Friday, May 01, 2009

X-Men Origins: WOLVERINE

Definitely Not the Wolverine I Idolized
By Reymundo Salao

I’m going to tell you what you want to hear; that X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a movie filled with thrilling super-powered mutant action, that it never slows down for the audiences to get bored with, that it does have enough action but never goes beyond the levels of the disturbingly gory, and that it promises appearances from familiar X-men characters such as The Blob, Cyclops, and Gambit. If you consider yourself as just your average-joe movie goer just looking for a fun action-packed superhero movie then these first few sentences should probably be enough for you. And you can stop reading now. But if you wanna get into serious thought about the movie, or if you wanna nitpick from a Wolverine fanatic point of view, then you may wanna proceed on reading on.

Personally, I'm not really happy about how the movies adapted Wolverine. The true fictional character Wolverine is actually much much shorter, much bulkier, and much more bad-ass. That is why he is the perfect anti-hero; it's coz he does not fit the typical description of a superhero. He should look more like a kargador (cargo-worker) in mulle (seaport) rather than look like a freaking denim jeans supermodel. But, ok, let's say we look over past this little nitpicking detail. Is the movie any good? Does it work?

From the get go, the movie ran smoothly with what seems to be a decent well-made storyline. As a fanatic of the source material, I initially did not mind the alterations made and even managed to sincerely love the movie. It seems that the first act of the film had a good build-up, with a Wolverine who gives up on being a soldier and retiring to a normal life, and then with the diabolical paramilitary group led by William Stryker trying to search for him. It was such a pity to see the film gradually growing cornier and cornier as the movie progresses to its middle part. It's as if the movie drastically shifts away from the dark serious tone of the first act to give way for more lackluster atmosphere. As soon as you see the almost comedic reaction of an old couple to a naked Wolverine, things fall apart. At first I thought it was a clever move to make it a comedic version so that it could intentionally become darker. But it continues on with several more corny scenes. The progress of the storyline also goes sour during the final acts. It's as if the direction of the storyline made no sense. You have a revelation twist that doesn’t really make much sense. With action sequences that are not really that impressive, the movie should have at least made its storyline solid and its script interesting enough. This overall product feels like its just edible for the moment and will probably forgotten quickly, only to be replaced by a better movie adaptation after maybe the next 4 years.

The more tragic part of this movie is that a workprint copy of this movie was leaked on the internet and for all the CD pirates to feast over. There was a press release stating that the movie had to do more reshoots and that there is an additional 10 more minutes into the finished theatrical copy of the film than what is on the bootleg workprint. But when I compared the two after having watched the theatrical version, there seems to be no “10 minutes more” and not enough additional scenes for geeks like me to enjoy. What we only had is a very short extra scene at the very end of the credits of the movie. And that bit was even insignificant enough that it feels like there was really no point to add it.

All in all, X-Men Origins: WOLVERINE is an unimpressive but mildly entertaining movie. Enjoyable but forgettable.

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