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Sunday, May 3, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine - review

Wolverinie promo image [click to enlarge]

If you're one of those antsy MFers that likes to rush out of the theater as soon as you see a black screen and some white letters, then I want to warn you that there is an extra scene shortly after the end credits start and another at the very end of the end credits.

Did I like this movie? Yeah. Overall, I thought it was good but not great.  It has the unfortunate disadvantage of being a prequel. For example, you know that Wolverine isn't going to kill Victor aka Sabretooth since we see Sabretooth at the beginning of the first X-Men movie. The other issue is that this movie was so heavily promoted both on TV and online, that I think I'd seen most of it already. I mean, they made a big deal about a leak a few weeks back, but I think they had intentionally leaked most of it in pieces themselves.

Before I get into the spoiler section of my review, I want to give a quick shout out to three of the cast members. There were two LOSTies in the movie - Dominic Monaghan ('Charlie' on LOST) played Chris Bradley, and Kevin Durand ('Keamy' on LOST) played Fred Dukes aka the Blob. Lynn Collins, who plays the foxy Kayla Silverfox, was 'Dawn Green,' one of the unfortunate victims during season one of True Blood.

And now, SPOILERS after the image.

[click to enlarge]

Last night when I was leaving the theater, I found myself comparing this movie to an episode of Heroes. Now, I love Heroes, but I know that if Peter or Sylar isn't in this Monday's episode or only has a few minutes of screen time, that's fine because they'll be another episode next Monday and the Monday after that to allow their stories to play out. But for Wolverine this poses a problem. There were too many characters and not enough time to feature them all. For example, if you went to the movie as a Ryan Reynolds fan, then you're going to be disappointed. He was great for his 10 minutes of the movie.

I was disappointed that the team split up so quickly after the hunt for the adamantium meteorite fragments began. It would have been nice to see this team in action more. The best parts, since they hadn't already been featured online or on TV trailers, were getting to see Agent Zero and Bradley in action. Although it wasn't explained, you get the idea that Agent Zero was an excellent marksmen with zero misses and that Bradley could control machines or anything that runs on electricity.

[click to enlarge]

Skipping towards the end – I thought that the revelation that Silverfox was still alive and that her sister, Emma Frost, was being held to force her to play dead, thus manipulating Wolverine was unnecessary. Yeah, it kept Stryker alive since he needed to be for the first X-Men movie, but I thought it would have been more in Sabretooth's nature if she had really been dead.

Then there's the big fight with Weapon XI versus Wolverine (with a last minute assist from Sabretooth). It had been rumored that Wade aka Deadpool had been killed before Sabretooth offed Bradley, but then it's revealed that he's being used as Weapon XI. I kept waiting for Wolverine to slice open Weapon XI's mouth so that he could regain the ability to speak. If he could wise-crack again, there's a chance his personality could have broken through and he could have overcome Stryker's control. Instead, it seems that all those rumors about a Ryan Reynolds/Deadpool centered movie aren't going to come to pass since Wolverine decapitated him. That was disappointing.

And then how does Wolverine lose his memories? Was it part of the Weapon X experiment? No. It was two adamantium bullets to the brain because some lab assistant told us that although his brain would heal his memories would not. Seriously?

At the end of the movie, I wasn't excited. I didn't immediately want to come home and watch X-Men to pick up where Wolverine left off. I was actually thinking about how cheesy Patrick Stewart's make-up was since they brought him in at the end as Professor X to rescue all of the escaped young mutants. Or instead of make-up, was that a CGI effect to make him look younger? Or was that a completely CGI Patrick Stewart?? I don't even know.

Surprisingly, when the credits began rolling, there were quite a few people that stayed in their seats. The first scene we get to see is Stryker being found by the military after walking for a really long time as "suggested" to him by Silverfox. After that first bonus scene everyone was still sitting, which gave me some confidence that maybe there was something really good and juicy at the end of the credits. Well, not really. The second scene depicts Logan/Wolverine sitting in a bar. The Asian female bartender asks if he is drinking to forget, and he replies that he is drinking to remember. That's it. Really? What did that add?

More images like the ones used above can be found at Comic Book Resources: Stills, More Stills.