The perfect recipe for a Monday evening to drive away the blues – hot chicken biryani, chilled lemonade, feet up on the bed and a movie DVD in the console. That is how we decided to take this week on. So yesterday evening, we kicked off our shoes, dimmed the lights and settled in for the much awaited film – Wolverine.
Now it is difficult to critique a movie which stars the delectable Hugh Jackman. When choosing which mutant hero they would use to launch the X-MEN feature-film prequel series, the creators of the hugely successful franchise had a no-brainer of a decision in going with Wolverine. Not only is he the most well-known and popular X-Men character, but Wolverine--as brought expertly to life in true leading-man fashion by Hugh Jackman--was essentially the star of the three previous X-MEN movies (and I would vouch for that). Ever since his act at the Oscars this year, I have become a sworn fan. He doesn’t disappoint here either from flashing those rippling muscles at no provocation to being the ‘good’ guy. It’s tough to think objectively on this one, but objective we must be and alas, the film fails to please.
Wolverine is the back story of the fiery and conflicted Wolverine (James Logan), whose mutant powers include killer claws that shoot from his knuckles and a regenerative ability that allows him to live seemingly forever. The movie follows Logan from his first recognition of his mutant powers as a young child up through his infamous Adamantium rebirth and the total memory loss that would subsequently fuel his angry quest. It traces his relationship with his half brother Victor (who will go on to become SaberTooth) and how Logan develops a conscience thus putting an end to their ‘together forever’ pact!
So far so good. The problem I suppose is that the filmmakers couldn't decide what to cut out, so they threw everything into the pot and hoped for the best. The results are half interesting, but half filler. Also, the pirated version of Wolverine, albeit what’s claimed to be a “work print” of it (one that lacks various digital effects and is shorter than the real thing), is unfortunately the only one available as of now. Which means that the special effects were more or less a half baked video game and I suspect play a role in our lack of satisfaction with the film.
The script has many open loops and is not very tight. The director has built up characters for no joy. Take for example the exemplary action in the first half by the sword guy who eventually is reduced to a moron who is supposedly the perfect (?!?) mutant (who is slain in 30 seconds flat by the wolf brothers). Or the very good looking Remy LeBeau who can manipulate any material into a weapon. Unless they bring him in for the next X-Men movie, it was a complete waste of a character.
I hate to be a bubble burster (if there is such a word) but I truly tried very hard to like the film. The film itself is not bad. Its just that when you follow up on a cutting edge series like X-Men, you are expected to be fantastic. And fantastic it is not!
Rating: 2.5 on 5
PS – I know Ras is going to go all out with protests. But truly, for a moment forget that Hugh Jackman was in the film…now don’t you agree partly with me??