Wednesday, May 6, 2009

"X-Men Origins: Wolverine" - spoiler movie review

I've been a fan of the "X-Men" movies, and I'd seen the trailer for "X-Men Origins: Wolverine", which looked really good, so I was looking forward to seeing the movie.

Overall, I really loved the film. Since I only know the X-Men stories from the movies and not the comics, I don't know how much of Wolverine's back story has been addressed in the comics or whether they took any of those stories to weave into the film, but I think they did a really good job of explaining Logan's background and showing how some of his signature identifications came to be and setting the groundwork for what we know and learn about him in the X-Men films.

The biggest revelation to me is that he has a brother, Victor, who later becomes Sabretooth. I don't think they've talked about him in the X-Men films. The two brothers aren't all that alike though - Victor has a definite evil streak in him.

So when Victor stomped on Logan's protruding-from-his-fingers bones, did that hurt Logan? You can't feel bones, can you? But Logan screamed. Maybe it was the sensation that the breaking caused in his hand? And when those bones break, do they grow back to normal size again? Or do they retract jagged back into his body? Because his metal (ok, so they're made of adamantium, but I can never remember that word, and I had to cut-and-paste to even put that word there) blades were pretty long when they bonded around his bones.

I was amazed at myself that I actually figured out that Logan's girlfriend was going to die. I did not, however, see it coming that the old couple who took him in would die, especially not in that horrible way. That was the most heartbreaking. But that's where he got his jacket and motorcycle from. I wonder what happened to their son. From the way they were talking (why would he have left his clothes there?), it was almost like he was dead. But we don't know that for sure. Maybe at some point, some guy will come up to Logan and say, "Dude, that is so my jacket, and that's my dad's motorcycle, you frickin' thief. Give them back!"

I loved the look on the old couple's face when Logan walked out with half the bathroom sink.

I did not, however, see it coming that the girlfriend was in on it and that she wasn't really dead, although I did have some suspicions about her. When the two trucks were blocking the road and Logan got out to talk to them and almost got in a fight, she got out and talked to them too, and she touched the guy about to beat on Logan. I thought there was something fishy going on about how she managed to persuade him, but then I put it out of my mind. Poor Logan. But she did prove herself to him. After she saved her sister (diamond girl was pretty cool), she went back to help Logan and ended up sacrificing her own life. But not before forcing military dude to walk until his feet bled and then walk some more. That was cool.

I liked seeing all of the new characters, but unfortunately, most of them were killed off, so unless they do even earlier "origins" stories about them, we won't learn any more about them.

Odd random things:

In Nigeria, Wade deflecting the bullets and cutting them in half and killing two guys with the halves in the process was cool. And efficient.

When military dude was trying to pull Logan back in and said that his country needed him, he responded with "I'm Canadian", to which I thought, "No, you're Australian".

The scene when the metal is being applied to Logan's bones was pretty awesome and really painful to watch. And I wonder if military dude was lying to Victor about Victor not being able to handle getting the metal as well. What made Logan ok to go through the process but not Victor?

So I wonder who military dude's son is, the mutant who killed his own mother?

I thought Hugh Jackman did a good job, and he was half-naked during most of the movie and entirely naked during a bit of the movie. Yeah, nice eye candy. I kept wondering how much working out he had to do for this movie to be in that kind of shape and look like that.

I'm not familiar with Liev Schreiber, dude who plays Victor, but he was really good too.

It was fun to see Dominic Monaghan, even if only for a short while.

Oh, and dude who was in charge of the diamond thing in Nigeria was totally dead Dubaku from this season's "24".

Deadpool was pretty interesting (and his lack of a mouth and therefore inability to speak seriously reminded me of Wybie from "Coraline"), and it's just been announced this week that they'll be working on an "origins" film for him as well - an "origins" film is already in the works for Magneto, which should be awesome, even though Ian McKellan won't be able to play him.

I didn't see Stan Lee in the film, nor did I see his credit, though I'll admit they buzzed by faster than I normally remember. I thought he was always in every one of Marvel's movies. Maybe I just missed him.

I loved the uncredited cameo of Patrick Stewart. OK, he looked funny because they had to make him look younger, but it really completed the circle for him to be there.

Speaking of which, one thing that I did absolutely hate about this film was how awful much of the CGI was. I mean, there were other parts where stuff was spectacular, yeah, but then there were other bits that were just amateurish.

When Logan is in the old couple's bathroom, he's examining his new blades. And unlike in the X-Men films where you marvel at them as well, it was pretty obvious that Hugh Jackman was holding his hands up and some tech artist was painting in the CGI that were supposed to be his blades. The parts did not meld together AT ALL. There were scenes of people driving in a car where it was also obvious that the actors were sitting in a car shell and moving backgrounds were being projected behind them in the windows of the car. There are also a few other scenes where it was obvious that the actors were in front of a blue screen, and the background was added in digitally later. The stuff looked layered on, not melded in. For a film of this calibre, it was really surprising for the CGI to be that bad. But then, it wasn't ILM.

And then, there's the issue of the extra scenes. Did you stay all the way through the credits? After a short burst of credits, there was the extra scene where military dude was seen still walking, and then he was stopped by military police because of the general that he killed.

If you stayed all the way through until the end of the credits, then you saw the rubble back at the island, and you saw a hand moving and reaching out to grab his head, which turned out to be Deadpool, and he opened his eyes and his mouth had been slit, and he just said "shhhhhh".

What? You stayed until the end, and that's not the final scene you saw? Instead, you saw Wolverine in a bar, presumably in Japan? Yeah, I didn't see that scene, although I did see it referred to in a story, and I was very confused.

Turns out, there are two different final, one with Deadpool and one with Wolverine. Each theatre has a print that has one of the endings, but there's no way to know which ending you're going to get. Presumably, both will be on the DVD.


Sherry said...

WHAT?! A different ending?! That's crazy.

Nomad said...

i thought Liev Schreiber in particular did an awesome job from all the way through; he brought some genuine acting prowess to the whole production