When I was first initiated to the world of X-Men (through this game), the character that immediately grabs my attention is Remy or better known as Gambit. Therefore, I was rather disappointed when he was largely absent from the previous X-Men films, all three of them (is it really that hard to animate an energized playing card?). Further, it is already an established fact that Logan and his alter-ego, adamantium claw wielding immortal Wolverine is perhaps the most popular character in the franchise. Thus, the first Origins story is naturally goes to Wolverine. However, Gambit was only a short-sight in this film and he made some decisions that earns a raised eyebrow from yours truly here. Overall, I thought we’d get to see the other, softer side of Wolverine, but either I don’t get those in this film, or simply that the film is uni-dimensional and merely treated Wolverine like X-Men’s Wolverine only slightly more grumpy and grouchy, if that’s even possible.
As its title suggests, the origins story tells Wolverine’s origin, from a kid named James Logan, to his first case of bone extension, his adamantium induced body tampering, until the cause of his amnesia. The film also introduces many unique characters, mutants, and would-be X-Men but these hints are obviously made with more than a mind to the fans who has a previous engagement with these characters. The film might work better if you hadn’t had any previous knowledge on Logan and wishes to know his … well, origins.
To be quite honest, the film’s opening is quite swell and properly executed. But because it’s only last week since I’ve seen the opening for “Watchmen” (it has a more than ample similarity between the two to get noticed and compared), I wasn’t jumping up and down on my seat during this scene. Shortly after, we get glimpse on a mutant vigilantes in which Logan was obviously a misfit member. A scene shortly ensues afterward, a scene that serves more as a visual facade and this-character-can-do-these-following-cool-stuffs than a proper scene with depth. The film then slows-down to further build Logan’s character and to bring him down with rage and guilt (and plenty of howling) up to a point where I felt excruciated and uncomfortable until he finally confronts with whatever or whoever demon nagging him for the entire film. The second part of the film, would likely pleased Wolverine’s rabid fan and action fan alike. I was indifferent however, probably because I’ve grown impatient and I’ve been nitpicking for faults since the first part and found a bit too much of them.
As the first film to open the Summer season, I was underwhelmed. I felt like it doesn’t have that grandeur feels of a summer’s tent-pole. Its casts were mostly uni-dimensional, presents only for the sake of presence and cool factor (this is especially true for Liev Schreiber) and I don’t really get much more excitement (and surprise) than what the trailer has already offered from few months ago. Having said that, though, this film should prepped you up for the weeks to come. Is not terribly bad for a superhero film, heck, some scenes, although most of them were proverbial gestures from Wolverine taken directly from the pages of the comic book, are quite entertaining to watch, and again, I think that if you wishes to know where Logan is coming from and never heard of his origins before, you might find this film a better film than I did.
My rating: ** / **** It’s probably that because I’ve already know the origins of Wolverine. Therefore, I was impatient for the first hour of the film when it tries to build Logan’s guilt and rage that eventually turns him into Wolverine. However, I wasn’t this impatient during Batman Begins even if I know the origins and history of Bruce Wayne even better than I know the origins and history of James Logan.