Friday, June 5, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine Review


Long have we come from the cold steel blade of Excalibur. In coming so far however, the question becomes, have we really progressed? Impressive effects are well and good, but if there’s no humanity behind the steel, what’s the point in the fight? Behind Wolverine’s fisted blades lies a semi-interesting back-story overshadowed by a producers more than obvious grasp at future cash-cow prospects.

Wolverine is an origin story, tracing the childhood and life of Hugh Jackman’s Logan to the point where he is transformed into an indestructible metallic fighting machine. The back-story begins interestingly enough, giving some insight into the detached man Logan grows to be. Logan escapes his conflicting childhood with his brother and the film flashes forward to a montage of them fighting side by side in the Civil War, and every war thereafter. Next thing you know, the human story dissipates and the final two-thirds of the film becomes one mindless action scene after another. Jackman plays the tough guy role well, delivering fan boy niche one-liners in explosion after explosion.

As great as the effects may be, we have recently been spoiled by learning that the comic book film only truly succeeds in the realm of well developed, complex characters. Without allowing its characters to flourish, sadly, Wolverine falls flat in comparison to the recent Iron Man, Dark Knight, and Watchmen films. We’ve seen Wolverine before, and this film seems all too familiar, detracting from the original X-Men trilogy in which Jackman first donned the characters trademark blades. Wolverine seems contrived, more of a vehicle by which to introduce new characters and test possible future film franchises. Marvel characters like Deadpool and Gambit make quick, all be them random appearances in the film, overtly obvious inserts aimed at testing the fan boy waters. When a movie like Wolverine insults the intelligence of its audience, it not only fails as a film, but also sadly detracts from the original films and source material that are so beloved by many, myself included.

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