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Harry's official position on WOLVERINE

After a lengthy TalkBack exchange, I'll go ahead and check out WOLVERINE after a screening of SOLOMON KANE today, Friday.

Hey folks, Harry here... I officially recommend skipping X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE. Fox refused to invite one the AICN editors to an advance screening, even though we would have honored any embargo they would have made. However, over at RottenTomatoes' Wolverine Review Page - the current ranking is at 35%, with only 22% of "Top Critics" apparently approving. When I read the positive critics and I find such gems as: "Sometimes junk food is soul food, and sometimes junk movies are yummy and satisfying (and never mind the bellyache later)." -- MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher "Strictly speaking, it's a mess..." -- Rob Vaux, "Whatever actually happened, the explosions all go off on time, which in a film like this is all that really matters." Kenneth Turan, LA Times. First off, fuck you Kenneth. Yes, you do ask for more than well timed explosions from this sort of film you cynical prick - and to give the film a pass for the explosions is pretty insulting. I suppose not reviewing WOLVERINE is a badge of shame as a geek, but frankly, I just don't see the need wasting my time on a movie that is this badly reviewed by critics - and by the tsunami of negativity that is in my email box right now. Seriously, from around the world the word is poison. But that's fine. Go see it if you feel you have no other choice. Personally, I'm more eager to spend my money on a film I do support, which is why I have bought tickets for my third watching of STAR TREK next week, and if I were you - I'd save up to see it twice, rather than have a bad experience this weekend. I'll put it to you this way. If you're the sort of fan that will be satisfied with ANY version of X-MEN and its characters - go check this out. The best comment I've heard about WOLVERINE is that it is better than X3, but I've heard from an equal number saying that it is worse. So if you're depending on a review from me. I'd like to apologize. I'm not gonna pay for the X-MEN that I don't want to see. I was all fired up a couple days ago about seeing the film tonight, but after watching Gilliam's THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS - I just couldn't work up the energy to care about a film that according to Roger Ebert, the main character forgets about at the end of the film. Because I'd have to live with it, get angry - write a really angry review. And right now - I'd rather relegate the experience to home video. Here's the key negative comments I've read that scared me off laying my money down: "Even by the standard of a fourth-in-a-series summer blockbuster, Wolverine is remarkably lame." -- Dana Stevens, SLATE "A transparent attempt to squeeze a faltering franchise for its last drop of box-office juice." -- Peter Travers, ROLLING STONE "A couple of halfway decent action scenes do little to distract from the story’s mounting ludicrousness, or a conclusion that’s only a little more satisfying than a projector breakdown. Maybe." -- Keith Phipps - AV Club "Falling somewhere between noble failure and modest success, 'Wolverine' is ultimately a generic Summer film actioneer that will quickly be forgotten" -- Garth Franklin, Dark Horizons Lastly: "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. And to finish out this article - here's some of the gems in my email box:
By: The_Scream Ok, first up, this film blows big time. About as bad as X-Men 3. I am not a comic book loyalist but even I could tell this butchered Wolverine's origin, inserting useless action scenes and characters just to wow fans. Unfortunately, they completely ruin a "fan" favourite Deadpool. What they do to this character in the finale is not only atrocious for the character but atrocious for the film. The worst X-Men villain ever. A bad idea in conception that reveals just how DUMB the writers are. What's a great villain? Oooh, how about a guy with swords instead of claws, who can heal, teleport, oh, and shoot laser beams from his eyes. That's right, just like the sharks with frickin laser beams in Austin Powers. Let me say this out loud for true emphasis: WORST *beep* IDEA IN COMICBOOK FILM HISTORY. Absolutely awful stuff. But what other juicy nuggets do we have? We have Cyclops reprising his role as a useless cameo. Not much more screentime than X-Men 3. We have Professor X, Patrick Stewart now almost completely CGI. That's right, a cartoon looking Professor X. We have the worst CGI I have seen in a comicbook film in 10 years. This is some really bad stuff. Even the locations look fake. The acting was ok for Jackman and Schreiber. These two actors know what they are doing. Everyone else is pretty poor. There are the obligatory, cliched, love scenes. We have the cliched screams to the camera overhead that pans away into the distance. Yep, that's right. You thought they have done that one to death in parodies. There are so many completely worthless fight scenes that only exist to be fight scenes. They make no sense. They have no drama or excitement. This is the kind of film that was being made for audiences 10 years ago. We have moved onto giants like Iron Man, The Dark Knight, Spiderman, and Watchmen. This film is nothing. What the hell, here are a few more idiot moments: Stryker is awful. The guy playing him can't act. He is told the only thing that will kill Wolverine is an adamantium bullet! Wow! Later we learn even that can't hurt him so Stryker announces that he will shoot him in the head to wipe his memory! MY GOODNESS WHAT A LAME PLOT DEVICE. How does he know it will wipe his memory and why? If his brain heals, why would his memory fade? Has he shot him in the right area of the brain? Can Wolverine be paralysed, or made mentally retarded? Of course the audience knows we need a convenient way to wipe his memory. Why not stick to the darn story which has him losing his memory after the experiment? The violence has been toned down...a lot. Remember the cool scene in X2 when Wolverine has flashbacks holding up his arms with blood rushing down from his claws? Remember the men in suits operating on him? This film doesn't do much of this at all. There is virtually no drama in this scene or horror. It is played about as mundane as you could make it. When his heartbeat stops was anyone in the audience worried? More likely yawning from how redundant it was. Gambit was ok. Not bad enough to be bad or great enough to go wow. I don't believe he was in the origin story but his role seemed forced as hell. All of a sudden this random mutant is helping Wolverine save the day? Could this movie get more contrived? The same with Sabretooth who never gets this name. One minute they are trying to kill each other and the next they are friends again, then not. Bloody hell this is terrible. And Deadpool. He is in a couple of scenes, vanishes from the film then shows up as a weird mutated freak with no mouth. Please tell me this didn't really happen! Overall, if you thought X3 was kinda cool, then you might actually like this. If you hated X3 then you might just think this is as bad or worse. I personally thought X3 was terrible but at least it had some moments of drama and fun. This film is just neutered.
Hey Harry. Haven’t seen any reviews on Wolverine on the site - don’t know if they have already been posted and I’ve just missed them, or if people just cant be arsed talking about the movie after seeing it. This is in no way a review, I wouldn’t pretend to know how to even do one. Just thought I’d drop some thoughts on the movie as I watched it yesterday down here in Cape Town. Firstly, I love movies (hence reading your site every day) but if there’s one thing that pisses me off, is when I go watch a big budget movie, holding lots of expectations, especially in the case of these characters, and I feel like I’ve just been shafted. That’s how I feel with this movie. I was expecting a really cool origin movie. What I watched was a ‘cool in parts’ origin movie. Now I’m not at all saying I’m a fundi on movies or the Marvel world, not at all, but I do realise that the Wolverine character wasn’t always the hard-ass Logan that we’ve seen in the x-men movies. In this film, he is a confused lost soul, bit of a softie with a hard side (until the shit hits the fan and he’s injected with the good ol adamantium), but to me the character just didn’t have the same ‘gritty-ness’ that he had in the other movies. Maybe its wrong to compare. Anyway, I’m not gonna harp on about character issues. My biggest sore points about this movie are 1 – the quality of acting, and 2. The effects. The acting in some parts felt shocking, even from Jackman. There were solid performances from Leiv, Danny Huston and one or two others – but when some of the characters were in scenes, the acting just felt ‘forced’. Don’t know if that’s the right way to describe it, but I almost felt like you could sense there was a guy behind a camera shouting ACTION...a bit hollow. The amazes me that in a big budget movie like this, some of the scenes are so complex and are done so well (which they were), then you get the run of the mill stuff not important to the storyline, and the effects just look crap and half arsed. Feels like they either ran out of time, or money, or both. Some of the scenes were embarrassing. Some were cool, Deadpool fight for example. Something else that felt amiss was the editing and continuity. Just didn’t gel in some parts. Anyway, I’ve had my gripe. Was good to see Wolverine on big screen again, then again, it wasn’t. All in all, the movie was ok, but wont be going in my dvd collection. Thanks for the great site, keep up the good work so we can keep reading. Kris.
Yes, we got it early here -- and here's my take -- An American in Daneland Sees Wolverine and Cries Something Rotten Let it be said that I am an X-Men fan. I admit I got into the X-Men initially because of the 1990s series -- which I later found out had many stories that were pretty close to as they appeared in the comics, or canon. I loved the characters, I loved the theme, I loved the stories, I loved what they showed. So when X-Men came out in 2000 I was psyched. Now, X-Men the movie didn't follow X-Men the canon 100% faithfully. Rogue, Toad, Storm, Wolverine, Magneto...they were all recognizable as their comic book predecessors, but they were not the comic book characters. They had been adapted to fit a more realistic take Bryan Singer was going for. Gone was Rogue having gained Ms. Marvel's powers. Gone was Magneto's buffness. Gone was Wolverine's squatness. Etc etc etc. The story of the first one had no real comparison to the comics, so it could not be judged for that faithfulness. As the series went on, characters continued to not really be the ones from canon, and the stories did not either. Famously the Phoenix story got twisted away from the fantastic space romp meets Hellfire Club and into the Jean vs Professor and twisted psyche stuff. But what was most interesting to me was that these takes on the X-Men, because they were film and thus considered more mainstream and more impacting the general populace's conception of the characters and stories...well, they spawned an alternate universe to the universe I had grown up with, and basically have now read everything of from the time Gambit joined till about a year ago. Now while I right now can't prove this, Ultimate X-Men (, as part of this new line of Ultimates that Marvel developed, appeared more geared to taking what was done in the movies and furthering it, to provide new potential fans with an inroad into the X-Men universe using information they got from the X-Men movies so that they would not have to make sense of how different everything was in the original X-Men universe. As wikipedia says: The most visible difference between the Ultimate Wolverine character and that of the character in the Marvel Universe continuity is physiological. The Ultimate Wolverine is shown to be taller, with a leaner muscular build. Make sense? I say all this because I just saw Wolverine. Yes, Denmark got it early here, and being the fan I am I made sure I saw it today. First, let me just say there is some very cool stuff in this movie. Liev Schrieber is fantastic as Sabretooth -- I just wish he was on screen more (which I'll come to). Of all the characters (and there were A LOT), his Sabretooth and Jackman's Wolverine (which continues to be a good Wolverine) were the best in the film -- and they are supposed to be. They were supposed to be the two pitted against each other, where the main tension lies in the movie. But that's one of the problems. And yes, I said one. You see, this was not a superhero movie with a clearly visible supervillain. It reminded me more of The Incredible Hulk, but I felt more pathos for both Bruce and the Hulk in that movie. He was just trying to find a way to cure him and General Ross wouldn't let him. Big pathos! In this movie, Logan was always running, away or towards something, and we never really got the time to settle down and connect to him. There was one scene where we did, and that was the part that nicely surprised me, but it was here and gone so fast. Everything was told in fast forward, with shifting enemies – one that apparently shifted within a minute! – that I never knew exactly who to be against. I knew not to like Stryker because of X-Men 2 and the comics. I knew not to like Sabretooth because of comics and well what he did in the movie – which made him very one note, but Liev was nice doing it so I let it slide. But there really was no tension about what was going to happen because if you had even just seen the first X-Men movie you know what will have to happen to Wolverine. Had they been smart writers, they wouldn't have made this movie be so close to that movie. Ok, so story, that's one thing. As far as the faithfulness of the story, for the most part the depiction of young Logan and Weapon X program – those were close to faithful and where they were inconsistent there were logical explanations for the inconsistencies. What about the characters, you might ask… Again, for the most part, I had no problem with the inconsistency between characterizations from comic book to movie in the first X-Men movies. Storm was my biggest problem, but when you got Halle Berry what can you expect? As long as the inconsistencies were explained within the logic of the story of the movie – so that I could see there was a reason for why a character was altered – then I had no problem with it. For the most part, the