For the week of 5/5/09
Origins: Wolverine’ fun for the dedicated, but falls short of classic
(These articles have also been published at www.fuelltothefire.com )
| Any comic book fan past or present that has
paid any attention at all will tell you that the X Films have all seemed
to do more than a fair share of focus on a certain claw wielding mutant.
Understandably, some rolled their eyes when learning of a movie that is
just for him because how much more do we need to know about the super healing
Yet, being my favorite character on the team and with only glimpses of his metal beginnings, I was willing to see how they would reveal his cloudy past. For the most part I was pleased as well as entertained, but as with many prequels to successful films, some conflict with continuity was introduced. There also were some shortcuts taken with the quality of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” which may be fixed with DVD release, but won’t help create returning ticket sales.
Wolvie starts out being a military man, finds a team he can relate with and then true to fashion finds they don’t fit his loner persona. In this version, I am happy to see more of a down and dirty conflict between Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and Sabretooth (Liev Schreiber), but I was not expecting them to have a literal blood connection.
However, a childhood borne introduction does make the hatred all that more deep, but almost makes the confrontation in the first X-Men movie all that more empty (Logan’s loss of memories helps explain his half, but leaves open why Sabretooth only treats him as a mere obstacle in the first film). Our clawed hero is also much older than originally thought and enters the Weapon X Program more out of revenge than in line with other origin stories. Yet, characters for the most part fit their roles and even William Striker (Danny Huston) and Gambit (Taylor Kitsch) fit in when they need to (though the Cajun accent could use more work).
I felt it was a nice tribute to the fans, but something that could have used a bit more tweaking and discussions before release. The movie is appropriate for most ages, but may be a bit too violent for the pre-teen crowd.
As a standalone movie I recommend it for a good popcorn flick, but only the hardcore will want to add it to their collection. It does the job at least of kicking off the summer movie season and is nowhere near as foreboding as some of the usual crap that floods the box-office. For letting me see the attitude that slices and dices at least one more time I give “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” three and a half out of five bubs.
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