Just in case you decide to see this movie if you haven’t already, this review is filled with spoilers for X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine is the first entry in the Wolverine trilogy and the fourth X-Men film. It is the story of James “Logan” Howlett/Wolverine before he lost his memory and joined Professor X and the X-Men, focusing on his relationships with Victor Creed/Sabretooth and William Stryker and his lust for revenge against both of them.
I will not lie, but I enjoyed X-Men Origins: Wolverine…at a time. Up until a couple of weeks ago when I watched it again in preparation for this review, I had not seen it in years. Now, watching it analytically, I finally see why X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a terrible movie.
I don’t know where to start, so let’s start at the beginning. The opening is rushed. Before you can even get attached to Logan’s “father,” he gets killed by his real dad. Before you can get attached to anyone, Logan and Victor leave their home in the first five minutes, and a minute later, they are already fighting wars. Here’s a thought-why get an actor who looks like Hugh Jackman to play Logan’s fake father, but have a man who looks like Liev Schreiber portray his real father? It makes no sense. The likenesses of the two pairs of actors is so remarkable, it couldn’t have been a coincidence.
When you have your main superhero and his nemesis in the same movie, they have to stay enemies. Sure, they can have some sort of connection, but don’t make them family. Why would you make Wolverine and Sabretooth brothers? That’s like making Spider-Man and the Green Goblin father and son. Wolverine and Sabretooth are supposed to be mortal enemies, so why try to give them a brotherly connection? Their entire backstory is glossed over so quickly, there is no reason to be emotionally invested in their conflict with each other. Even if the rest of this movie was good, it would still be tarnished because you don’t care about the main conflict between the two central characters. Therefore, a crucial part of the movie fails and everything around it falls apart.
The pacing is atrocious. In the first 17 minutes alone, we see Logan as a child, him and Victor fight wars throughout history, turn against the military, join Stryker’s team, and Logan walking away from said team. It’s one thing when Fantastic Four jumps one year ahead just when things get interesting an hour into the movie, but when Origins goes over more than 100 years in less than 30 minutes, that is some of the worst editing these eyes have ever seen.
Less than 20 minutes into the movie, Logan’s lover, Kayla, is introduced. Why should we care about Kayla? She is only in a few scenes before she “dies,” and we never learn anything about her in any of the screen time she is given. Kayla is on screen for a whole ten minutes before she and Victor fake her death, and then 50 minutes later at the end of the movie, she reappears, and there is no feeling of, “Oh, thank God, she’s not dead!” In fact, there is nothing the audience can feel because Kayla has no character or personality. They just needed something for Logan to fight for in this plot-driven mess, so they gave him a by-the-numbers motivation for revenge without caring about setting up the character or giving the audience any reason to care.
This movie has a bad case of characters appearing out of thin air whenever it is convenient for the plot. This happens three times in the climax alone. First, Logan goes from outside and into the lab in a split-second to fight Victor. Next, Gambit flies on-screen and saves Logan from a giant piece of falling debris when we think he flew away in his airplane. Then, as Logan is carrying Kayla away, Stryker appears behind them and shoots Logan in the back. This is a serious editing issue. You can’t just have your characters go from one place to another instantly, especially with the way Gambit reappears. Something like that is out of place, sloppy, and lazy. Gambit can’t teleport, so when he comes out of nowhere, the audience is taken out of the film, wondering how he got there instead of focusing on what is happening on the screen.
Now let’s break down the biggest crime of this movie, “Deadpool.”
Ryan Reynolds’ humor in the beginning is mildly entertaining, but of course, they couldn’t let him curse, not even a little. And since when can he deflect hundreds of bullets at the same time and slash them in half in midair? If he can deflect them, why bother cutting just one?It’s completely pointless and only there for an attempt at a cool shot.
Even now that we have a great Deadpool movie, watching this abomination the writers had the balls to call Deadpool is still painful. Logan saying, “So Stryker finally figured out how to shut you up” is like the writers giving Deadpool fans the finger. “Oh, you like Deadpool cracking jokes and swearing all the time? Well, screw you! We need to keep this PG-13, so we’ll sew his mouth shut!” Giving “Deadpool” adamantium katanas that come out of his hands, Cyclops’ laser eyes, and teleportation is easily one of the dumbest decisions ever made by anyone in any superhero movie ever. As much of a fan of Deadpool that Ryan Reynolds is, how could he agree to do a complete butchering of a beloved character? Just do yourself a favor and never revisit this movie after having already seen the real Deadpool because the version in Origins is a crime against superheroes and comic book fans.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine is one of the worst superhero movies ever made. Nothing about it is good. This was only made so 20th Century Fox could cash in on the most popular X-Man and they were running out of ideas for one of their most successful franchises. No care was given to any aspect of the filmmaking process; not the characters, not the plot, not the editing, nothing.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine gets an F
Thanks for reading my review! This was the first in a new series I am calling “franchise reviews.” I will review The Wolverine before Logan is released on March 3rd. Future examples will include Peter Jackson’s King Kong (prep for Kong: Skull Island), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (prep for the live-action remake), and all four Pirates of the Caribbean films (prep for Dead Men Tell No Tales).
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