At the Movies: “Wolverine” – Sound and Fury

If you’re only a casual observer of Marvel Comics’ legendary X-Men, like me, and if you enjoyed Bryan Singer’s first two X-Men films, like I did, you will not enjoy X-Men: Origins: Wolverine.  If you’re a purist with a zealous adherence to the comic canon of this most famous anti-hero’s background, I imagine your head will likely explode from all the contradictions and impositions that even a novice like me picked up on.  And if you’re just a plain old fan of good movies, you will not find anything to like here.

A clumsy tangle of poorly connected, blinding, deafening action sequences, Wolverine was simply an excuse to pocket cash off the X-Men name.  By all accounts in today’s papers, it worked.  Yet I am certain that by this coming weekend, the film will drop into third or fourth place behind material of equal or even lesser value, should such a thing exist.  There is simply nothing that’s good here.  A number of the performances are laughably bad, there are effects shots that range from embarrassing to insulting, and the rapid, muddled character introductions are never made any clearer thanks to the terribly shallow and featureless characterization of these individuals.  Hugh Jackman was born to play the part of Wolverine, but here he is just slumming it.  There’s none of the menace or charm from Singer’s first X-Men, and not a hint of the depth and conflict that bloomed in X2.  Liev Schreiber as Sabretooth was a bit of a pleasant surprise.  Too bad the character never takes a single interesting turn or has any development you can rally behind after the first twenty minutes.  I look forward to seeing Schreiber play a baddie again, perhaps one that is actually well-written.  The rest of the cast is negligible.  Most of them serve as cannon fodder anyway, so why bother working to have the audience connect with them?

There’s a lot that’s wrong with Wolverine, but I’ve decided that I’m only going to put as much effort into my review of it as the filmmakers put into their final cut.

Maybe this was all a convoluted plot by Jackman to get back to what it is about show business he really loves…

~ T


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