X-Men Origins - Wolverine - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

X-Men Origins - Wolverine Reviews

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November 19, 2017
I'll state my credentials up front: I'm a chick. I have read X-Men comics in my past, but it's been years. I don't remember every detail of every relationship and back story, so I'm not a huge X-men expert. I LOVED the original X-Men movie and X2.

I was so excited when I heard they were making a Wolverine movie. He and Gambit were my two favorite characters from the comics, and Wolverine was by far the best written and one of the best acted characters in the X-Men franchise. I thought, "This should be good!" I counted down the days until it came out. And I went to the theatre, and came out not disappointed, but not excited either. It was a middle-of-the-road movie, which seemed to not know what it wanted to be. But I would say go see it if you're an X-Men or Hugh Jackman fan.

The main crime committed in Wolverine is in the writing. I always say writers don't get enough credit on a good movie. But no amount of good acting (pretty much everyone in Wolverine does well with what they're given) and okay directing can cover up crappy writing like this. The script was all over the place. It didn't have any of the jaunty yet edgy feel of the first two X-Men movies. Wolverine's wisecracks and smart wit were all but forgotten. That would've maybe been okay if they had chosen to make Wolverine the dark, nearly evil character that he was supposed to have been before he lost his memory. But they didn't. He was neither good nor evil. This was ambivalent Wolverine. Kind of Emo Wolverine. Not above doing bad, but not really into it because it made him Feel Bad. No really interesting lines or plot points either way. The writers didn't seem to even know how to develop the relationship between Wolverine and Sabertooth. And was the love story put in by the studio just to satisfy us chicks who wouldn't go a see a comic-book movie without it? If so, the studio did us a great disservice, because if you wanted to make a story about Wolverine the lover (which, hey, I would go see), this movie wasn't that either.

And when I saw in the trailer that Gambit was in the movie, too, I was thrilled! Gambit in a movie, at last! But here he is, the underdeveloped and kind of confusing Gambit. Couldn't he at least have had his New Orleans accent? The cards were cool, but he was mostly underutilized and didn't feel like Gambit that much.

The movie does have some good moments in it where you actually say, "Yes!" I'm not putting spoilers, so I won't tell you what they are, but for me, they made the movie worth seeing. While I wouldn't put it anywhere on my worst-movie list, I wouldn't rank it with X-Men and X2 on my favorites list, either.

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"I'm the best there is at what I do" could hardly be further from the truth.
Like fellow 2009 superhero release Watchmen, Wolverine is that rare comic book film which almost appears inevitably more likely to please audiences that are not fans of the source material. However, unlike Watchmen, which adhered so closely to its source material that a falling short by comparison proved inescapable, Wolverine's inevitable backlash of fan outrage stems from its flagrant disregard for its source material. The film casually mutilates and re-writes the comic book context of its source material with the cold disdain of its protagonist, hacking one of the most genuinely compelling, subversive and horrifying superhero back-stories into the worst kind of safe, familiar, PG rated commercial dross. All of Wolverine's compelling comic book edginess is distilled into a flaccid script which forgoes exhilaration for only occasionally impressive fight/chase/explosion scenes, complexity for eye-rolling cheese and broad humour, and story cohesion for an attempt to cram in far too much subject matter and avoid the true dramatic meat of the story.

While further focus on the Wolverine/Sabertooth dichotomy could have yielded a narrative volumes stronger, the film continually broadens its scope, seemingly attempting to bank on the in-jokey winks to fans of the comics by hinting at broadening the Marvel universe in further sequels demonstrated in 2008's Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. But while their fan nods were tasteful and enjoyable, Wolverine's attempts at matching them appear to be building up to an almost sinister bid for Fox's superhero franchises to compete. Recognizable X-Men characters are continually shoehorned into minuscule parts (fans of Deadpool, Blob, Gambit or, *groan*, Cyclops don't go in expecting much but disappointment) for seemingly the sole purpose of leapfrogging off Wolverine's story into their own spin-offs. However, such an overflowing mass of secondary characters only serves the dual purpose of both derailing Wolverine's story and not even serving to satisfy comic fans clamouring to see their favourite characters on screen, as the fleeting, shallow depictions hardly prove satisfying character development by any stretch of the imagination. If the filmmakers choose to tackle established characters to appease fan expectations, doing nothing with the characters (let alone doing them far from 'properly') hardly seems a suitable way to satisfy a demanding audience.

Director Gavin Hood (known for excellent African drama Tsotsi of all things) has been vocal about his clashes with the studio over the film, and one can only assume, given his excellent credentials, that most of his proposed changes would have been for the better. As it is, Hood demonstrates a shaky directorial presence at best, masking his action scenes in whirling cameras making it near impossible to see, and complimenting most tense or dramatic scenes with a cascade of Harry Gregson-Williams' tiresomely banal and clichéd musical score. That is not to say the film is entirely devoid of quality, but it is reduced to occasional fleeting moments (sporatic bursts of creativity during fight scenes, a promising African raid plot point, and an undeniably gripping if under-explored sequence of Wolverine going through the Weapon X program). But, like the irritatingly freeze-frame beset but otherwise clever opening montage (showcasing Wolverine's progression through numerous world wars) such quality is often overshadowed by cringe-worthy prevailing flaws making it all the more difficult to appreciate.

