Wednesday, August 7, 2013

X-Men Origins: Wolverine - The Lowest Point of the Franchise

After the relative success of the X-Men trilogy, the people in charge of the film franchise decided it would be a good idea for the next movies to be prequels. Wolverine and Magento origin movies were in talks and in 2009 X-Men Origins: Wolverine (directed by Gavin Hood) came into theaters. Many fans, like myself, excitedly went to see it and walked out disappointed.
X-Mex Origins: Disappointing
In the movie, Wolverine gets an extensive backstory. We learn his real name is James Howlett, where he grew up, that he has known Sabretooth (now played by Liev Schreiber) for pretty much his whole life, and that he's fought in every major American war from the Civil War to Vietnam (even though he's Canadian, eh) in one of the coolest opening sequences I've seen.
Once the war montage is over and the rest of the movie begins, things quickly go downhill. Wolverine and Sabretooth, whose real name is Victor, are recruited by William Stryker (Danny Huston), yes the same guy from X2, to join his Team X, an elite group of mutant mercenaries. Their teammates include Ryan Reynolds (whose role could've been so much better than it was), Will i Am (why did they think that was a good idea?), and a hobbit who also was in the band Driveshaft.
Wolverine: "Who farted?"
After a mission in Nigeria stealing a bunch of metal (yup, adamantium) where his teammates slaughter every living person not on Team X, James quits because he doesn't want to be a killing machine. So, he goes to Canada and becomes a lumberjack using the name "Logan" (so that's where he got the name!).
Years pass and Team X went their separate ways, but now someone is going around killing all of the members.When Logan finds out its Victor, the two duke it out and Wolverine gets his ass handed to him.
To get revenge, Logan goes to Stryker who offers him a way of becoming stronger. We get to see the incredibly painful process he underwent to have his entire skeleton coated in adamantium and why he picks "Wolverine" as his codename. He survives the procedure (obviously), goes berserk, and runs away like a rabid animal.
Logan lays low and eventually learns that Victor is kidnapping mutants, like a young Cyclops, for Stryker to perform experiments on them. He learns the location of Stryker's facility, and goes to get more revenge.
At the facility, Stryker has been experimenting on Ryan Reynolds, giving him a bunch of mutant powers and sewing his mouth shut, turning him into the mutant killer "Deadpool" (which is THE WORST portrayal of the character.
Left: silent Deadpool Right: never-shuts-the-f*ck-up Deadpool
Logan frees all of the captured mutants, and Deadpool is "activated" to stop him. The two crazy mutants fight atop a nuclear reactor on the island, Victor helps, and Logan defeats Deadpool as they destroy the nuclear reactor.
Stryker shoots Logan in the head at point-blank range and knocks him out. When he wakes up, Logan remembers nothing, the impact of the bullet on his adamantium-coated skull scrambled his brain giving him amnesia. He runs off to Canada until we see him about 20 years later in X-Men. And that's the end of the movie. No happy ending or epilogue, it just ends. There are ending scenes during and after the credits, but they don't wrap things up. If anything, they add more questions.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine is the worst movie of the entire franchise thus far. There are so many things wrong with it, like Sabretooth's character. Sabretooth was already seen in the first X-Men movie. In it, he is a big guy with a lion's mane and is really stupid. In this movie, he is intelligent and has sideburns that take up the majority of his face. Does his IQ just drastically drop in the 20 years between the movies?
Then there is the portrayal of Deadpool, a character who is known for constantly talking and making jokes. He even breaks the fourth wall and knows he is in a comic book. In my opinion, Ryan Reynolds could've done a good job playing that character. Deadpool in the movie has his greatest asset removed: his mouth. And he has like 15 mutant powers surgically implanted in him and has retractable swords in his arms. Who thought that was a good idea?!
It also completely undoes the purpose of X2: X-Men United which was to give the audience a glimpse into Wolverine's past. The glimpse was perfect, the right amount of information was given with the majority still withheld so Logan was still interesting and mysterious. This movie explains every single bit of his life and every little detail. It's all really fun to see, but it takes some of the mystery of the character away.
At this point in the franchise, many inconsistencies begin popping up. Especially once you take the next two movies in consideration. If this movie succeeded at one thing it was making a mess and a mockery of the otherwise not too bad X-Men movie series. It's seriously a disappointment.
Hugh Jackman is still mad about how bad it was.

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