Monday, May 4, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Movie name: X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Year of release: 2009
Director: Gavin Hood
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Danny Huston, Ryan Reynolds, Lynn Colins, Kevin Durand, Taylor Kitsch, Dominic Monaghan, Daniel Henney, Tim Pocock, William Adams
Genre: Action
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 3

Twentieth Century Fox holds the rights to some of the most interesting characters of the Marvel Universe, but so far, the results of the films seem to be incredibly mediocre. "Daredevil", "Elektra", "Fantastic Four 1 & 2" were all quite bad, but somehow "X-Men" and "X-Men 2", both directed by Bryan Singer were the stalwarts for good adaptations of comic books (the third episode from Brett Ratner belongs alongside the other dreadful ones). What Bryan Singer and his team of writers managed to do, particularly with the second film, was to create a coherent and well plotted film, that respected the stories of the comics, but allowed the characters to be flushed out. The character Wolverine always occupied the center stage in those films, as played by Hugh Jackman. When talks of character based films began, Wolverine seemed the perfect choice, and indeed the material is there and the character has plenty of interest to hold a good film together. What this film now released shows, is how not to create a comic book adaptation. After the interesting results of Jon Favreau with "Iron Man" and Christopher Nolan with "The Dark Night", it's with a big disappointment that Wolverine comes out. The film is an origin story, showing the character as a child, his friendship with Victor Creed and both their growth through times and wars. As they grow, their personal differences begin to show and Wolverine chooses to lead a secluded life, away from special forces or violence. But in the end, all those secrets come back to haunt him with a vengeance. What could have been a great story, ends up being a mess, with the film trying to build character development, and in the following moment introduces an action set piece that is borderline badly executed, with bad special effects. The characters go in and out without any apparent explanation and after one third of the movie has gone by, the action starts to develop, but with no coherent plot line. Hugh Jackman and Liev Schreiber are clearly talented actors, but there's only so much they can do. Gavin Hood is a mediocre talent, as was proven by his previous effort, "Rendition". The next one needs some serious rethinking and hopefully a good talent in the director's chair.