Friday, May 1, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

It's Hugh Jackman on the big screen in the much awaited movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine. For some, a cheap thrill on a P.C. could have been gotten weeks ago when the movie leaked widely, but genuine fans chose to wait out and enjoy the theatre experience. The movie is a glimpse into the early years of the X-Men character, Wolverine taking movie goers to the early days of the character and the finally telling the tale of infamous signature claws. In the opening scenes of the movie, Wolverine's military experience in the Conferderate War, the Second World War, and a stint in perhaps the Vietnam War are shown. Typically, a good movie is one that can hold your attention and draw you in within the first five minutes. Opening with two vicious murders and children on the run from the law, the movie obeyed the first rule of good behavior for all movies.

The ensuing scenes were a foray into globe-trotting. From Lagos, to Canada and then Ohio. In the scene in Lagos, the sitting government in the Unites States goes after a special elixir in form of a supposed precious metal that was supposed to confer immortality. The scene in Lagos is sort of a gaffe because it is historically inacurate. The language that was spoken is not one that is local to the western part of the country. Further, the road signs and the geography were anywhere but Lagos.

As the movie progresses, Wolverine (Lucas), has his fair share of wars and settles into life in Canada as a logger with a brunette love interest. His occupation is an attempt to distance himself from his past. Nonetheless, despite burning the bridge to this past, it still comes back to haunt him when his brother begins a murderous adventure aimed at the other superheroes. The murderous spree would include the death of Wolverine's lover. However, it's all a ploy to get Wolverine back into his superhero lifestyle. The scheme works like a charm, Wolverine is forced back into his old life to avenge the death of his brunette lover and that's where the scenes heat up.

But, the adventure really begins when Lucas undergoes an experimental operation that confers immortality. His claws also are upgraded from their bony structure to a sleek metal that cuts through steel. Armed with his new claws he goes in search of his detractors and his brother. The fight scenes that ensue are breathtaking. From his boxing match to other fight scenes, the action keeps coming but does not climax unfortunately.

Hugh Jackman delivers but the movie does not do him justice considering the amount of training he put into it. Jackman's physique is astounding and takes sexy to a new high. He leaps, and claws and snarls like only he can.

However, there seems to be a great disconnect in the movie. In the famous scene where he runs down a passage between cages on either side, the director fails dismally. When Wolverine reaches the last of the cages he just stops abruptly and stares. After such a feat, that scene should have ended with Lucas screaming in thirst for vengeance and the scream should have transitioned into the next shot. However, he just stopped short, a huge failure in the movie. That was a great scene and the director failed to capitalize on that moment.

Also, the fight between Lucas and the new mutant also fails to deliver. The suspense it should have delivered was absent. There is that sense of a foreboding of bloodshed, but the scene missed the bull's eye. I wanted more intensity, more suspense and a whole lot more drama. However, the scene was disappointing and the action was weak. Despite being a quality movie, there were several misses that could have made for an even greater action flick.

In the end, Wolverine loses his memory after the ultimate fight which unfortunately did not not have the intensity it should have packed. Nonetheless, Jackman is at his best physically and is possilby the best Wolverine he can be. In all, X-Men Origins: Wolverine deserves a B.

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