“The terrible effects and the destruction of beloved characters are inexcusable, but I’ll be damed if I didn’t I didn’t have a smile on my face during the outlandish action sequences.”
Last night I watched X-Men Origins: Wolverine which is regarded by most people as the worst X-Men film in the history of cinema, and I can definitely see where they are coming from. Much like with X-Men: The Last Stand, I was a child (more or less) when X-Men Origins: Wolverine came out, and I remember watching it on repeat for about month. I didn’t care that the movie was trash narratively-speaking because it was fun for my pre-pubescent brain to watch. Anyway, over the years I have come to respect movies a lot more then I did back then, and I have also had years of the internet turning me into the cynical man before you today, so re-watching X-Men Origins: Wolverine was definitely something. X-Men Origins: Wolverine, as the title suggests, is the origin story of the beloved X-Men character Wolverine. Also, as the title would suggest, it was the first in a planned “X-Men Origins” series, but that was quickly abandoned due to the fact that this movie was absolutely terrible. The film follows Wolverine as he grows up with his bother Sabretooth. All is well (in a manner of speaking) until the pair get drafted into a special-ops team wherein mutants complete tasks that would prove too difficult for a human squad. That is until Wolverine gets upset, and leaves the groups instead moving to Canada to live a quiet life as a lumberjack. All is well (yet again) until mutants start to die, and Wolverine is tasked with finding out what is happening, and how to put a stop to it. Was that to vague? Really all you need to know is that this movie is about Wolverine killing dudes, and we get to see a lot of other mutants as well.
I honestly don’t know where to start, so I’ll just start at the beginning. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (referred to here on out as X-Men Origins) begins with little baby Logan running away from his problems. This transitions into what is easily the best scene in the film: a montage of Wolverine and Sabretooth fighting their way through every important war in history. This not only puts into perspective how long Wolverine has been kicking ass, but it is also a very well shot action sequence. Then the movie quickly shifts into the mutant hit-squad that I mentioned before. This sequence is also really well done, and it definitely made me question why so many people hate this movie. You have the appearance of many mutants working together and making jokes, you have these wonderful action sequences. Essentially, this is most likely the elevator pitch that got this movie made. After this sequence we get into the real meat of the film: the sulky-action movie. This middle portion of the film is terribly slow; so much so that it makes the movie feel at least three hours long. During this sequence we see some mutants die, we see Wolverine get all mad, and then we see some more mutants die. This sounds like a winning formula, but unfortunately it is presented in a way that makes you long for the end of the film. There are a few sequences in here that make the film worth it (the barn sequence mainly), but overall this is the salad that you have to eat before you get your steak. By this point I had completely written-off the film, and was regretting giving it a second shot; but then it happened. X-Men Origins turns into one of the best schlock-action films that I have ever seen. I don’t know if it was because I was half asleep from the middle of the movie, but the ending portion of X-Men Origins almost excuses all of the sins that had been committed. Now this portion of the movie isn’t good, but because of my deep love for shitty action movies I absolutely adored it. We get everything: a shitty reveal that is partnered with hilarious bouts of over-acting, over the top action sequences, and moments that try to be serious but are just so outlandish that you have to laugh. This portion of the film is the one that most people hate, mainly due to “Deadpool”, but I can’t help but love it. Even the “Deadpool” incident is hilarious to me; the lack of care that went into this story is astounding. It’s like someone showing up to work drunk: it’s disgusting that their life has gotten to that point, but you have to commend them for not giving a single fuck. The writers of X-Men Origins knew that people loved Deadpool, so what did they do? They made him a weird amalgamation of mutants and sewed his mouth shut. It’s a wonderful display of “Fuck you I’ll do whatever I want”, and for that I have to applaud it.
One of the least forgivable things in X-Men origins is the god-awful effects. I’m not sure what happened, but it honestly looked like the effects weren’t finished. Even Wolverine’s claws, arguably the most important part of a Wolverine movie, looked like shit. They looked so bad in fact, that it would have been better if Hugh Jackman just wore butter knifes on his hands. Not only did his claws look bad, but they became plot-devices that could mold themselves to fit any situation; case in point: the fact that his claw can somehow slice the lock in between a door and its door jamb. X-Men Origins looks like it was filmed in someone’s garage, and then given to a high school student that claims to be fluent in aftereffects. Besides the blatant disregard for beloved characters, I thought all of the actors were fine. They were nothing really special, but they didn’t ever make me question why they were there at least; well, except for will.i.am. I honestly don’t know why he was in the movie, was he popular enough to be an audience pull? I don’t think that will.i.am has ever been popular enough for people to say “I want to see him in a movie”, and besides isn’t Wolverine the pull of a Wolverine movie? Anyway X-Men Origins, while it is a steaming pile of shit, allows itself to have fun, which translates to the audience (or at least me) having fun. The movie doesn’t take itself too seriously (and even when it does it’s hilarious), but instead presents us with these grand action set pieces that seem to be ripped straight out of a comic book. I will admit that the terrible effects took me out of the movie more than a few times, but overall I had a lot of fun watching things blow up and people get cut in half. I think the reason X-Men Origins gets so much hate is because of the terrible handling of characters. As someone who is a very casual X-Men fan, I wasn’t all that bothered. I’m not saying anything drastic like all people should lighten up or anything, because I know that if I was a huge fan of any of these characters I would be pissed as well. What I’m trying to say is because I don’t have a personal connection to any of these characters (and because I love silly action movies) I’m able to see X-Men Origins for what it is: a dumb action movie. And for that, I love it in its own special way.
Overall X-Men Origins Wolverine is a terrible movie, but it is also one that I had a lot of fun with. The terrible effects and the destruction of beloved characters are inexcusable, but I’ll be damed if I didn’t I didn’t have a smile on my face during the outlandish action sequences.
I give X-Men Origins: Wolverine a B