Sunday, April 5, 2009
So I usually don't review a movie this far in advance, so I don't worry about spoilers or anything, but since X-Men Origins: Wolverine isn't due for release for about another month I should go ahead and give the official "spoiler" warning now. As for the advance copy, there's a lot of hubbub about it since it was leaked on the internet, even the FBI is investigating.
There's a lot of great things about the movie, coupled with a lot of not-so great things. Jokingly I heard it described as "better than the third one", which is, well not saying a whole heck of a lot now is it? It is indeed better than the third, which like the second Highlander movie, I don't consider as counting anyway. As the title suggests, it delves into the background and origin of Marvel's now iconic cash-cow, Wolverine.
As with the excellent first and second movies of the franchise, Huge Jackman's portrayal is just about as perfect as one could hope for. His hair and 'chops looked less Wolvie than they did in the first two movies, but everything else was good to go. There were a score of other characters too, but many of them left you kinda scratching you head a little wondering who the heck they were. I'm a pretty big comic geek, and lifelong fan of the X-Men titles, but even I was having a hard time spotting who was who.
Sabretooth was in there, and played the major antagonist of the film. Given how intertwined he and Wolverine were throughout the whole movie, being half-brothers and all, it is a bit odd that the connection was completely lost in the first X-Men movie, aside from Sabretooth grabbing the unconscious Wolvie's dogtags early on.
Deadpool, one of my all-time favorites of the 'newer' generation of characters was also in the movie, and at first he was about as dead-on as Jackman was as Wolverine. Ryan Reynolds hit the geek scene in Blade III, but as far as actors go, I kinda like him in whatever he's doing. He has a quick wit and natural delivery that made him perfect for the sarcastic ninja. His role was cut way too short in the film however, and a waste of what could be an awesome screen presence for him. He shows back up as the end villain, but in a funky, twisted kinda way that didn't make a whole lot of sense.
There were others as well, but only the Blob and Gambit were recognizable. The former was done very well, the latter I felt was pretty lacking. Both had pretty much bit parts anyway. The movie was fast paced and, as one might expect, full of many, many action sequences and fight scenes. A lot of the story alludes to what would come later in the movies and much of it drew from the comics as well. One realization that hit me was the brutal and straight-forward violence of it. Sure, it's comic book action and the like, but this film had a harder edge than that to it, much of it seemed like the gritty realistic violence of a cop drama, not the four-color world. There wasn't much in the way of levity to balance it out either, making its mood a dark one overall.
Going back to the beginning, the movie was certainly a lot better than the third one. Does it hold a candle to the first two? Well, it's hard to say, to be fair both of the first two X-Men movies were well above average. It was fun, end of story. It also added more depth, and another chapter to a character who, even if you hate him, you still kinda like him anyway. When it comes to the big screen I'll definitely go see it again.