02 May 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Directed by: Gavin Hood
Written by: David Benoiff & Skip Woods

In Benoiff's tossed-off script ("add a little sibling rivalry and we're done!"), Logan is the voice of (relative) pacifism, reason and empathy, while in contrast the villains argue for pre-emptive action and drop lines like "your country needs you!" Ostensibly, then, the neocon-ish pseudo-patriots are the bad guys here - hooray? But Hood's tone undermines it; Logan is an unconvincing counterpoint to the glorified bloodspills. The opening battle scenes look like War by Annie Leibovitz, combat rendered in glossy, romantic fashion photography. And then there are the copious action scenes: the teleporter's (Will.i.am) acrobatic gunfights that change angle mid-frame, like The Matrix, and the swordfighter (Ryan Reynolds) who splits a bullet in two like something out of Wanted. (Rounding out the opening act's supermutant taskforce are two former Lost cast members. Apparently when you die on The Island, you wind up in an X-Men movie.) Twice, Wolverine is photographed against a background of lush flames, including once while gunning a motorcycle. For all its lip service, X-Men: Origins' violence-fetish struck me as hyper-jingoism, more Iron Man/Dark Knight bullshit - a Bush-era hangover spoiling Obama's first early-summer blockbuster season.

Read Benjamin Sutton & I's discussion at The L Magazine

Watch the trailer:

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