Sunday, May 17, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

The three X-Men movies were alright, so I went ahead and watched X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The full title makes it pretty clear that the producers are interested in turning this into an open ended series, or at least they want to have that option open.

If they do turn this "X-Men Origins" thing into a series they really need to rethink their approach, because the way it's done here just doesn't work. Much of the first half of the movie felt like an opening prologue-- you're well into the movie before you realize that you're watching the main event.

The "Origins" of the title suggests that you'll be seeing a lot of those wonderful origin stories like in Spider-man or Batman Begins, but there's none of that here. There's no sense of wonder at Logan discovering his powers, not a single scene to demonstrate any coming-to-terms with what he is. Instead there's a brief opening scene in the 19th century, followed by a montage that spans a hundred years or so. Origins, indeed!

The main story of the movie involves a lot of stuff that I don't even feel like sorting out into a summary. I just couldn't get myself interested, impatient to get things moving on to some real action-- I eventually realized what I wanted was so see another real X-Men movie. Not gonna happen. Gambit and Cyclops are thrown into the mix with no fanfare whatsoever. Maybe this stuff is intresting to you X-Men devotees, but I have no idea why I should care.

On a side note, I think we've gotten to a point that special effects do nothing for me anymore-- seeing claws emerge and retract from Hugh Jackman's fists is not inherently impressive, no matter how many times I see it happen.

The movie ends with our guy Wolverine losing his memory (as he must), which pretty much negates everything that happened in the past two hours. It's one of the least satisfying things for a story to possibly end with. He loses his memory, but lives to see another day and... and what? Goes on to have the adventures of the three X-Men movies? If this is all there is to look forward to in any future "Origins" movies, count me out.

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