Sunday, May 3, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Now I realize that billboards do work their magic on potential moviegoers, thus explaining the sudden impulse to watch X-Men Origins: Wolverine with my brothers without thinking if it were a good idea or not.

It was NOT a bad idea. After all, what better way to spend time with my brothers than to see the movie that would show us where Wolverine, a house favorite (hero), came from. We literally took a detour to the mall instead of heading home.

So there we were, a few minutes later, sitting in a shared silence of marveled anticipation with the next X-Men adventure we were about to embark on. Little did we know that we were bound to have one disappointment after another.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine does not offer the same excitement and unforgettable scenes the other X-Men movies did. It promised a whole lot of mutants to see but I'm afraid the mutant characters dragged into the movie were underdeveloped, that the filmmakers could have randomly chosen any mutant and it would not have affected the plot.

OK so we see the young Scott Summers and his early display of leadership and "special connection" to Professor X. But The movie does not tell us why Stryker chose the young Cyclops for his "project." Why he was a vital ingredient to project 11. Why he had to be there other than to establish how he and Professor X meet. Cyclops' presence seemed contrived. He had to be in the movie because there can't be no X-Men when there's no Cyclops or Wolverine or Professor X.

Gambit, on the other hand, needed more substance other than being Wolverine's ride to the island where Stryker does his sinister experiments. Despite the absence of his French accent, he was charming. Too bad, the movie makers did not exploit that fact. They should have. After all, we had to wait for a fourth X-Men movie to finally see Gambit in the flesh.

The other mutants Wolverine and his brother Victor--who will eventually be called Sabertooth, Wolverine's very own nemesis--worked with in their pseudo gang were there a few minutes then they were gone. It was so easy to miss their names. The movie failed to establish why exactly they were rounded up by Stryker and what broke the gang after Logan left. I assume that most of them got infected by Logan's conscience. But I may be wrong.

X-Men Origins:Wolverine may have a stiffer take on the story of the famous mutants we all love. Perhaps we can say that the movie is more "mature" than the past X-men movies but I don't think that it should be an excuse for how boring the movie turned out to be.

There was nothing new in the movie, not even the humor. I don't think I would be quoting a funny line from it ever. The romance, deception and sibling rivalry were equally trite. We've all seen them before. Even the setting will make us yawn. The Canadian Rockies, although picturesque, appeared to be boring. Logan must have loved the beautiful Kayla THAT much to agree to live in such a lackluster place.

The transformation of Wolverine from an ordinary mutant to an indestructible one was anti-climactic. There were more pain and drama in the flashes we saw in X-Men 1 and 2. And the new metallic claw/blades that came out of Wolverine's hands which he examined inside the nice old couple's bathroom which he accidentally totaled didn't look intimidating in the adamantium-sort-of-way. They looked like a fat bunch of plastic sticking out of his hands. It's hard to believe that they were indestructible.

I'd say Hugh Jackman IS the movie's selling point. He is the reason one will go see this film. Other than that, it is better to say pass to this poorly thought film. Of course there are fight scenes which aim to resuscitate this movie but we've also seen them before--way back to The Matrix. If you want action, there are better movies.

Despite everything, the bad idea about watching X-Men Origins: Wolverine is watching it at SM Megamall. We didn't get the free sticker they promised. They say they ran out of stickers although they still announce it in the papers that they are giving away stickers. They didn't give us raffle tickets. We had to inquire what the drop box was all about to get the raffle tickets any X-Men Origins:Wolverine moviegoer is entitled to. But the part that pissed me off which made me decide that I HAD to talk to the theater manager is the rude theater staff who seemed to be bothered that we were not leaving our seats while the credits were rolling. One guy went overboard and told my brother, "Sir, isang screening lang po tayo." I had to gesture that, "yeah we know." The cleaners stood in front of us as if they were not getting in the way of us reading the names of the people who made the movie possible. And the thing is, at the end of the movie credits, there still is a scene which those who left the theater early missed. We would have missed it, too if we allowed the pesky theater cleaners drive us away. Tsk. Tsk.

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