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May 03, 2009


What was so appealing about the original X MEN film was that no matter

how geeky it got,  there was a always a playfulness and Bryan Singer's deft skill
at keeping things grounded in a gee whiz Popular Mechanics on acid sort of way.
One of the hallmarks of great comic book movies is the ongoing humanistic
sensibility,  that feeling of being just one step removed from Superman,  a sense
of inclusion through the use of populated settings and direct interaction with
the heros.    All of this and more is totally absent in WOLVERINE - ORIGINS.

     Here we feel an incredible sense of detachment and emotional isolation.
The sets are remote and uninteresting,  the conflict scenes,  which run nearly
back to back throughout,  are like flashbacks to such classic wastes of time like
Operation Delta Force and In Enemy Hands,  some of ORIGINS director Gavin Hood's earlier works.
And the brutal deaths of some innocents is just plain rude filmmaking.   It's snuff and
it's an insult to my intelligence.

 A glaring problem
seems to be the great liberties that the celebrated writing team took with the original story,
all but doing away with the incredibly interesting Japanese contingent,  and failing to write
in enough emotional investment in Logan's relationship with his incredibly attractive girlfriend.   And what happened to the pain that Wolverine would get in his hands whenever he had to use his Adamantium scissorhands that made his character more accessible in the first films? 
Mr. Hood was apparently in too much of a rush to finish it seems.    And I don't care if it was in
the original graphic novel,  the big bad guy at the end shouldn't be able to teleport at will,  it became a poorly fought scene from the old 2D Mortal Kombat video game.   And there was talk that
Richard Donner had to take over for much of the shoot, which does beg to mind the old "too many cooks" adage.   I think the film could have been helped
if they bothered to take their casting seriously.   Danny Huston is too nice a guy to try to channel
William Stryker,  and even if he had decent lines it would still feel clumsy.

Liev Schreiber,  a movie producer in his own right, managed to keep careful control of his character
and could be considered a bright spot in an otherwise dimly realized picture.   In summation,
if you're craving the nuance and intellectual sensibilities of the original X-MEN,  just re-watch the mega hit on disc.   If you can't get enough of Operation Delta Force then go see ORIGINS,  you will love the crap out of it.