PaulRom Reviews: X-Men Origins: Wolverine
In my first review of the X-Men franchise, I take on what's commonly considered the worst of the series (and usually considered one of the worst in the genre). Is it really as bad as everyone made it out to be? Hit the jump for my review on the film...
Ah, yes. X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Whenever the average fan boy hears the name, they freak out in horror of the film. Origins is up there with Catwoman, Batman & Robin, Spider-Man 3, etc. as one of the worst comic book films of all time. It derailed the entire X-Men franchise from what it was originally - a well-grounded franchise where the first two installments were some of the best CBMs ever. But is Wolverine really THAT bad? I don't really think so.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine is the first prequel to the highly successful X-Men trilogy, centering on the most recognizable character of the X-Men world, Wolverine (he really had most of the spotlight in all the films, anyways), as he's fighting for vengeance against his brother and his having adamantium fused into his skeleton (including his ever-so-popular claws). He teams up with Gambit, the random will.i.am guy who has Nightcrawler's powers, and others in his search for vengeance.
Perhaps the biggest flaw within the film is the script. Some of the things that happened didn't make a lot of sense, such as Silver Fox's 'death'. Wolverine seeking vengeance for her 'death' is pretty much the plot of the entire film, and when it was revealed that she was alive the whole time, it more or less defeated the entire purpose of Logan's actions in most of the film. Then they killed her off at the very end for real, which made things even more odd. Was her being kept alive til the film's end really necessary?
Another MAJOR flaw within the film was the usage of Deadpool/Wade Wilson in the film. Ryan Reynolds was great as Wilson, but around the end of the film where they transformed him into some kind of....zombie, that's when things were messed up. I can tell you right off the bat that the Origins version of Deadpool is NOT Deadpool. Pretty sure thats something that every comic fan can thoroughly agree on.
Yet another obvious flaw is the lack of character development (which seems to be a problem with the other X-films). The dude who's played by will.i.am is forgettable enough, and I'm personally glad that Sabretooth snapped his spine. The backgrounds of him and Gambit, among other characters, are ones I would've liked to see be more developed in the film. Other characters, such as Blob and Emma Frost (speaking of which, I won't get into the continuity debate in this review; it can be expanded into the comments however), weren't really needed in this story, IMO.
Regardless of the film's (many) flaws, the cast was mostly solid. Hugh Jackman was yet again perfect as the title character, and I find it impossible to see someone else donning the claws. Leiv Schrieber is very good as Sabretooth/Victor Creed, doing a far better job than Tyler Mane's atrocious version in 2000's X-Men. The aforementioned Reynolds was also solid as Wade Wilson, while cameos from Cyclops, Professor X, etc. are very nice easter eggs.
In the end, however, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is full of mediocre waves (mostly within the script; I thought the action was excellent), but it works well as a mindless action thriller. While it's nowhere near as good as Bryan Singer's films that made the franchise good, it's at least (for the most part) an improvement over Brett Ratner's film, The Last Stand (reviews on all three films will be posted within the coming weeks). Hopefully with the success of Matthew Vaughn's First Class, the franchise will be revived from its mediocrity and become what it once was - one of the best franchises in CBM history.
I rate X-Men Origins: Wolverine 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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