In lieu of seeing “Hair” at Theatre Cedar Rapids (which got a rave review from the Cedar Rapids Gazette) my mother and I saw “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” today. I wasn’t expecting it to be brilliant after reading A.O. Scott’s rather unenthusiastic review in yesterday’s New York Times, but I was hoping it would be worth the $6.50 admission price.
I’ve seen better superhero films (e.g. the first two “X-Men” films, “Spider-Man 2,” “Iron Man,” “Hellboy” and “Hellboy 2: The Golden Army.”), but I’ve also seen worse (e.g. “Superman Returns,” “Spider-man,” “Spider-Man 3,” “The Dark Knight.”).
As the title suggests, this is an origins film and in some ways resembles the series “Origin”. But not enough that I can make comparisons.
First of all, yes, I see the Shakespearean similarities in Victor Creed, a.k.a. Sabretooth.
Second of all, the special effects in this suck for the most part. Although, during the opening sequence where we see Wolverine/Logan (Hugh Jackman) and Victor (Liev Schreiber) (who are brothers, and Sabretooth is not his brother. I could make a comment that would interest no one, but…) fighting in major conflicts, I’m not sure if the terrible special effects are to make it seem like an opening sequence, or if that wasn’t intended. By terrible, I mean that they scream out “THIS IS COMPUTER GENERATED!”
Although, a fight scene on top of a cooling tower on Three Mile Island is pretty cool.
Third, this film has terrible timeline issues. Logan and Victor are “executed” during the Vietnam War. They survive and Col. William Stryker (an excellent Danny Houston) recruits them to a team of mutants. So, I’m gathering the next time we see them, it’s a few years later due to the interpersonal connections. Then, Logan leaves the team and goes back to Canada. We see him five years later as a lumberjack and he’s okay. There’s a comment made later about how no one would suspect testing on mutants if you put them in a nuclear reactor.
The Three Mile Island incident occurred 1979. It is unclear if this is before or after the incident.
If you add it all up, even if Victor and Logan were “executed” towards the end of the Vietnam War, the film ends in the early 1980’s. And I have a hard time believing that Logan just wanders around with amnesia for 20 years before the beginning of the “X-Men.”
Fourth, and finally, Liev Schreiber and Danny Houston are excellent especially considering they’re not really given much to work with. But everyone else, not so much.
There’s also a large problem I have with some “deaths”.
Sabretooth allegedly kills Kayla Silverfox (he actually killed her in the comic books, but she has healing abilities in that, not in this) and Logan comes rushing to her body and takes her in his arms and cries “NOOOO!!!” at the heavens as it pans away.
How utterly cliche.
Later, an elderly couple that help him out are killed. The elderly couple being killed hit my mother and I harder than Kayla being “killed.” This is clearly a problem on the filmmakers or Hugh Jackman’s part.
Oh well, at least I have a volume of Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” I purchased at the comic book store today to read.