Dork vs. Dork: X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Summer begins with the season’s first big blockbuster
By Glenn Given email@example.com & Dan Szczesny firstname.lastname@example.org
X-Men Origins: Wolverine is set to usher in a great summer of popcorn gluttony by pushing aside blue Kelsey Grammars and frail old men in capes and zooming in on the only mutant that ever really mattered. And what better actor to star and produce than Hugh Jackman, who brought the feral badassery of Logan on screen not once, not twice but THRICE already? Pair him with actor’s actor Liev Schreiber as rival Sabertooth (a marked improvement in casting over X-Men’s pro-wrestler Tyler Mane).
Some may call this a vanity project for Jackman, but was it vanity that put Orson Welles in both the starring and producing roles of Citizen Kane? Was it vanity that made Jackman out-song-and-dance Beyoncé at the Academy Awards? Was it vanity that saw Hugh shoot David Bowie down in cold blood on the set of The Prestige? I say NAY!
Sure, they’ve tucked a will.i.am in here for some mind-boggling reason and, yes, a Snakes on a Plane alum is yukking it up as Gambit. Frankly, if you start arguing about comic book canon and staying true to the source material, you don’t really understand how comics work. There is no honor among comic scribes, whose bread and butter is flippant ressurection and remixing. No one stays dead, everybody secretly colluded with everyone else in some alternate universe and expectations of sense are a fool’s hope. Enjoy the pew-pew-pew bonk punch stab for an hour and a half. - Glenn Given
And here I foolishly hoped the long cold winter would frost-bite some of your fan-boy irrational hero worship. Jeez, why don’t you marry Hugh Jackman already and be done with it? Listen, retract your adamantium “claw” long enough to take a shot from your inhaler and consider this clunker-to-be rationally. Orson Welles? Seriously? Buddy, I knew Charles Foster Kane, Charles Foster Kane was a friend of mine. Wolverine is no Charles Foster Kane.
The opening few weeks of any summer movie season are like the opening few weeks of the baseball season: the teams are still getting the bugs out, still testing untried players. In other words, stay home. The first amateur “blockbuster” to test the waters this time is X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Let’s put the bastardization of the canon aside for the moment. Let’s also just forget the ridiculous progression of Wolverine in the three previous movies that essentially turned him into Superman.
Instead consider the pedigree of this Hugh Jackman vanity vehicle — actually, there is no pedigree. The virtually unknown director, Gavin Hood, has no major motion picture experience and as best as I can tell is most famous for playing the German champion in Kickboxer 5. And writers David Benioff and Skip Woods have written the horrible screenplays for The Kite Runner and Swordfish, respectively. This is B movie stuff. These guys must provide Jackman with his cigars or something to have landed this project.
Finally, Amalgamated Dynamics is the primary special effects company. If you enjoyed the Santa Clause series, the Alien vs. Predator movies or Elektra, well order yourself an extra large helping of popcorn and enjoy the grease. Trust me, folks, there are real, adult special effects companies whose work you’ll be enjoying in just a few weeks. - Dan Szczesny
Oh boo hoo, Amalgamated Dynamics is doing the primary special effects. Spare me the hot air, Szczesny, your mountain-hiking, slam poetry-disdaining schweppervessence wouldn’t know an ILM from a Digital Domain. Unknown directors are no less likely to craft good cinema than all but the most seasoned vets and Kickboxer 5 was awesome.