I know it has been a couple weeks since X-Men Origins: Wolverine has hit the big screens, but to be completely honest, it has taken this long to wash the putrid taste of fail from my soul. Maybe I was totally spoiled by the magnificence of the flurry of great comic book movies that we were all treated to from the previous year (The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Watchmen), but seriously, how did this crapheap of a disappointment ever get made? I have pondered why it sucked so bad, and I think there are a few lessons to be learned from success. So here are a list of things that I felt were terribly wrong with Wolverine, and I have even set them up in comparison to the comic book movies that weren’t so full of suck. I will begin with the benign and move to the more ridiculous mistakes.
Fuck Up the Comic Book Dynamics
I suppose the largest straying from the Watchmen comics is the pivotal and shocking final scene involving the Alien Squid, but the movie handled that scene in a slightly different manner but with the same exact effect. As much as I wanted to see Times Square awash in human bodies from Ozymandius’ grand scheme, I really did not think that Zach Snyder’s take did not change things too terribly much. This is the ONLY change, and it was carefully done as to not fuck with what is probably the greatest comic book story ever told.
The Wolverine movie is based on the premise that Wolverine and Sabertooth are brothers. I can totally handle this direction they take that is away from the comic book canon because they have similar powers, and it is still rumored in the actual printed version that Victor Creed might be Logan’s father. So be it, but now what about the other characters? Let’s go with Deadpool. Come on…Cyclops beams and swords jutting from his hands? And why did his mouth, probably his greatest asset, have to be welded shut? The best thing about the Deadpool character of comic books is his sardonic wit. Yeah, let’s take this away and replace it with…the inability to blink. And the Blob? Don’t even get me started. He is supposed to be immovable, yet he pretty much gets tossed around by Wolverine like he was nothing more than a loser with a horrible weight problem. Alright, what about Gambit? He is a part of the Weapon X program? Since when and why? There was no character development whatsoever on him, so I can’t even begin to tell you what else was wrong with him. This brings me to my next lesson…
No Character Development
Iron Man did a wonderful job of letting you know about what kind of person that Tony Stark is. Even if you had never read a single issue of the comic, you know that he is a genuis, loaded playboy with a giant guilty conscience. Even Pepper Potts has some development, and she is pretty much a minor character. The point is that you get to know the characters, give a shit about them, and actually feel something more than relief when they get killed or hurt.
Now let’s look at Wolverine. I don’t think Will.I.Am.’s character even had a name, or maybe I wasn’t listening during his five minutes of screen time. In fact, just about every character was shallow and brought about zero sympathy or empathy, or deserved to. The Blob punched a tank, got fat, and then disappeared. Deadpool was in four scenes and had no backstory. Gambit basically appeared out of nowhere, and when he asked “miss me?” to Wolverine I was half expecting Wolverine to reply “and you are…?” Then there is Silver Fox who is suddenly Logan’s wife about ten minutes before she is dead, only to come back as a plot point. Do I care about any of these characters? Not when most of them served no greater purpose than to be all too convenient plot devices. When they die it is almost a relief so that I can focus on the ones that probably should have been the only characters the movie ever had. This leads me to my final lesson…
Too Many Damn Characters
The Dark Knight had exactly two new characters not in Batman Begins – Harvey Dent and the Joker. All the other characters had been well treated previously, so there was really no dependence on making a big deal out of them. All told, there were three man characters and about a half dozen minor ones…and THAT’S IT!!! This allowed for the dynamics between those main characters to be fully developed, and an actual plot could exist. This made for a far more immersive storyline. Even though it was probably about one action sequence too long, everyone had plenty of screen time and it made for a more enjoyable experience.
Now let’s take a look at Wolverine. I checked the roster and there are no less than eight new characters from the previous X-Men movies. All of these were supposed to play a major role and none of them actually did. What ended up happening was a rapid-fire, seizure inducing seige of character presentation and destruction that left me feeling like I had been gut-punched over and over. The scenes were choppy at best and the pacing was way off. Take for example the nice elderly couple that take in Wolverine after he escapes from the Weapon X program. DEAD the next fucking day. That is all the time you have for them because the movie can only be about two hours anyway. Too many cooks spoil the soup, and too many characters spoil the movie.
Odds and Ends That Just Generally Sucked
The CGI in this movie was atrocious and the special effects overall were subpar at best. Wolverine’s claws bounced and flopped around like they were made of soft rubber. I am pretty sure that any one of my friends could have made a better nuclear reactor destruction scene on their laptops using circa 1996 technology. Actually, Jurassic Park had better effects and that movie is 16 years old!
The nuclear reactor scene was ridiculous even if you take the special effects out of the equation. Sabertooth comes out of nowhere and “saves” his brother. Deadpool dies in a way that would make Darth Maul not feel quite so bad. Gambit serves as a plot device. A nuclear reactor implodes upon itself and there is hardly a fire. On top of that, the people that come to check out the disturbance are not government military, but are one fire engine, a police van, and a beat cop. To a nuclear reactor? Really? Oh, and Stryker, a man of about 50, takes a hand gun and shoots the most agile man on the planet…in the head…twice? WTF?!?
3 broken adamantium claws out of 10
Worst. Comic. Book. Movie. Ever.