Monday, 23 August 2010

Wolverine, Schmolverine

With the news that the sequel to Wolverine is getting started quite soon I thought I’d reflect of the first movie.

Before it came out I was properly excited about it. I loved the portrayal of Wolverine in the 3 X-Men movies (yes, even the third) and had high hopes for this one focusing solely on everyone’s favourite Canadian with claws. After seeing it in the cinema, I thought it was quite good. Nothing special but alright. Subsequent watches however have made me realise what an absolute turkey it really is. Everything after Logan leaves the team is utter tripe. Here’s why:

1. This is the prime offender for me. It’s an offhand line that if you don’t think about it, you can ignore it. But when Stryker is loading his gun with adamantium bullets he says this gem “They won’t kill him, but they will erase his memory” or something like that anyway. What? How can you possibly know that? It also contradicts the established rules of Wolverine. His body regenerates; I imagine the memory centre of his brain would too. It’s lazy, half assed and just plain bad writing; solely there to get Logan’s memory erased.

2. Wolverine in this movie is an absolute pussy. In the first X-Men movie and to a greater extent the second, we were lead to believe that Wolverine was the ultimate badass. Yet from his induction, along with Victor, (who constitutes another gripe of mine) he does nothing but question everything Team X are doing. Fair enough, but the Wolverine I wanted was someone who was trying to atone for horrible things he’d done. Not just trying to escape the people doing Very Bad Things. X2 made it seem like he and Stryker were a force to be reckoned with; this movie makes Stryker ineffectual, and Wolverine impotent.

3. This is more a continuity thing. Victor is Sabretooth. Sabretooth from X1. If they’re going for the same universe here, they could have given Logan another superpowered brother, instead of contradicting a movie that chronologically comes later. (Victor however is one of the saving graces of this movie)

4. While holding your dead lovers body, your emotions overcome you and you yell towards the heavens. F*ck. Right. Off. It’s awful, and the most embarrassing point in the whole movie.

5. The origin of the adamantium claws. There’s nothing wrong with it in the movie per se, but I really felt we got all the info we needed in X2. Did we really need to see Wolverine actually getting the claws? No, and as such this scene is utterly extraneous. As is the whole movie really.

6. Logan meeting Ma and Pa Kent. Which leads to the painful to watch ‘comedy’ destruction of the bathroom. Which brings me on to…

7. The FX on the claws. What, did you not have enough money to do them properly? The claws looked better in X1, nine years previous.

8. Characters in the movie, just for the sake of being there. For example, cool as his powers looked, Gambit was basically just a plot device to get Wolverine to where he needed to be. And also, it seemed a lot of characters were just thrown in because of how cool their powers looked, not that they served any real purpose. The only one who made any sort of impression was Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool, who was only in it for 5minutes (if even).

9. Logan doesn’t even get anything cool to say or do. No “You’re a dick,” no “Grow those back.” However, there’s nothing as bad as “I’m the Juggernaught, bitch!” Actually, “I’m gonna cut your goddamn head off. See if that works” is pretty good.

10. Lack of any memorable action set piece, which is odd, considering there’s so many of them. Logan and Victor’s fight is probably the best, but it still looks like Superman v Superman. It should really be a knock down, drag out kind of thing. Like a boxing match, not a wire fu showcase. Same goes for their second fight in the alley. Logan versus the helicopter isn’t really exciting, as the outcome is never in doubt (Again, that’s something that could be said of the whole movie). Wolverine in the mansion in X2, full on Berserker rage is probably my favourite comic book movie moment. Nothing in this comes close, not involving Wolverine anyway. Deadpool’s sword swinging exit from the list is, admittedly, pretty awesome.

Hopefully the sequel can make up for the shortcomings of the first. I know I’ll still go and watch it regardless, but please, sort it out.

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