PG-13. A) This movie stars Mr. Knife-Hands. His name is in the title. B) You see his tiny tookus. I don't care if he has knife hands. If we see his tookus, I'm gonna giggle a little bit. But some people might be taken aback by his tookus. It happens. There's language. People get stabbed. There's a decapitation. Ryan Reynolds infamously gets his mouth sewn closed. There's all kinds of stuff. Oh, someone gets his spine snapped by hand. Somehow...still PG-13.
DIRECTOR: Gavin Hood
Congratulations, X-Men Origins: Wolverine. You are no longer the worst movie in the franchise. Dark Phoenix, man...you were terrible. I remember thinking that X-Men Origins was one of the worst movies I had ever seen. I'm going to backtrack that a lot. It still isn't good, but I actually kind of had a good time in the rewatching of it. I honestly thought that this was going to be a one-time watch. This week, I actually psyched myself up to watch this movie. (I'm going to refer to it as Origins to cut back on needless writing.) It's still a bad movie, but I can also see this movie's promise.
The further this movie gets into it, the worse it gets. That sounds super negative. But that also implies that the first half of the movie is actually pretty watchable. I remember thinking that I would watch an entire movie of just the opening credits of this film. It's so good. I thought the same thing about Watchmen. You have this really cool concept of Wolverine and Sabretooth fighting in major wars and their characters evolving into what we know. I kind of want to talk about the missed opportunity, considering that the movie is actually named Origins. This is supposed to be how Logan became Wolverine. To a certain extent, it does achieve that goal. The original X-Men trilogy dealt with the concept that Logan doesn't remember his time before his metal claws. I mean, the movie already drops that ball and implies that he had some time with the metal claws that he remembered (it's complicated). But in an origin story, the real story grows out of character choices. Paul Jenkins's book, that this movie gets its title and opening from, deals with how weak and emaciated James Howlett became Logan. The opening of the film actually shows that. It's really sped up and there's none of the misdirect stuff that the book deals with. But it's in there. And as cool as the opening credits were, those were the moments when James became Logan and how Victor started turning on Logan. The movie starts with Victor promising to be by Jimmy until they die, but the characters devolve because of the war. How is that for telling, not showing? How rad would it be to see a World War I era Logan being disillusioned by humanity seeing all of that destruction? I mean, Wonder Woman wasn't around yet. But Logan could have beat that movie to the punch by a lot.
But even the first half of the movie has promise. It shows Logan trying to find peace without having to give into his animal nature. I'm not sure if it was Frank Miller or Chris Claremont who did the work into building Logan with the Silver Fox story. (In this case, it's Kayla Silverfox.) I somehow love the idea of seeing Logan and Silver Fox together. It seems like what we haven't seen in the other films. I'm sure it gave Hugh Jackman something else to do. That's probably why Logan works so well. It's just something different. Still, what is a bit of a problem with the film is that Wolverine acts very similar to the way he does in the other movies. Logan, for some reason, has to have every tragic thing happen to him. I really have to be mad at this movie for one very shocking reason. This is the only movie that I know that fridges the same character twice. I love a good twist. I think a good twist can take a bad movie and turn it into a good movie. I don't think that Arrival was ever a bad movie. But it turned what would have been a run-of-the-mill sci-fi into something special. But a forced twist is equally devastating. The twist in Origins is terrible. Like, it's really bad. It's fridging, and then giving him have to get even more angry. Let's pretend that I was cool with fridging characters. (I'm not.) The reason why a writer would fridge a character is to give the male protagonist a revenge quest. He has been avoiding the call from the goddess, so he is punished by losing the person he loves. Okay. Logan embraces the call once Silver Fox is killed (I'm going to continue writing "Silver Fox" as two words.) There really is no need to have her betray Logan and having faked her death. It adds nothing. It tries faking us out, thinking that Logan might ignore his quest. But he turns around almost instantaneously. Is it to show that Logan is always a hero, despite the fact that his quest has been resolved? She then dies again...because. It's meant to be sad, but it pushes boundaries beyond what the audience cares about.
When I first watched the movie, something stuck with me. It's not as bad on the second viewing, but it is still an issue. It's the same problem I had with Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. (Wow, that's a pull. I've probably made that pull before too.) One of the cool thing about X-Men as a property is that there are SO many mutants. Asking someone who the X-Men are is such a challenge because you have the old favorites, but there's a regular rotating door of people joining and leaving the team. Watching the other films, it's kind of fun to see which mutants made it into the film. Origins goes way too far with this. With a title like X-Men Origins: Wolverine, it seems like it should be a smaller movie. It should really just be focused on Wolverine. That makes the most sense. But Origins keeps throwing in mutant cameo after mutant cameo. Some are great. I always thought that Blob was an oversight in the other films. He's a big time X-Men villain. I actually really enjoy Blob in this one. But that brings us to the biggest thing that I've avoided talking about so far: Deadpool. I can't really say effectively what Ryan Reynolds hasn't stopped talking about since this movie came out. The Deadpool films almost live and breathe on how bad the depiction of the character was. I mean, I get it. Sewing Wade's mouth shut was a commentary on the character talking too much. I know that most internet comments focus on "How could they sew his mouth shut?" I mean, that's why. Because you are going to comment on it. I don't think that anyone really got it. Part of it is because the joke isn't that great. Naming a character Deadpool in name only is a mistake that probably should have had some forethought. The weird thing is that they got Ryan Reynolds to play Deadpool. They knew that the character had to be funny, but still made him dark as all getout. Also, making Deadpool so central to the film is such a bizarre choice. It's not something that you can just look away from. What a move. I would comment on Gambit, but he just feels like fan service. He's parallel to the film, but not really in the film, is he?
I have to guess that X-Men Origins: Wolverine is the movie of the group that most damages the timeline. I keep mentioning that X-Men has the most convoluted continuity errors. Was everyone aware that this movie was terrible, so they just decided to ignore it? But Origins itself just decided to ignore canon. I have written a lot on this idea, so I recommend you read my other X-Men stuff. But I think that this one is really bad. The other films have made mistakes based on details or throwaway lines. Maybe some ideas didn't come to fruition, so they reworked them later on. But Sabretooth is a major character in this movie. He was a major character in the first movie. In no way can that be the same character. They are completely interpretations of the same character. It was just a stare in the face of what Singer did in his first movie. Yeah, I prefer Liev Schreiber too. But Victor in this is smart and calculating. He has a relationship with Wolverine. But in that, he's a mindless creature. He grunts. That's about it. If you really shut off your brain, you could say that something happened to Victor in the meantime and then someone else decided to play him. But it doesn't work that way. It's bad writing. There's a ton of things that I want to go off on, but I'm running out of time.
Origins is a bad movie, but it's kind of / sort of watchable. I didn't have worst time, but I had the lowest of expectations. It's still a pretty avoidable movie.
Film is great. It can challenge us. It can entertain us. It can puzzle us. It can awaken us.
Mr. H has watched an upsetting amount of movies. They bring him a level of joy that few things have achieved.