I almost missed it, since it went up over the weekend, but Frank has an excellent new story up over at Every Day Fiction – check it out.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine was about as disappointing as expected. They crammed a lot of unnecassary characters in, and to do so they condensed and butchered the portions of Logan’s origin story that are actually interesting.
Part of the problem is the taming of Wolverine for a mass audience, which is strange because the untamed Wolverine has about as mass an audience (in comic book terms) as you can get. The film completely passes over the years he spent feral and savage in the Yukon, living with wolves. His time with the Weapon X program is chopped down to like one mission. They don’t cover any of his time in Japan (though there is a hint at it after the credits). I’m not being fanboyish here – I certainly don’t expect the film to be slavishly devoted to the source material. It’s just frustrating when they ignore so much great material in favor of some 30-second fan wank appearance of Emma Frost or Gambit or other characters who have nothing to do with Wolverine’s origins.
Oddly enough, Wolverine is kind of a Mary Sue. For a character that has had tragedy after tragedy heaped upon his comic book incarnation, nothing bad really happens to him here. He has help at every turn. When he needs more power, someone comes along and gives it to him. When it looks like he meets someone who can defeat him, people who hated his guts five minutes before show up to save the day. This is motherfrakkin’ Wolverine, people. If anyone is custom made to have horror after horror perpetrated on him, just so that he can stand back up on his own and slice the shit out of whoever did it, it’s him.
There are other things to not recommend the movie as well – the last third of the film is fairly predictable and chock full of cliche. The filmmakers also underestimate the audience and feel like they have to explain things that are obvious.
It’s not all bad. There are some fun action scenes. There are some great performances from most of the cast (though I can’t imagine who thought it was a good idea to put Will.I.Am in there). If you want to completely shut off your brain and enjoy a fun action flick, you’ll find something there to enjoy.