As we all undoubtedly know, X-Men: Apocalypse comes out on May 27th, which is just three short weeks away. In the time leading up to this premier, I will be re-watching and writing about each X-Men movie made so far. I just took on the atrocity that is X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Don’t let me suffer alone.
The only previous time I saw this movie was many years ago, while very drunk. I barely remembered a thing about it, other than that it was ridiculous. I went into this movie last night mostly expecting it to be bad in a laughable, light-hearted way. I did not expect it to be so bewildering, painful and at some points downright offensive. This took a lot out of me, in all honesty.
First off, let me warn you there is no making sense of this movie, so I am not even going to try. Walking away from it actually felt like walking out of the Twilight Zone. Or what I assume walking out of the Twilight Zone would be like. I needed time to re-adjust to reality. I felt altered. Fucked with in some way. Like my language setting was changed, and now I had to fumble around for several minutes in order to figure out how to get it back to “Intelligible”.
This movie reads like someone drew names and events out of a hat, wrote a screenplay based on them, cut the screenplay up into fragments, put them BACK into the hat, and then pieced the story together in the order that they drew the fragments out of that godforsaken hat.
Not only is the plot essentially a ridiculously complex spiderweb that just got walked through, the dialogue is painfully lazy and devoid of wit or spark. And guess who we have to thank for that! That’s right, it’s David Benioff, whom you might know as one of the creators/show runners of Game of Thrones. And some other guy, too, to be fair.
In the opening credits of this movie (the OPENING CREDITS) Logan’s brother Liev Schreiber who is called Victor (to be known in the future as Sabretooth) straight up begins to sexually assault a Vietnamese civilian while fighting for the US in the Vietnam War. He then kills the officer who tries to stop him from RAPING SOMEONE and gets in trouble. For some reason Logan is facing execution for his brother’s crime as well. We’re off to a great start!
Saved by Stryker and recruited to his special mutant team, Team X, Victor and Logan go off to take part in massacres of other civilians with Agent Zero, a dude whose power is being really good at shooting guns(???), some guy who is Merry from Lord of the Rings and has the power to control light bulbs and can also make his mind be a radio or a plane, Will.i.am whose performance is very good and the sole high point of this entire movie and also can teleport, the Blob but not the Blob because there is a very weird and confusing and funny but not in the way it’s supposed to be scene where he thinks Logan just called him “blob” and he gets really mad. And then there’s Wade Wilson (you know, Deadpool) who now has super speed instead of healing abilities (sure, okay, do that, it’s fine), and everyone keeps talking about how he never shuts up and he’s got a real sass mouth on him which is weird because he doesn’t even talk that much and when he does it’s not clever or funny at all.
Logan quits the team because these dudes are really weird and bloodthirsty. Then he moves to Canada, becomes a lumberjack and shacks up with a nice white lady. Then after a while you start to realize that the white lady is actually playing a Native American character. You can tell because her house is decorated with Native American things and then she tells Logan a story from Native American mythology. (A story which has literally no thematic relevance to the movie, but mentions a wolverine so, you know.) Silver Fox is a Native American character from Wolverine comics who was his girlfriend in Canada before he joined the X-Men. Here, she is Kayla Silverfox. Definitely a white lady.
People die, stuff happens, more people die, seriously so many people die. Etc., etc. until Logan decides to get adamantiumed by Stryker because Stryker tricks him into it. Then, Stryker’s like “Guys let’s erase his memory” but Logan hears this, freaks out and runs away. So then you’re like, “Oh shit we already know that Logan has lost all his memories by the start of X1, so I bet Stryker’s gonna catch him eventually and wipe his memory. Damn.”
Logan meets Gambit and gets in a confusing fight with him at the same time he’s fighting with his brother Victor. Then he and Gambit are suddenly friends and Gambit flies him in an airplane to where Stryker is hiding out and doing experiments on kidnapped mutants. (One of which is a teenaged Scott Summers because why the hell not?)
