“Wolverine: Origins” Review

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Many writers of superhero comics commonly write themselves into corners, and have no idea how to get out. They have their heroes defeated, the villains winning and everything looking hopeless. However, the good guys need to win so there can be an issue next month, so some superheroes are incredibly overpowered just so they can be thrown at problems to fix them.

For DC, it is Superman who is impervious to all types of damage and can punch through planets. Marvel has Wolverine. Wolverine is not as strong as Superman, but he can’t die either, and has a personality that is driven by more than a simple need to do the right thing. The main problem with this type of character is that someone who can’t die lacks a lot basic conflict and has problems carrying on a story of their own. This does not stop Wolverine from being popular, so to cash in on this Marvel has just released a movie about him.

One of the main appeals of Wolverine, besides being a rage-fueled killing machine, was that he had a mysterious past. He lost his memory and only knew bits and pieces of what happened, so he was constantly trying to find out more. Instead of a movie about that journey, we get a movie that answers all the questions of what happened before he lost his memory, for no real reason.

For a movie about Wolverine, there are a lot of other mutants in it. It feels like the writers sat down, made a list of every mutant who wasn’t in the previous X-Men movies and decided to shove as many of them into this movie as possible. At times it feels like you’re playing Marvel trivia, figuring out which character is going to appear next. The main problem I had with this is that Wolverine is clearly shown interacting with many mutants, yet no one has any idea who he is in the later movies, which is a great segue way to my next point: the writing is lazy at best, and just flat out terrible at its worst.

Name that mutant for big points!

Name that mutant for big points!

While not much is known about Wolverine’s past in the comics, it is a known fact that he was an evil bastard before he lost his memory. Not in the movie though. To make it appeal to mass audiences, Wolverine is a good guy from the beginning, only being led astray by his brother, Sabertooth. (Oh yeah, for no reason whatsoever, Wolverine and Sabertooth are brothers.) There was no reason for Wolverine to be good. He could have been evil in the beginning and redeemed himself at the end, Hollywood loves that kind of plot. Instead, we get the same character from the last three X-men movies. He doesn’t develop in any way throughout the movie, and by the end, you’re left wondering why this movie was made at all.

Poor character development aside, the plot itself is pretty run of the mill. Wolverine joins an evil organization, realizes they’re evil, leaves, and they try to get him back. The whole story is just a thinly veiled excuse for some fight scenes, which aren’t all that good. Then the last half hour happens and everything falls apart.

To understand one of the reasons why I hated the ending so much you need to know the main reason I saw the movie in the first place: Deadpool. Deadpool is Marvel’s fourth-wall breaking, insane hit man. He’s a complete psychopath when he fights, and all of his dialogue is hilarious, which works especially well considering he never shuts up. In the beginning of the movie, Ryan Reynolds plays his character perfectly. There is a scene that goes on for about five minutes where he just keeps talking–it’s everything the character should be. The studio also said that if people liked Deadpool enough, he would get him his own movie. And then Deadpool gets a surgical makeover where his mouth is sewed shut, lasers shoot out of his eyes, and swords come out of his hands like Wolverine’s claws. Character ruined. Movie ends.

What he is in the movie next to what he is in the comics, so disappointing.

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What he is in the movie next to what he is in the comics, so disappointing.

Deadpool aside, there are a lot of other problems with the end in terms of characters and the plot. Wolverine volunteers for the process that gives him an adamantium skeleton, negating a lot of the rage he should have for the Weapon X project. I could understand it if he lost his memory and thought they did it against his will, but he attacks everyone in the building as soon as the process is over, for no reason.

Then, of course, they have to give him his amnesia, in what might be the most dimwitted way possible. I’m just going to spoil it here since I don’t have words for how bad it is: He gets shot in the head. They take an adamantium bullet and shoot him in the head, somehow knowing beforehand that his brain will grow back, but his memory will be gone. How does that make sense? If his brain would grow back, why wouldn’t his memories come back with it? And for that matter, why would just his memories be gone? What were the writers inhaling when they wrote this? I’d have been happier if they used the sitcom cliché of a character getting hit on the back of the head.

This movie sucked; there is no getting around that. If you like Wolverine, read the comics, watch any of the cartoons, or see the first two X-Men movies. This pile of crap should be avoided at all costs. It has almost no redeeming factors and is made purely to profit off fans.

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    • Rob
    • May 12th, 2009

    4 years since I went into a theatre. This is not likely to change.

      • eatthelemons
      • May 13th, 2009

      I still go, but I live in NJ and don’t have a car… for now.

    • d42
    • May 15th, 2009

    lol hear hear!

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