Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Give Us Your Worst, Part 14: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

We could have skipped this - perhaps we should have - since this is a relatively new movie. We went when it was released in 2009, seeing and reviewing it on its opening day.

We remember thinking it was bad. In fact, we remember considering it awful. But when we came across a copy at the library, we felt we owed it to you to give it another shot.

We actually thought this time might be different. After all, we went in the first time not knowing what to expect and saw it on the big screen, which can sometimes be unforgiving. Now, re-watching it at home, we allowed ourselves to imagine it might not be so bad.

Our delusions were soon shattered. X-Men: Origins: Wolverine is, if anything, worse than we'd remembered it. After the film ended, we checked our initial review and saw we'd given it 1.5 stars. Chalk that up to weakness: this was a one star film if ever there was one.

What's baffling about Wolverine is that it ever came into being. Were a team of master filmmakers to set out with an unlimited budget and the express goal of producing a Wolverine movie that boring, they would have no doubt returned humiliated with a far more interesting picture than this. Producing a bad Wolverine movie is easy to imagine, but a boring one: how does that happen?

The movie's dull pacing and melodramatic storyline are draining, and the fact that Jackman and Schreiber are well cast only means there are good actors meandering through the pointless and meaningless drivel that form the backbone of the picture. Nothing begins to make sense: the villain's plans are so inanely overcomplicated, it's all but impossible to comprehend a scenario where he could have won. The minor characters are at best vague reflections of their comic counterparts. And the action sequences oscillate between being garish and boring.

The most shocking aspect of this movie may be that there's little indication the filmmakers realized they were producing something this bad. The direction suggests they believed they were making an epic, a dramatic tragedy that would appease its audience and critics both. It's a pity they didn't realize the truth: if they'd dropped some of the pretense and embraced camp it may actually have relieved some of the tedium that permeates this movie.

Not much, but anything would have helped.

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