I just got back from watching X-Men Origins: Wolverine and I feel absolutely compelled to warn others from wasting their money on a cinematic travesty. What’s particularly remarkable about this disastrous failure is that the first half of the film is actually quite good. It’s not a cinematic triumph by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s a solid, entertaining popcorn film.
But then, a little over halfway through the movie, a switch is flipped. Something incredibly stupid happens, and from that point forward the entire film becomes nearly unwatchable: The plot, the characters, and even the editing all become insultingly idiotic.
It’s as if the two halves of the film were made by completely different creative teams.
You probably won’t believe me. I’d certainly seen people giving the thumbs-down to this movie in various places around the ‘net before deciding to go and see it anyway. But consider this: I actually left the theater thinking X-Men 3 wasn’t a complete disaster. (It was a huge disappointment and completely wasted the opportunity created by the first two films. But it was passable.)
And I’m telling you that X-Men Origins: Wolverine is an unwatchable travesty.
From this point forward we’ll have SPOILERS so that I can rant a bit.
(1) First, allow me to reiterate that I thought the first half of the film was actually quite good for a popcorn action flick. The opening sequence with the young brothers; the montage sequence over the opening credits; and Hugh Jackman’s performance through the next section all made the film very entertaining.
(2) First Warning Sign: The scene where Logan is getting injected with the adamantine skeleton.
Stryker: “By the way, here are your dog-tags. Because even though you’re completely naked, laying in a tub of water, and about to be injected with molten metal, I think you should be wearing these.”
Logan: “I want new ones.”
Stryker: “What do you want them to say?”
Stryker: “Really? Okay. Well, damn. Okay, everybody hold on. Logan, you just stay laying right there. Everybody else just hang out. I’m going to go have completely new dog-tags made.”
And they do…!
(3) Second Warning Sign: Agent Zero has just been killed trying to kill Wolverine.
Nameless Dude: “Agent Zero had no chance. You would need a gun with adamantine bullets. Like this one right here. That we have had all along. And could have easily given him.”
Stryker: “Wasn’t Agent Zero’s mutant power his ability to shoot guns really, really well?”
Nameless Dude: “Don’t forget his ability to leap around like a jackrabbit.”
Stryker: “Right. I see we’re theming these mutant powers well. But since he could shoot really well, wouldn’t it have made more sense to give him this gun?”
Nameless Dude: “… dude. You could have said something like an hour ago.”
(4) The Stupid of No Return: The first time Gambit attacked Wolverine, it made perfect sense. The second time Gambit attacked Wolverine? That was stupid. Really, really, really stupid.
(For those who haven’t seen the film: Gambit hates Sabretooth and wants him dead. He sees Wolverine with his blades to Sabretooth’s throat and hears him say, “I’m going to kill you.” So what does Gambit do? He attacks Wolverine and stops him from killing Sabretooth. Thirty seconds later after Sabretooth has escaped? Gambit is asking Wolverine to help him kill Sabretooth.)
(5) The Rest of the Stupid: I’d try to list it, but there’s really no point. After the Stupid of No Return, virtually every single second of the movie is stupid. So I’ll just highlight one particularly egregrious bit of stupid…
(6) Professor X is a Dick: Remember in the first X-Men movie when Professor X knows nothing about Wolverine? Turns out, he’s a dick. Not only is he telepathically monitoring the entire finale of the movie (and thus probably knows exactly who Wolverine is), but even if he somehow missed Wolverine’s presence telepathically it turns out his first twenty students (including Cyclops!) were all rescued by Wolverine himself!
The fact that the Cyclops himself doesn’t recognize Wolverine makes sense (because they’re actually quite careful about making sure he’s blind and never even hears Wolverine speak). But Professor X? He’s a dick.
Unless they get Bryan Singer back, this is probably the last X-Men movie they’ll be conning me into seeing for awhile.