Wednesday, May 20, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine - 'Kicks 11 Kinds of Ass'*

At the weekend I went to the cinema to see X-Men Origins: Wolverine and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'd heard one or two negative comments about the film - one commentator that I respect even said that he was 'embarrassed that was the best they could do' - and as much as I tend to ignore reviews before I see a film I was a little apprehensive going into the cinema.

I haven't read a lot of Wolverine so I won't be able to comment with any authority about how closely the story follows Wolverine/X-Men continuity but I thought it was generally pretty well written and well paced with a good blend of action-packed and light-hearted moments, and I don't think there was a bad performance from any of the cast although we were treated to some of the worst CGI I've seen in a long time in one scene!

In its hour and three quarters running time the film covers a lot of story - from Wolverine's childhood through to present day and his battles with assorted mutant-assasins. Along the way, we are introduced to a number of familiar characters from X-Men history and I'd like to see some of these explored in any future Origins films: Cyclops, Wraith, Emma Frost and particularly Gambit.

As I say, in some quarters the film has taken a bit of a knock but I can't help but feel that these people just have too high expectations. It must be a thankless task creating a film from a book or character that people really love, as is certainly the case with Wolverine and X-Men, and perhaps try as the creators will such people will never be satisfied (and I don't mean that to sound a criticism of either party you understand). It's not a film that will change your life ... but then would you expect it to be?

If I personally had any criticism of the film - aside from that one piece of CGI! - it would be that maybe too much was crammed into 100 or so minutes. Or, put another way, perhaps the film could have ran for longer: I guess that'll be the director's cut DVD then?

So would I recommend it - yes, definitely. Is it as good as Dark Knight or Iron Man - probably not. It was, however, a couple of hours of good entertainment, certainly best first seen at the cinema and then own on DVD. Let me know what you think.

Skottie Young speaking on '11 o'Clock Comics' 09/05/09