Ironically for the film situating him most justifiably in the lead role, Hugh Jackman gives his weakest performance in his foundational role as Wolverine. While Jackman's natural charisma and steely credibility still make him a far more sturdy enough lead than his film deserved, his under-exploring of Wolverine's feral ferocity and darkness still leaves an ultimately unsatisfying taste in the mouth. Despite initial skepticism of miscasting, Liev Schreiber proves far more resonant as Wolverine's animalistic adversary Sabretooth, providing a savagely threatening yet controlled performance, which, despite falling short of the true animalistic frenzy Sabretooth should have been, proves one of the more successful attributes of the film. Similarly, Danny Huston provides a welcome dash of class as Machiavellian military official William Stryker, managing to overcome the shortcomings of an underwritten character with an impressively realized, wonderful presence. Ryan Reynolds also proves perfectly cast as twisted mercenary Deadpool, thankfully managing to suppress star showiness in favour of suitably manic humour - nonetheless, Reynolds is criminally wasted in a far too brief and insultingly warped butchering of his comics incarnation. Taylor Kitsch, conversely, gives a bland, dopily flat take on fan favourite Gambit, the character's legendary suave charisma as nonexistent as Kitsch's Cajun accent, doing little to justify his character's near pointless addition.

While it may function suitably as mindless summer entertainment, the inherent complexity in Wolverine's backstory makes its reduction to such a near outright insult to fans of the comic source material. If left as a standalone film, Wolverine might have been dismissible as a mostly harmless disappointment, but with such blatant spin off begging, it evolves into something far more objectionable. While the film has its moments, as a cohesive unit it can be considered nothing less than a tragic waste of potential, floundering any inherent quality in gaping plot holes and unnecessary obvious comedy or "tearjerking" scenes. Wolverine's adage of him being "the best I am at what I do" could hardly be farther than the truth when applied to his film.
November 6, 2017
NOPE! THAT'S NOT DEADPOOL! NO WAY! NOPE!
November 6, 2017
Good film some scenes were boring but overall it was a good movie.
½ November 5, 2017
"Great, stuck in an elevator with 5 guys on a high protein diet."
A Deadpool movie would be the greatest comic book spin off of a comic book spin off prequel of a comic book movie ever made.
½ October 28, 2017
You killed Deadpool!
½ October 21, 2017
Weak plot but overall fun action and some nice character arc for Sabretooth.
October 20, 2017
Jackman couldn't save the horribly cliche plot and over-the-top dialogue of this movie.
October 10, 2017
Superhero flicks tend to deliver, but this missed the mark by a mile. They completely ruined Deadpool, while Wolverine's story was dry. Hugh Jackman tried, nailing the role again, but it's not enough to save a generic script.
October 7, 2017
I love this movie. I really do not understand why it gets such poor reviews. It?s a fun, action packed typical super hero movie. I don?t really care that some of the story line doesn?t make sense compared to other x-men movies or the comics.
September 28, 2017
Some characters are a waste no purpose and others are just all wrong.
September 22, 2017
Everything is wrong with this movie. The biggest mishap is when they sewed Deadpool's mouth shut.
September 6, 2017
I KNEW it was supposed to be bad, but I HAD to watch it. I mean it's Wolverine, right? But oh this movie sucked pretty hard. Difficult to follow, absurd plot, very silly at times.
September 2, 2017
So this would be the story of Logan becoming the wolverine and how he got his powers you know I found it to be pretty darn good
August 28, 2017
Some of the action is decent
August 25, 2017
this film very good:-)
August 25, 2017
I liked it. Very action packed.
½ August 21, 2017
What was the point of bringing Deadpool into this if they were just gonna ruin him?!
August 21, 2017
This movie is hated on. A lot. Whether it's a character they completely ruined in the end, or the constant jump cuts that are around every corner, it's not a pleasant movie. That all being said, does this movie deserve as harsh a rap as it gets? Mostly.

Let's start with the positives. This movie has enjoyment in it. Some of the fight scenes are awesome to watch, especially the one in the end. The movie has some witty dialogue and some arrow-in-the-heart emotion near the beginning. The casting was done well. Hugh Jackman is obviously going to own the role of Wolverine, and Liev Schreiber just owned Victor. Lynn Collins didn't really show that much emotion, though, but she's the exception of the cast.

Unfortunately, this movie made a lot of mistakes. For one, it's jump cuts the movie. There's so.... many.... jump cuts. The intro to the movie with the opening credits has more jump cuts than I could count. It's like the new Taken movies. It's distracting and hurt the fluidity of the fights. Secondly, the suspension of disbelief that you'll need to get through it. Some of these characters do a lot of stupid things, especially Stryker. Hint: If there's a mutant in your base of operations, maybe you should.... do something about it?!? And who knew making somebody invincible meant it was hard to take them down? People could go all day about how much they ruined Wade Wilson, but I don't really want to waste my time and say what has already been said many times.

The story itself is ridiculously simple. The trailer of the movie sums up the whole story, one minor plot twist notwithstanding. It does leave a lot of brevity, as it makes this movie a great popcorn flick to sit back, turn off your mind, and relax. It's kind of muddled as this movie really wants you to take it seriously, but that can easily be ignored as the action scenes.... don't take it seriously. At the opposite spectrum, there are details that will ruin this movie for those looking at it as it fits in the X-Men series. There's a bunch of continuity mishaps in this movie, retcons included.

As someone who likes action movies a lot if they can sell it well, this movie definitely checked some of my boxes. They do a good job of attaching you to Wolverine in the first half, even if they don't do as good a job with the other characters. But this is a movie about Wolverine, so Wolverine is the spotlight. Even if the end of the movie felt way more like an X-Men movie with its attempts at trying to work with the continuity and falling flat.

Overall, should you give this a shot? Probably not. It's a forgettable movie that doesn't have enough enjoyment to warrant a watch. At the very least you could pirate it to see how it goes. "Hey that's illegal man". Don't care, don't give them money for this movie. Enjoy it for free and laugh at the studio.

Rating: C-
August 2, 2017
A fun and frustrating addition to the X-Men series!
½ August 1, 2017
What can you say about this movie that hasn't been said about HIV?
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