I settled into my movie theater seat. I took a sip from my contraband bottle of water(something bothers me about paying $3 for a bottle of water) and I chewed on some Raisenettes(anti-oxidants smothered in chocolate). ‘Wolverine Origins’ was about to begin.
Thirty seconds into the movie and I’m disturbed.
Marvel has once again adapted a character from their vast library thinking quantity over quality would be a winning formula. While on a very basic level, ‘Wolverine Origins’ was an entertaining hour and a half of action cinema, this is a movie about a character many a geek has invested time, money, and their social lives to. It needed to be more than a merely an action flick.
Since the first trailer I had seen last year, the fanboy in me thought the story of Wolverine could have been too long and too in depth to be able to be put onto the silver screen. Unlike Peter Parker and his irradiated spider bite or Tony Stark’s high tech suit of armor, James Howlett, aka Wolverine, aka Logan, aka Patch, aka Weapon X’s story begins as the 19th century ends and continues down a winding path until the present. Ninety minutes(maybe we’ll get more with the unedited DVD edition) could not possibly encompass, with any sort of proficiency, all that has been written about this character.
Marvel apparently decided the best approach, instead of focusing in on a portion of the story, would be to intertwine various story lines and various characters(some who had no right being in the story in the first place) and blatantly rewrite their established mythology, to enhance not the character but Marvel’s gross profit receipts from the merchandising sure to come from this movie. It seems Wolverine may not have been able to extort enough money from the fanbase on his own and so we were given a dozen different characters to choose from.
I understand spandex and capes do not always translate well on to the screen. I understand money hungry studio heads who care only about box office tallies pushing for story changes before a greenlight is given. But Marvel studios made this movie. What studio head did they have to concede to in order for this movie to be made?(the answer would be their studio head)
Where were some of the mistakes you ask?(at least according to one lowly fanboy who has nothing better to do with his time)
-I may have missed it but when was it confirmed that Sabertooth and Wolverine were brothers? Alluded to? Yes. Confirmed? I didn’t think so.
-Wolverine was abducted for the adamantium bonding process(I am such a dork) he didn’t volunteer. This also explained the memory loss issue. How hard would that have been to write?
-Why was Cyclops and Emma Frost and the Hobbit with electrical powers in this movie? And on a truly geek filled rant, Emma Frost’s true powers are telepathy not diamond skin. The diamond skin mutation happened after years of this character’s existence as a secondary mutation.
-Did Gambit need to be in this movie? When did he become apart of Wolverine’s origin? And the attempt at a Cajun accent reminded me a little too much like Costner’s attempt at an English accent in Robin Hood.
-Deadpool went from the ‘Merc with a Mouth’ to the ‘Merc with no Mouth’…and 10 different powers. Huh?
-2 bullets to the head and Wolverine forgets everything? Really? Really? I guess really.
Marvel attempted to shove every detail about this character’s life into this movie both unsuccessfully and unnecessarily. Marvel only needed to give us one part of the story, not the whole unabbreviated thing.
Barry Windsor Smith did a fantastic 13 part story “Weapon X” in Mavel Comics Presents about Logan. It was an in depth look at the adamantium bonding process. How it happened. Why it happened. What made Wolverine the animal he tries so desperately to contain in the X-Men films. It would have made for a great movie(sprinkled with his childhood and brief early life) and it would have opened the door for subsequent sequels(which you know are coming regardless) because of how the 13 part ended.
Marvel missed the chance to add some extra juice for it’s fandom by omitting some easy cookies(“cookies”: little bits of comic lore inserted in to the movie that real junkies of this stuff would or could recognize then talk about on our message boards and blogs in giddy excitement). Comic fans could have been treated with a Captain America sighting during the WWII scene. He and Logan did meet during the war. We could have seen James MacDonald Hudson and Heather McNeil Hudson instead of the senior couple finding a butt naked Logan in their barn. Instead, we got Deadpool with no mouth, a sort of Cajun Gambit, a teenage Cyclops(who’s story has him no where near Wolverine or Stryker or with ruby quartz sunglasses prior to meeting Professor Xavier), Emma Frost now being sisters with Silver Fox, half brother Sabertooth, a ‘Blob’ character that looked eerily similar to ‘Fat Bastard’, and a grandiose plot that was too big to tell in one movie.
Like Spiderman 3, both Fantastic Fours, and X-Men 3(and maybe Ghost Rider too), Marvel turned their backs to their true base and went after a different group. Ten year olds, while a money making demographic, should not have been their focus. Their focus should have been those of us who catapulted Wolverine to the success he has become by following this character since he first fought the Hulk and Wendigo(oh man am I a loser). Rather than focusing in on the character and his intricacies(like in the Dark Knight did), Marvel took the restaurant chain mentality with the movie. Pile onto the plate more food than necessary and fool the patrons about the quality of what they just ate. Eat it we will too because of our devotion to the mythology. Marvel guessed we would be so full at the end we would just assume the meal was good. ‘Wolverine Origins’ gave us our full plate. Marvel served their fans an overflowing meal of special effects, fight scenes, and characters. But this time, after the meal was over…I found myself still hungry.