X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Originally posted at slangards.multiply.com on Apr 16, '09
By now everyone has already either seen the leaked Wolverine, or they've taken the high road and said "I'll wait to watch it in the theatres".
Me, I'm a sucker for instant gratification.
I watched it a few days after it hit the Net and rough cut missing 10 minutes or not, I liked it. I'm sure all the purists and fanboys will egg me and call me an asshat, but if you look at it as a completely separate piece of work, it's fun. It's no timeless classic, I grant you, but it's genuinely entertaining.
All the things you've heard about from the studio are true. You'll see the wires supporting the actors, you'll see the raw animatics rather than the finished CGI, and you'll see scratched in subtitles where there's supposed to be ADR. There are scenes where it's obvious that Wolvie's claws are supposed to be in frame but are not, and there are scenes that are obviously missing elements completely because the matte painters haven't composited them in.
On the plus side, I like their casting. I still think Jackman is a great Wolverine. I don't care if people say "But he's not SHORT!". Who the hell cares if he's not 5'3". Why does he need to be? Because he's short in the comics? That's idiotic. This isn't the comics. It isn't an indie film. It's a Hollywood action spectacular. Get your head out of your ass.
Liev Schreiber as Sabertooth is another great decision. I gotta say, I'd never have pegged him as a choice for the Marauder, but after seeing him in the movie... woah. He's not as disturbing as Ledger's Joker, or as over-the-top as West's Jigsaw. He's just an animal that lives to kill. Which is exactly what Sabertooth has always been. It's nothing like that big, dumb ox in the first X-men movie. He plays it more like an addict with an escalating need for his choice of poison, which of course happens to be tearing people apart with his bag lady nails. You can tell he's having a lot of fun.
By now you should've already heard what they did to Deadpool. I won't spoil it for you if you haven't, but it's one of the things I didn't like. Casting was good; Ryan Reynolds has the same wagging tongue as Wade, so fits right into the role, but later... well you'll see. I really hope some of that 10 minutes of extra footage is going to be more of Reynolds mouthing off. He has far too little screen time.
The biggest problem with the flick is the same problem that I had with Last Stand. Too many fucking mutants. As if the Weapon X team with Sabertooth, Wolverine, Deadpool, et al wasn't enough, they throw in a bunch of other people who don't need to be there. Sure Gambit's cool, but he's a poorly concealed MacGuffin if I've ever seen one. Same with Cyclops. Would it have affected the movie in the slightest if they did not include either? Nope.
Since it's an effect driven "event" film, I suggest you don't go into it expecting anything deep. Don't kid yourself. It's a fluff piece to capitalize on the popularity and salebility of the Wolverine character, so the studio (and Marvel... and Hasbro) are going to do everything in their power to maximize the reach of this movie. If you want a dark, bloody romp, go see Punisher War Zone. This is more of your Hollywood summer action blockbuster. Lots of testosterone, bullets (or claws), explosions, fights, effects...
Just not a whole lot of story.
Either way, I'm definitely gonna watch this in the theatres and hope the don't mess up any of the good stuff since this version was leaked.