After three successful X-Men films over the past decade, many felt that “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” would continue the series’ trend of popularity and dominance. However, void is the solid storytelling that seemed as embedded into the series as the admantium in the bones of the film’s protagonist, making for one of the most mediocre comic book-inspired films in recent memory.
Taking place at the end of the “Wolverine: Origins” graphic novel, [which is arguably the best work on the character and gives a plethora of background information on Logan that was never known before] before eventually taking us to the events the lead to the formation of the X-Men, this film had a ton of potential to fill in some gaps in the older films and create its own separate story arc.
Potential is one thing, but the lack of logical plot development and overtly boring characters is something else entirely.
As far as the story goes, things are tied together in a neat little bow by the end, which is the opposite of what should have been the case if a sequel to this debacle was ever going to be made. Throughout the film, you can’t escape the linear feeling the plot has, following the same predictable mundane structure. Every few minutes, something gets destroyed and a new mutant is inserted into the storyline soon after, which induces either more anarchy or a few catchy one-liners.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
No Miss Cleo needed to predict anything in this film.
Rather than have the viewer feel that the fate of the characters are up for grabs, it’s too easy to predict what happens next- even with lethargic effort. Because of this, the plot of this film induces a feeling of staleness and boredom that Wolverine’s healing factor wouldn’t be able to escape.
The problems with the plot also take away from the performances of the actors on screen as well. Aside from Hugh Jackman [“Someone Like You, X-Men”] and perhaps Ryan Reynolds [before the final fight scene of the movie, which is an absolute joke], no other character induces much of a smile on the viewer, as the horribly written script has taken away any type of emotion the characters could have produced. Again, while they both turn in witty and fun performances [lets face it- Jackman is Wolverine and regardless of what he does in the future, will always be remembered for the vigor he’s exhibited in this role], it’s not enough to help this film tread water.
As a matter of fact, there seems to be a total lack of cohesion between the characters in general, mostly due to the fact they’ve been thrown on the screen for name appeal and don’t have anything truly at stake in the plot to be the type of characters the viewer can appreciate and have significant feelings for.
This is the most evident in the relationship between Wolverine and Sabretooth, played by Liev Schreiber, [The Omen] which seems to lack the energy, emotion and sense of danger this film needed to separate itself from the mediocre.
When the two main stars of a film lack any type of on-screen chemistry, it’s easy to see what could have been a huge scratch turns into an ugly hangnail.
Stay away from this film, even if you’re an ardent supporter of mutant rights.
Even the ones with cool sideburns.