I conclude that the franchise has ran on some thin pickings these days that they had to revisit a sure money maker formula. Why else would they resurrect Wolverine? We all know that his character is a walking mystery and a walking contradiction. Perhaps the reason we’re so stoked to know him more is because he seems so darn interesting. But did it actually help? Were we actually satisfied to learn that the dumb brute introduced to us via X-Men I, II and III had the perennial story of all anti-hero?
Admit it, you wish to be one of the X-Men; may it be hero or villain, deep in your gut you know you do. So what better way to get your fix but to catch the latest X-Men movie to tide you over. It seems too tall a feat to follow the third instalment so why not go back to the origins.
We are introduced to young James and Victor. Brothers by blood and brothers by species. Horrors come face to face with our young superhuman that they are forced to bond and continue a brutal existence. Into their future they fight side by side, war after war and pillage after pillage; they are primitive at best. Through eons of living an altered state and not knowing what they really are and what they are for, the lines of being an animal and human becomes jaded. The young James is now an adult and Victor … unfortunately, grew a truncated understanding of all things moral and immoral.
What balances the brothers are their exceptional abilities and their pact. But an arrangement gone bad pushes James to the limit. He walks away to a long life of killings and fixes himself to become a mild mannered lumberjack. Things turn to a sun-shiny-state and although plagued with bad dreams, he lives a fulfilled life with someone he loves.
But there’s no running away from who he really is. His good life is short-lived when his past catches up and forces him to kill again. When he realizes that his only true love can never be touched again, all hell breaks loose. This is when we get a first glimpse of the poster boy for marinated scowl and rage.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine starts off by astonishing the audience with an astute montage. The cinematic photography of the first few minutes completely draws you to conclude that we have something good going on in here. It soon turns shadowy after the protagonist walks away from a cohort of extra ordinary not so gentlemen. This is when we start wishing for something fast or violent to happen. Although the movie builds up to mano a mano, which is again short lived and anti-climatic, it concludes to a stop that keeps me wanting. This might be the prequel of all things about to happen but I felt that it did not have to be abridged. That it had so much potential but was never really realized.
Given that I’ve never read a page of the X-Men comic books. I allowed the story to run its course – that helps if you do not have a preconceived notion of how things should be. If it came tepid then maybe it really started off that way, so I’m not impugning anyone. My assessment stems plainly from what I hope things to be. To be fair, I like the special effects and I like Wade Wilson’s character. He got my attention when he stormed the jeweller’s room. I like the very many splashed colours, the setting, the simple beginning of Wolverine’s signature jacket and motorbike.
Going back to the leads. Jackman use to be inexpensive, until he donned an aimless character feasting over a vat of putrid angst. And oh, let’s not forget, he wore those epic sideburns. He justifies his acting chops and maybe long into the future if we say the name Wolverine we will think of Jackman (the same way we think of Reeves as Superman). If there is anymore testosterone in him, he’d be in a coma. But again he’s genetic makings deny him that. I like that he can be charming and funny but still be able to become the dumb brute we all know him to be.
Opposite our hero is his frenemy played by Liev Schreiber. If anything, he brings Sabertoothe’s character to an exponential significance. He is both twisted and destitute that to an extent we understand why he’s bent to just destroy anything in his path. His ability to channel his feral beast is amplified when he fights Wolverine. It is also refreshing to know that Wolverine finds his proper equal for a hand to hand, or shall I say, claw to claw combat.
Science fiction don’t necessarily mean that it revolves around aliens on space ships, but this one speaks loudly of science fantasy. Nonetheless there is a great amount of delayed gratification in this movie. It tries to build and built until it finally reaches climax that will completely bawl us over and realize that Wolverine is indeed a pivotal character in the X-Men story. But gratification was really not delayed, as it did not come. Feisty would be too short a description but it unfortunately does not describe X-Men Origins: Wolverine.