I just got out of the midnight premiere of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and the movie was a damn hit!
Some of you may know that I am a huge X-Men fan. I didn’t grow up reading the comics like a lot of people did, but after seeing the first movie I became obsessed with knowing as much about the X-Men/Marvel universe as I could. After getting my friend Johnny in to it, we both sort of became each others’ go-to guy when it came to watching the movies, talking about them, and discussing the mythology behind the X-Men series.
I have to say that X-Men Origins: Wolverine is an absolutely fantastic beginning to what I, and I am sure millions of other fans around the world, hope to be an ongoing franchise. Though the movie was a thrill ride from start to finish, it did have some things I thought could be improved (what movie doesn’t?). Let me break down the good, the bad, and the ugly.
First, and most importantly, the story was fantastic! They really brought forth an aspect of Wolverine’s back story that not many fans know of: the relationship with Kayla. I typically get VERY bored with romance lines in movies, especially ones like X-Men where I pay to see visual effects, explosions and ass-kicking, not the luvy-duby kisses and back rubs. For most X-Men fans, this movie’s story and how it develops will be a sigh of relief compared to the last X-Men movie we saw: X-Men III: The Last Stand, which just had too much untrue story going on for the sake of visual effects.
Another great part of this movie is the multitude of mutants they managed to fit in considering this is a character centric spin-off movie. A lot of them get pushed in to the end of the movie, but they are definitely worth waiting for (Emma Frost, Cyclops in particular). I was happily surprised to see how much time Scott Summers received on screen. Though his character wasn’t particularly important to the plot, the fact that we see Scott as a high school student makes his supporting character very interesting, and something different that we’ve never seen on screen. It seemed as if maybe they were giving him some time to do his own Origins spin-off? Maybe we’ll be seeing X-Men Origins: Cyclops in the future?
One final great thing worth noting is the simple fact that Gambit made it to the movie. Finally, after nearly 10 years of X-Men movies and hype and talk, we finally are seeing Remy on the big screen! When the scene starts in New Orleans, I just started smiling. Gambit is such a huge part of the Marvel universe, and I always pictured in my head how the scene would start in New Orleans when he finally (if ever) made it, and it was a lot like what I saw tonight. Gambit has an awesome scene during the end of the film but don’t want to write about it for those who might be waiting to see it and are still sneaking! Go see it it’s awesome!
Overall, there weren’t many bad things going on with this movie. However there were a few decisions that I thought could have been thought over. First, the Blob. Yes, he incorporates a little comic relief, and visual appeal, but he was written as just another knower of information. Couldn’t they have a more interesting, showier mutant for Logan to fight to get the answers he needs? All Logan does throughout this movie is fight people for answers, and one of the mutants he has to fight is…the Blob? Lame.
Secondly, why Will.I.Am? He wasn’t necessarily bad, but considering they cut Nightcrawler out of the third X-Men movie with no explanation besides what the video games say, you think they would add him as the teleport. Yeah recycling mutants is probably not the best idea, but Will.I.Am wasn’t even a mutant from the comics was he? I don’t remember him at least.
I would have also liked to see a tiny bit less of Logan and Sabretooth charging at each other. Yes, we get it, they are brothers and have a history. It seemed like every other scene started with some witty dialogue, followed by them growling at each other, followed by them charging at each other and punching each other in the guts. Stabbing each other with long press on fingernails and some claws is only exciting once or twice.
Thinking more about the scenes, there were a lot of panning and driving clips. Lots of Logan in a car driving down a country side, or Logan on a motorcycle driving on a windy road symbolizing the life he had to live and is going to live. Lots of people just DRIVING. If you see the movie again, notice all the driving, and countryside, and mountains we see. Is it necessary!?
Finally, the graphics. I was really hoping this movie would bring it graphically, but it really really didn’t. In fact the graphics could be the worst part of the movie if you ask me. There were so many times where I said, “That looks really fake,” out loud. The first time it annoyed me was when Logan was in the bathroom of the old peoples’ house and was looking at his newly formed adamantium claws. They looked like a cartoon! Also, the scene a top the nuclear reactor at the end looked EXACTLY like a video game. In fact, it looked like a Mortal Kombat trailer. Baracka anyone? That scene had the potential to really pull people in but I went through the entire thing waiting for it to be over, and promptly rolled my eyes and looked around at the people beside me expecting a “I KNOW RIGHT?” I didn’t get one, but still. Also when the helicopter lands and the kids come running out to find you know who (I can’t bring myself to type it for those who haven’t seen it!), that entire scene looks like something from Super Mario 64. The grass looks like an oil painting! Then the kids start running to the helicopter and they don’t get smaller by perspective! That whole scene looks like it was shot using a camcorder and one of those Photobooth default backgrounds that come with every Mac. I was waiting for the words, “Please step out of the frame” to pop up so that it could be green screened or something. Very disappointing.
Um, is Weapon XI a real mutant too? Did these producers pull mutants out of their asses or what? I don’t ever remember hearing about Weapon XI, and considering how powerful and interesting he could have been, it would have been something more prominent in the comics. And, if you’re Weapon XI and combine all these different mutants powers and all you do is teleport, and blast lasers like Cyclops, I’d think you were pretty lame. I saw Storm, Angel, and some others in those holding cells. Tear their asses up! The head falling down the reacter was pretty fun though.
Like I said, this movie is awesome. It manages to give the audience tons of back story in to Wolverine’s life without making him look extremely boring. I’ve always hated Wolverine’s character in the X-Men series, but this movie has definitely changed that. Somehow Wolverine has become a lot more theatrical and interesting to me.
I can’t wait to see which Origins movie gets green lighted after this weekend’s numbers come in. I know that they had been working on Magneto in pre-production for a while, so odds are that will be next. Then Cyclops? Jean Grey? Storm? As long as we don’t see X-Men Origins: The Blob, I think I’ll be okay. If you are even remotely an X-Men fan, go see Wolverine, it’s worth it!