X-Men Origins: Wolverine
is the first movie of the summer that fans can really get pumped about. Star Trek
doesn't come out until Friday. Terminator Salvation
is a little further down the line, and I'm already bracing my broom for the Hogwartz rush.
But Wolverine is ahead of the pack, so I was really revved up for the midnight showing over the weekend, wearing my blazing yellow spandex and scratching at the mutton chops that didn't quite grow in correctly. I accidentally jabbed at a couple of frat boys in the front row with my plastic claws while I was trying to get to my seat. But hey, no worries, when the previews started it was clear that I was the coolest cat in the theater. I could spear my popcorn with my adamantium claws to make pop-kabobs! Then, of course, the movie started, heralding the open gates of absolute fanboy Hell.
After what looked like a promising opening credit sequence, (Wolverine fighting his way through movies like Saving Private Ryan
) the movie unfurls its first in a long list of "WTF" moments. All of which are somewhat rooted in the mythos of the Marvel comics, but since none of them connect together, the movie just can't make up its mind on which origin it's going with.
The movie constantly is throwing up its hands and going, "Wait, no. Stop. That didn't happen. I'm sorry. Wolverine is only indestructible unless you hit him with adamantium bullets. Ha! You see. No. Wait. Adamantium bullets won't kill him because he heals really fast, but they can get into his brain and scramble up his memory, right. You with me?"
At first, "Wolverine" is a revenge story involving brothers Wolverine (Hugh Jackman
, gloriously pumped) and Sabertooth (Liev Schreiber
, gloriously cloaked in a big black jacket) who have a falling out. Sabertooth acts out his vengeance on Wolverine's love, Kayla Silverfox. Nevermind that the new Sabertooth has absolutely no connection with the Sabertooth of the previous films who never talked and wore pimp fur. But, as will happen several times in this film, the movie switches tracks to become a military conspiracy plot about mutants (several thousand of them, in fact) and an island where they perform gruesome experiments.
These track changes happen when the prior plot has hit a wall and can't go anywhere. Like when Colonel Stryker confesses that Victor, or Sabertooth 2.0, has gone rogue and now Wolverine must become indestructible to stop him. Then, literally in the next scene, decides to double cross his new indestructible agent so Wolverine goes rogue too. So Colonel Stryker is trying to stop his rogue super mutant from killing his other rogue super mutant before either of them can kill him. This plot is noticeably convoluted, so revisions occur in real-time.
There isn't much drama in "Wolverine" because it's difficult to care about anybody when they have no clear motivation or cause. The amazing special effects might have helped, except none of them are amazing at all. There are scenes where my plastic stick claws would put Hugh Jackman's cartoon knives to shame. And what might have been a spectacular ending revelation is actually killed by shoddy CGI, and some really horrendous blue screen effects.
Along the way, there are some neat action sequences and some notable cameos by characters like The Blob, Deadpool, and Gambit. And the overall cheesiness of its plot can make for a great laugh, if I weren't decked out in my own Wolverine wannabe suit. There is actually a mutant who turns into diamonds! That's her power. Diamonds. It's both horrendously funny, and extremely sad at the same time. Just like me sitting alone in the theater after the show, my spandex riding up, itching, and my head held somberly in my hands. It's funny, you know. But not.
Story by Eric Jones
Starpulse contributing writer