Practically since it first came out, X-Men Origins: Wolverine has been ridiculed. It’s hard to find anyone who considers this movie even just okay. Any time I’ve come across an article or video about bad sequels, I’m aware it’s a prequel but apparently they don’t care, I’m pretty sure this movie gets a spot on every one of them. And I honestly do not understand why. It’s one thing to say that you think it’s bad or that it’s disappointing, but to say stuff like that it’s one of the worst comic book movies ever made? Really? This is on par with Batman & Robin, Fant4stic and Ang Lee’s Hulk? Really?! Is it that bad?
Okay, I have to point out that the reason I feel the need to defend this movie so much is because it has strong nostalgic feelings for it. I loved this movie as a kid. It was the first of the X-Men movies that I saw in theaters. And looking back at it, I can’t deny that it does have some major problems, but despite all the problems, I can’t bring myself anywhere near the point of calling it a bad movie. But with that being said, let’s get the problems out of the way first.
Lets start with the complaint that you will always see people make when they talk about this movie. That being the handling of Deadpool, particularly towards the end(New ground rule for my reviews. If what I’m reviewing is more than 6 months old, I’m not gonna bother holding back on spoilers.). Yes, sewing up his mouth and turning him into… whatever you wanna call that, was not what one would call a smart move. But I’m actually gonna be one to defend it. I don’t think they intended to keep him like this. Look at the films post credit scene.
Earlier, in the films final battle, Wolverine decapitated him and this shows that he survived even that. And if you know anything about Deadpool, you know he’s no stranger to surviving things like even that. I’m wondering if they intended to eventually bring him back at some point. I would imagine the idea would be that he eventually pulls himself out of the rubble, reattaches his head and he goes after Logan wanting revenge in another movie. Add to that, all the trauma and whatnot from the surgically attached new powers, as well as, you know, getting his head chopped off would cause him to go crazy and eventually become at least something close to the Deadpool we know and love. But Ryan Reynolds was so appalled by what the writers decided to do with the character in this movie that he didn’t even bother to hear them out. But it’s possible I’m giving Fox too much credit. Just look what they did to Fant4stic. But thankfully, they eventually got their act together and we got the awesomeness that was last years Deadpool movie(that I may or may not be rereviewing soon. Hint Wink Nudge.).
I won’t deny it. The effects, with a few exceptions, are not very good. I have to point out that I freakin hate when people criticize CGI by using words like “cartoon.” Well this is my one exception to that type of criticism. What the heck is up with the claw effects in this movie. It’s particularly baffling during the scene where he takes his first good look at his adamantium claws. Firstly, they literally look like cartoons. They look like something from one of those old anime movies. Second, why did they need to be any form of CGI at all? I’m usually not one to criticize the use of CGI as much as others do since I think it’s the story that matters, but would it not have been easier to just use some sort of prop?
Also, while I don’t recall seeing any green lines or anything like that, the green screen effects are extremely obvious and one in particular near the end was really bad. Oh and speaking of that scene and pointless use of CGI, WHY DID THEY FEEL THE NEED TO USE CGI TO DEAGE AN ACTOR(Patrick Stewart) THAT LOOKS THE SAME AS HE DID ALMOST 20 YEARS PRIOR?!?!?!
Okay, enough ranting about the effects. My other major issue is with Lynn Collins performance. Look, I like Lynn Collins. She’s a good actress, but her performance is really deadpan in this movie. And she actually leads into something that really doesn’t make sense. The majority of the film is Logan trying to find and kill his brother Victor, AKA Sabretooth, for killing Kayla. But near the end, it turns out that they actually gave her some sort of pulse-slowing drug and then, I’m not kidding, he bursts open a plastic bag full of blood and let’s it spill all over her. First of all, why did you need to fake her death? Wouldn’t it be more effective and wouldn’t he be more motivated to hunt Victor down if he just (supposedly) kidnapped her. Second, really? All you did to make her look dead was knock her out and just drop a bunch of blood on her? Obviously putting some sort of fake scratch prosthetics would take too long to apply, so again, why don’t you just (supposedly) kidnap her?! Third, is Logan really that stupid? Kayla was knocked out by some sort of drug that slows a persons pulse to the point that they appear dead. Isn’t Logan supposed to have enhanced, animal-like senses? Wouldn’t he be able to tell that that’s not her blood from the scent or something? Since it’s revealed that she was actually meant to spy on him, you could make the argument that they had a packet of her blood for whatever reason. Okay, fine. It’s a stretch, but I could buy it. But AGAIN, she has no scratch marks or any kind of wounds that would indicate that she was bled to death. What did he think she died from? Shock? https://youtu.be/nDyVeIuTQLY There are other nitpicky things throughout, but that’s the gist of my complaints with the movie.
Now let’s talk about what I do like. Hugh Jackman is still great as Wolverine, despite the questionable character choices he makes. Liev Schreiber was fun as Sabretooth and I’m honestly really hoping he makes some sort of appearance in the new movie. And Taylor Kitsch as Gambit was freakin brilliant. I’m optimistic about the Gambit movie with Channing Tatum if it ever happens, though I’ve heard it’s unlikely and it’s not helped by some rumors I’ve heard about Tatum possibly playing Captain Cold in the Flash movie, but if that falls through, they have to bring Kitsch back because he had some of the coolest moments in the movie. Heck, I even liked Will.i.am as Wraith and I was kinda sad when he died.
And despite my complaints about the effects, there were some cool ones at times and some fun action scenes like Wolverine vs. Gambit. I also like when we see Wolverines claws from before he gets the adamantium claws. I don’t why. I just like the look of the bone claws and it was cool to see them brought back in the sequel. And I love the scene where we see him get the adamantium claws, even if it does create a continuity hiccup because of a flashback scene we saw in one of the main X-Men movies that we don’t see. But continuity hiccups are common place in X-Men movies.
Again I have to say that I just don’t understand why people give this film the amount of hate that they do. It has a lot of problems and I could fully understand if said problems were enough for you to call it bad. And I will admit it’s definitely the weakest of the X-Men films, but despite all that, I still do really like and enjoy it. It’s a good entertaining movie that I’d be far from against watching again. X-Men Origins: Wolverine gets 3.5/5 X-Men Symbols.
But join me next time for part 2 of my Wolverine Trilogy Retrospective with the superior sequel, The Wolverine.