Wolverine (2009) Review

August 27, 2009

"I want my pony now, bub! Rawr!

While this movie came out months ago, I still can’t resist commenting on this summer action flick. After Three X-Men flicks with varying reception. The first two of course were part of the great comicbook movie revival. The third one seemed to miss the mark, and suggest that the franchise was running dry. Well, a great deal of time has passed, and  Wolverine (2009) has been released. Did Hugh Jackman’s uber-masculine alter ego cure the X-Men movie slump?

Oh Heavens, no.

At least, it didn’t bring it back to the level of Bryan Singer’s installments. That much is clear. But it doesn’t seem like it was ever meant to do that either. It was just made into a standard, blockbuster action movie to provide a summer special effects extravaganza. And it did just that, although it unfortunately didn’t even do that all that well.

Anyone familiar to the X-Men plot so far can easily guess what Wolverine deals with. The prequel deals with Wolverine’s past life, especially leading up to the mysterious Weapon X program that the mutant has been having trouble remembering for the whole trilogy. At last, the answer that so many fanboys dreamed of seeing on the big screen. Unfortunately, this flick has little bearing on the original Weapon X plot. You can definitely count this as one of those superhero flicks where the filmmakers took an awful lot of creative license with source material. For all of you fans of Deadpool….I’m sorry. Better luck with the hopeful Deadpool movie.

One thing that was disappointing that alot of people don’t seem to bring up is the claws themselves. Sometimes they looked okay, but much of the time the blades were rendered with bad CGI. It was a disappointing departure from previous X-Men movies, where so much of every character was so well done. Now, the main character’s namesake is reduced to bad graphical effects.

The really great effects in the movie are often handled oddly too. Gambit comes to mind. See, Gambit is a mutant whose powers is that he can charge objects with kinetic energy, causing them to explode after a few seconds or if they are thrown at something. He can do this to the point that he can flick a card and make it soar like a rocket, and explode spectacularly. This is obviously a reason for why he calls himself Gambit (the other is his rogue-ish nature). Well, apparently the makers of this film decided they didn’t like the card throwing thing that much. He often uses his powers in a variety of ways, which is good in theory. It would be good in practice had his debut fight sequence not been so abysmally goofy. I almost never mention little continuity errors or trivial screw-ups, because 90 % of the time I hardly notice and I doubt the average person would care. But one of the scenes invovled the biggest continuity error I think I’ve ever seen in a blockbuster style movie. In a fight between Wolverine, Gambit, and Sabertooth, Sabertooth manages to knock out Gambit or something at close range. Then all of a sudden Gambits leaping over rooftops from way in the distance. How did that happen? Seriously, it was confusing.

The good news is that the foul ups and silly moments are funny as Hell. This thing could almost qualify as a comedy in some points. Sometimes I even wonder if the director wasn’t flat out having fun with the movie’s most ridiculous moments. Such as seeing little kid Logan doing the murderous rage schtick in a red night gown, or the infamous “memories growing back” line. You’ve probably seen the best example in the trailer itself. Wolverine is clinging desperately to some military style hummer, and an attack helicopter fires a rocket, destroying the car and catapulting ole Wolvie into the Helicopter. Not into the air, where he can catch the chopper, mind you. No he makes a direct bee line into the offending aircraft. And of course, thats how he disposes of it. By accident. Trust me, when my friend and I saw it in the theater, we laughed for several minutes straight. It looks incredibly ridiculous.

At least Hugh Jackman seemed to really be into his role. The performance might not have been perfect, but physically speaking he sure did look the part. Out of all the superhero movie stars, I’d say Hugh Jackman looked most like the musclebound comicbook stud. He put in some serious time in a gym and you can most certainly tell in the movie.

I imagine Canadians beemed with tremendous pride watching this movie, too. Not only did Canada get some quality time in an American movie- but the biggest badass in the Marvel universe points out the land of his birth with dramatic flair. Best of all, the gritty do-gooder serves as definitive proof that Canucks don’t say “aboot” after all. Of course, the movie doesn’t portray any of the conspirators as being Canadian, just the badass hero. As usual, the American federal government is out to get everyone.

If you haven’t seen any of the films of this franchise, do yourself a favor and see the first two before you decide whether or not to see this one. Really, this is something you might want to save if you are a true die-hard X-Men fan or if you want to watch something relatively light.

4.5 out of 10.

Advertisements