For some reason I still don’t hate Wolverine: Origins

Cat was half-watching Wolverine: Origins on TV earlier, and I had a strange realization: I don’t hate it. From what I can gather, that makes me a unique snowflake on the Internet.

I don’t think it’s a particularly good movie; it’s pretty typical comic book action fare that doesn’t do much to break genre conventions (though the villains’ cold-blooded murder of an elderly couple surprised me; one of the clichés of Hollywood is that civilians don’t die in movies like this, unless they’re close — lover close — to the good guy). And it has some genuinely dumb parts, like the completely pointless brawl between Wolverine and Gambit that appears to have been added specifically for the express purpose of sending the movie backward in a time machine to 1993 to make a bunch of 13-year-olds super happy. And, uh, Deadpool. Let’s not talk about Deadpool.

Stupidity aside, Origins worked for me because, despite taking some broad-stroke liberties with the overall storyline of the funny-book source material, it was weirdly faithful to the comics. Specifically, most of the elements (from Stryker’s wetworks squad to the Weapon X escape sequence to the particular makeup of Wolverine’s team to the thing with Silver Fox) were taken wholesale from Larry Hama’s run on the Wolverine comic in the ’90s… which happened to be some of the books that got me in to comics. I figured that particular phase of Wolverine’s ever-changing back story was entirely too obscure (and presumably retconned) for anyone to ever bother with. So, seeing it reproduced on the screen with a reasonable amount of accuracy was a pleasant surprise.

Then Deadpool turned out to be Baraka the Mudokan Super-Skrull, but oh well. I’m still going to chalk this one up as a guilty pleasure.

15 thoughts on “For some reason I still don’t hate Wolverine: Origins

  1. Watched this in med school w/ a friend.

    The medication they used to bring Wolverine’s love interest to a “near comatose state” was HYDROCHLOROTHIAZIDE. This is commonly known as a “water pill” to most patients, given to fix hypertension…. It’s called the water pill because it makes ’em pee like a horse.

    Wolverine had NO trouble finding her–probably because he smelled her from miles away…

    • Needless to say, whatever shred of dignity the movie had tried to hold onto by that point was washed clean away.

      Maybe some pun intended.

  2. My problem was that it took a story that presumably began in the late 1800s and brought it up all the way up to a few years before he lost his memory… thus, it wasn’t much of an origin story to begin with.

    Not that anything else was really good either… but this just made it feel particularly pointless. Still Hugh Jackman is always appealing.

  3. I dug it more from the workprint, getting to see all the work that actually went into making it.

    But yeah, I’m firmly of the opinion that it’s not that bad. I’m still jazzed for the sequel.

    And that opening of them fighting through all war forever was cool. I’d play a co-op game of that.

  4. You know, I actually don’t hate it either. There’s some solid stuff scattered around in there, but it’s easily the worst X-Men movie. My first response to the opening credits montage was, “If all of this interesting historical material is being covered now, what am I about to watch? Shouldn’t this be the movie?”

    I enjoyed what they did adapt from the “Origin” comic run, but was expecting that to be much more of the movie. Instead, we got a scant five minutes that barely scratch the surface of those events.

    It’s too bad that Hugh Jackman plays a really great Wolverine, but hasn’t gotten to be in a movie that matches the promise of that performance. Maybe that will change someday.

    Honestly though, First Class has made me almost forget about the older movies. In my opinion, it is leaps and bounds ahead of them in every way. Anyone else feel the same way?

    • No way. First Class was a big old mess. Very overbearing. I’d say X2 is still the best, but to be honest, I’m not sure how well that one has held up. Plus, I think I was still in my cloudy teenage years when that came out…

  5. I enjoyed Origins, as well. So… another snowflake, I suppose? It’s much, much better than X3, at any rate.

  6. I think the most frustrating part of the Deadpool thing is that Ryan Reynolds was in fact perfect casting for the role if they’d stuck with the way he is in the comics. How many times I’ve seen a movie with Reynolds where you just want him to stop talking and wipe that grin off his face, I don’t know, but that’s certainly the core of Wade’s character, at least if he’s not in his own film. Maybe I wouldn’t go as far to say he was made for the role, but it’s certainly a better fit than, say, Hal Jordan.

    • Blade 3 is the best movie where Deadpool killsTriple H.

  7. Blech, no.

    Oh, and I wish Marvel could get back the movie licenses for Spider-Man and Wolverine, if only to have them in a future Avengers movie. Can you imagine how wonderfully gratuitous that would be?

  8. Agreed. I found it to be a perfectly serviceable popcorn-action flick. Nothing I’m desperate to view again, but not a waste of ten dollars, either.

    I guess there’s a sequel coming out this summer? Next summer? I’m pretty bummed that Darren Aronofsky is no longer directing. That could have made for a potentially interesting film — or a turgid, self-involved mess! But, hey, I’d be willing to risk the odds.

  9. Also worth noting that however much you like it, you can’t quite bring yourself to bring the full, ridiculous title to bear.

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