The latest installment in the X-Men movie franchise cashed in on name recognition this weekend, raking in over $87 million ($160 million worldwide) from Friday through Sunday. But, most critics and fans have been disappointed with X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Insert clever “Origins” pun – Snorigins, Borigins, Poorigins, Al Gorigins, Pauley Shorigins, Ignorigins, What Did They Even Bother Making This Forigins, No Morigins, Suckiness Galorigins…) and they are using the movie as a Solo-Flex for their snark muscles as the scathing reviews flood the internet. Here are just a few snapshots of the Logan Scissorhands carnage:
(WARNING: The following may not be suitable for all audiences. In addition to brutally violent sarcasm, there are also a few spoilers)
Nothing here about human nature. No personalities beyond those hauled in via typecasting. No lessons to learn. No joy to be experienced. Just mayhem, noise and pretty pictures. I have been powerfully impressed by film versions of Batman, Spider-Man, Superman, Iron Man and the Iron Giant. I wouldn’t even walk across the street to meet Wolverine.
Roger Ebert – Chicago Sun-Times
A crude blunderbuss of a superhero movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine proves that the greatest supervillains confronting Marvel Comics’ shape-shifters, lycanthropes and mind-readers are clumsy directors and sloppy screenwriters.
Colin Covert – Minneapolis Star Tribune
There’s an implicit threat in the title X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It’s the suggestion that there are lots of X-Men, and each one has an origin, and that this is just the first of a potentially endless series of X-Men movies – each one doing what this one does: boring audiences with go-nowhere action sequences, while dazzling the mind with zingy repartee, such as, “Well, well, well! Look what the cat dragged in!”
Mick LaSalle – San Francisco Chronicle
What a shocker: mediocre indie film-maker turned mediocre studio director-for-hire delivers mediocre comic-book movie. … Not since George Lucas spent more than six hours detailing in excruciating and inconsequential detail how Darth Vader came into existence has a popular character’s story arc seemed so irrelevant.
Alistair Harkness – The Scotsman
Watching X-Men Origins: Wolverine is like listening to an album by Mick Jagger without the Stones. It’s a not-too-bad, ho-hum affair, with the odd moment of fun, but nothing special. … If only Jackman had spent as much time on his character as he has obviously spent in the gym, this would have been a better film.
Cosmo Landesman – TimesOnline
Wolverine is shorter and less pretentious than Watchmen, but almost programmatically unmemorable, a hodge-podge of loose ends, wild inconsistencies and stale genre conventions.
A. O. Scott – The New York Times
It’s dull, bone-crushing, special-effects stuff, of interest only to hardcore fans who’ve probably read it all in Marvel comics.
Phillip French – The Guardian/Observer
Nothing wrong with the eye candy on display. But a superhero movie should give us something more to talk about than its lead star scurrying about au natural in fields or leaping into a waterfall sans his underpants. … Director Gavin Hood (Tsotsi) relies heavily on Jackman’s bum to bail him out of a bum script.
Randy Myers – Bay Area News Group
Wolverine is about Logan getting that new animal moniker, about the Weapon X program and the beginning of the military program to hunt and capture mutants. Mainly, however, it’s about how cool Jackman looks with his new metal claws and how buff he looks when he’s nude or nearly nude.
Roger Moore – Orlando Sentinel
Serviceable but inescapably redundant, this Wolverine movie does just enough to keep the X-Men franchise on life support, but the filmmakers will have to come up with some evolutionary changes soon if it’s going to escape X-tinction.
Tom Charity – CNN
Summer movies whimper to a start with the wheezing Wolverine, a transparent attempt to squeeze a faltering franchise for its last drop of box-office juice.
Peter Travers – Rolling Stone
…the plotting is ludicrous, contradictory and at times resorts to the worst comic book cliches (yes, a character does come back from the dead). Worst of all, it’s a film that tries to angle for emotional weight but the net keeps coming up empty. … And the whole thing is so seriously blokey. Guys with superpowers spend the movie threatening to kill other guys with superpowers, unless they’re polishing their big swords or showing off their big guns. Really, what could they possibly be compensating for? … (Compared to Crank 2) X-Men Origins: Wolverine is just as stupid, but it seems to be under the impression that it’s smart. The truth is it’s too dumb to realise it’s not dumb enough.
