5 Ways That Wolverine Could've Been Sharper (Mania.com)
Date: Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Let’s dispense with the formalities and get down to brass tacks. X-Men Origins: Wolverine was a turd. You can blame the writers strike or you can blame the director, but the bottom line is that when you have a character as beloved as this adamantium-infused brawler, there’s no excuse for such a shoddy flick. In keeping with the theme of Logan’s unstable memory, we’ve decided to rewrite history a bit and play a game of “What if?” by offering a few suggestions on how the Wolverine movie could be better.
5.The Name of the Game
What’s the movie called? Wolverine. So how about actually giving the guy his own movie rather than making X-Men 4? Yes, the cameos are awesome: they’re one of the highlights of the X-Flicks. As big as the X-Universe is, there’s no way that everyone’s favorite characters can be included. Seeing a familiar face (or familiar powers) pop up in the background or as a name on a computer screen is a great way to appease everyone and delight the fanboys.
But Wolverine didn’t have much more screen time in his own movie than he did in the other three X-Men films. In fact, with the amount of other mutants featured in this film, it just felt like an extended version of the fight at Xavier’s Mansion in X2. The whole movie seemed like nothing more than a vehicle for X-Men spinoffs riding the money-filled coattails of the most popular member of the team. It isn’t hard to imagine a board meeting in which a handful of popular X-Characters were chosen first and a loose script was then written to accommodate all of them. Booo!
4. More Badassery!
Wolverine is a badass. At least, he’s supposed to be. When X-Men Origins: Wolverine was announced, fans were promised a more visceral version of the height-challenged hero. We were supposed to get a Wolverine that was more like the guy we saw at the beginning of the first X-Men flick rather than the guy we saw weeping like a baby with a soiled diaper at the end of X-Men: The Last Stand. We were told there would be more blood, more guts and more all-around badassery and we got… pretty much the same Wolverine that we’d seen in the other films.
Where was the fabled berserker rage? Where was the “I don’t give a shit” attitude that Wolverine is so famous for? Where was the pre-X-Men Logan who doesn’t play well with others? In short: where was the Wolverine we had been promised?
Focusing more on Wolverine’s days with the Weapon X team and showing him to be a brutal killer would’ve given us more of a reason to root for him when he eventually gave it all up. The film could’ve been about his redemption and the people who took his newfound happiness away. And we could’ve gotten some really cool “We’re brothers: deep down, you’re just like me!” moments with Sabretooth and seen Wolvie doing his best to bury the monster he knows lurks within him.
We could’ve seen a man struggling with his inner demons and trying to determine his true nature: man or animal? Instead, we just got a watered-down version with Logan being portrayed as a tender toughie who’s really a pretty nice guy and mostly pretty damn boring.
3. Change is Good… But if it Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It
Certain elements that work in comics don’t exactly translate to film. It’s understandable and expected that the characters we know and love won’t be 100% true to the source material when they appear on the silver screen. But unnecessary change is unforgivable.
Everyone knows the story of how an enraged and animalistic Logan fled the Weapon X program and hid out in the woods until he was found and nursed back to health (and sanity) by James and Heather Hudson. The movie replaced the Hudsons with an elderly couple and the whole process took place over the course of an evening. We understand that using the Hudsons as they appear in the comics might’ve opened up an adamantium can of worms that was too convoluted to deal with, but a great opportunity was missed to show a beautiful redheaded woman working with Logan until he regained his humanity and the jealousy on the part of her husband when Logan made advances towards her, setting the stage for the Cyclops-Jean-Wolverine love triangle of the X-Movies. It’s so obvious a blind man could see it!
Speaking of animalistic rages, the whole “adamantium bullet” was totally ridiculous and unnecessary. It has been hinted that Wolverine is prone to post-berserker rage memory loss anyway… why even bother with the bullet? Wouldn’t it have been simpler to just have him go into a fury while fighting the big bad and have an X-gene induced blackout?
And don’t get us started on Deadpool. The first 30 minutes of the movie featured a character similar to Wade Wilson, sans the classic costume. The last 30 minutes featured a character who was… uh… not Deadpool. What the hell was that thing? Mega Mutant? Weapon XI? Whatever it was, it was a hideous Frankenstein-like concoction so dreadful not even Magneto could love it. The term “epic fail” comes to mind.
2. Not-So Special Effects
When the movie got leaked on the internet, Fox executives were quick to point out that the film was unfinished. The score hadn’t been finalized and the effects were incomplete. When the movie was finally released in theaters, fans wondered if they were watching the leaked internet version.
Remember that movie Nothing But Trouble? It was a terrible film that was notable for featuring rapper Tupac Shakur’s in his first onscreen performance. Wolverine was a terrible movie that featured Will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas in his first ever film role. Nothing But Trouble also featured characters wearing really crappy-looking nasty fat suits which seem to have been recycled for Fred J. Dukes, aka The Blob, in the Wolverine movie. You’d think that by now, after films like The Nutty Professor and Dodgeball, Hollywood would have perfected the art of a decent looking fat suit, but Wolverine set special effects back to the stone age (or at least back to 1991).
Furthermore, Wolverine’s claws looked like they were stolen from the set of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?! Rather than actually build a set of prop claws for Hugh Jackman to wear, Fox decided to just paint in some cartoon ones. At no point during that entire movie did those claws appear to have any weight or density to them or even look remotely real. For shame.
And if we can be a little nitpicky, where were Gambit’s signature red-on-black eyes? They already painted in Wolvie’s claws: would it have been that hard to paint in Gambit’s eyes? For all the cameos and mentions of Marvel characters, you’d think that this detail wouldn’t have been overlooked. Then again, judging by the rest of the special effects, maybe it’s better off that way.
All-in-all, we’ve seen better special effects on Syfy.
1. The Final Cut
What could’ve been a big step towards spinning off a new chapter in the X-Franchise ended up feeling like Jaws 4 – a lackluster, low budget installment that does nothing but put a little more tarnish a once great series. A sequel is all but inevitable at this point. Let’s hope this time around we actually get a movie that’s as indestructible as Wolverine’s adamantium claws rather than one that feels like it’s been left out in the rain to rust.
Series: X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Wolverine (Wolverine 2)