Friday, May 1, 2009

Wolverine: All Bark, Little Bite? Or Scratch? ::Some SPOILERS::

Let me start off by saying I didn't despise this movie. Quite the contrary, I actually liked it--to an extent. I liked it in much the same way I like Michael Bay films: they're flashy and mind-numbingly fun, but with little substance. X-Men Origins: Wolverine, on the other hand, had a bit (and I stress "bit") more substance, but a little less flash. Or the flash wasn't done as well, whichever you prefer.

Now, I was never an X-Men fanboy. Sure, I loved the cartoons growing up, but I didn't have an X-Men comic collection. I knew some of the basics, just not all. There are characters I know like the back of my hand, there are some I'm aware of but haven't gotten the formal introduction I'd prefer, and there are some that, when they pop up on screen, I'm left scratching my head in confusion. Wolverine, like with most people, falls into the first category, someone like Deadpool falls into the second, and someone like Agent Zero, the third. This has both it's advantages and disadvantages.

For the fans/fanboys/fangirls, the biggest problem arises: when the writers butcher a character that is beloved, blood will be shed. But for the general viewing audience who just wants a summer blockbuster, a lot of 'em won't know the changes that were made. I think it's gonna go like this: the bigger the fan you were or the X-Men of old, the more you're going to be disappointed in this film. If you know nothing about X-Men, you might STILL be disappointed, but your reasons for being so will be far less.

Because I don't know all of the characters' histories, I can't vouch for some of the butchery jobs that took place. Still, I've read enough gripes on the intranets to know it did happen: be forewarned. From what I could tell, even the characters with places close to our heart don't survived unscathed (i.e. Wolverine, Sabretooth, etc.). There are details that changed for the characters, but again, the more you know, the more you'll notice, the more you'll be let down.

So the official verdict on the characters: no one is going to be satisfied with the liberties they've taken. Even if you don't know some of 'em, there are still moments that are cringe-worthy.
The actors are kind of hit and miss. There's a line-up that, by normal standards, is quite impressive. Obviously, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine was an obvious choice from the trilogy, and really, it's a perfect match. Jackman IS Wolverine. What's more, Jackman is Wolverine and he's actually a decent actor. He, along with Liev, helps hold this movie together.

And yes, there's Liev Schreiber as Victor Creed, aka Sabretooth (who never inherits this name throughout the movie)(always a Victor, never a Sabre). He plays a much different role than Tyler Mane's portrayal in the first X-Men. He TALKS, for one. There's some history involved, as well. Liev pulled the character which could have been pure viciousness into realm of believability and something like "humanity", for lack of a better word.

Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool was alright. The character for Deadpool was one of the butchered, but still, when he showed up on screen, in our theater, there was a fanboy who wouldn't stop yelling "Deadpool, you fuckin' rock! Whoooo!" And then he disappears after 20 minutes. And then he shows up at the end. And he's butchered (er...yeah). He was cool to watch, but a little lacking in the flavor department. Also, Ryan Reynolds once again = Van Wilder. Just an FYI.

Dominic Monaghan, of whom I'm a massive fan, was underused but, as his character was completely unknown to me, what more could I expect. He played his part decently, for what it was. Danny Huston as Stryker was...yeah. I enjoy the actor, but in this role he was kind of meh. The list could go on. The actors (sans Hugh and Liev) were, for the most part, kind of coasting through their parts.

The special effects. Yeah. Let's just say there were points when they were less-than-special. There were some cool action sequences, to be sure. But it feels like many of them were thrown in just because. And maybe they were, cause it also appears as if some of them were last minute additions that maybe the budget didn't completely allow for. In other words, the CG was less than stellar in a few places.

So yeah, Wolverine, I felt, still kicks ass, but his movie, not so much. It's flashy and entertaining on a "holy shit, lets see what kind of crazy effects and action sequences we get" level, but as a quality movie, it's a bit lacking. Here is the rub, tho. For all of it's flaws, I still enjoyed it. I definitely liked it better than X3, and I possibly liked it better than X-Men. But let me be clear, it's a different kind of like. X-Men and X2 had a quality and a flash factor to them. They were more all-around good films. This is more of a fun film just for a bit of gooey-brain entertainment (like Michael Bay, with worse special effects).

I can't say whether I recommend X-Men Origins: Wolverine or not. Each person will be different. This is actually one of those movies where reading my thoughts on the film could make or break the experience for some people.

I give it a 5.5/10, but not because it's GOOD, but because it's FUN. Remember, disappointment will be had. Even I was bummed about how they handled some of the characters.

Wolverine IMDb

Updated: I changed my score from 7/10 to 5.5/10.

No comments: