Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ok Bub (with or without FX)

On the eve of its release, the new Wolverine movie had 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. The reviews were mostly from online sites with a clear geek bias, and by the release date the percentage had dropped to a more sane 37%. The world once again made sense.

At the same time, I had hoped that the initial enthusiasm from reviewers who are clearly fans of the genre meant it would be at least be a fun watch for like-minded viewers. This is not the case. I watched it a few nights (ack! delay in posting: saw it about a week ago) ago online, and though the real movie had been out for about 5 days, it ended up being the infamous leak version. All said and done, I'm glad I didn't pay the $13 I don't have to see it bigger and with real airplanes. (How funny would it have been if not even Logan's snikt claws were in the leaked version?)

There was something incredibly bland about the whole movie, much like the other X-Men films, and too much drama rested on emotional relationships that were never established in anything but name. (The only time it was successful was with the old farmer couple, but there would have had to been serious problems with the film to not win sympathy in that situation. It'd be like watching Dumbo's mother get put in jail and be able to say, either thanks to your own blackened heart or a complete failure on the part of the film maker, "Well, it's just his moms. Whatevs.") Gambit, who I still think should be played by Ed Burns and definitely think should not be played by the heinously coiffed unknown they got, was awkward and uncompelling for the eight minutes he was on screen.
It's not unwatchable, just not engaging or compelling.

I still think Hugh Jackman makes a good Wolverine, if a little less feisty than the comic version, and he's clearly enthusiastic about the whole thing, but he is not being given (or will likely ever be given) the proper vehicle. And don't even ask about Deadpool or the completely unnecessary Blob-Logan faceoff, or the feeling that Will.I.Am was gonna bust out the Peas or his holographic communicator to save the day. Honestly, I don't regret watching it and as long as you're not going in with expectations there are no surprises. Phillip French of the UK Observer says, "It's dull, bone-crushing, special-effects stuff, of interest only to hardcore fans who've probably read it all in Marvel comics." I'm gonna call Phil out on that last point. I'm not even a hardcore fan and the unnecessary changes were just silly moves. I wasn't asking for because I wasn't expecting loyalty to the confused web of wackiness that is the X-verse; I doubt anybody was. But nobody could have "read it all," as in all the silliness that was in there, and French is just indulging in his genre prejudices.

But Gambit sucked. Hard. And he's so not supposed to.


Jim said...

I'm of the opinion that Gambit always has, and probably always will, suck. I saw the FXless version too and thought it was just about OK. It had it's good moments, but they were mostly outnumbered by bad or stupid moments.

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Jim said...

I've decided I'd have liked Gambit more if he spoke in a ridiculous Chris Claremont nyaleens dialect. That would have been entertaining at least, and he'd have said Cheri in every sentence, which always makes for a good movie.


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