X-Men Origins: Wolverine made 87 million dollars domestically at the box office this weekend, and 160 million when you add in overseas ticket sales. According to the media reports, this is “a great kick-off to the summer,” which is true if your system for determining a summer’s quality is how many millions of dollars a movie made. Obviously, a great kick-off to the summer is a barbecue, or going to the beach. Duh. Barbecue Origins: Ribs. But even if we were to pretend that a summer was only as good as its movies, then X-Men Origins: Wolverine was in fact a terrible kick-off to the summer. Because X-Men Origins: Wolverine was not very good!

First of all, it has Will.i.am in it. BONG BONG BONG! That is the warning alarm that should go off in everyone’s head when they see that this guy is in a movie. I’m not saying that “artists” should stay within the rigid confines of their original work, but if you’re not even any good at the thing you’re famous for (in this case music), then please do not ruin everything else (movies). Will.i.am, you have tarnished the 2008 presidential election, you tarnished the great memory of The Lawnmower Man, and now you have tarnished the X-Men franchise. Have you no sh.a.me?

Second of all, after the scandal of having an unfinished work print leak on-line, which broke Hugh Jackman’s heart, because in his words, “it’s like a Ferrari without a paint job,” WHERE WAS THE PAINT JOB? It seemed like after the work print was downloaded more than a million times, they just figured fuck it, PEOPLE ARE LOVING THIS WORK PRINT. The scene in the farmhouse bathroom? When Wolverine first discovers his adamantium claws? (Goodbye disgusting bone claws finally.) Yeah, I did the graphics in that scene. I just put the footage into Photoshop and eventually worked it out. Sure, it took me about 45 minutes, but I’m pretty proud of the way it turned out in the end. Second only to my incredible work with MacPaint for the scene in which Doctor Xavier welcomes the young mutants into his helicopter.

Seriously, the only thing that worked less than the effects in this movie were Hugh Jackman’s shirts. Admittedly, the timeline was a little confusing (WHEN is the Three Mile Island), but I am pretty sure it all takes place after the invention of tanktops, but before the invention of buttons.

But the greatest disservice this movie did was to completely waste a perfectly good origin story. Origin stories are the best! But not this one. There was not a single moment in which you were excited by Wolverine discovering his new powers. And by the end they were just dropping plot points entirely to loosely cover their fanboy bases. An adamantium bullet is the only thing that can kill him! Scratch that, an adamantium bullet won’t kill him, but it will erase his memory! Nothing else, just his memory! Bullet science!

I will give it up to Liev Schreiber, though. He was great! He was sinister and creepy as Sabretooth and he totally committed to the role. Usually a long black trenchcoat and fake vampire teeth are real handicaps for not being ridiculous and awful in a movie, but Schreiber owned it. And Taylor Kitsch was totally fine! One more role in which he is forced to perform with a terrible regional American accent that he can’t pull off so that he just sounds like a Canadian who’s making fun of every third word and the man will be able to open his own Terrible Voice Coaching School for Dummies. But by the end of the movie it seemed like even the director just said, “you know what, let’s just lose the Cajun thing and you go look pretty.” And he did! Gambit forever, six!

With The Dark Knight, and even movies like Iron Man and Spider-Man, the bar has been raised on superhero movies. They can be good now! We don’t need to settle for lazy, poorly written clown movies that look like they were made for a hungover Sunday afternoon TBS Superstation audience.

More like Wolverine: Boo-igins.

Your turn.

Comments (77)
  1. Barbecue Origins: Ribs better be in production by the end of this post

  2. I agree completely with this review and can sum the movie up in one word: Lazy.

    Liev is awesome, but that Taylor Kitsch guy has been pretty fucking awful in everything I’ve seen him in (which is, admittedly, only this and the “Friday the 13th” remake.)