same is true here. But at the same time, its not. Problem is, I cannot really give a lot away because the inconsistencies in the characters, and how they don't make sense in this film, reveals a lot of the twists and turns the film makes. I will say this – all of the recognizable canon characters that are introduced in this movie – and I mean the big names that fans will recognize easily – they all have an inconsistency to them, and in some way this inconsistency does not make sense. This goes for Silver Fox, Emma Frost, Cyclops, Deadpool, Blob and, I really really really hate this one, Gambit. But perhaps the most annoying aspect of this is – just look at who I rattled of there. Those are the really recognizable names in the canon. AND THERE ARE MORE CHARACTERS THAN THOSE IN THIS FILM!!! That to me is the biggest problem. Not the CGI claws for Wolverine. Not the illogic of the head. Not the unintelligible inconsistencies. No, it is the fact that there are so many characters thrown into this movie that you never get a lot of time with them. Definitely not enough to develop any of the characters other than Wolverine. Sabretooth, who was alternatively his ally and his enemy, really didn't have enough screen time for what Liev was doing with him. All the others just felt thrown in, like the filmmakers were saying let's just give'em a bite, a taste, a tease, fan service. But in doing so those inconsistencies were left to be glaringly unexplained to the trained fan eye – maybe even to the non-fan eye. Because they were on screen so little, you didn't really develop much care for them (except Dominic, he did a good job with what little he had). So for the most part, if you are not a fan, I'm betting they come off as almost non-events, only known for their flashy powers (which, yeah, kicked major butt), but not for the people that we fans have come to know and love. I wrote a paper and presented it at Comic-Con in 2007 about adaptations of comic books into movies, and how the adaptors must take into account the reception by the fans of the adaptations. My conclusion is that what was most important is not the 100% faithfulness of appearance, because any smart fan will recognize there will be changes as you move from one medium to another. Instead what is most important is that the adaptors show respect to the canon and extension the fans. These are sacred things to fans, and to mess with them too greatly or without regard to the fans' feelings will not engender their love towards you. I would say this movie fails to win over fans because it tries to cram in too much into one movie and in doing so does not treat these creations with the care and affection that we fans do. But, as I said at the beginning, I am a fan of X-Men. They are my favorite of the Marvel Universe, just like Batman is my favorite of the DC Universe. And I am okay with alterations to the versions I know and love when I can see that those alterations are created with intelligence and love and respect for the fans. If I see those things, I will gobble up all the incarnations and adaptations because I am such a fan of the main idea, the central aspects of the characters (I still hold out hope that Gambit in that new cartoon will turn into the Gambit I love). But intelligence, love and respect from the filmmakers of Wolverine…if it is there, it's not nearly as strong as what Bryan Singer could do. And that is a damn shame…because this had Gambit…and Deadpool…and they aren't characterizations I want to see more of. CarrieLynn D. Reinhard, PhD
Hi Harry, Saw Wolverine at 10.30 this heart is broken. I refuse to go into spoiler laden detail but I need you to know I’m genuine. Two tasters: we’re asked to believe a bunch of hardened, badass mercs storm the bad guys stronghold using an ELEVATOR, all for the sake of a poor quality gag! And the “Wolf Man” metaphor, near the end, which comes and goes at a whim! One minute it’s fatal the next merely a memory wiper! I could go on but I won’t! It’s a complete mess! Below par support work/ no throughline/ too many MUTANT cameos and a twist that will induce GROANS! But it’s THE SCRIPT: always obvious/ always muddled/ always relying on Jackman to bail it out with his essential Wolverine-ness! I’m a Marvel man of many years standing and, it pains me to say, if this is the best script Rothman and co had it would’ve been better just to draw a veil over it and bury it quietly. It’s credited to David Benioff and Skip Woods; Benioff I’ve heard of...Woods I haven’t. As producer Jackman should shoulder some of the blame but I’m loathe to criticise him as he’s so damn good in it. He’s 100% Wolverine: committed/badass/vulnerable/beserker...everything you need in a Wolverine. He deserves another shot at it...he may not get it. If you post this call me Excelsior63. A heartsick Marvel Fan...’nuff said!
I got to go to a sneak preview tonight to see X-Men: Origins Wolverine, and here's my report. I'm a writer for a magazine in California. Please don't use my real name. If you print this on your website, use MISTERFOUR. The preview was at the Mann Chinese Theater in L.A. Solid crowd, lots of security. They didn't want anyone recording anything. Ryan Reynolds showed up and ran across the street, bodyguards chasing after, to say hello to the crowd gathered on the other side. What a great guy! And now, the movie. Oh dear Lord. How hard is it to make a great comic book movie??? Frank Miller defined the character way back when, and other great writers have worked on Wolverine since then. With such a powerful amount of print to rely on, you'd think they would have made a good movie. Alas, no. First, the acting is damn good. Sure, I didn't love the acting the love interest performed (can't remember her name, don't care) and the teleporting cowboy needs to take some lessons, but everyone else did their job. The opening credits are off the hook. Wolverine and Sabertooth, together in war across the ages. There is some really great cinematography at work in just those credits. I curse it now, it got my hopes up. The whole movie has brutal fight scenes and perfect special effects. Really top-quality work. I respected it, and it didn't disappoint. But the plot. Dear God. Wolverine starts out as just a normal dude, centuries back, until he makes his way as a soldier here and there, with his brother Sabertooth, all the way up to Vietnam. There, he and Sabertooth are recruited by Stryker, who you remember from the second and third X-Men films. There's a spectacular action sequence early on when Wolverine (that's not his name yet, at that point, but I don't care) works with a cadre of mutants to tear up a drug kingpin operating in the third world so Stryker can get his hands on admantium. Fair enough. So far, no badness. By the way, we only get a little Ryan Reynolds, but damn he was good. It made me want more. He's a solid actor and a great comedian, and the action sequences serve him well. Other than that, what a waste. He's in the wrong movie. But Wolverine decides to leave when the mutants get a little harsh on the locals. Makes sense, he's a good guy, and he leaves Sabertooth behind, since his brother is getting a little thirsty with the blood. He starts a life as a logger in Canada, living with a hot girlfriend who ends up giving him the name Wolverine. When Sabertooth starts killing off ex-members of the cadre six years later, Stryker shows up to ask Wolverine to join him, but he says no. WARNING! SPOILERS! Sabertooth kills Wolverine's girlfriend. He finds her covered in blood, dead, tracks down Sabertooth, and get his ass handed to him on a gold platter. Sorry, Wolverine, no metal bones, no beating Sabertooth. That's the plot. He joins with Stryker and decides to have his bones laced with admantium to help give him and edge (pun intended). They lace his bones, gosh it hurts, and when Wolverine realizes he's going to get his memory erased by Stryker, he breaks free and escapes, with Stryker out to kill him. At this point the movie is doing well. Yes, there's awful dialogue, the kind teenagers write (Embrace the darkness, be an animal, bleah!) but I was still along for the ride. It's a freakin' comic book, get over it. Gradually, the plot tears it self up. Contrivances pile on. There are even huge, gaping plot fuck ups. For instance, Styker gets a pistol with admantium bullets to kill Wolverine. Nope, just kidding! Sure, early in the movie he's told that, but later on Stryker actually says, "A shot from this will erase his memory," or some such nonsense. Why? Why erase Wolverine's memory? But why doesn't he try to kill Wolverine? And if Wolverine is shot in the head, how can the bullet erase his memory? Wouldn't his lauded healing factor do the trick and heal his brain, since he's been dropped 25 stories and has been blown up by bombs and god knows what through the ages? Gaaaaah! The movie sucks! Does the bullet go through his skull? So how