Tuesday, May 19, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Wolverine is currently one of Marvel's biggest characters, after starting out life as a bit player with the X-Men, he's now heading them up it seems in comic land. As far as I can gather, this is largely down to the success of the X-Men movies (which I'll cover in a separate post, probably all three on one post, which I've been meaning to do for AGES!).

Now, we have our first X-Men spin-off movie, and obviously they came out with their big hitter, Logan, Wolverine (I keep typing Wolverinie dammit). Now despite it coming off the back of the big X-Men trilogy, and still being a 20th Century Fox property rather than from the Marvel Studios like Iron Man, they still went for a more indie-esque director in Gavin Hood (of Tsotsi fame) and while I can see what they're trying to do, I don't think he was quite up to the task (compared to Jon Favreau's efforts on Iron Man!).

This IS (or supposed to be) the origin story of Wolverine, how he became who we see in the X-Men films. I have to say, not having read any of the Wolverine Origins, or Weapon X comics (currently reading the Old Man Logan storyline in Wolverine tho, AWESOME!) there were a few surprises in there, the length of time he's been about, his real name, bone claws?!? Fair enough. However one of the things that made Wolverine interesting was his LACK of backstory, nevermind, it was in the comics first I guess.

So in the film we see the process of the Adamantium bonding, his apparent reasons for having it done in the first place and a lot of roaring and running about with a snarly look on his face. For someone who's invested in his character as much as Hugh Jackman (producing this outing), and the fact this is his origin, it certainly felt like there was less to the character in this film than the X-Trilogy!

Liev Schrieber does lend a bit of gravitas to Victor Creed (Sabretooth, although he's never referred to as such), but the PG-13 friendly script loses some of the edge off the character.

Speaking of characters, X-M O:W is chock full of them and could pretty much do without most of them. It seems like they just wanted to throw in as many references as they could, ideally to characters as yet unused, such as the much loved Gambit, who was left out of the X-Trilogy for various reasons, yet crops up here as Gambit the MacGuffin, we also get Blob, for a comedy fight, John Wraith, for no real purpose, Bolt, for even less purpose, Agent Zero to die and a whole host of teen mutants, presumably setting up the X-Men: First Class movie that's in development (I could see Gambit being brought back in for that).

One character that definitly wasn't in it enough, was Wade Wilson, who is basically Deadpool (although not quite yet in the film), played by Ryan Reynolds, he OWNS the role and despite me not really getting into the character in the comics, I can't wait to see the announced Deadpool movie.

For an origin story of a major tortured hero, it severely lacks in depth and emotion, I made it all the way through, I kind of enjoyed the ride, it's an enjoyable romp around, a kids movie, but as regards any serious plotting or real character engagement... nope.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine - 6/10

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