Friday, May 1, 2009
The Middle Room would like to offer our sincere condolences to Hugh Jackman (iD&Di: .49) for the release of his new movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Jackman is a fine actor and a friend to all geeks: we wish someone else had been involved with this picture.
We had such high-to-mediocre hopes for this film. It wasn't that we anticipated greatness; but we'd hoped for a film that would play to the fourteen year-old in us all. But, were I to have seen this when I was fourteen, I'd have liked it no better than I did today.
It wasn't so much that it was a bad movie: we've all seen bad movies and, as often as not, enjoyed them. No, Wolverine's sin was much less forgivable: it was a waste. A waste of actors, of money, and, most of all, of source material. Weapon-X may fall short of fine literature, but there were some good concepts within, and this film failed to do them justice.
The overall experience was reminiscent of watching Daredevil. It was obvious the writers were familiar with the source material, obvious that they'd read it many times, and yet no evidence they understood any of it. There were images and ideas I remember from comics, but the point had been lost.
The best thing I can say about the movie is this: at times, it was fascinating to watch the scenes fail. At some point, about fifteen minutes in, it occurred to me that what I was watching was intended to be dramatic. The effect was lost among the confused laughter of the audience. This was a fiasco and seeing it unfold was a twisted kind of entertainment in itself.
Oh, there was the occasional moment that worked well enough. There were many things wrong with the film's portrayal of Gambit, for example, but after what they did to the Blob, I found myself looking at the Cajun and thinking, "That's not so bad."
There were some good effects, though for every shot that worked there were two that failed. In fact, there were scenes in this movie which may redefine the meaning of bad CG: if there is a Razzie for bad special effects, I sincerely hope Wolverine is at least nominated.
Walking into the theater, I never imagined that this could be worse than Daredevil, but such is the case. Take heart it is still significantly better a movie than Catwoman.
If X-Men 2 were defined as a five star picture, Wolverine would deserve one and a half. Unless you are driven by an unreasonable hunger to see superhero movies on the big screen, there is no reason for you to spend your money on this. There are, after all, far better movies on the horizon.
Tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day: there are better things for you to be doing this weekend than wasting your time with this.