does the metal get repaired? I digress... Wolverine finds out Sabertooth is working with Stryker, and that the whole thing was a trick to get him to undergo the treatment, so they killed his girl for nothing. He decides to locate Stryker, kill him and Sabertooth, and take revenge over his girl. Sounds good to me. He runs into the Blob (played by the very scary cowboy who got killed by Russel Crowe in 3:10 to Yuma) and they box. Seriously. They freakin' box. Here's another problem. You mean Wolverine is injected with 100+ pounds of metal in his body and he's just good to go? I mean, no adjustment? No retraining? He's not slowed down or anything? Plot freakin' HOLE. After locating Gambit (who was once on the island) and another few fights, including a good tussle with Sabertooth, Wolverine makes it to the island, where it is revealed that Stryker is trying to make an ultimate mutant weapon, which is Deadpool, or, Ryan Reynolds. Once Wolverine gets to the island, this is where the movie just shits on itself. Seriously. It turns out Wolverine's girlfriend was fake. She's a mutuant, keeping track of him, helping Styrker because her sister is held hostage. Suprise! Y'see, Sabertooth drugged her so she'd appear dead, and then sprayed her with fake blood. Yes, you heard that right. Fake fucking blood!!! So, Wolverine, with awesome senses and experience in dozens of major wars, is going to be fooled by a cheap Halloween magic fucking trick!!? How do you fuck this up? So Wolverine tells his girl to fuck up, tells Stryker he sucks, and just wanders away, but then runs into Sabertooth and fights him. Why? Sabertooth didn't do anything except get Wolverine punk'd? The girl didn't really even love him (although she says she did, but whatever) so what's the point? Wolverine helps the mutants kids escape (you get to see a young Cyclops and Xavier, which is good stuff) and he tries to get away, but is confronted by Deadpool. Sorry, kids, Deadpool is lame. They took Ryan Reynolds, sewed his mouth shut, and gave him retractable katanas, just like Wolverine. How do you FUCK this up? You mean out of all the douchebag writers in Hollyood, all of the comics, all of the source material, you still can't make a decent film? Hell, the Wikipedia entry for Wolverine has a better plot! Deadpool is simple. He's a total martial arts badass. He has swords. He has a healing factor. That's all you need. Instead, Deadpool is a hideous conglomeration of a dozen powers, and he, Wolverine and Sabertooth fight it out. Great fight sequence, but why use Deadpool? What's with the stupid katana claws? Can admantine cut admantine? What is going on? Wolverine wins, Sabertooth gets away, Stryker shoots Wolverine in the head with the admantine bullets so we now have a plot device to conveniently erase his memory, and then Stryker is forced to leave (he's basically hypnotized) and Wolverine wakes up not knowing a damn thing. Stupid, stupid movie. Plus the dialogue. I'm talking, incredibly bad lines that made me groan out loud and throw popcorn. What gives me the most grief is that now we have no good Wolverine movie to look forward to. None. Hollywood, Fox, Marvel or whatever had millions of talent, man hours, technology and great actors (no matter how bad it gets, Hugh Jackman is great to watch and does his best) but this movie is a fucking train wreck, with livestock, and it splatters across the countryside with all the animals braying and scattering in all directions. This is the worse night of my life. I collected the original freakin' 4 issue limited series of Wolverine, done by Frank Miller, and this movie has pissed on my memory. Hell, I didn't even point out the way they screwed up the comic book details, 'cause I just wanted a good freakin' Wolverine movie! Now, all I have to look forward to is Terminator and Star Trek. A shame on everyone involved in this horribly shamble of a film, and a pox on all the idiots who try to make a comic book movie when they don't read comics. They should all be cut into itsty bitsy pieces, and buried ALIVE! If you use this, I'm MISTERFOUR.
