As part of my continued perks with living with someone who works at Raven Software, I got to go see Wolverine yesterday for free. The company rented the entire theater for the event since they put out a game based on the movie, and every employee could bring one friend or family member to see it. I didn’t have high hopes for the movie (or the game for that matter, but I’ll talk about the game in a different review), and it didn’t really disappoint in that respect.
Having a movie on the origins of the various X-Men characters is not a bad idea. The movies themselves really didn’t go into origin stories that much (outside of a couple) and really that was never the point of the comic when the characters first came on board either. And starting with Wolverine was also a really good idea as well, he had a really deep and complicated back story that would work really well on the big screen.
I was really excited for the concept of the movie until I heard that Gambit was going to be in it. At that point, I sat and said “wait, how exactly does Gambit fit in with Wolverine’s back story?” And the answer to that question is exactly what I thought, any way they can get a popular character crammed in is how. He didn’t, and what is worse in the case of Gambit is they gave him more special abilities that he never really had and then gave him a part in the movie that was extremely confusing (I don’t understand the fight scene involving him Sabretooth and Wolverine whatsoever). I think the point of this is ironic though, and really goes through the rest of the movie. They crammed Gambit into this movie to get comic book followers excited and in so doing, they completely revolted them. It didn’t help that the actor playing Gambit was all wrong and wasn’t even close to the accent, but those were minor quibbles, he shouldn’t have been there in the first place.
It is also a sad point when there were so many points in the movie where you just couldn’t help but laugh because it was just so over the top. Now granted, Wolverine always was a bit over the top and cheeky, but the extremes here was ridiculous. Especially the last fight scenes in the movie, it was just dumb. One of their big advertisements of Wolverine flying up from his motorcycle onto a helicopter and taking it down. I laughed and I’m not sure that this is the reaction the directors were going for. I knew that was a bad idea from the commercials, it looked dumb, it was. Why didn’t any of the creators or Marvel themselves step in and go like “uhh guys? That’s lame.”
Another complain I had was that even though I have always enjoyed the random appearances of X-men alumni in the X-Men universe being put into the background of the movies, they weren’t choosing the right characters here and often were using them incorrectly. In addition to misusing Gambit, they misused Emma Frost (who apparently was implanted with the ability to grow diamond skin), and certainly Deadpool which was completely awful. They also made cheeky roles for some like the return of Cyclops which just had no place at all and was dumb that they made him such a big role in this film. I understand the want for cameos guys, but find someone who actually fits the role that you are aiming for instead of just completely changing existing stories, abilities and time lines to fit a really bad movie.
The effects in the movie were not great either which was actually kind of surprising considering that is what these movies are usually best at. Wolverine’s claws actually looked worse in this movie than they did in the original X-Men movie nearly ten years ago. There goes the thought that we had better technology these days.
The main things that I think were positive about this movie was that I do think Hugh Jackman makes for a perfect Wolverine and it is nice to see him return in the role, similarly I was actually surprised at how well Liev Schreiber did in the role of Sabretooth. Sure he was a good two feet too short for the role, but he fit well and it was pretty well acted at that. Another extremely positive note was Ryan Reynolds portrayal of Deadpool which was spot on, now they completely ruined the character but that wasn’t his fault. It gives me hope that perhaps there could be a movie for this lesser known character who could hold one very easily and that they already found his leading role.
My biggest hope coming out of this movie is that it doesn’t spell the end for future X-Men and even Wolverine movies and that this one can be completely forgotten about as other really bad comic book movies have been in the past. It was too bad they made it the way that they did because it was really unfair to the story, the characters, the actors, and the fans that this had to happen.
Overall, I give the movie a D. Worth seeing in the cheap theaters if you need a theater viewing, otherwise don’t by it… put it on your netflix queue low in the list. You aren’t missing a lot but it has some moments at least. Worth watching only for Ryan Reynolds.