X-Men Origins: Wolverine made 87 million dollars domestically at the box office this weekend, and 160 million when you add in overseas ticket sales. According to the media reports, this is “a great kick-off to the summer,” which is true if your system for determining a summer’s quality is how many millions of dollars a movie made. Obviously, a great kick-off to the summer is a barbecue, or going to the beach. Duh. Barbecue Origins: Ribs. But even if we were to pretend that a summer was only as good as its movies, then X-Men Origins: Wolverine was in fact a terrible kick-off to the summer. Because X-Men Origins: Wolverine was not very good!
First of all, it has Will.i.am in it. BONG BONG BONG! That is the warning alarm that should go off in everyone’s head when they see that this guy is in a movie. I’m not saying that “artists” should stay within the rigid confines of their original work, but if you’re not even any good at the thing you’re famous for (in this case music), then please do not ruin everything else (movies). Will.i.am, you have tarnished the 2008 presidential election, you tarnished the great memory of The Lawnmower Man, and now you have tarnished the X-Men franchise. Have you no sh.a.me?
Second of all, after the scandal of having an unfinished work print leak on-line, which broke Hugh Jackman’s heart, because in his words, “it’s like a Ferrari without a paint job,” WHERE WAS THE PAINT JOB? It seemed like after the work print was downloaded more than a million times, they just figured fuck it, PEOPLE ARE LOVING THIS WORK PRINT. The scene in the farmhouse bathroom? When Wolverine first discovers his adamantium claws? (Goodbye disgusting bone claws finally.) Yeah, I did the graphics in that scene. I just put the footage into Photoshop and eventually worked it out. Sure, it took me about 45 minutes, but I’m pretty proud of the way it turned out in the end. Second only to my incredible work with MacPaint for the scene in which Doctor Xavier welcomes the young mutants into his helicopter.
Seriously, the only thing that worked less than the effects in this movie were Hugh Jackman’s shirts. Admittedly, the timeline was a little confusing (WHEN is the Three Mile Island), but I am pretty sure it all takes place after the invention of tanktops, but before the invention of buttons.
But the greatest disservice this movie did was to completely waste a perfectly good origin story. Origin stories are the best! But not this one. There was not a single moment in which you were excited by Wolverine discovering his new powers. And by the end they were just dropping plot points entirely to loosely cover their fanboy bases. An adamantium bullet is the only thing that can kill him! Scratch that, an adamantium bullet won’t kill him, but it will erase his memory! Nothing else, just his memory! Bullet science!
I will give it up to Liev Schreiber, though. He was great! He was sinister and creepy as Sabretooth and he totally committed to the role. Usually a long black trenchcoat and fake vampire teeth are real handicaps for not being ridiculous and awful in a movie, but Schreiber owned it. And Taylor Kitsch was totally fine! One more role in which he is forced to perform with a terrible regional American accent that he can’t pull off so that he just sounds like a Canadian who’s making fun of every third word and the man will be able to open his own Terrible Voice Coaching School for Dummies. But by the end of the movie it seemed like even the director just said, “you know what, let’s just lose the Cajun thing and you go look pretty.” And he did! Gambit forever, six!
With The Dark Knight, and even movies like Iron Man and Spider-Man, the bar has been raised on superhero movies. They can be good now! We don’t need to settle for lazy, poorly written clown movies that look like they were made for a hungover Sunday afternoon TBS Superstation audience.
More like Wolverine: Boo-igins.