Monday, May 4, 2009

"people are dead."

so i should probably preface this brief five-cent review of wolverine by saying that my total experience of x-men can be summed up as follows: x-men, x2, x3. i regret x3 -- i regret it deeply. i hope someday to meet bryan singer so i can hit him with a large fish and make him regret that idiotic superman thing he dumped x3 for.

but i digress.

needless to say, i was deeply unthrilled with x3 and probably the only thing that would've gotten me to go back to another x-men movie was hugh jackman. and look how things just happened to work out!

that said, i thought wolverine was an excellent way to spend two hours. (by the way, there are very minor spoilers below; if you are absolutely and totally allergic, go and see the movie then come back and read this.)

i have no idea how well or badly the movie fits into the graphic novel/comic canon -- i can't say i have the time right now to go and find out although i am somewhat curious. the two fanboys sitting next to me and anna who were debating the logic of film vs. print as the end credits rolled have something to do with this -- mostly, i would just like to know that they were as foolish as they sounded. 

the teasers/trailers did their usual job of being just misleading enough that i had to readjust my ideas of who was going to be a main character and who was cannon fodder quite quickly within, say, the first 20-30 minutes of the film. loved the opening montage, though; nice way to condense time and establish relationship at the same time. 

liev schreiber definitely stepped up to the plate as an action hero. i was kind of baffled about his casting when i first heard about it; i seem to remember thinking it was a joke for a bit. but he managed to come across as creepy, unstable, almost charming, and threatening all at once. the coat helped. the nails just looked painful.

gambit could've had more screen-time for my money; i realise that wolverine has about as much use for sidekicks as he does for fluffy bunnies, but still. his tricks were really spiffy to watch and he was quite cute; i think he might be the only one of the boys from the covenant who i've ever seen in anything else!

the end fight sequence was very impressive -- not spoilering it for the sake of friends who have yet to see it but very nice. i'm even willing to let them get away with the rip of phantom menace. ;) (and i know, i know -- george lucas ripped it off from about nine other people before him.)

there are the usual sort of gaps: the girlfriend was a less than inspirational. she was very pretty but i can't say i felt very invested in her. as always, it's interesting to see the steps that go into building the character you already know: here's where he picks up the jacket, there's that phrase, there's the dogtags, etc., etc. i have to say, it was deeply alarming to realise while walking towards coffee after the movie that the actor playing stryker had looked familiar because he was the lead vampire from 30 days of night. i kept looking at him and thinking, "but there's something wrong with his mouth..." 

and yes, there was -- it should have had fangs in it.


annajcook said...

I agree re: girlfriend/wife (see? can't even remember her name!)... of course they're always working against themselves when the audience knows the character has to die by the end of the film. She wasn't as spineless/clueless as she could have been (I liked that she knew about his superpowers). But she was too much a character short-hand for the "normal" life he was trying to establish.

KarraCrow said...


her name'm sure she had one. i think she suffered the fate that a lot of 'by the way' characters, male and female, suffer in f/sf films -- they're just not that important. the film-makers assume the audience cares about pretty much nothing other than the main cast -- which in this case is almost infinitely expandable since everyone has "their" favorite mutant -- and so random passersby don't stand too much of a chance. (which is interesting given the fact that then almost every subsidiary character has a devoted fan following of some size.) but at least she didn't collapse in floods of tears all the time; that would've been dreadful.