Wolverine

Posted on May 9, 2009. Filed under: Movies to see before you die | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Well, it was worth the wait.  Wolverine was definitely one of the best films I’ve seen in a while.  The fight sequences are awesome (particularly when you’re sitting in the front row of a big screen) and everything moves at just the right pace.  The opening credit sequence was particularly good, reminiscent of Watchmen in its journey through the American Wars.  I also thought the actual story was good, and although the twist is guessable in part, the reveal did draw some breath in the cinema.

The continuity with the other 3 films is also not bad.  Yes, Sabretooth is played by Tyler Mane not Liev Shreiber in the first film, meaning he looks pretty different, but thats just about passable in the grand scheme of things (one could argue that since he was becoming more and more animal he turned into one….)  And while we’re on the subject of Sabre, Liev Shreiber definitely has a lot to do with what makes this movie great.  He’s the perfect foil for Jackman and makes a chracter that has been pretty much sidelined in the films so far into a memorable legend.

Sabretooth

As for our other mutants, Wolverine falls into the same trap as Last Stand by introducing lots of exciting new powers and then not using them.  Dominic Monaghan’s Bradley (AKA Chris Bradley AKA Bolt-although we’re never told that) is in the film for less than five minutes, while Wraith (Will.I.Am) and Blob (Kevin Durand) get little more to do.  The most under used though, is Taylor Kitsch’s Gambit, a character there’s been much furore over in the lead up to the film and who could have been better used.  I didn’t think I was that bothered by Gambit, but Kitch’s charismatic performance meant I was sad not to have him on screen for longer.  Having said that, focussing on these other characters would have dragged the story away from its focus, and then we’d probably be criticising it for being to long.

One new addition who seems to have caused outrage across the comic book geek community is Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds)  I’m not close enough to the comics for the change to his character to really wind me up, and I actually thought the transition was kind of cool (minus the claws which were lame) but even I know that that’s not what was supposed to happen.  However, for those of you that are getting really worked up about it, you might be interested to read this, which explains how in the upcoming Deadpool spin off, he’ll be less Frankenstein and more the “Merc with a Mouth” we all know and love.  What I do find confusing is the ambiguity over who actually played Weapon XI, Ryan Reynolds says it was him, imdb begs to differ, so if anyone can clear that one up for me…

Deadpool

I have read a lot of criticism for Wolverine, but I’m yet to find any I can truly agree with.  I think Jackman is great in the role, and while the current film may have had less of the wisecracks that we’re used to, there were still enough to keep the audience laughing.  The whole point of the film is that this is the Logan before; the one we’ve seen in later films (and comics) is the one who has had to rebuild his life out of nothing, so of course the character will change slightly.  It’s been a while since I’ve seen a film and instantly wanted to start again, but that was true for Wolverine.  In fact, it’s worth going again, not only for the film but for the after-credit sequences of which I know there are at least two (I had the Wolverine one, I’ve not seen the Deadpool).

If you haven’t already, ignore the critics and go see Wolverine, it’s definitely worth it.  If you have, go again.  I know I want to.

Origins

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5 Responses to “Wolverine”

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Well I couldn’t disagree with you more! haha the thing about the “it tickled” line that bothered me wasn’t that it was sarcastic. It was that they could survive the firing squad. I don’t know how you could say that Wolverine fit in with the other movies. Wolverine was definitely not that strong. One bullet to the head in X2 and he was knocked unconscious. And that was with his metal skeleton. Imagine what an entire firing squad would do to him with just bones to protect his organs. There was really no time in Wolverine when we were afraid that he might lose his life. Even when that gigantic cement block was going to fall on him I was thinking, “so what? He’s made of indestructible metal.” So that was pointless suspense. And I really don’t understand how they could suggest that he would survive having a bullet in his brain. There is no way the Wolverine from the movies could have survived that. It was really just absurd. He was too powerful. It’s the Superman problem. They did an awful job of relating this movie to the other films.

Secondly, I agree that technically Wolverine’s entire personality could have changed after he lost his memory and the movie is not necessarily flawed in terms of narrative reasoning for his character acting the way he does. But I think what we all love about Wolverine is his character and they essentially removed that enjoyable aspect from this movie. They certainly didn’t need to make him a saint.

And I agree that Wolverine is a moral character (hence he saved rogue and was good at heart as I wrote in my post), but he is also a stubborn character and a bit of a jerk. He’s like Han Solo. Generally good, but a bit of an ass. That was not the Wolverine in the movie and it was much worse for it.

Also, I don’t think the lack of continuity between Liev Schrieber’s Sabertooth and the one portrayed in the movie is limited to different actors. Just look at them. One looks completely different from the other. And how come Sabertooth didn’t remember Wolverine in the other movie? We certainly don’t learn why he left Wolverine alone after the movie ends. The last thing we see of Schrieber is him telling Wolverine that they’re linked, but apparently he never tried to see him again. It was incredibly disappointing.

OK well I can see this argument will go on forever, but Ive gotta come back to the it tickled thing. You never see them get shot, so who says they didnt get knocked out by it? And I’m guessing they probably got locked up after they got up again. That would freak most people out 😛 I do take your point about the bone skeleton not being as strong tho. I guess I’ve always thought of Wolverine as indestructible so it didnt bother me. And he survived the bullet in X2, so he would survive the later ones, and it did take him a while to get up again in the last scene.
You’re right in that the writing could have been better to give him more of the character that we like, but I’m letting them off that. I guess you could argue we’ve got 2 other films where he’s being badass so he can be nice in this one (but I realise thats a totally weak argument!)
The sabretooth continuity did get me a bit, but some of the other mutants (in the comics) do change over time so you can almost get away with it. Is a problem though, just not one tht hugely annoyed me. The lack of recognition is the biggest issue, but you can’t really blame them for not knowing in 2000 what they’d be making 9 years later. There’s no reason to assume that sabre doesn’t know about Wolverine’s memory loss, which could account for the lack of continuity, but thats kind of me making up my own ending so that it fits.

I think we’ll agree to disagree. If you’re willing to overlook the nit-picky points and jsut take it as a stand alone film then its really enjoyable. And I guess since I’m an X Men fan I’m more willing to let them get away with some dodgy crack filling. Was fun arguing with you though!

I got into this debate again in teh comments of a later post if you’re interested:
https://storiesthatreallymattered.wordpress.com/2009/06/07/good-bad-movies/#comment-136

Coming back to this a long time after and having read some of the comic back story:

Sabretooth goes to Stryker for further upgrades and ends up having his memory erased. That would account for both his change of appearance and his lack of recognition of brother Logan.

[…] perhaps the only blogger on the planet who didn’t trash Wolverine, I found myself trying to fit this film around the timeline of that one, bearing in mind that some […]


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