    • here’s the thing: Riggins (played by Taylor Kitsch) is easily one of the best characters in Friday Night Lights. which probably says more about the quality of the writing than about Kitsch’s acting ability. the character of riggins is hot and hilarious and heartbreaking, all at once.

      and how much must that suck for taylor kitsch? no matter how personable and charismatic he may be, he’ll always be more boring than the character he plays on a low-rated, critically acclaimed nbc teen drama.

      seriously, if i were him, i’d just assume the persona of riggins in real life, in front of the media. because the riggins persona goes a long way in counteracting kitsch’s unbearable prettiness of being.

    • exactly. also, whenever a fat suit is involved, fail.

  3. Barbecue:Kansas City vs. Texas Style is out next summer, btw.

  4. Sal  |   Posted on May 4th, 2009 -6

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  5. To fully understand how fucking lazy Kitsch is, you need to see this:


    Watch Ryan Reynold’s interview, then Taylor Kitsch’s. Reynolds clearly cares about the character. Kitsch reminds me of when I did elementary school book reports, and didn’t read the book, so I used the summary on the back cover.

  6. Thank you Gabe. I hated this movie. I really wanted to like it…BUT i hated it.
    Let’s not forget Diamonique, aka the white witch, or so i’ve been told. Really…right now… those were the for real graphics?

    The canadian rockies sure were pretty though, or whatever.

    • I think you’re talking about Emma Frost. If you are you were misinformed. She was the White Queen of the Hellfire Club.

      I hate to sound like some lame ass nerd but they totally screwed up her character. She was a telepath and she didn’t get that diamond skin shit until later on. Still the FX were pretty terrible.

      • Thanks for being the first person to mention that because I sure as hell wasn’t. Emma Frost-11. Never Forget.

      • Eli  |   Posted on May 4th, 2009 +3

        And what was that dumb thing she did with her arms? What is that, karate? It looked really stupid.

      • wait a minute! that was supposed to be frost? oh man.. i must have been blacking out pretty bad by this stage.. (although maybe the fact she wasn’t even a fucking telepath threw me for that loop)

    • Sadly, I’m pretty sure that was Australia. That’s how low-budget this movie is – Canada wasn’t even cheap enough to shoot in.

      • yep.. those were all low rent australian character actors in the minor roles.

        speaking of accents the guy playing the general didn’t even bother putting one one (unless he was trying). which i thought was hilarious. an australian rising so far in US military command.. sigh..

  7. ian g  |   Posted on May 4th, 2009 +4

    was dominic monaghan any good?

  8. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  9. Michele  |   Posted on May 4th, 2009 -5

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  10. I think I speak for many when I say: not enough pee.

    Also, I had no idea they had flatscreen HDTV monitors in the 70s. Thanks, X-Men Origins, for clearing that misconception up.

  11. booferama  |   Posted on May 4th, 2009 +37

    I imagine in Barbecue Origins: Ribs a scene where Hugh Jackman stretches his hands to the sky, sends out his Wolverine claws, and screams, “I want my baby-back baby-back baby-back ribs!” then slices down through a pig roasting on a spit.

  12. Anyone else notice that scene on three mile island when Jackman’s about to tear into Sabertooth’s shit by peeing on him, and his hair looks all mussed and nasty, then the camera pans away and his hair looks normal/awful again? And then back and forth a few times. That was good moment for me.

  13. C’mon Dawg! You’re supposed to tell us the Movie Club movie on Friday afternoon. Yesterday in New York was crappy enough weatherwise to go and see this. Now I don’t feel a part of Team America.

  14. Hugh Jackman's Pants  |   Posted on May 4th, 2009 +20


  15. Gabe, that’s an awesome picture of you. Was it taken right before you went to the theater?

  16. “I really wanted to like it…BUT i hated it.” That’s the movie right there. Jackman and Schreiber (and even Will-i-am and Reynolds?!) were great, considering no one bothered to write a fucking worthwhile story. They just had some script monkey slap together all their half-assed ideas. Swords for arms? Sure. E’sploding a helicopter with a gasoline puddle? That’s why Jesus made movies. A balance beam fight atop a cooling tower instead of just staying on the ground? Suck it Ang Lee.

