“X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (2009) Dir. Gavin Hood
The movie has already earned a lot of money. In fact, it has earned enough for producers to make plans for many sequels and spin-offs. The sad thing about it is that I am also responsible for this because I went to the theater and bought a ticket.
The movie starts in the worst possible way: there’s an overly sentimental scene about Logan losing his father (among other things). It’s supposed to be dramatic, instead it turns our cheesy. I think it is a mistake to present such a scene at the beginning when the viewers are not yet emotionally attached to the characters because the effect is poor. It would look better as a flashback somewhere in the middle of the story.
Then, there is one of my favorite parts – the wars sequence. It shows Logan (Hugh Jackman) and Victor (Liev Schreiber) fighting in different wars – the Civil War, the WWII, the Vietnam War, as I remember correctly. We see an interesting combination of arms typical for the war and the mutant skills they both have. Besides, it’s a presentation of impressive visual effects. If only the movie started with this sequence.
As far as the story is concerned, it’s getting worse here. As I’ve already pointed out it starts in a sentimental fashion. Then, we witness Logan’s mercenary times, his breakup with Victor, and his life with Kayla (Lynn Collins) in Canada. As soon as she is murdered by Victor, Logan finds a new purpose in his life: revenge. Predictable, but that’s not the bad part yet. Up to here there is still a chance that the rest of the movie and the ending might be good. However, everything is spoiled when we find out that she’s not dead, and, on top of that, she’s a part of a mischievous scheme to use Logan’s mutant powers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make sense for me. The moment Logan discovers Kayla is alive, his whole revenge and anger become pointless. I also don’t understand what reason Victor/Sabertooth has in NOT killing Kayla, but faking her death instead. This character is a vicious, animalistic killer, after all.
Anyway, we have a quite nice range of mutants. Wolverine is in the focus, but there are many scenes with Sabertooth as well. I’d even say their love/hate relationship is in focus. As for the rest mutants, they are really interesting, but I got the impression there could be more about them. Most of them die before I get to know them well. To illustrate, there’s not enough of Gambit. I waited to see him in the movie, and expected by far more scenes with him. Hopefully, he’ll be present in the next X-Men productions.
One of the best elements is the cast. Jackman’s and Schreiber’s performances are as usual great. The same can be said about lovely Lynn Collins, who’s always a pleasure to watch. Ryan Reynolds is hilarious in those scant moments when his Wade Wilson is present. I’m not sure whether Deadpool is created with all the details from the comic books, but he appears scary and repulsive. I’ve got to mention one more: Danny Huston, who played William Stryker. He’s cold, calculating, and you just know he’s never telling you everything. One of the best in the entire movie!
If I was to sum up the new X-Men movie, I’d say the best are the action and fighting sequences. The pyrotechnics, explosions, special effects, and fighting scenes weren’t too bad. For these reasons, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” is a successful action movie. Of course, I can’t forget about the music composed by Harry Gregson-Williams . The score always draws my attention when I watch a movie. In this case, it fits perfectly – it’s as vivid as action itself. On the other hand, the story, quite unconvincing and badly developed, is only edible ‘cause served with definitely good acting and decent portrayal of the characters. All in all, I expected a better production (it’s void of the excitement the previous fantastic X-Men movies had). Sadly, I don’t feel attached to the characters, and the story is not memorable, unlike X-Men 2 or 3. In my opinion, it is for mutant geeks only, or at least mostly.
Long days, pleasant nights,