X-men Origins: Wolverine review

I was ready to be disappointed by X-men Origins: Wolverine. The infamous workprint had broadcast the weak-sounding plot throughout the web, along with the fate of fan-favourite character Deadpool. Many of my worries were justified.

The finished product has some ropey dialogue and the occasional CGI touch that may as well be painted on. Likewise, some scenes, such as an entire subplot featuring the Blob, are simply embarrassing to watch. As if the final effects and that last-minute, fine-toothed comb edit were deemed a waste of money by clueless Hollywood executives after the complete non-event of the leak. Elsewhere, this is not Marvel's Wolverine nor is it the one from the earlier films. Following the Hollywood rule of good guys, this Wolvie isn't an anti-hero hard-ass, but rather a noble everyman whose claws remain unblooded.

All this is a real shame as – mainly, you suspect, due to Jackman's passion for the project – the film deserves much better. With-hold your fanboy-offence and its is a big, fun action film. Deadpool may not be what we wanted to see, but Reynold's interpretation is still a cool character, and Gambit and Sabretooth are well-handled (the latter's back story is satisfyingly altered to correct the trick Marvel missed with Origin, which will mean nothing to all you comics virgins). Wolverine's 100-plus year life is summarised efficiently and the plot, if unstructured, whips along at a satisfying pace. The cast is uniformally brilliant, with the mild exception of the Black-Eyed Peas' Will.I.Am who, despite doing his best, can't ever seem to convince that he isn't reading from a script. There are also some nice touches from the comics, such as the cameos from a proto-Emma Frost and Quicksilver, a teenage Cyclops and young Prof X, as well as details like Wolverine becoming heavier post-adamantium or Weapon X being “Roman numeral ten,” straight from comics-lore.

Overall, if you expect the film you had imagined, you'll be let down, not to mention your dreams of spin-offs will be pretty much pissed over. On the other hand, the piece is far from awful as a scifi/actioner, with good fight scenes and fun characters. We'd all like to see more Bryan Singer-style X1 and 2 brilliance; but if you, like me, thought X3 was at least enjoyable, then this is at least as good.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed it a lot, but I agree that Wolverine's character was dismantled a bit. But then I suppose the Wolverine we know is post-memory-loss. I think they failed miserably with Gambit - he had some cool moves and the actor could pull it off well, but the pathetic dialogue and camp acting put me off.

    The first twenty minutes were mesmerizing. But then as the film went on I realized it wasn't going to live up to its potential. The real reason I didn't like it in the end is that, like so many other films that should have been great, there was virtually no character development. The first 3 X-men films [granted there were three of them] really fleshed out the support characters and I felt empathy for them.

    The new supporting cast were strong in terms of casting but weak in terms of the X-men world and had some truly awful dialogue - I really didn't feel any sense of kinship between any two characters.

    If they'd just given us some background or a snippet of something to make us care about any of the characters except Wolverine then I'd have been happy.

    This from a non-comic book fan :)