Teddy Jamieson – Scotland’s Sunday Herald
Unfortunately, most of that which intrigues one intellectually and moves one emotionally is missing in the fourth entry in the franchise, X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
William Bradley – The Huffington Post
A mash-up of meaningless combat sequences (meaningless because Logan/Wolverine is just about unstoppable), sub-par visual effects, template backstory, and some goofy Liev Schreiber-as-a-villain thespianizing, Wolverine falls into the origin-story trap that only Iron Man, of recent superhero screen projects, deftly maneuvered around. That is, how the hero acquired his special powers turns out to be a whole lot less interesting than what he does with them, and how he (or she) copes with being a freak.
Steven Rea – Philadelphia Inquirer
You know all those movies where people get sent to an island somewhere, and then discover that everybody is a clone, or a nuclear reactor is melting down, or crazed killers are on the loose? Well, imagine all of that happening at once, only everybody is indestructible because they all have to make more movies, and you have X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Bob Mondello – NPR
At no time do you believe anyone in this movie is feeling anything. At all times you suspect concerns about roles in future sequels are lurking in the back of their mutant minds. …The X-Men concept works because at heart the super-freaks involved are indeed men. They laugh, they feel, they have developed personalities. The characters in X-Men Origins: Wolverine are freaky plastic soldiers being sent off to do battle at the box office.
Tom Long – The Detroit News
The problem with Wolverine isn’t that the mythology is detailed and potentially confusing … The bigger issue is that Wolverine is so uninvolving that you might not care whether you remember what happened 10 minutes ago.
Stephanie Zacharek – Salon.com
Schreiber and Jackman maul each other, but, since no one will die, there’s not much suspense about the outcome of any given battle. As we now know, the point of these unresolved struggles is to prepare the way not just for the next fight but, inevitably and a little cynically, for the next movie.
David Denby – The New Yorker
The obnoxious sentimentalizing and clichéd execution (characters stare up to the sky and cry out in grief-stricken anger more than once!) were also evident in Gavin Hood’s inexplicably overrated Oscar winner Tsotsi. Also, screenwriter Skip Woods wrote the videogame-based bomb Hitman. What did you expect from these two? … The cast gives it their all, but they’re wasted in what is essentially an infomercial for potential future spinoffs. And the special effects don’t even look finished—are we sure it wasn’t the leaked workprint that was screened for press?
Luke Y. Thompson – E! Online
But the direction, by Gavin Hood (he did Tsotsi and Rendition) from a script by David Benioff and Skip Woods, is a case study in mismanagement: of anger, rage, demonic howls that grow into howlers, Olympian camera angles and, above all else, the mismanagement of an unusually personable star. … Still, how much can anyone care about two stupendously testy siblings slicing and dicing each other in repetitive battles with no decisive outcome? Wolverine may have been made for teenage boys, but they get bored too, don’t they? Or don’t they?
Joe Morgenstern – The Wall Street Journal
Wolverine is full of angst, and yet it has virtually all the humanity wrung out of it in an effort to create a live-action cartoon. Cartoons, however, are rarely so unwieldy or force a director (in this case, Gavin Hood) to juggle so much impossible plotline.
John Anderson – The Washington Post
It’s been awhile since such a major tent pole picture that felt so lifeless and ordinary. The plot and story are Mad Libs by the book. The writing is shockingly lazy with even the simplest details (certain supporting characters are rarely if ever referred to by their names, leaving the audience wondering who they are), and the action scenes vary between dreadfully dull, completely pointless, and utterly ridiculous. This film is the kind of bland and boring assembly line product that makes me appreciate the ambitious comic book films that I didn’t care for (Spider-Man 3, Superman Returns, The Spirit, etc) and it makes me a little less hostile toward the lousy comic book adventures that at least had a junky spark (think Ghost Rider or Judge Dredd). Tragically for all involved, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is the worst major comic book adaptation since Catwoman.
Scott Mendelson – The Huffington Post
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