Saturday, May 02, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Film: X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
Dir: Gavin Hood
Rating: ** out of 5 stars

Just when I thought Hollywood couldn't bastardize the X-Men franchise any more, along came this film. The story is lame, Wolverine is a pussy, the visual FX are terrible, and the film completely botches Marvel icons like Deadpool and Gambit. The 2-star rating is generous, as the film has very few redeeming qualities.

The movie begins with young James "Logan" Howlett losing both his real father and adoptive father and then running away with his brother, Victor. The two mutants - who both have the gift of regeneration - live for hundreds of years. Over time, Victor becomes reckless and cruel, getting both brothers into trouble. Since they cannot be executed, they end up in prison until Major William Stryker recruits them for his elite Team X. After a bloody mercenary mission, Logan walks away from the gig and settles into a normal life.

His peace is shattered when his girlfriend Kayla turns up brutally murdered. He sets out to find the culprit - Victor (or Sabretooth as you know him) - to get his revenge. He also goes after Stryker, who is trying to use Logan and other mutants to engineer an ultimate weapon. In his quest of revenge, Wolvie encounters some famous X-Men characters, such as Gambit, Blob, Cyclops, and Deadpool. We see how Wolverine got his name and that Adamantium skeleton through the Weapon X program.

I'll begin with what little I liked about this movie. I liked the opening credits, where Logan and Victor fight in the American Civil War, WWI & II, and Vietnam, and Victor becomes increasingly more brutal. I liked Liev Schreiber, even if his character was occasionally inaccurate (the claws don't grow on command, dammit!). He was unexpected casting choice, but he did a good job. Danny Huston is also good (duh) as Stryker. He plays the best bastards, doesn't he?

Now for the awful: Wolverine himself is boring and a weenie; most of the visual FX look like pure shit, most notably a shot of the metal claws which could've easily been a prop but instead are horrible CGI; Gambit is a shit actor with hardly any accent, and has ridiculous powers that he never truly had; and Deadpool...oh my god Deadpool...he shoots lasers out of his eyes. 'Nuff said.

I don't know how much Gavin Hood is to blame for this travesty versus Twentieth Century Fox, who of couse have a reputation for fucking things up. No wonder they were so pissed off when the film leaked online - there was plenty of time for word to spread about how much the movie blows. I wish somebody could get the X-Men film rights out of their greedy hands, but sadly, it looks like they'll just keep churning out one horrible spin-off after another. I weep for the future of cinema.