UPDATE: SO AFTER WEEKS OF DENYING IT AND SAYING THERE IS OVER TEN MINUTES OF UNSEEN FOOTAGE, NEW EFFECTS AND SO FORTH THE TRUTH COMES OUT. THE WORKPRINT VERSION OF WOLVERINE IS EXACTLY LIKE THE FINAL VERSION ONLY WITH FINISHED EFFECTS. REPORTS ARE STREAMING IN FROM EVERYWHERE ABOUT HOW THERE IS NO DIFFERENT AND THE FINISHED CGI LOOKS LIKE ASS!!
WITH THAT IN MIND TAKE A MINUTE TO RE-READ MY REVIEW BEFORE YOU SEE THIS ON MAY 1ST.
So after watching the movie twice I have decided to throw my hat into the ring with a review of X Men Origins: Wolverine. First of all I know it’s an unfinished copy, I can tell from both the unfinished effects on screen and the hysterical screeches of a panicked movie company. However trust me when I say that’s a huge smoke screen because there are not enough re-shoots in the world to save this movie. Fox can say what they want but this is the finished movie minus some tweaks and maybe an attempt to save the ending. All of which feels like a band-aid on a bullet wound.
If you want an understanding of what the Wolverine movie is like just look at the title: X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The title is clunky, doesn’t flow at all and fails at trying to do too much, exactly like the film. This is a rushed, badly written movie that has no idea what it wants to be so it tries to be everything. I’m not sure if it was Fox or Marvel who decided that throwing in random mutants for guest spots was a good idea but these cameos do more to sink the film than anything else.
Wolverine should have been a movie based on Frank Miller’s original 4-part mini-series. It should have been a dark, violent film based in Japan where Wolverine (aka Logan) has to face ninjas, samurai and his own dark past. There is no reason to try and do a film that gives us some definitive story to Wolverine’s past, especially when it’s slapped together like this hunk of shit. It largely feels as if there was no script and that the entire crew decided it would be easier to make it up as they went along instead of bothering with silly details like character development or dialog.
The movie opens with Logan as a sickly youngster in the 1900s. His only friend is a boy who works for his rich father. Through a course of circumstances that are rushed and badly handled Logan realizes he has claws, kills a man and escape into the night with this boy who turns out to be not only Sabertooth but also Logan’s brother.
Cut to the opening credits, which are shown over excessive flashbacks of the two brothers fighting in various wars and learning about their mutant powers. This could have been cool except that it feels more like a “If you’re just joining us” part and it goes on way too long. The movie then jumps to Sabertooth and Logan joining Colonel William Stryker’s team of mutants under the idea that they will be serving and protecting their country. Almost before it begins you know that Logan won’ t like this team and that’ll the central plot of the movie.
The Mutants on the team are Logan, Sabertooth, The Blob, Agent Zero, Deadpool and John Wraith. The mutants are one-dimensional characters that are there simply for “cool factor” and to allow the special effects people to go nuts. After one really harsh mission Logan walks away and moves to Colorado to become a logger. When we see him he’s married and living this perfect life. No explanation of how it happened it just is. One day Stryker visits saying that the team is being picked off and will Logan help find the guy doing it. GASP he refuses but becomes forced into action when his wife is murdered.
Between there and the end we are treated to a clunky sub-plot involving a teenage Cyclops, Wolverine getting is adamantium skeleton and the death of the other mutants on the team. We also get the character of Gambit forced on us. Not only is Gambit a lame character but also he has no place in the movie. When you hear why he’s involved you literally can’t believe the lack of grace by which he’s forced on us.
The Wolverine adamantium thing is by far the worst slap to the character in the whole movie. In the comics Wolverine is kidnapped by Weapon X and forced into the adamantium experiment. In the movie he volunteers for it and asks that his new name be “Wolverine”. He still has all his memories and doesn’t lose those until the unbelievably bad ending. Why do that?
Wolverine just blunders from one scene to the next with absolutely zero flow. For instance there is a scene when Sabertooth is taking out a mutant named Beak (played by Dominic Monaghan) and during this entire scene you’re wondering who this guy is because the big death scene is the first time you ever see him. The “twist” at the end makes no sense and didn’t need to be in the film. The movie also fails to give any of the other mutants a personality or depths so when they die you don’t really care.
As for what’s done with Deadpool, I don’t give two fucks if this spoils the film because nobody should be seeing it anyway. Deadpool is in the movie at the very beginning played in that same “Hey ain’t I a funny guy” way that Ryan Reynolds plays EVERY PART HE’S EVER IN!! Then Deadpool is gone until the end where he is revealed as this super weapon. He shoots lasers from his eyes, has tribal tattoos and his swords now shoot out of his hands like Logan’s claws. Yeah, I’m not shitting you; it’s that fucking stupid.
Outside of all the new problems with the movie the same issues still exist with Jackman’s Wolverine. He’s balless, totally devoid of that psychopathic dark side that makes the character so wonderful. Sabertooth also fails to work almost instantly and that’s fully a casting issue. Liev Schrieber is a great actor but he isn’t Sabertooth. It would be like casting Steve Carell to play Arnold Schwarzenegger in a Commando re-make. You never ever on any level at all believe Schrieber is a menace. With that gone the central conflict of the film evaporates and boredom once again sets in.
While Wolverine isn’t the colossal blunder that The Spirit was it isn’t nearly as good as Punisher: Warzone and that’s saying something. Punisher was stupid but at least it had some kind of rhythm to it, some kind of feel that there was a script involved albeit a bad one. Wolverine feels more like those in charge shot a bunch of cool action sequences and then hastily wrote a bunch of scenes to lead into them. Re-shoots or not the filmmakers have managed to do the one thing nobody else has: