Tuesday, May 05, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine -- SPOILERS

I saw X-Men Origins: Wolverine with a group of friends Saturday night. Instead of a proper review I am going to give you our reactions to various moments. It was all part of a post-movie conversation so the attributions here are pretty loose. Here are some samples from that conversation. The headings are often who remembered us talking about it in the later email exchange than who said it. And I moved and combined comments. I write a few things at the end.

Wolverine Drinking Games:

- Every time Hugh Jackman, or any other character, looks up into the heavens and cries out in despair or agony - drink
- Every time "And That's The Origin of That" happens - drink
- Anytime Jackman "cheescake" pose (or loses his shirt) - drink, while saying "This is January in my Hugh Jackman Calender." Advance the months as appropriate. Wolverine on a motorcycle. Wolverine naked jumping into a waterfall. Wolverine naked in a barn. Wolverine starring off into the distance.

"He has such advanced senses he can tell if you are lying from 50 feet away, but he can't smell the difference between real blood from actual wounds, and faked blood, poured out of a bag, (even if it is her own)?"

"Apparently, if someone tells you you cannot just walk away from black ops military shit, you can anyway. Like literally walk off while everyone watches you."

"Shoot him in the memory?" WHAT?!?

"Anybody want to guess when this movie takes place? Sometime between Vietnam and ... ?"

"Weapon 11 is being controlled by the super technology of... LOGOS!!!" "Go D-E-C-A-P-I-T-A-T-E.

"African General Juma messes with Jack Bauer AND Wolverine. Not smart."

"You do it for your country" "You mean Canada? Would ya like some poutine? Perhaps a LaBatt? I'm gonna go watch the Canadians play the maple leafs! GRETZKYYYYYY!"

Gambit comes down into the alley twirling his staff like a helecopter blade over his head. Sara leans over and says to me "Go Go Gadget Gambit."

"Did Wolverine and Sabertooth dose-do on top of a reactor?"

Please do not do a dramatic character reveal (Gambit) if the reveal only shows that this character is being played by.... huh, who is he? I just imdb'd and apparently his biggest credits are Friday Night Lights and Snakes on a Plane. And, if an actor cannot do a convincing accent of any sort - don't let them do it. (See also Kevin Costner in Robin Hood).

I weep for culture: http://twitter.com/#search?q=wolverine


"Wolverine, I am going to make you indestructible and immediately try to kill you. I will send my best soldiers after you, including a super sniper, but not give them the adamantium bullets, the only thing that can stop you, even though I have them right here."

"LOST Charlie (i don't know what his name was in the movie, they weren't good about letting you know who, what, when, where & why): check out the awesome acting on the telepathic skills: I put my fingers to my head and look like I am concentrating real hard..."

By the way -- did anyone else think it was weird to see Charlie and Keamy from LOST in a movie where a key plot point is how to return to an island?


"I like the B-movie cliched dialogue schemes like: 'You wanted me to be an animal, then an animal is what I'll be!'"

"The always reliable dying declaration of a woman to her man: 'I'm cold.'"

"The near instantaneous assemblage of a torch-carrying mob chasing after the two boys."

"When Heroes does the "mutants hunting mutants at the behest of a secret government agency" better than you do it, then your movie truly sucks."

"I'm going to call this the Han Solo-effect, but when a character that has been written out of a major action sequence (Gambit) just happens to emerge at the EXACT MOMENT to save the hero... that's just absurd."

"Didn't it seem like they were setting it up where Gambit broke free from some deeply isolated hidden island facility, only to reveal that he fucking escaped from Three-Mile Island...not exactly alcatraz..."

"Let's not forget claws -- especially in the "funny" bathroom seen -- that looked faker than the sentient cartoon gun in Who Framed Roger Rabbit."

"Tekken-inspired fight finale."

Total destruction of a nuclear cooling tower with no fear whatsoever of radiation poisoning...and supposing this took place in the late 70s, were we to assume that Deadpool's optic blasts were the cause of the infamous Three Mile Island meltdown incident?


"This was a movie clearly written/directed/special effects done by Avi Arad's recently bar mitzvah'd son, a mall focus group, and a junior high AV club."

Producer: What would you like us to do with Deadpool, the "Merc with a Mouth?"
Focus Group: Take away his mouth!
Junior High AV Club member: "It would be so cool if he had 4 foot swords pop out of his arms."
Producer: "How will he bend at the elbow?"
Junior High AV Club member: "It would be so cool! And....cyclops powers? WHY THE FUCK NOT?!"

"Wolverine: Origins: The Movie that Date Raped Continuity"

Gambit: "Man, when you said you were gonna kill everyone, you weren't exaggerating."
Wolverine: "Well, if by "exaggerating," you mean "I said I'm gonna kill everyone, but in fact killed NO ONE AT ALL," then actually, I think I was exaggerating a bit." [If your theatre played the Weapon 11 post credits scene you will see not even Weapon 11 was killed.]

Gambit: "Wolverine. Let's get out of here. A truck from the Penselvania fire department is coming! We cant handle them!"

"All mutants must have the ability to leap super high, run up the sides of walls, and teleport, often losing their shirt in the process."

Emma Frost: Bedazzled.

Lil' Sabeytooth - You gotta keep running!
Lil' Wolvie - I wanna go home!
Lil' Sabey - What, really? You literally just walked out of your home, you are maybe 10 steps away from it.

"Well, I just shot 500 million dollars of TARP funds into Wolverine, then immediately tried to kill him. Now I am going to shoot him IN THE MEMORY. I should like, I dunno, double check to make sure it worked, or perhaps take him back into custody to recoup some of that bailout money. NAAAAAH."

"You gotta box him if you want him to tell you the answer!"

"Box Office Weekend Estimate -$87 million. I'm ashamed we contributed to that."


