X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

Tony
X-Men Origins: Wolverine. What a way to start off the summer movie season! Not great, but not horrible. Slightly more plausible than X-Men: The Last Stand. I can think of at least three things that make the ending horrible. But Jackman does a quality job as Logan. Pretty much every other character is forgettable and slightly off. I did kind of like the scenes with the elderly couple.

Still, it’s kind of what summer movies are about: something mostly familiar, slightly engaging, and sort of forgettable. At least until this coming weekend with Star Trek, which has every possibility of being utterly amazing.

Penny
X-Men Origines: Wolverine Okay, first and foremost, Hugh Jackman is H-O-T! *sigh* Wow, I mean, seriously, wow!

Okay, now that I’ve got that out of my system, have I mentioned the Hugh Jackman is hot?

Kidding! I think I may have liked it a little more than Tony. I am unfamiliar with X-Men (aside from the 3 movies, which I feel I will have to watch again and will understand better now that I understand Logan). There were a few surprises along the way and while his performance won’t get him any Oscars, Jackman carries this movie well.

Oh and just as a last note, Hugh Jackman was hot!

Mitchell
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Very entertaining. Wolverine is cool. I never understood why everyone thought Gambit was cool until I saw this film. He is super cool. Silver Fox is the hotness. Deadpool is one of the freakiest bad guys since Darth Maul. Storm was supposed to be in this, but I didn’t see her. I have no idea what comic-book fans’ gripes are with Wolverine or the rest of this film series, but I find them thoroughly engaging and interesting. I am in the middle of a long argument with my students about whether Cyclops ever saw Wolverine in this picture, because they seem to be complete strangers to each other in the first movie. Surely, even if Cyclops hadn’t encountered Wolverine in this incident on Three-Mile Island, he’d have heard Wolverine’s name in all the discussion about what happened, right? Unless for some reason Professor X kept all the details a secret from the youngsters he rescues. 7/10

Reid
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
5/10

I must admit (grudgingly) that the flim kept my attention and was mildy entertaining. I would say it’s better than the second and third X-Men films, but, like all the X-Men films, I sat there shaking my head.

Mitchell said that he can’t understand the reason fans are disappointed, and I’m not going to take that rhetorically (even though I think I’ve given an explanation before). First, many Wolverine fans love him for his hot temper and his love of fighting. The real Wolverine would find the smallest reason to get into a fight (including with the X-Men). He would have this cool way of expressing himself before or doing a fight, reminiscent of Clint Eastwood’s many screen characters. For example, he would say, with a bloodthirsty grin, “Bub. You just made the biggest mistake of your life. And your last.” (Yes, that’s not the greatest line, but you get the idea.) Jackman is nothing like this–at best, he’s a weak attempt at it. Indeed, there are scenes in the film where there are allusions to this characteristic of Wolverine–but Jackman’s Wolverine doesn’t justify these allusions. For example, in the scene Wolverine meets Gambit, Spectre (?) makes a comment that Wolverine fights with everyone or something to that effect. But that doesn’t describe the Wolverine on the screen. This bloodlust was a good contrast with Wolverine’s soft-hearted side–his desire for love and care for the vulnerable (e.g. Kitty Pryde). In the comics, most people see Wolverine as a vicious animal, but the X-Men learn that he’s not that way and they become a family for each other. None of that is conveyed on the screen.

That family quality–and better character development of the other X-Men–is made virtually impossible with the revolving door approach of characters. It’s clear to me that the filmmakers are trying to please everyone but cramming in as many characters as possible–which makes Gambit’s appearance annoying.

This cramming approach is not limited to characters, but the stories, too. This is one of the most infuriating aspects of the series, since I’m certain that some of the storylines are perfect for an action film. By combining story lines, they have essentially ruined them. A similiar thing happened in Spiderman 3. But I digress slightly. I never read the comic book version of Wolverine’s origin, so I don’t know if the filmmakers employed the same approach to the stories and characters. I do think the story in this film is a lot more coherrent, but I know there are changes from the early X-Men comic books (The Canadian government put adamantium on Wolvervine’s bones, not the U.S. government, and he was part of the Canadian “X-Men,” Alpha-Flight.)

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