The Alexandrian

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

May 2nd, 2009

X-Men Origins: WolverineWow. That was really bad.

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?”

Logan: “Wolverine.”

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.

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One Response to “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”

  1. Justin Alexander says:


    @Bullets: Adamantium is very hard to forge. They had made 6 bullets & a gun for them, and presented them in a foam-lined case, specifically cut for them. This indicates it was not just crafted, but had time to be polished, and probably tested. (The bullet tips, at least, being admantium, would be indestructible, and reusable after test-firing.)

    Thus, they could have sent the adamantium bullet gun with Zero, noting that the bugs weren’t worked out.

    Of course, this assumes that Zero was supposed to succeed instead of incapacitate Wolverine, so that he could be brought back and mind-wiped.

    However, are we to expect that erasing his memories was to be done by a method other than shooting adamantium bullets into his head? Because the “we have her sister” telepath was not able to affect Wolverine.
    Thursday, May 21, 2009, 10:15:33 PM

    But he was chosen specifically for his ability to regenerate massive wounds so that he would survive the admantium treatment.
    In fact, they knew about him because he had already survived a fireing squad even before he had admantium.
    Saturday, May 16, 2009, 10:48:32 AM

    @Bullets: O-ho, snappy comeback there. Care to back it up with logic?

    In seriousness, 87392v’s theory is EXACTLY what that bit sounded like. No reason to assume adamantium bullets needed, as long as you don’t shoot him through the head. There’s plenty of exposed organs without bones a little bit lower. They underestimated his ability to regenerate absolutely anything and everything.
    Saturday, May 16, 2009, 12:46:34 AM

    Justin Alexander
    @Pink: They actually did establish that both Wolverine and Sabretooth were immune to her power. There’s no real explanation for why they would be immune, but they did dot that ‘i’.

    @87392v: It is true that if the only thing you care about is sheer number of vaguely recognizable comic book characters onscreen, then this movie is “great”. But most people over the mental age of 5 have slightly more refined palates.

    Re: Start of the plot. The plot of the film is not “Wolverine goes to Three Mile Island and blows shit up”. I didn’t even like the film and I’m willing to give it more credit than you are.

    Re: Bullets. Sadly, no. You’re wrong.

    Re: Hyperanalysis. It requires no analysis at all to see many of the myriad problems this film suffers from.
    Tuesday, May 05, 2009, 12:16:54 PM

    87392v, the problem is similar to a low budget horror movie that just show you the cheesy rubber monster instead of keeping it in the shadows.
    Tuesday, May 05, 2009, 10:21:39 AM

    It wasn’t so bad!
    You guys just need to learn that movies based off of comic books should generally be viewed through little-fanboy-vision, in which the plot sweeps past you and you have only the compulsion to cheer when the next character cameo appears!

    But what’s Interesting is that the first part that you so liked was only the exposition. The part that you hate marks the beginning of the actual plot!

    I’m pretty sure that the adamantium bullets were crafted in reponse to Zero’s death, just to clarify. It’s a great movie if you stop hyperanalyzing everything!

    For the record, anyone who reads this, I very much advise this movie to everyone who ever liked anything remotely related to the X-Men series! They cover their bases pretty broadly.
    Monday, May 04, 2009, 10:34:18 PM

    I liked how they had a girl who could make Wolverine do anything she told him to living with him… and to get Wolverine to join them they needed to pretend to kill her just to make him angry at Sabertooth… It was just so nonsensical.

    Also, the people doing the CGI don’t seem to know what inertia is.
    Monday, May 04, 2009, 8:14:22 PM

    Gambit attacking Wolverine the 2nd time makes sense in one way… he hadn’t noticed W had Sabretooth at his mercy. There’s a fairly broad superhero genre convention about heroes attacking each other in stupid ways. And if Wolverine had chewed Gambit out over it, I believe the scene would have worked.

    You’re spot on about the adamantine bullets though. I don’t know what they were thinking.

    Part of the problem here is that the movies are now showing the same problems the comics have been showing for the last 20 years – muddled backstory and additions that invalidate previous assumptions. Remember when Wolverine got his adamantium claws from Dept H of the Canadian government? Remember when they weren’t originally made of bone? Remember when he was rescued by James MacNeil Hudson and his young wife Heather?

    I do.
    Monday, May 04, 2009, 10:15:37 AM

    May be Prof. X can’t read Wolverine’s thoughts due to the adamantium skull, the same way he can’t read the Juggernaut’s thoughts due to Juggernaut’s thick helmet.

    This may also explain the friction between wolverine and Cyclop. Wolverine is a better leader with age and combat experience than Cyclop, but he can’t be made leader of the X-Men because he can’t receive telepathic orders from Prof. X.

    This is just my fix.

    Also, doesn’t a script have to pass quality control before it is entered into movie production? I was sorta pissed to the way Gambit interupted Wolverine from killing Sabretooth. It would have been cool if Wolverine did kill Sabretooth and later discovered that Sabretooth didn’t really kill his fiance. Even better, Sabretooth managed to survive and come back seeking revenge, and therefore a sequel.
    Sunday, May 03, 2009, 12:23:26 AM

    This is sad. I so wanted this to be a good movie. *sigh*

    Lets hope that Star Trek is good next weekend.
    Saturday, May 02, 2009, 11:43:26 PM

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