Saturday, 27 July 2013

X-Men Origins: Wolverine Review

After recently seeing The Wolverine at the cinemas yesterday I decided to go through the X-Men film collection, but this time in chronological order, starting with this.

Plot

SPOILER FREE

Wolverine grows up with his brother Victor Creed, progressing through multiple wars before joining up with Weapon X. He then later has to return to Weapon X's leader, William Stryker for help, getting his Adamantium claws in the process.

Review


Overall this was a good film, but it wasn't brilliant, and had a lot of disappointing parts to it. The story itself was amazingly handled, adapting some of the most key parts of Wolverine history brilliantly, but there were still some things that let it down, and the overall story structure could have been better. The main thing was a few of the character's, that were a little off, and not as I'd imagine them to be. There was however plenty of action, as well as some explosive action, which was entertaining, but it didn't take away much from the bad. I haven't seen any other films by director Gavin Hood, but he did a decent job of this one, and I don't feel that he was the reason for the bad parts of this film, blaming the designers, and writers for that.

Although some of the character's were off a little from the comics, I generally liked the cast choices, with certain ones being perfect for their respective roles. I will however once again start with the main character Wolverine, who is always played perfectly by Hugh Jackman. To be honest I feel that Jackman's performances as the character is enough to keep fans who hate any of the previous X-Men films give it another chance, as he's simply amazing at playing the emotionally scared character, with this being one of his best performances bar his performance in The Wolverine. He also handled the action scenes perfectly, and added humour when necessary which was nice, and well handled. The rest of the cast which included Liev Schreiber as Victor Creed, Danny Huston as William Stryker, Lynn Collins as Kayla Silverfox, Taylor Kitsch as Gambit, will.i.am as John Wraith, Kevin Durand as Blob, Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool (Wade Wilson), as well as others all did a great job of their characters (even if they not accurate to the comics), with Reynolds portrayal of Wade, and Screiber's of Creed standing out the most.

Bone Claws
One of the main concepts for this story was the recent Origin story from 2001, that would show Wolverine as a boy, as well as the revelation that Wolverine started off with bone claws. Now I loved that story line, as although it was controversial for a lot of fans, who didn't like the change in continuity, I loved it, feeling that it made much more sense, and that it gave much more depth to his character. This film adapts that perfectly, with only one change, having the more well known Victor Creed (Sabretooth) as his brother instead of Dog Logan. I also didn't mind that change, as to be honest it made more sense for the film, as it's a character that fans can grasp straight away, and more unknown character's like Dog are harder to pull off. I also preferred the changes to Creed in this film that he was in X-Men, as although that version looked more like him, this was more fitting for the style of the films, seeming more interesting, and realistic.

Another concept that was shown in this film was that of Weapon X, which we last saw in film during X2: X-Men United. Now Weapon X is another key story to Wolverine's history, with it originally being how Wolverine got his claws (now being how Wolverine became indestructible). Again not a lot was wrong with the adaptation, and I actually liked how they went down the line of having a Weapon X team. The members of the team were also well picked, as although some I couldn't care much for, it was nice to see the likes of Wraith, and Blob, as well as Wade. I also liked how they didn't waste a lot of time showing Wolverine getting the Adamantium put into him, as we've seen it before, and it would have slowed the film down too much.

Wolverine has had a lot of relationships over his life, and this would show yet another one, this time being with Silverfox. Now besides her connection to Wolverine I don't know a great deal about her character so can't really judge on how well she was taken from comics to screen, though from the little I know I personally feel it was well handled. I also liked how she was a catalyst for the story of this film, and that parts of her history were shown in this film, which was nice.

Gambit
This film would also see the first appearance of Gambit in a live action film, something that I was very happy about, having wanted him to appear in one of the earlier films. Now I can't say that I was upset about how Gambit was portrayed in this film, but I'd be lying if I said that Kitsch was the best choice, as although he was great in John Carter, and Battleship, he wasn't as good as Gambit. At the same time he made an effort, and it could have been much worse that it was. I also loved the effects that were shown to bring Gambit's powers to life, and overall I can accept the small things that I disliked about his appearance, as I was happy that he's finally made an appearance, and would like to see another. I'd also like to see Kitsch reprise the role, as he's grown as an actor since, and I dislike the changing of actors for little to no reason (unless they're obviously terrible).

Just Wrong
Another character who made his first live action appearance was Deadpool, the fan favourite Merc with a Mouth. Now I loved Deadpool in this film, until they went and ruined him. Reynolds was perfect as Wade, showing his comic tone perfect, and after hearing that some of that was improvised, that made it even better, as you need a quick witted actor to play the role, as a lot of Deadpool's best jokes are spontaneous. Things started going down hill however when the changed him completely, giving him ton's of different powers, and sowing his mouth shut. Now don't get me wrong the concept of a character with all these abilities in one is interesting, and the Deadpool name coming from that makes sense. There is however still one problem, it didn't work, and they ruined a brilliant character in the process, as although I don't mind character change for film (as like Creed his changes worked) it doesn't always work, and this is a prime example, making fans sad.

There was also some great action scenes, and although I didn't like Deadpool the fight between him, and Wolverine was visually amazing. I also really enjoyed the chase with Wolverine trying to avoid a Weapon X helicopter, and the bar fight between Wolverine, and Creed was also very dramatic, with a lot of depth, and mood.

There would also be a credit scenes, as well as an alternative scene, one of which teases a future Deadpool film, with his mouth now open, and the other having Wolverine in a bar, teasing The Wolverine film. Besides being low level teasers these don't do much for the film, and especially the Deadpool one considering it was said that if he featured in a film again they'd be forgetting his appearance in this film.

Final Verdict


This was a good film, with some problems. It had plenty of action, as well as emotion, and was brilliantly cast. It also perfectly adapted some of the key parts of Wolverine's history, as well as add on top of that. This was still however nothing amazing, as it lacked in overall structure, and ruined Deadpool. I would however still recommend at least seeing this film once, as it's definitely worth a try, as you're bound to like it to a certain extent (just don;t expect to necessarily love it).

Rating: 3/5