By Fred Topel | Image property of 20th Century Fox
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
X-Men Origins: Wolverine still doesn’t answer my biggest question about the superhero’s backstory. Does Wolverine have an adamantium schlong? I guess I’ll have to read the comic books to find out the truth.
Review: X-Men Origins: Wolverine
There would be plenty to criticize in X-Men Origins but it’s certainly not as bad as the haters would like it to be. It’s kind of nice to just see a big summer action movie with grown men rolling around, jumping on top of each other.
I love the effort. Some of the sequences are really cool, like the helicopter fight, the New Orleans fight, the naked fight. Every character has cool moves. I wish they had had more fun with the humor of adjusting to the claws for the first time. They make some bold choices with some harsh plot elements, but sort of undo that with other easy ways out.
Thank God you can actually see what’s going on. At least one movie didn’t succumb to the misguided phenomenon of the handheld shaky camera. A lot of scenes are blended together rather than cut, which gives the film more of a flow than even some of the choppy X-Men team films.
The prologue is the weakest and starts the film at a deficit. The Logan family history comes off as ridiculous, and the war montage would be cool if it had a consistent tone. It’s hard to tell if the overwrought expressions are intended to be campy and fun, or serious and deep but failing to do so.
I know they want the story to be that Wolverine is really at war with himself. He even say it out loud, but he doesn’t do anything questionable. He only kills bad guys so he’s pretty clearly the hero.
The CGI is typically lame, though for full disclosure, I should acknowledge my natural aversion to CGI anyway. Yes, it’s the only way you can launch Hugh Jackman at a helicopter or have Liev Schrieber pounce around like an animal, but you’ll never make it look right. Maybe too much of it happens in daylight so there’s no hiding the seams. Even the claws don’t look right though, and they’ve already done that effect before. I will give them the diamond skin though. They outdid Twilight with that one.
I’m totally fine with cheesy one liners. That’s comic book, and it’s action movie for that matter. Some of the staple action moments are worse though, like the screaming at the sky or walking from an explosion shots.
Ultimately, X-Men Origins: Wolverine really doesn’t reveal anything about the character’s history. It’s merely an excuse to do another Wolverine movie, which is fine. But if you just want to do another Wolverine adventure, why bother with backstory? Just say, “Here’s the next bad guy Wolverine fought after leaving the X-Men.” They have an area of the story that won’t contradict the other films, but they have to reset it all by the end.