The X-Men prequel on the feistiest member of the group turned out not so good. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a moderately entertaining movie, with both a quite large set of interesting moments but plenty of long boring scenes inbetween.
Indeed, this vehicle for Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine is far less than the sum of its parts. Even the appearance of the movie itself is an oddity – the character’s background having been semi-well established in the second part of the saga.
This is a busy movie. There’s plenty of characters famous from previous filmed installments as well as from comics. I’m pretty sure I missed most of the references, not having read the superhero soap opera since they heydays of Claremont & Byrne (the post-reboot set by Whedon et. al. does not count). On one hand this intertextuality is good, on the other it’s very distracting, and borders on conflicting with the canon established by the original trilogy. Gambit’s portrayed in a very cool fashion, and I’d expect the character more screen time in the inevitable sequels (two have already been announced).
And for the spendex-clad hero with serious self-control problems in the comics, the conscience-ridden pacifism just does not sit very convincingly. The alleged troubled past he shares with Stryker is very curtailed in this movie – at odds with (again) the X2 movie.
Other than the script-induced issues, Jackman remains excellent as the protagonist. Apart from Danny Huston’s turn as the scheming Stryker, the rest of the actors suffer either from paper-thin characters or too little time on screen to establish any real presence.
And I’m disappointed they did not tie the events on Three Mile Island to the actual narrowly averted catastrophe of 1979.
And I’m even more disappointed at the constant barrage of cliches on screen and the most blatant reset-button used at the very end of the movie.
But even then, the origins of Wolverine do entertain for the two hours the movie takes. Too bad the plot falls to pieces upon closer inspection.