Saturday, September 19, 2009

(Not Even Close To) Under 250: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

I knew it was going to be bad when they insisted on inserting the ‘X-Men Origins’ bit before the title. My expectations were low. They became lower still when I heard the theatrical reviews. Now, having actually viewed what is undoubtedly one of the worst films of the year, the only positive remark I can make is that I was admittedly more entertained than my seventh circle deep expectations expected. That’s not because it was an especially flashy and rollicking film, no. It’s because it was at a comical and embarrassing level of bad. Like, in a way that makes it glaringly obvious that a solid groundwork for Marvel at the Disney corporation is nothing if not a GOOD THING. If you’re going to watch Wolverine, it would be wise to have no prior knowledge of the character, or any of the X-Men, because your viewpoint will be shattered. And yet, if you go in not knowing any of the X-Men, you will leave knowing even less. Characters are introduced and alluded to constantly, without any acknowledgement or hint at their chosen identities and catchy names. You may be confused, for example, when a boy known as James suddenly grows up and is referred to as Logan and then chooses to call himself Wolverine. Or, Sabretooth is a prominent character, but you’ll never know you met him. The film makes vast temporal leaps and snap decisions, its characters communicate through snarky dialogue and yells of hilarity inducing rage. It’s frantic, brazenly unconcerned with character development, and big into ignoring logic. Hugh Jackman makes a decent Wolverine in small doses, but when his character is the focus of the film he loses steam fast and becomes a hollow vessel. Yet, as offenses, all of these things pale in comparison to the horrible quality of the special effects. I haven’t the damnedest idea who they outsourced that job to, but there are several minutes where Wolverine stares at his new adamantium claws and they look like dimensionless cartoon drawings. Later in the film, the same wunderkinds designed Emma Frost’s “diamond-hard skin” as being made out of literal diamonds. No, it wasn’t cool, it was ridiculous, like they went back in time and made this movie at the dawn of CGI. For a movie this big and this well-funded, one really has to question where the money went. Wolverine sets up a sequel, but I hope to god they never make it.

1.5 out of 5.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine, dir. Gavin Hood, starring Hugh Jackman, Liev Schrieber, Danny Huston, Ryan Reynolds, Taylor Kitsch, Kevin Durand, Will.I.Am. Rated PG-13, Running Time: 107 min.

1 comment:

  1. The money clearly went to waxing Hugh Jackman's behind.


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