Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Review - X Men Origins: Wolverine

Ah, the X men. Wolverine was never my favorite mutant, but he was still fun and I have enjoyed Hugh Jackman's performances in the previous X men movies. So I was fairly excited to see the new X men film.

I'm not an X men purist by any means. I've read a few of the comics...watched a few of the cartoons back in the day...and even had some mutant discussions with friends a time or two over the years. So I wasn't going into this "Origins" movie with any specific expectations to be shattered.

I felt that the origin story of Wolverine was presented very effectively. The opening scene between him and his father was intense and thought-provoking. I really liked the way the director then followed Wolvie's life through the next ~150 years.

(minor spoiler ahead)

My first mild disappointment was after Logan split from Stryker after the incident in Africa and then found out that his ex-partners were being systematically killed off. My reason for being upset wasn't plot related, but rather due to something that I keep seeing in these comic movies...key or otherwise cool characters are killed off after barely being showcased. As I mentioned, I'm not a comic purist by any means...but even I know that these comic characters don't just "die"...they're sent away somewhere/somehow to re-emerge in a later story. I'm disappointed every time a comic movie manages to kill off a very cool character....or in this case, multiple very cool characters.

(/end spoiler)

Speaking of characters, I (like many others) was excited to learn Gambit would finally show up. I'm glad he at least didn't die, but I was hopeful that he'd have more prominence. Even without much screen time, I felt Gambit shows potential and I'm hopeful that he'll appear in a future X men film.

I enjoyed the movie and had fun with the action sequences and the backstory this movie lends to the previous films. I'm curious if there will be remastered copies of the previous movies to include the updated footage from this one (particularly Wolverine's escape after being bonded with Adamantium)...we've gone back and watched the first two, and some of the scenes are distinctly different (but could be chalked up to Logan's imperfect memory).

The action in the movie was exciting and the pacing was good. The ending worked with the storyline, but was a bit heavier and sad than I would have liked. Where most of the comic character movies have a sort of "happily ever after...for now" ending, this ending was actually somewhat depressive and actually resulted in a semi-melancholy state of things.

While successful in filling in many of the gaps constantly alluded to in the other movies, this movie wasn't quite as enjoyable or fulfilling as the others. Still, it was certainly entertaining and well produced and works as an adequate companion to the X men series.

3 stars

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