Entertainment Today and Beyond

Never Met a Zombi I Didn’t Like…

X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE scores at box-office but the film is anything but a winner

wolverine-brothers1Considering over a million people downloaded a stolen work print copy of Fox’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine over the last month, and the film itself opened to a majority of negative reviews, the studio has to be pretty elated that it pulled in $85 million at the box-office getting the unofficial summer movie season off to flying start. Still, when all is said and done, I expect the film to suffer one of the biggest week to week falloffs in ticket-sales ever as word of mouth will not be good and, in many circles, absolutely toxic. 

When it comes to my superhero’s I’m pretty plain vanilla – you know, a Batman, Superman and Spiderman type of guy. While I’m not an avid comic book reader and my history of the X-Men has been restricted to the first three X-Men films in the franchise (Yes, I did enjoy all of them including X-Men 3), I think director Gavin Hood (Tsotsi) delivered a fairly embarrassing product with this new film. Much of this Wolverine film had me shaking my head over how ridiculous it is – the operative word that comes to mind is just plain silly. In many ways it feels like the classic Hollywood Bomb; overblown, uninspired and totally empty at its core. I honestly couldn’t help thinking of Superman IV: Quest for Peace as I watched this film, as that too featured a likeable actor (Christopher Reeve) in a signature role, stuck in a subpar product – despite the fact that he tried his hardest to make it anything but.

While Hugh Jackman is fine as Logan/Wolverine, the thinly scripted revenge story with his character mixing it up with both his brother Victor Creed/ Sabretooth (Liev Schreiber who does the best he can with the material), and a Government suit running a special military task force (Danny Huston) is ridiculous. The ‘plot’ to first make Logan indestructible and then almost immediately have the government try to kill him off comes off as totally cheesy and stupid. It is a calculated and predictable plot device to create a series of strung together action sequences that never equal a real flesh and blood story. Huston’s character, William Stryker, is one of the biggest problems. He’s written as an over the top cliché who could only exist in a cartoon world. Many of his actions in the story I found outright laughable.

Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson/Dead Pool and Taylor Kitsch as Gambit showed a ton of potential but their characters amount to little more than extended cameos, which I found very deflating. After disappearing for much of the movie, Reynolds shows up at the film’s end as something totally different, yet another flaw that  puts the film into pure bomb territory. I found his fight scene with Wolverine ridiculously staged and pretty pathetic. Director Hood, working with a reported budget of $140 million dollars (down from the $210 million of X-Men 3), seems in a bit over his head with some of the CGI just plain unacceptable and the action scenes shaky at best. Unfortunately, it appears there was no real direction on the final script as the story is weak, uninspired and all over the place. Characters are not fleshed out, they come and go with no rhyme or reason and, at the end of the day, X Men Origins: Wolverine is a major disappointment and a borderline embarrassment.

I give it 1.5 zombies out of 5. Not the way the summer movie season should have started.

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May 5, 2009 - Posted by | Reviews |

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