Whether or not you enjoy X-Men Origins: Wolverine will probably depend on what you are looking for going in. If you’re looking for something with the depth and darkness of The Dark Knight or Watchmen you’re going to be disappointed. If you’re looking for a fun comic book movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously, you’re in luck. That’s just what the film aspires to be, and it delivers.
What makes it fun? First on the list has to be Hugh Jackman. I can’t imagine a better fit for Wolverine, and now that he’s four films into the character he seems to have it down pat. Next would be Liev Schrieber’s Victor Creed. His portrayal highlights the similarities between Creed and Wolverine, and paints him with shades of grey. Finally, the too-brief appearance of Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson is a blast.
In addition to the fun, there are some moments of genuinely good cinema. The film’s opening scene and credit sequence are very well shot and conceived, showing the audience Logan and Victor’s history without weighing the film down with a lot of expositional dialogue.
While there’s a lot to like about the movie, there are some things that disappoint. Surprisingly one of the most disappointing things is the special effects. For a modern summer blockbuster they are subpar, at best. Wolverine’s claws, something that should be simple and routine by now, look ridiculously fake at times. Scott Summers’ optic blasts look like they came from 1992. The anti-aging effects on Professor X are laughable. And the final battle is a bit of a travesty. Anyone who saw the leaked workprint, which was missing a bunch of effects, and was hoping to be wowed will be disappointed.
Speaking of the final battle, the thing that bothered me most about the whole movie was a simple thing with Weapon XI. Wolverine has foot-long claws in his forearms. While it’s certainly not going to happen in reality, there’s a plausibility there, since one’s forearms are about a foot long. Weapon XI has THREE FOOT LONG SWORDS COMING OUT OF HIS ARMS. How the hell does that work? They’re as long as his arms, so unless there’s some kind of hidden hinge, HE CAN’T BEND HIS ARMS. Seriously? Come on.
Despite it’s flaws, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a perfectly good blockbuster to kick off the summer. So head to the theater, get some popcorn, and suspend your disbelief for a couple of hours.