Wolverine gets neutered

The X-Men fan favorite gets his metal claws, but loses his er … heart in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”

Wolverine about to claw his way out of or into another mess. PHOTO COURTESY 20TH CENTURY FOX

Ashley Goetz

Wolverine about to claw his way out of or into another mess. PHOTO COURTESY 20TH CENTURY FOX

âÄúX-Men Origins: WolverineâÄù DIRECTED BY: Gavin Hood STARRING: Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Danny Huston. RATED: PG-13 SHOWING AT: Area theaters Ruining a movie about mutants, superpowers and a couple of the most badass characters in comic history seems nearly impossible. And yet, somehow, 20th Century Fox has managed to do just that on multiple occasions. Such was the case with 2006âÄôs âÄúX-Men: The Last Stand,âÄù an adaptation abomination, a tale told by an idiot (Brett Ratner ), full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. With its uninspired plotline, excessive reliance on special effects and total lack of characterization, it became everything that an X-Men movie should not be. The suits at Fox should have learned from their mistakes, but the latest lackluster installment in the Marvel franchise, âÄúX-Men Origins: Wolverine,âÄù makes it painfully clear that they have not. âÄúX-Men Origins: WolverineâÄù falls into the exact same traps as its predecessor and then digs itself deeper. The plot is paper-thin, the effects are showy and the movie is devoid of any semblance of human or mutant emotion. The script bears much of the blame, with a story thatâÄôs ripped from the pages of different Marvel comics and then twisted into an insipid and inferior Frankenstein monster. Screenwriter David Benioff, who also wrote 2004âÄôs âÄúTroy, âÄú attempts epic grandeur but ends up with clichéd refuse. To make matters worse, audiences are repeatedly subjected to cringe-worthy dialogue, like when Wolverine growls, âÄúThereâÄôs no redemption where IâÄôm going.âÄù Bless his heart; Hugh Jackman tries to pull it off, but even Sir Laurence Olivier would make that sound stupid. Still, the biggest problem is undoubtedly the âÄúmore is betterâÄù philosophy that the producers have dogmatically applied to every aspect of the film. ItâÄôs bad enough when it comes to the over-the-top action sequences, but the real issues arise when this idea is applied to character selection. In an effort to once again showcase superpowers, the producers packed the film with an absurd amount of mutant characters that ultimately serve no purpose other than being cute tie-ins to other films. A small few are vital to the story, but the rest are simply eye candy that distract from the narrative. The character problem bleeds into every other aspect of the movie and completely unravels even its stylistic elements. Covering every minor individual spreads the film too thin, resulting in hurried pacing that doesnâÄôt allow for characterization. Scenes move so quickly and end so abruptly that there is no time to form a connection with any of the characters on screen, making it very hard to care about whatâÄôs going on amidst the explosions and CGI. Additionally, the wasted time means that little of WolverineâÄôs psyche is actually explored, and the movie, with a title promising an origin story, divulges less than is desired. âÄúX-Men Origins: WolverineâÄù is truly one of the most disappointing films in some time. This is partially a result of its lost potential and partly because it is an utter failure on almost every cinematic front. Liev Schreiber is enjoyable and Ryan Reynolds draws out a few laughs (although what the filmmakers did to his character is contemptible), but their brief moments are hardly enough to save this movie. 2 of 5 stars