    It’s a movie that wants you to pick it apart and study how it failed in ways you never would have imagined.

  17. jamz  |   Posted on May 4th, 2009 +24

    i can’t believe you failed to mention the scene where he soils a bed. About the 43,849,053rd time he SCCREAAAMMMSSSS AHHHHHHHHHH he wakes up in the bed and talks with his Canadian mountain whore about remembering wars and she lies down next to him and says “looks like I’ll need to change the sheets again” CMOOOOOON you live for the pee pants, gabe….and you totally missed it

  18. Which super secret ending did you guys get? I got the one where Baldman grabs his head and shushes the audience. I think this scene got the second biggest laugh in the theater I saw it in, the first being when lil’ Wolverine screams heaven ward with his fallen father in his arms.

    Actually that super secret ending reminded me of two flicks from my childhood:
    1) When Super Shredder’s hand punches through a fallen building before dying that the end of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Secret of the Ooze
    2) When Skeletor came back after the credits of Masters of the Universe


  19. You were pretty much spot on with your review Gabe. I wanted to like this movie because of what was finally going to be included. Nerd talk time… Gambit was one of the biggest disappointments in history. The way they did his powers were pretty bad ass but Taylor Kitsch had about zero sex appeal and didn’t seem brooding. And oops…DIDN’T HAVE A CAJUN ACCENT.EVER! After years of making geeks wait to finally see their beloved character, we get this shit.

    Speaking of terrible effects, was Patrick Stewart really not in the movie? Did they just CGI his dead (he’s not dead) corpse into the “film?” That whole scene was very CGI I’m assuming because they can’t really have children running through woods.

    I think Gavin Hood should challenge McG and Michael Bay to a dick measuring contest too because of how the worst he is.

  20. matt  |   Posted on May 4th, 2009 +3

    awful film

  21. Ben  |   Posted on May 4th, 2009 +3

    Um, an adamantium bullet isn’t gonna hurt wolverine too much. It’s carbonadium that does the trick. Stuff is radioactive in a way that interferes with wolvies healing factor. Speaking of which, no Omega Red?!

  22. Liev Schreiber and the first scene with Ryan Reynolds were awesome. The rest of the movie sucked. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who laughed when he got his metal claws. Not your finest Photoshop, Gabe.

  23. I had no desire to see this (because it looked awful). I saw Obsessed instead (which was awful, but it’s always fun to laugh at Beyonce’s acting) with my mother because I am that cool.

  24. Elian  |   Posted on May 4th, 2009 +7

    I liked how no matter how much they got blasted, sliced, dropped from huge heights, etc., their clothes never ripped. Especially sabertooth’s coat. How civilzed that sabertooth?Oh and WTF(PG13), nobody has blood in the Xmen universe.

  25. Sal  |   Posted on May 4th, 2009 -2

    I’m truly shocked at how many people liked Ryan Reynolds in this movie. For real?

    • Deadpools character would actually fit Ryan Reynolds(Van Wilder) perfectly, since deadpool is just a psychotic smartass. I have not seen it yet but my heart did sink when I saw a clip with Wll i am in a cowboy hat telaporting around.

    • Compared to the rest of the movie, Reynolds was Marlon fucking Brando.

  26. I know. Wouldn’t Wolverine being shot with an Adamantium bullet be just like shooting a human with a bone bullet? Shit would just disintegrate or maybe cut you a little. But it wouldn’t ERASE YOUR MEMORY.

  27. X-Men Bore-igins: Wolversleep

    More Riggins, less everything else please!

  28. Hecks yeah fellas! When I go to see a movie about an immortal mutant, his secret military mutant buddies, and the complications arising from associating with said secret military, I expect some verisimilitude! Where’s the dang verisimilitude?

