I thought it was a good enough movie, saddled with a number of flaws. I originally was going to skip this one, because I didn't like what I saw in the trailers, but the reviews were so full of praise that I got drawn in...
|Posted: 22 March 2017 at 9:33am | IP Logged | 15
It wasn't as good as the reviews made out.
I did have a problem with the language, especially Professor X. It was jarring when Wolverine dropped the F bomb in one of the previous films and things have deteriorated in this regard. If nothing else, it shows a huge lack of imagination to have "fuck" used so many times -- it's very one note. For example, the scene where he is bashing the car up when it won't start.
Marvel has a few characters that, when on model (and really that should be always, though sadly it's been a long time since that's the case), are truly noble. Professor X is one of those. Professor X was also perhaps the most adept mutant atcontrolling his powers. I feel it hits a very wrong note to have him (a) discover he hurt a load of people through losing control of his powers (b) cursing in front of child and (c) going out like a putz. Compare and contrast the Claremont-written scene where Mystique shoots him in UXM 178 and the scene in this movie when he can't tell a fake Logan from the real one. I know, I know, he's got all these disease, he's old, he's taking drugs... but all these factors are put inplace by the writer. The writer doesn't have to make Professor X go out like a putz. Claremont created a similar scenario, but still had time to make Xavier seem impressive, deflecting the killing blow to a wounding blow at the last moment.
The film was too long.
The film seemed uneven; the Shane homage didn't really work for me, given Logan and co not just utterly failed to save the family, but really were somewhat responsible for bringing the carnage to their homestead. Once again, Professor X showing terrible judgement and disregard for the well-being of his hosts, because he was enjoying being there. This rings false!
What else do we know about Professor X? Well, he's an expert on mutants. So why does he keeping referring to X-23 as a mutant, when she clearly is NOT a mutant? Surely he above all people would be precise in this matter?
You want to do a story about a hero being past his prime and walking with a limp, coughing, full of scars? Don't use Wolverine!!! I guess a one-off story exploring how he copes without his powers could in isolation be interesting, so at least they didn't have him lose his healing in the last film. Oh wait...
Anyway, wanting to do the old Dark Knight Returns routine means they then have to come up with a reason for him losing his powers. And so we get the adamantium poisoning stuff. Seems silly to me. Healing powers and adamantium claws. The essence of Wolverine. Let's screw em both up!
De-uniquing. Look, X23 is pretty good in the movie, despite the stunning lack of originality in having Wolverine's 'daughter' being basically a carbon copy. But to then also have a Wolverine twin running around, complete with adamantium bones. Good grief.
Breakable adamantium. The one thing that makes adamantium adamantium is that it cannot be broken. That's its schtick, it's raison d'etre. If you want to break adamantium, don't use it. Use something else that is extremely hard to break, but can be broken. So the adamantium bullet thing is, I think, darn stupid.
The full dose of medicine thing didn't seem to fully play out properly. They seemed to stress how dangerous it was to take it all in one go, but then it just wore off with no harm, no foul.
Oh yeah, the violence. Horrible and unnecessary. Fine, Wolverine is badass and you want to have him stick a few people. There is no need to have the majority of these wounds be directly through people's head and shown in all its gory detail. Plus, bezerker or not, badass or not, the Wolverine I know would NEVER perform those cold executions in the way he did in the Harrah's when the Reavers were frozen and helpless. He could have destroyed their guns, knocked them out, lopped off their hands even... But no, he went for the claws through the head.
Final whinge about product placement: Sony, Harrah's, Chevrolet, Ford... I saw what you did.
What did I like? The story was decent, though I thought the ending was mediocre, mainly from the whole thing just running on too long. The acting was strong -- Hugh Jackman's performance when he buried Xavier was very moving and I thought he did a great job there. I found Wolverine's death/burial far less moving.
Caliban was sort of recognisable, though they just cannot seem to resist making changes. Sun burning his skin? His way of talking was a complete departure as well, though I though Stephen Merchant did a good job with what he was given.
Ditto the guy playing Pierce. Only the same character superficially as we know from the comics, but interesting enough judged in isolation.
And therein lies a major part of the problem with these X films -- you have to do a kind of double-think and ignore what you already know to try and enjoy them as a separate entity. Now it does help that this is a kind of an alternate reality, which gives it some leeway, I feel. But still, why not just do it right?
Even judging it as a standalone thing, ignoring all my qualms about divergences from the source, the film just lumbered on a bit too long for the story it had to tell, in my opinion.
Edited to add some other things I liked but forgot to mention: the action set pieces were well done in the first half. The car chase/escape from the compound was excellent. The incident at Harrah's was well staged, in spite of the qualms I cited above.
The tone they set early on was very good and I liked the measured way in which they unfurled the plot up to the reveal of X-23's abilities in all their gory glory.
Edited by Peter Martin on 22 March 2017 at 9:40am