The High Countries

because it’s all paperweight…

Wolverine (2009) — *sigh*


Cool Picture ... Bad movie.

Cool Picture ... Bad movie.

20th Century Fox in the 21st Century — Wolverine

by Bryce VanKooten

It’s a tough gig to be a superhero movie these days. You got a lot of folks standing in your way: the fan boys, the mass media, good movies that have come before you. Generally, I think we’ll all love superheroes till the day we die – their tights and capes speak to us, of course – regardless of their grandeur on the big screen.

Wolverine cleaned house on that big screen this weekend. And, like so many super-dudes before it, will likely be given a sequel (word is, its already in the works). But how will history see these flicks when the smoke and swords clear? Where will Wolverine lie in the vast landscape of superheros  flicks? Wolverine was a … fun movie, sure, but it was also a disappointment – the worst kind, too.

Wolverine was a terrible movie that performed well. Let’s all take a collective gasp together now…

When I sat myself into my theater chair on Sunday afternoon, I knew the movie wasn’t going to be great. I’d seen the first 20 minutes on that leaked copy online and decided that watching an action movie on a teeny monitor was just about as rewarding as playing dunk hoops with a 6 foot hoop: same product, not quite the satisfaction.

Liev Schreiber was great as Sabertooth and Hugh Jackman was as good as he could be – most of the dialogue was just short of campy – reprising his role as the early version of our beloved Wolverine. The action was cool, I guess, but for 150 million bucks, shouldn’t it be amazing? The storyline — which if lifted from the comic’s themselves would have been fantastic — was brutal, of course. So where was the rub? Why the odd taste in my mouth as I left the theater? I mean, I knew what I was in for, didn’t I?

In the last couple of day’s I’ve tried to pinpoint my feeling towards Wolverine and I think I found it: 20th Century Fox. Let’s recap, shall we?

Fox’s top ten superhero movies:

  1. X-Men Last stand
  2. X2: X-Men United
  3. X-Men
  4. Fantastic Four
  5. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
  6. Daredevil
  7. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (its only been out a week)
  8. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers
  9. Elektra
  10. My Super Ex-Girlfriend

What character comes to mind first when you look at that list? The X-Men folks of course. And who more specifically in that group … Wolverine. Here’s the deal: the Wolverine story might be one of the coolest in comic book history. All the hype, all the anger, the healing, and the betrayal – it’s the stuff movies are made of – perfect for the big screen. But, we sit through this saga of quick cuts, childish dialogue and sub-par effects and we leave like, “eh, I mean, I guess there were some cool parts?” I think its safe to say that Fox is very talented in ruining movies. Coming off the heals of The Dark Knight (both fun and smart) or even strictly fun movies like Iron Man, or Hancock, Wolverine just comes as a dissapointment.

Have we lost our standard? Has the bar been lowered? Removed?

How easily we are pleased as Americans and as fans. When a gritty, gruesome movie is stripped of its essence (i.e. guts), regurgitated PG-13 for the masses and downgraded to a 1 hour and 47 minute mash up of CGI claws, clueless character and campy (yes, I know the second time I’ve used that word) dialogue, the only thing you can hope for is a terrible opening to stop the massacre of great stories by horrific studios.

Alas, we dream on.

I’m going to let history speak for itself here. Here’s a list of Fox’s adapted, fan boys movies (excluding above list) since 2000. You tell me how many are great — not good, not doable (like ham on Thanksgiving), but great.

Planet of the Apes, Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones, Titan AE, The Day After Tomorrow, I, Robot, Eragon, Max Payne, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Alien vs. Predator, Live Free or Die Hard, Hitman, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, Jumper, Babylon A.D., The Happening, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, The Day the Earth Stood Still.



May 7, 2009 - Posted by | Entertainment | , , , , , , , ,

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