I think we were supposed to infer that they died.
When Wolverine’s skeleton is bonded with the adamantium I was totally on board. In the comics and X-Men 2 we are told that he went on a murder spree after the process was completed so when he woke up and started tearing shit up I was ready for a blood bath! Instead of a blood bath we ended up getting a pissed off killing machine… escaping and leaving all the people responsible for his condition, who would have been easy prey, alive and well and not even all that scared.
When Wolverine is hunted at the farm house and Agent Zero jumps onto the helicopter, the CGI of him making a completely unrealistic jump was actually better than the CGI of him running.
And does everyone who was a part of the Weapon X program have to die? Some of these characters are supposed to still be alive! They become important later!
The Blob’s power is that he can become unmovable. He’s not super strong! He’s not any more durable than any other heavy person.
Cyclops, Banshee, Emma Frost, Quicksilver, and the multi-dozen other characters that were in the cells at the end were not captured by the Weapon X program!
Silver Fox was not Emma Frost’s sister!
If Silver Fox could touch Stryker at any time and make him do whatever why didn’t she do it YEARS before she did?
How the hell did Quicksilver get caught?! His dad is Magneto! Magneto doesn’t even like his kids, but he certainly wouldn’t let them be captured!
The argument about whether or not adamantium can pierce adamantium has been debated for decades. I have been on both sides of this debate, but have landed on the side that adamatium, which is supposed to be the strongest metal on earth – nigh indestructible – should not be able to be pierced even by adamatium bullets. But that’s just me. Really I have nothing to back that up.
And why the hell did it take a bullet to the head for him to forget? The Bonding procedure was supposed to be so traumatic that it makes him go feral, and then the mental conditioning of the Weapon X program was supposed to fill in certain gaps, while erasing other memories. Instead he got out of the procedure fine and was having calm conversations hours later.
And why were the stakes so low? He was joking with Wraith as he was trying to find out about Stykers location, and then Blob is just hanging out even though Wraith left on bad terms?!!? Everyone was just a little too comfortable with the whole “we were in a covert strike team and now we’ve all left and seem just fine with it”.
Then when Wolverine does finally get to the island lab no one tries to stop him! Everyone involved with his capture, death of Silver Fox, Silver Fox herself, Sabretooth, all the doctors – they are all right there and what does he do after claiming he’s going to kill them all? He leaves! Walks away! And then when he comes back, sure Sabretooth fights him, but no one seems to care! No back up, no “oh hey, maybe we should see if Wolverine is still alive”, nothing!
And then he and Silver Fox can just walk RIGHT INTO the cells where they keep the mutant prisoners, which, by the way, some were frozen and some were not, and they can free them all before anyone does anything!
And Deadpool, I can get on board with teleportation. It was one of his powers in the books, kinda’, even though it was a little teleporter device and not an inborn or grafted power, but that’s like organic web-shooters on Spider-Man – I get that. However – LASER EYES?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! REALLY?!?!?!?!?!!!??
I felt better about Deadpool after finding the Deadpool after-credits button, but man, oh man the rest was rough.
I don’t even know what else to say. I wish I could claim this was a real review, but this went down the old rant highway a long time ago.
Given the great comic book movies that have come out in just the past year this film had a lot to live up to, and it was just disappointing. Maybe a few years ago it could have passed, but I think this is the first time time people have had big expectations for a comic book movie and it hasn’t been able to live up to them.
As you may have noticed my inner geek has gone totally fan-boy and I know many of these arguments don’t actually have much merit, but the movie just seemed so half assed that any little thing that stuck out to me as wrong was even more amplified.
Thank you for reading my rant. I hope you had fun even if you disagree.
I’m gonna’ go to bed.
See you tomorrow!
4 Responses to Wolverine: Origins = Disappointing
as i “plan” to see this movie, i didn’t read your review. but even though i “plan” to see this movie, i will likely NOT see this movie until it winds up on cable.
Bummer, man. I have not read the comics, though, so I will still probably see it when it is out on dvd. Masochist? Me? Maybe.
as comic book guy, your the only friend whose review I could really rely on. It’s disheartening to read you words. You would think Marvel would have people like us if not help write the script but at the very least lend some constructive criticism. It seems to me some of the choices they made really if made correctly would have made much of a difference to the overall story except that they would have been correct. And other choices seem to make for a less exciting and perhaps more convoluted film. sigh. I’m afraid you have convinced me to wait for blu-ray. Oh, glad to hear Ryan Reynolds did a good job. I’m a fan.
as comic book guy myself, your the only friend whose review I could really rely on. It’s disheartening to read you words. You would think Marvel would have people like us if not help write the script but at the very least lend some constructive criticism. It seems to me some of the choices they made really if made correctly would have made much of a difference to the overall story except that they would have been correct. And other choices seem to make for a less exciting and perhaps more convoluted film. sigh. I’m afraid you have convinced me to wait for blu-ray. Oh, glad to hear Ryan Reynolds did a good job. I’m a fan.