BREAKING: ‘ X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ opened with a stunning $35 million on Friday, meaning the film may be looking at $90 million weekend (Deadline Hollywood Daily).
DIG’S TAKE: In the lead up to ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’, I tried very hard to avoid reading articles or watching clips that revealed too much of the plot.
Now running a Wolverine site is not the easiest way to achieve that goal, but it seems I was very effective in my endeavor, as much of the movie came as a surprise when I saw it on Friday.
What was equally effective in light of the tepid reviews and low rating by Rotten Tomatoes, was that I was able to divorce the movie from the comic book and walk in with very low expectations.
As a result, I was not outraged at any liberties taken, nor opportunities missed.
In a nutshell, it is not nearly as bad as I feared, but it’s not nearly as good as I hoped.
As is my normal course for these reviews, let me hit the highlights and leave the detailed analysis to others…
THE GOOD: Let’s start with Hugh Jackman. Despite his height, he is Wolverine. We can bitch, we can complain, but at the end of the day, Wolverine is on the screen because Hugh Jackman embodies him. Imagine if we were stuck with someone like Keanu Reeves. So at its core, the film is a Wolverine movie, not a fake wannabee.
Liev Schrieber is terrific as Victor Creed. Three-quarters of the way through the film, I realized that this film was doing a better job portraying Sabretooth than it was portraying Wolverine. Liev Schreiber wonderfully balances the savagery and danger of Victor Creed with the need for familial bonds.
Kevin Durand is fabulous as the Blob, especially in a highly entertaining 10-minute sequence in the middle of the film. It is perhaps the best balance of comedy, fun and plot advancement in the movie. If only the whole film were as good.
will.i.am is surprisingly good as John Wraith. A badass with a real talent for comedy and one-liners. Frankly, he would have made a terrific partner for Wolverine in the movie if given more of a chance.
Gambit is a lot of fun. Taylor Kitsch brings the perfect vibe for Remy LeBeau, even though the character is horribly underused, feeling more like a last-minute addition than a character central to the plot.
THE BAD: The movie is just kind of there. There is no emotion. A few hours after it’s over, the movie doesn’t last in your head. It’s a lightweight summer action picture that will be forgotten as soon as Star Trek hits the big screen next week. Harsh, but true.
And after seeing the action sequences in ‘Watchmen’, the fights here seem rather prosaic. And for a character that can heal like Wolverine can, there are no jaw-dropping sequences of him recovering from a horrific injury that would put this film at a cut above your regular summer action picture.
Deadpool is soooo underused and his dialogue so lame that one wonders why they even included him. This character is a goldmine, as anyone who has seen the Hulk vs. Wolverine DVD can attest. It is a genuine travesty that he wasn’t given a single good line.
Other characters were wildly underused as well, like the one played by Dominic Monaghan. What the hell was up with that? Or the couple who gave Logan his clothes and motorcycle after his adamantium bonding. It wasn’t until writing this review that I discovered that they were supposed to be the Hudsons.
I could go on about wasted opportunities, lack of coherency and a lack of genuine emotional pop.
But at the end of the day this wasn’t a bad movie.
It simply wasn’t anywhere near as good as it could have been, or perhaps should have been.
Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below. We are not trying to argue with anyone who liked it or hated it. Merely trying to give a forum for fans who want to share their feelings after finally viewing the Wolverine movie.
Or if you would prefer, join us on the forums for a more-spirited discussion.