Hey Harry Just saw the theatrical cut of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and thought I’d send in my thoughts. First of all, I want to point out that I boycotted the work print that hit the net a month ago, because I wanted to judge the film on its completed merits, not the version from several months ago that prompted Fox to order extensive reshoots. So without that comparison to draw from, here goes: Starting off early, we get a very quick rundown of Logan’s youth. His adoptive father is killed, and young “James” (Logan’s real, given name) takes instant revenge, only to discover that the man he kills is his real father. From there, he runs for it and is intercepted by Victor Creed, his brother who is looking out for him. Then the credits roll with a montage on the history of warfare, and a now-grown Logan and Creed fighting through the Civil War, WW1 & 2, and finally Vietnam, where we start to see that Logan is becoming troubled with the constant killing that Creed seems to have embraced. Finally done in, William Stryker approaches them and proceeds to enlist their help in a group of mutants that are essentially Stryker’s tools of destruction, to aide him in his insane quest for, well, taking full advantage of what mutants can potentially offer. We all know that it leads to the “Weapon X” program, in which Logan gets adamantium infused with his bones, but that’s a bit later on. Given a brief look at all of the other mutants in Stryker’s toolkit, they each display their powers whilst Logan looks conflicted, before Creed finally goes postal and reveals his love of killing. So Logan high-tails it and falls off the grid. But he’s dragged back in and, you know, lots of action happens that lead to him embracing Stryker’s offer of revenge. In other words, getting the adamantium skeleton. I’ll stop the story synopsis there, because you basically know what follows. It’s not very surprising stuff. Some moments are lovely, others gaudy. Bringing Gambit into the mix felt kinda arbitrary to me. I don’t feel that his character was destroyed, but you need to consider it a VERSION of Gambit, not the Cajun gambler from the comics and cartoons. But the point is that any character from the X-Men universe coulda been written into that part of the story, and so ultimately it seems like ‘Gambit-For-Gambit’s-Sake.’ Which is a pity, because they did set the character up decently (helicopter-staff moment aside). In fact, that’s really how most of the supporting cast feel. Most of them get to display their power once and maybe have a throwaway line of dialog or two, and that’s it. They’ve served their purpose. So for example, Emma Frost shows off her power once, which is seen in the trailer. She apparently can turn her skin “diamond hard”, making her more like Colossus than the Ice Queen – an odd choice – and speaks maybe 3 times. A waste. Cyclops gets similar treatment, but they at least wrote him into the story a little better. And that’s pretty consistent throughout the story. The mutants who get centre stage are Wolverine and Sabretooth (never once referred to by that name in the film – a wise choice, I felt), and that’s how it should be. But the roster of other mutants in the film is large, though they aren’t really allowed to flex their muscles. I’m not really up on the comic version of Deadpool, but I liked his character in this film. Pity they totally wasted him. He does figure larger in the story than is at first apparent, but given how important he is to the story, the lack of screen time he gets makes things feel a bit stilted. Which sums up the entire film, I think. It’s all a bit stilted. It has some great moments, such as the endgame, which is some solid action filmmaking, but Gambit’s one and only action sequence is, well, crap. I could go on and on, but you don’t need to keep being told that the film balances excellence with crap. And because it see-saws from one extreme to the other, the result is the middle point of the see-saw, which remains level. So if one moment makes you cringe, you can rest assured that very soon something will restore the balance. The best thing to take away from WOLVERINE is, without doubt, the interplay between Creed and logan. Liev Schreiber brings a nuanced menace to this guy, and it becomes clear that, despite their bitter rivalry, there is a strong brotherly bond between the two guys. Which helps, because, well, you ever fought with your own brother? Imagine how that would go if neither of you could die. Admittedly, this is more hinted at than explicitly shown, but it works. Even if Sabretooth running like a cat looks ridiculous. But there are problems. I don’t know if it’s the script, or whether Hugh Jackman just didn’t find the right place to delve into for his performance, but I’ve never once felt a true reflection of the RAGE that Wolverine possesses on the big screen (there was a moment in X2 that came close). And it’s not here, either. They hint at it once or twice, and Creed even mentions the word, but it never feels like RAGE. This Wolverine is too thoughtful to be the berserker we all want. When we do see him get angry, it’s usually over after a few seconds (generally after 1 guy dies or is badly hurt). Ultimately, it’s an okay movie. Like I said, the middle point of a see-saw. It doesn’t fuck things up too badly, but it doesn’t hit it out of the park either. Would I watch it again? You bet, but mostly cos I just wanna watch Liev Schreiber’s Creed. He’s magnetic, and very complex in his unique brand of evil. Other than that, it's just an excuse to eat some popcorn. Call me lowmankind.
and that's the most positive review I got - which basically calls it mediocre. And that is why I'm not seeing it, because I trust you guys that have seen it. Thanks for saving me some cash!

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