Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Say It Ain't So, Joe (Quesada)

Given the gargantuan haul over the weekend, we can assume most of the people who read a site like this have seen and formed some opinion on Marvel's latest film adaptation, X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The friends and family of That's A Wrap! went into Friday's premiere with differing levels of expectation. My brother, a Wolverine fan-boy of the highest order, planned on being blown away. Billy, I'm sure, had some hope of a decent experience, having actually enjoyed the previous films in the series and never bashing the third installment as hard as most. I couldn't have come in with much lower hopes. A significant fan of the comics, I have fallen more and more out of love with this series over the years. But let's jump on below, where we can also discuss our good friend, Mr. Spoiler.

I remember seeing and falling more than a little in love with Bryan Singer's 2000 effort even remarking what a great find they had in that guy I only knew from Snowy River: The McGregor Saga... the one that wasn't Guy Pearce. But it was easier to like and enjoy a comic movie back then. Remember how shitty things were back in 2000? We were only three years removed from Batman and Robin, TaW! was nearly a decade away from existing, the Red Sox hadn't won a title in almost 82 years and if someone asked me what my favorite Marvel Comics-based movie ever was... well, it would be a toss up between Blade and the 1990 direct-to-video Captain America with an Italian Red Skull.

And while the first one led to the current comic book/film explosion, it doesn't look so good in the mirror especially to a continuity whore like me that wonders why they changed Kitty to Rogue, where they put the other original members of the team and why they cast James "Where's the Box I Have to Fail to Act My Way Out Of" Marsden as my favorite character. By the time Singer was replaced with the auteur behind Red Dragon and they pulled a snuff film on the team leader and my favorite X-Man, Cyclops... let's just say I officially checked out on the series as a fan.

My already low expectation were about in line with the Rotten Tomatoes score in the mid-thirties. And when I finally made it home after work and my brother informed me he had to promise not to tell me what Billy thought of it... at that point I was mostly just hoping for a new G.I. Joe trailer.

The latest director in the franchise, Gavin Hood, ranges from lazy (computers in the mid-1970s, not explaining how a character named James Howlett got the handle Logan) to painfully bad (casting a chump like Danny Huston in the Brian Cox role of Stryker and wasting the sure-fire comedy home run that Deadpool should have been) to laughably bad (most every action scene).

The high point of the humor and low point for my soul was a close tie. The first was the "humorous" attempt at Wolverine trying out his claws in the bathroom, which was so Three Stooges-esque and slapstick I groaned and with CGI effects straight out of 1991. The other was the scene in Vietnam where Wolverine and Sabertooth fight back-to-back and Logan actually says, "Back-to-Back." At that exact moment, somewhere an angel died and the writer of Blankman filed a copyright infringement lawsuit. What took that moment to a whole other level was turning to my brother and commenting that I knew without a sliver of doubt they would say that line again in the final fight. I had to resist the urge to throw up a high-five request in the middle of the climax... I almost didn't.

While the movie was just terrible, I might actually look back fondly on the experience. I mean, who doesn't enjoy ripping a movie to shreds for weeks after its release? If I ever stop making Back-to-Back jokes or pulling apart the plot holes just shoot me in the head with adamantium and show me the movie again.

On that note, I have to have my say on the conclusion.... What fucking moron came up with that exactly? I mean the only absolutely necessary plot elements that MUST be in the movie are that he gets an adamantium enema and has no memory at the end. So they devalue the first because they never intended to use Wolverine... they just wanted to see if it could be done... really you spend $500 million on the demo version? How you know the last scene of your movie and can do ANYTHING to get to that point and still mess it up that badly is insane.

First off, what medical degree does Stryker use to decide that the brain will heal, but the memory won't. That's just stupid. Nevermind that they are raping their own continuity! Because Stryker is surprised Logan doesn't remember him in X2! And why didn't Stryker use that handy code word to shut Logan down in this film, since they mysteriously had one in X2? And why doesn't Sabretooth remember Logan for that matter? But the trick to the adamantium bullet is that it's the only thing that wil penetrate his skull. Okay, so just out of curiosity in the half dozen wars he fought in over 120 years, did Logan loose his memory every time he was shot in the head? Did Creed have to pull him aside and say, "Hey, it's cool. We're brothers. We heal from every wound. Let's go kill somebody." every time it happened? If so can I get those deleted scenes please? It all would have worked so much better if Stryker didn't try to explain to the audience what would happen. If it was just a happy accident, or if they tried something intelligent and have Logan's head messed up ever since the procedure and generally evolving to this naturally, either would have worked better. Instead it reads like a BAD comic script. "I will shoot Wolverine in the head. He will loose his memory because... ... ... I am evil! Mwa-ha-ha!"

Final score: D-

Unintentional Comedy Factor: Pure Gold... seriously, this might be the geek bad movie equivalent of what Showgirls is for homosexual men. We should have parties revolving around tearing this movie apart like Mystery Science Theater.

1 comment:

Billy said...

You know what? Blankman? Great movie. At the time it was the best superhero movie out there. Man...where's my Blu-ray?

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