Marvel Movie Madness! Part 14: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Another shaky outing for Wolvy.

by | June 8, 2011 | Comments

Enter Marvel Movie Madness, wherein Rotten Tomatoes watches all of the significant Marvel movies ever made. Full Marvel Movie Madness list here. Tune in! We give you our thoughts, and you give us yours.


Part 14: X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009, 37% @ 246 reviews)

Directed by Gavin Hood, starring Hugh Jackman, Liev Schrieber, Danny Huston, Ryan Reynolds

Alex:Hey, brainy directors making comic book movies: Learn the lesson of Gavin Hood and don’t approach the genre like you’re doing fanboys a favor. You’re actually just doing yourself a disservice. Hood, an obviously smart guy with movies like Rendition and Tsotsi, ditches his strengths, takes every opportunity to try to be awesome and instead comes off as pandering and desperate. Obviously excited by the idea of having a special effects budget to tell a bigger story yet having no idea how to put it effectively on screen, Hood gives us stuff that looks OK if ridiculous (twirling mutant laser beam destroys a cooling tower), really bad (bullets hit the ground, obviously digitized dirt burst up), and downright horrible (Wolverine’s adamantium claws). Seriously, what was up with the claws? Lawnmower Man quality.


Matt: I’m not sure who this movie was made for. It’s certainly not made for people who like good movies. Sure, there are a couple of pretty good action pieces at the beginning of the film, but the the script is so ham-fisted about telling us how to feel (Why is the moon sad? Because she had to watch this movie). We’re told that there’s tension between Sabretooth and Wolverine, but we don’t really find out why, and worse yet, we don’t really care. Wolverine is mostly pretty mopey here, and not the bundle of rage we know and love. I will say that Liev Schrieber is nicely menacing here, but this performance belongs in a better movie.

This movie isn’t really made for comic fans either. Playing it a little loose with the characters was OK in the first two X-Men movies because that liberty allowed for tight storytelling. The story here gets so far away from the source material, it seems like the writers just started dropping mutants in just because we’d recognize them (the same way the Epic Movie clowns write jokes – mere recognition is enough to be funny, right?). From a comic fan’s perspective, I don’t see any reason to include some of the characters that show up, and the biggest insult to comic fans has to be the inclusion of Deadpool. Deadpool’s popularity comes mainly from his abject insanity, and silencing him in this film really shows how little the filmmakers think of comic book fans. I defy even the fanboys out there to defend what is far and away the weakest of the X-Men movies.


Alex: It’s been a few weeks since I first wrote what I said about Wolverine and I’ve way lightened up since. That was all before I saw X-Men: The Last Stand and that movie is one sour, ugly, soul-sucking experience. The greatest thing X-Men Origins: Wolverine is guilty of is being tacky or source unfaithful. Though my initial reaction was similarly vehemently negative, I think the critics took certain relish dogpiling Wolverine. Sheer franchise fatigue had set in. Good thing X-Men: First Class brought it back.

More Marvel Movie Madness:

Tag Cloud

Pirates USA Network GLAAD Logo hist Video Games thriller Shondaland Box Office romance Music harry potter MSNBC Mindy Kaling TV Land Spike SDCC Sony Pictures discovery Universal Watching Series cops ratings Pixar war Rock crime aliens RT History DC Comics Star Wars golden globes Sundance Now Lionsgate Disney Set visit robots Infographic dceu festivals Netflix talk show Extras Creative Arts Emmys President Western Polls and Games GIFs Marvel comiccon BET police drama crime drama Premiere Dates Oscars TCA 2017 ABC Freeform Mystery finale TV politics 20th Century Fox BBC America Musicals TruTV sports Dark Horse Comics dramedy Red Carpet ITV Opinion Spring TV Comedy Sneak Peek Super Bowl YouTube Red period drama diversity IFC TLC PBS X-Men 007 cults The Arrangement cats Amazon Grammys First Look adventure Character Guide Winners psycho TCA Certified Fresh Showtime Calendar VH1 Cartoon Network USA National Geographic ABC Family Trivia PaleyFest Photos YA Bravo LGBTQ Marathons Country Election travel justice league BBC Drama Rom-Com Lucasfilm Tumblr Paramount Britbox dc Countdown The CW Nickelodeon Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt technology El Rey CNN CMT docudrama cooking FXX medical drama Pop Nat Geo sitcom Animation Sundance NYCC crossover serial killer TCM SXSW Horror Mary Tyler Moore spy thriller Best and Worst Fall TV zombies Comic Book Holidays DC streaming service Warner Bros. Year in Review Emmys Rocky Schedule Acorn TV History Thanksgiving binge Winter TV based on movie Star Trek Christmas Superheroes Awards biography social media DC Universe 2015 Sci-Fi crime thriller Crackle what to watch Writers Guild of America Martial Arts ESPN See It Skip It Nominations TNT Summer AMC transformers SundanceTV CBS All Access Starz 45 Reality HBO Kids & Family American Society of Cinematographers Tomatazos Cosplay DirecTV historical drama TBS FX Adult Swim Masterpiece Food Network science fiction Syfy Musical Action CBS supernatural IFC Films Biopics WGN FOX OWN Esquire CW Seed Reality Competition Toys Fox News Trailer A&E Podcast 2017 2016 Paramount Network E! Lifetime singing competition zombie VICE APB Hulu GoT vampires Ghostbusters Fantasy Superheroe 21st Century Fox Disney Channel Comedy Central unscripted composers Valentine's Day cinemax boxoffice Teen NBC MTV 24 frames TIFF E3 Interview Ellie Kemper political drama