Side Note The First: This movie retroactively makes the non-relationship between Sabretooth and Logan in the first X-Men movie very confusing. None of this “we’re brothers but we constantly try to kill each other” stuff comes through at all. I know Logan’s memory of it is gone, but Sabretooth doesn’t seem to recognize Logan at all. But then again this movie was almost immediately retconned out of existence so I guess it doesn’t matter.
Side Note The Second: Listen, Taylor Kitsch was a terrible Gambit. He didn’t “do an accent” so much as “occasionally say a word in a weird way” and he just doesn’t have that swagger. But don’t you DARE tell me that Channing Tatum would do a better Gambit. Don’t even think it. That Gambit movie has been stalled in production indefinitely due entirely to the force of my willpower, fighting against the existence of a Tatum Gambit. I love Gambit. I know that character as a concept is goofy as hell, but that’s why he needs an excellent actor to do him justice.
All the fight scenes in this movie are shot in these frantic close-ups that make it utterly impossible to follow what’s going on. It looks like some overly-stylized, high-concept, violent art film except the rest of the movie doesn’t fit with that tone at all. And none of the X-Men movies before this one even approached said tone or used anything resembling that visual language. Every fight scene feels jarring and out of place in the same way this movie feels so jarring and out of place.
Logan shreds a fire escape from the bottom up with his claws in one scene.
Logan goes to fight Stryker, finds out his white girlfriend who he thought was dead isn’t actually dead but pretended to be so that Logan would be desperate enough to get adamantiumed by Stryker. She’s been working for Stryker this whole time. Whatever. Victor shows up and even though he has almost identical powers to Logan, he apparently isn’t good enough to get adamantiumed so Logan beats him in a fight but decides not to kill him which is a very irresponsible choice, to be honest.
White Lady tells Logan that actually she does love him and that actually she wasn’t faking it. It’s just that Stryker has her sister (a version of Emma Frost who will be immediately retconned out of existence in the next movie) captive and promised to let her go if she seduced Logan, entered into a long-term relationship with him for multiple years and then pretended to be dead. Because clearly that was the easiest and most efficient way to get to the Wolverine. Logan forgives her and loves her again, no questions asked.
Xavier shows up out of nowhere with that weird CGI thing they do to make him look younger but actually it just makes him look so, so scary. He helps the captive mutants that Logan freed by shredding their cages with his claws find safety in his random helicopter.
Logan fights Sabretooth and a new, improved Wade Wilson/Deadpool whose mouth doesn’t exist anymore and who has the powers of a bunch of different mutants and can be controlled remotely by a computer because of experiments. Science. DNA. Mutation. Buzzword. Shhhhh it only doesn’t make sense if you make it doesn’t make sense.
Stryker shoots Logan in the head but like duh, dude. That’s not going to work, and you know that. Idiot. Best cases scenario he just gets knocked out for a couple minutes while his body heals. White Lady dies of bullets but not before she uses her mind control powers to make Stryker walk off into the sunset. Logan’s body literally dissolves bullets now? Instead of healing around them and forcing them out like in previous movies?
Logan, whom we have already seen recover from multiple gunshots to the head with full mental capacity, wakes up and doesn’t remember who or where he is. Because the screenwriters remembered at the last second they were supposed to do that, but were too lazy to rewrite. Fuck you, David Benioff. Bring back Shireen.
The man who has no idea what his name is or what he’s just done tells Gambit he doesn’t want his help getting off this crumbling island of crimes against nature. He’d rather make his own way. Gambit is apparently okay with this. He walks off, leaving the man who has no idea what his name is or where he is or where he lives or what he does alone to fend for himself.
At the end of this movie, there is really only one thing I can say to really sum things up. Why?
If you know, please leave a comment below. If you don’t know, you can still comment. Please don’t leave me alone in this.
This is the lowest point, folks. It gets better from here, so keep coming back.