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I Miss Summer 2008 – X-Men Origins: Wolverine REVIEWED

2

May

Posted by Steve

Wolverine is one of those characters that, while I wolverine_poster_500x740.jpgunderstand why he’s so popular, I’ve never really been a super fan of. I like him. When he does something totally cool, I think it’s totally cool. He’s just never been one of my favorite characters. In truth, I would have rather seen Fox produce a new X-Men movie rather than a movie solely about ole Wolvie. So it was with a little bit of trepidation that I drove the thirty minutes to Douglas, GA and Rockin’ 8 Cinemas to watch the latest superhero movie out there. That’s right….a 30 minute drive…to another town…to a movie theater called “Rockin.” (The seats rock.)

Like everyone, I had heard the mixed reviews. I had heard most people respond to Wolverine with a resounding “eh.” Unlike some, I didn’t download the leaked copy of the movie a few weeks ago. I was just too uninterested to take the time, bandwidth, or memory on my computer to do it. I was determined, no matter my trepidations, the mediocre reviews I’d seen, or the response of fans who downloaded an unfinished copy of the movie to sway my opinion as I watched the movie.

So what did I think?

I think the greatest strength of this movie is what makes the movie work more than anything else…the cast.

I knew going in that Hugh Jackman owns the role of Wolverine like nobody thought possible about eight years ago. He seems to understand the character, he gets what makes Wolverine so cool to so many people. So it is, when he steps on screen to don the adamantium claws, he brings Wolverine right off the page to right in your face on the screen.

Liev Schreiber was a surprise to me. I was a bit shocked to find out that the guy who played Cotton Weary in Scream 3 was gonna be Sabretooth….SABRETOOTH. It worked though. He did an outstanding job of making Sabretooth not only tough, hard edged, and threatening, but also bringing a touch of humanity to the character that we’ve not seen in the cartoons or the first X-Men movie.

Then there’s the one everyone was talking about, Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool. While he wasn’t on screen for very long, he definitely made an impact on the movie. He has a comedic timing and wit that allowed him to deliver Deadpool’s lines perfectly funny and appropriately B.A.

I was disappointed (and relieved a bit) to find out though that Weapon XI (read Weapon 11…which I thought was supposed to be Deadpool post Weapon X texting) was NOT Deadpool.

In truth, I have always been so indifferent about Wolverine, that I can’t come to this movie and pinpoint derivations from any of the supporting characters in the film. So I wasn’t constantly saying, “That’s not how it is in the comics.”

I DID read Wolverine Origins a few years back, but I was so disinterested that I really don’t remember it. So while a few of the things from the boyhood days of Wolverine are familiar, they weren’t fresh and important.

This is a movie that is well put together while not as epic as the trailers make it out to be. I was glad to see that the trailer only gave one really cool moment away. Wolverine vs. a helicopter. I was also glad to see that character development wasn’t completely thrown out the window only to be replaced with action. There are some genuinely good character moments not only from Jackman and Schreiber, but even people who are only on screen for roughly five mintues.

In fact, in watching this movie, there are only a few negative things that I saw.

First, and most obviously, are the special effects. There are moments that it seems any major studio should be able to pull off and give a more realistic look to. Action moments that apparently were done of a blue or green screen and the proper care didn’t seem to be taken to make the elements blend well. Normally, I wouldn’t mention anything about effects, but these moments seem to be things that shouldn’t be so obvious.

There is a moment when Logan is looking at his new adamantium claws and they are so blatantly digital that it took me out of what should have been a pretty interesting scene. (And understand that it’s HARD to pull me out of a movie.) I thought I had read that Jackman wore prosthetics for close up shots in at least one of the X-Men movies and it seemed to me that he should have been using them in this particular instance.

Another drawback to this film, to the story actually, is what I refer to as the Boba Fett mistake. (Yes, everything comes back to Star Wars for me.) While I love the prequel trilogy and remain one of it’s biggest proponents, it isn’t lost on me that a lot of the coolness that Boba Fett held for fans of the original trilogy was lost the minute they saw him as a little boy tagging along with daddy. I think the same can be said here. I like the mystery that always surrounded Wolverine before the comic ORIGINS was published. I think that’s a big part of the character’s appeal.  Well, this movie goes a long way in stripping all that away.

The final negative to this film for me was that it just didn’t thrill me.  It was entertaining.  It wasn’t BAD…it just wasn’t the second coming of the Marvel Super Hero movie.  Sadly, though, I think Fox is ok with that.   Unlike Paramount who went out of its way to make Iron Man something special, Fox seems content with just taking in the money it knows fans are gonna spend on the characters we love and know so much.  So, if the movie is acceptable…that’s good enough.  I disagree, I think this movie should have been the surprise of the Summer.  It should have had the Star Trek franchise backed against the wall just hoping that it could perform as well and get the buzz that Wolverine got.   Unfortunately, that won’t happen.  This movie will just fade into obscurity.  There’s just not much to talk about.

So in the end, I say this is an average movie.  Which is honestly more than I hoped for.  If you’re a huge Wolverine fan and can’t stand any descrepancies from the comic book franchise then…well, get a life…but you may also want to avoid the movie.  If you like a good action flick and you aren’t expecting Citizen Kane, you won’t be disappointed…but don’t expect to be blown away either.

Sigh, remember last Summer when we were excited EVERY weekend?  I miss that.

4 Responses to “I Miss Summer 2008 – X-Men Origins: Wolverine REVIEWED”

  1. SuperClerk Says:

    I have to agree with you on this one, Steve. I wasn’t looking forward to this flick at all after the abysmal X3 but found that this was a fun outing and better than X3 ever could be.
    But in the end it was average and I agree that I don’t think FOX cares. I think they stopped caring a long time ago. Sony is in the same boat or else we would have gotten a much better Spider-Man 3. They know they are getting the money… why put forth the effort.

  2. Linda W Says:

    My husband and I decided to wait for DVD – but I have to ask, was the comic series any good? I’ve been dying to read it before the movie, I just haven’t had the chance to order it yet.

  3. raj Says:

    Steve, my time machine to 2008 is almost ready. The only problem is i need some parts that aren’t going to be made til 2099.

    I remember last may, every weekend was a 10 in my movie going geek o meter. However, with Star trek, Terminator: Salvation kicking off the summer. Transformers going to take over in June, setting up Harry potter to take over the world (again) in july. And you got GI JOE in August.

    Along with the really surreal looking District 9 coming in near the end. It looks like Summer ’09 will still be Geek-Friendly.

    I think every geek, should consider this as the calm before the storm that is the next few years if Marvel’s time table prooves to be on schdule and reports that DC actually know what they are doing seem to be true.

    Take care My American Amiego

  4. smd Says:

    What’s so great about Iron Man, it’s my least favorite out of all the hero movies besides X-3 and Lee’s Hulk. I mean he was in the suit for like 10 minutes the whole movie, it should’ve been called Tony Stark:origins. Also you tell Wolverine fans to “get a life” if they don’t want to see the movie because of the changes. This from a grown man with a Star Wars room.

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