  29. Sal  |   Posted on May 4th, 2009 +2

    Wow, I actually feel a little out of place here on Videogum knowing I’m the only one who can’t stand Ryan Reynolds :/ The movie was seriously bland but I personally I think Hugh Jackman is always great as Wolverine (probably the only role I ever like him in). Not as good as Gabe in that photo but still pretty good.

  30. Seriously, couldn’t they have cut out half of that dialogue and made the movie like 1,000 times better? FLASHBACKS 20 minutes into the movie? Canadian mountaintop? Oh, and why did I just spend nine bucks to see a movie where he FORGETS EVERYTHING THAT JUST HAPPENED?

    also, the lonely moon, guys. our theater was dying laughing.

  31. Thanks for making me learn the word Adamantium

  32. Wolverine Origins= Action Movie Cliches 101

    1. Walking towards the audience slowly during an explosion
    2. Driving straight towards someone shooting at you
    3.The evilest villain doesn’t die
    4.Evil government big wig
    5.2 bar brawls
    6.Hero wears a leather jacket,tank top and jeans
    7.Screaming “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” towards the sky because of a loved ones demise.

  33. Okay saw it, and figured out the problem. This is what they should have done. In the end when the supermutant is revealed……CARROT TOP, all jacked on steroids and using prop comedy power.

  34. Will.i.am is our generations bob dylan… haven’t you seen the pepsi commercials?

  35. david  |   Posted on May 5th, 2009 -5

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  36. The best part was the Nigerian woman next to me who filled the whole theatre in on the inaccuracies of the Lagos scene. She also agreed with me that the cops showing up on an small island was “really stupid”.

  37. Seriously, did anyone here go to this movie thinking it would be “good?” Aside from X-2 (which I really can’t even tell you why I love it), all of the X-Men stuff has been pretty hokey and essentially made to make money. But dammit, this movie was pretty entertaining, being that I EXPECTED only cliches and pure action. And furthermore, I dare any comic geek to make sense of the 4 or so Wolverine backstories out there. Come on, do you really think that anyone could make a movie with all the mish-mash that is apparently Logan’s life? Just Wiki it if you don’t believe me: there are so many interpretations, depending upon the series that you read, that I can’t believe they could even muster up a coherent story. And at least it was coherent, being that it certainly wasn’t ground-breaking. I mean, this shit was based on Marvel comic books, literature that rarely has cared whether or not it was contiguous, made sense, or was even appealing beyond the full-page action shots. I love comics, though I’m no comic geek, and I loved seeing some dude jump 80 feet into the air off a motorcycle and tear through a helicopter with his adamantium claws. And Will.i.am is WAY WAY WAY better in this film than he was cutting it up with BEP on Ellen today. Jesus Christ, do they listen to the lyrics they’re singing?

    • I do say, yes, Will.I.Am was not at all the harbinger of crap everyone thought he would be. He was actually one of the high points of the film.

  38. isavedlatin  |   Posted on May 5th, 2009 -2

    Knock Knock.

    Sure the movie wasn’t an artistic masterpiece…but come on…He cuts Deadpool’s head off and kicks him into a nuclear reactor. Victory.

  39. Wolverinsemyeyesout

  40. the shit-rendered claws were distracting as fuck.

  41. i asked my stats teacher what she thought of it and she said GREAT EYE CANDY. when that’s all a highschool math teacher has to say, boy, your movie’s in trouble.

  42. matt  |   Posted on May 14th, 2009 0

    I’m convinced this movie was written by computers… and I’m even more convinced when I see that one of the writers also made Hitman. The whole thing is so lifeless and horribly made.

  43. Heather  |   Posted on May 16th, 2009 +1

    Ok, so I am not from Louisiana, but I have family there & have visited it tons of times in my life. The cajun accent–when he didn’t drop it–wasn’t that bad. I think that’s an unmerited criticism from people who have only heard French Cajun in movies.

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