Written by: Big Ross, CC2K Staff Writer
I have no doubt that X-Men Origins: Wolverine will rule the box office this weekend. I am also willing to bet that ticket sales are going to drop off significantly after the first weekend once word-of-mouth spreads just how bad this movie is. Are we talking X-Men: The Last Stand bad? I hate to say it, because I really wanted Wolverine to redeem the turd Brett Ratner, et al. dropped with that movie, but I have to. Wolverine may not be worse than X3, but damn if it doesn't come in at a close second in the competition for worst installment of the franchise.
There are so many things wrong with this movie that I'm not sure where to begin and just what I can and can't talk about to keep this review SPOILER free. The plot is so convoluted and full of holes and inconsistencies that it's just one big mess that I challenge you not to scratch your head in confusion over while viewing it. I have multiple complaints that fall in this category, but so many of them would constitute SPOILERS were I to talk about them, I simply have to leave it at that until discussion opens in the forums after this review goes live.
As maybe one example of this, the timeline of Wolverine is just…well…wonky. I don't think it's a SPOILER to tell you that Logan and Victor Creed/Sabretooth are both recruited by William Stryker during the Vietnam War. Let's say in the year 1975. Leaving out specifics, there's a fast-forward in the film where much of the plot takes place six years later, so let's say 1981. If you've seen the trailers or read any of the hype for this movie, you know that a young Scott Summers/Cyclops makes an appearance, as does Remy LeBeau/Gambit. I'd guess Summers is around 16 in this movie, and Gambit is in his early 20's. If you then jump ahead to the time of the other X-Men films, that puts Summers somewhere in the ball park of being in his late 30's and early 40's. That's nearly a decade older than James Marsden when he portrayed Summers in the movies. Plus, if another X-Men movie is made that is set in present day, if Gambit is to be included he'd have to be near 50 in order to have everything make sense. That's just weird, right?
Let's talk about the cast of supporting characters in this film. Wolverine features name actors in minor roles (see Will.I.Am. as John Wraith/Kestrel and Dominic (Pippin from LOTR) Monaghan as Chris Bradley/Bolt) who seem to be there for no other reason than to add "star power" and/or make this movie more appealing to all those young, hip BEP fans. Yet for all you X-Men comics faithful, just because you recognize the names of some of these characters, don't expect to be happy about seeing them. Liberties have been taken, details have been changed, and not all of them for the better. Monaghan's character seems like a rip-off of the Soul Glow kid from Heroes, and I'm not going to get into specifics about what was done to Wade Wilson/Deadpool (played by Ryan Renolds), but I'm betting you're not going to like it. Plus Will.I.Am's "performance" (I use that term loosely here) sucks big 'ol donkey balls. The few bright spots in Wolverine are Lynn Collins as Kayla Silverfox, mainly because she's really hot, and Liev Schreiber as Victor Creed/Sabretooth, who just fucking nails this character. I mean, if you didn't like Sabretooth in X-Men, Schreiber will wipe that bad taste from your mouth like pickled ginger.
Other than that, what can I tell you to convince you of the horrible truth that Wolverine just isn't very good, without dropping SPOILERS on you? There are several one-liner style attempts at comedy relief, and one scene of physical comedy that all fell pretty flat with the audience at the screening I attended, myself included. There were times when members of the audience laughed, but I'm pretty sure these weren't intended by the film makers. And there are at least two moments in the film that are related, and they produced audible, inarticulate WTF? moments amongst the viewers. They were just fucking ridiculous. I can't tell you about them, but I really want to. Allow me to do this. I'm going to state it plainly, in INVISO-TEXT, and you can read it if you want, but only if you don't care about SPOILERS. Highlight the area below if you want to read it:
Two words: Adamantium. Bullets.
If you read that SPOILER and don't think it's cause for alarm, just wait until you see the movie. I'm willing to bet eyes will roll and heels of hands will slap foreheads when the scenes involving that SPOILERIFIC detail come along.
In the end, the biggest reason I was disappointed with Wolverine is, as I said, that I had high hopes for this movie. I think we all agree the third film was downright terrible. I really wanted Wolverine to be good. I wanted this movie to at least reach for if not actually attain the level of quality that Bryan Singer gave us with X2. Sadly, Wolverine falls far short. Truth be told I think the quality of the origin story of Wolverine explored in the X-Men cartoon series of the '90s was superior to what we get in this film. You may not agree with me, and in that case I have only one more thing to say.
Meet me in the forums, bub.
One last bit of advice: Marvel has continued their trend of adding an extra scene at the end of the credits, so you may want to stick around after Wolverine to see it (though I found it so disappointing as to be a waste of time).