As I’ve previously mentioned elsewhere, when I was just a wee sprog I lived 2 houses down from the Polkaroo, who had a vast and exhaustive comic book collection in his garage. I was allowed to borrow from it, and I’d spend whole afternoons rummaging through boxes like a mad pirate searching for treasure.
And I found it. I’ll never forget the sense of absolute wonderment that crept over me when I discovered all 4 issues of the 1982 ‘Wolverine’, Logan’s first ever title series (written by the great Frank Miller no less!). Wolverine has been a personal favourite ever since.
As for Kellie… when we first started dating 9 months ago I noticed that she had a copy of the Wolverine: Origins novel next to her bed. It’s still there. ‘Nuff said.
So you see why Kellie and I both had quite high hopes for this movie, Wolverine being near and dear to both of our hearts, particularly hers. Sadly we both left the theatre feeling vaguely unsatisfied.
Probably the most enjoyable moment in the movie was when the American general Stryker, trying to convince Wolverine to join his paramilitary endeavour leans into Logan’s truck and entreats, “Your country needs you”. Putting the car in gear, Jackman answers gruffly, “I’m Canadian“, before driving off. The theatre erupted in cheers and applause. I even heard an astonished “Hey, our flag is in a movie!” emitted from the rows behind me as the camera cut to a rural schoolhouse flying the Canadian flag flapping.
The humour is abundant and our audience spent a lot of time laughing. The visual effects are, of course, stunning and immersive and Jackman is believable as the cantankerous, clawed Canadian. (Personally, I’ve never been entirely convinced by Jackman as Wolverine, but I can’t think of anyone better to cast, so I’ll shut my mouth.)
However, the story is rather simplistic and the plot ‘twists’ are entirely predictable. Frankly, it felt like I could have written the script. If I had I’d certainly fill the gaping plot holes, such as:
- If his real name is James, when and why did he start calling himself Logan ?
- Why does crossing your claws in front of you magically negate another mutant’s optical blast?
- If the bad guys are able to graft mutants’ powers together…. and they have a prison full of tens of mutants… why does the big combination-powered mutant only use 3 different powers ?
- Why does getting shot in the head erase memories? Why doesn’t it make him autistic ? Or unable to use his left foot ? Or only able to taste bacon?
Furthermore, can we please do away with the phrase, “The only thing that can stop him now is ____”. Once those words are uttered in a movie it becomes inevitable that A) said method will definately be applied and B) it will most assuredly not stop them.
So if you’re in the mood for a special effects romp that won’t require much thinking on your part and likely won’t generate much water-cooler conversation afterwards, off to the cinema with you. However, while the experts are all debating the extent to which the leaked work-print has affected ticket sales, I’d like to suggest that the reason sales are somewhat less than amazing is perhaps because the movie is too.
The one absolutely infallible element to the movie is my fellow Canadian, Ryan Reynolds, in his role as the ‘mercenary-with-a-mouth’, Deadpool. Reynolds steals every scene he’s in, and is absolutely hilarious; truly the role he was born to play. Which makes me practically delirious to learn that we’ll be getting a Deadpool movie !
Oh, and did I mention Deadpool is Canadian too?