"Nobody kills my little brother -- BUT ME!"

Worst cold open in this history of anything. Seriously. That was some laugh out loud stuff happening in Canada in 1845.

Also -- After Iron Man has a post-credit sequence involving revealing a Samuel L Jackson cameo -- WHERE HE PLAYS NICK FURY -- you do not get to end your Marvel movie with a nothing moment. Many members of the audience, who know Marvel, are going to be looking for him somewhere, maybe arresting Stryker. Even I did not realize the difference between Fox studios and Marvel studios meant Nick Fury was off the table. If they could not have gotten him they should have gotten SOMEONE. Even the horrific CGI de-aged Prof X would at least have demonstrated they understood the IDEA of the post credits sequence.

Here was the only positive thing I thought about the movie, and I say this without irony. After all the Super Soldiers fighting Wolverine the guy that finally takes him down is just a man in a grey suit with a gun who shoots him in the head after an unpretentious and short fight. That brought this from an F to a D- in my estimation.

So everyone looked clean and beautiful in this movie, even when working as a lumberjack or just after getting in a fight. Fine. I guess. Lot's of sexy calender shots of Wolverine. But you expect this thing to have some appallingly busty treatment of women in the Image mode and you get NOTHING. AT ALL. Wolverine's schoolteacher girlfriend is not unattractive -- she was almost thoughtfully cast to make her death chime further with that of Jean in X3 -- but she, along with Emma's brief cameo, is clearly not supposed to compete with Jackman and Reynolds and their rippling muscles and flawless hair. When Brady said the film feels like it was made by junior high kids with an unlimited budget he was not kidding: that is the best way to characterize the movie. We often talk about juvenile cinema, but usually that means immature depictions of sexuality. This one deals with a fear of female sexuality by just eliminating it. Even 300 had a (very silly porno-style) sex scene.

It was also strange how much of Morrison's continuity -- ignored in the comics -- was in the movie including Weapon 10 and 11, and Emma Frost's diamond skin. I imagine the guys writing the movie wanted to either find out who Wolverine was or brush up on him and the Morrison run was what someone gave them.


sara d. reiss said...

err. brady def gets credit for some of those statments listed under me.

He said the poutin/la batts/GREEEETSKKYYY thing.

just wanna give credit where credit is due

btw: happy cinco de mayo everyone. drink til you get shot in the memory!!!

ba said...

That's alright, the bedazzled comment was all yours. What's some credit between friends?

Triumph of the Underdog said...

I also love that you could have dropped Liev Schrieber into a different movie and, with very little adjustments to his characterization, say that he is a vampire.

scott91777 said...

Given the number of injuries sustained by Lumberjacks (at least according to the discovery channel or TLC) it's a pretty appropriate choice for someone with a healing factor.

Anonymous said...

Wolverine Origins was a thoughtless version of the comics. It was barely worth the time to watch the leaked version on the internet.

Sorry you wasted money and time watching it. Marvel has made us sick of Wolverine like internet porn makes us sick of sex.

James said...

"I imagine the guys writing the movie wanted to either find out who Wolverine was or brush up on him and the Morrison run was what someone gave them."
That's a great insight - it really shows when you have a guy like Singer who has clearly immersed himself in the material and taken a holistic approach to adapting it, versus stuff like this and X3 where they've glanced at a handful and comics and said "ooh, what's that? Put that in."

Stefan Delatovic said...

This post is magnificent.

"SHOT IN THE MEMORY" is something I will say a lot. It must become a thing.

Streebo said...

Is Wolverine the first character that was ruined when he was given an origin? The only way to save him and the movie was to leave the mysteries intact - much as Geoff suggested on how to end an endless story. Give an answer but leave plenty of questions. So now we know wolverine was a whiny little git in a girlie nightgown. Thanks, Marvel. This movie played like an animatic for a video game. I couldn't understand how the whole movie seemed to build up to a final confrontation between Wolverine and Cotton Weary - yet they decide to team up instead. I wouldn't be surprised to see Rob Liefield's name as a script supervisor.

hcduvall said...

I liked it when Prof. X showed up on Airwolf.

That said, while I'm sure that I'm not the only one who actually read most of these sort of comics when I was actually thirteen, I clearly liked this better than most since the sloppy, plot holey version of things is familiar way to get a comic story, and I don't mind that it's not as smooth as Iron Man and the like. Its all warm nostalgia to me. That and honestly, I'm deeply in touch with my thirteen old self.

The silliest part of ever giving Wolverine an actual origin is that his name is James Howlett in the comics.

Justin said...

I don't know ... if we've got a problem with "James Howlett", shouldn't we also not be cool with "Stephen Strange" and "Victor Von Doom" and "Otto Octavius" and "Victor Fries"?

hcduvall said...

Seeing as I choose to ignore your DC example, no alliteration! But you're right, I'm moving the goal posts when I whine about that. I sort of just feel different between things like Victor Von Doom, when the average reader was preteen and the average age of the Wolverine: Origins reader was what, late 20s at best. That possibly makes no sense, especially considering my appreciation of the movie in question is exactly the sort old flavor material.

Anonymous said...

did gambit run down the block to get his staff and then jump up a building and then jump off the building?

i'm not complaining. gambit actually does that all the time in the comics.

Nomad said...

I wonder if Hugh (Huge) Jackman will be able to be anything but Wolverine now that so much of his career has been consumed by this role

Wilson said...

I was so mad after that movie I came home and googled "shoot him in the memory" and this was the post that came up. You nailed it, this was pretty much everything I thought about the movie.

Andrea said...

i cried when i watched this movie.. touchie.. :(

Andrea said...

i cried when i watched this movie.. touchie.. :(

Andie said...

i agree with andrea. i was touched watching this movie. cried.....