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  #1  
Old 07-18-2013, 05:59 PM
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Default Early Reviews For The Wolverine

Hugh Jackman's latest portrayal of the feral X-Men doesn't hit theaters here in the United States until July 26. It's due to be released on foreign markets, including the UK, on July 24th. The reception for the first Wolverine film, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, was lukewarm in the minds of fans and was absolutely bashed by critics. This film, the sixth so far in which Jackman has appeared as the popular Marvel anti-hero, is set after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand and is based on the acclaimed classic 4 part mini-series helmed by comic industry heavyweights Chris Claremont & Frank Miller that ran from September through December 1982. The mini-series is credited with being a major launching point for the character and, in time, his popularity would reach levels comparable to comic book heavyweights like Superman, Batman, Spider-Man & The Incredible Hulk. Some of the first reviews of the film were released today.

As is the case with a lot of comic book films, the reviews seem decidedly mixed at this point.

The review of the film found in The Guardian read:

The film's opening hour is an evenly-paced gangster thriller that toys with the character as cultural export. He's a snarling beast, adrift in a society that runs on the individual's commitment to keeping their true nature concealed. There's obvious parallels with Logan's own struggle to contain his bestial nature, at least until Mangold unsheathes the set pieces and lets the Wolverine run riot. It's here – in the middle of the roaring and cutting that we've seen rejigged many, many times before – that our interest falls to pieces. The fights are predictable, the scenery disappointingly drab considering the potential in Tokyo's neon-lit wonder-world. Wolverine's mutant foe – a slinky, acid-spitter called Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova) – slides in and out of the narrative, shedding skin and goodwill with each appearance.

The reviews in The Daily Telegraph & The Daily Mirror, out of the UK, read:

This new film trades meaninglessness for joylessness, and it may be the series' huffiest entry yet. ... Sorry, but didn’t superhero films outgrow all of this five or so years ago? Where is the quicksilver wit and lightness of touch of the Avengers and Iron Man films, or the formal ambition of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy? The previous X-Men film, First Class, was secure enough in its own skin to embrace its comic side. Mangold’s picture affects a pubescent snarl instead: that’s the difference between comic and daft.

To its credit, The Wolverine is less concerned with the let’s-level-a-cityscape formula of other superhero flicks such as Avengers Assemble, The Man Of Steel and Iron Man 3 and more interested in character development.

The problem is that, aside from the odd moment where our man flashes his claws, this looks an awful lot like one of those burn-and-churn cheapies that Nicolas Cage would sign up for.

Which, thinking about it, is just about the biggest insult you can level at a movie.


However, fan reviews for the film have been glowingly positive. The review of the film on the fan site Gotham News reads:

I've enjoyed aspects of Hugh Jackman's four previous portrayals of Wolverine but was never really a fan. This movie has made me one. It earned my fandom through cohesive storytelling, engaging characters and gritty action. The cinematography is fantastic, especially the wide shots that let you take in the majesty of the stunning Japanese landscapes. ...

The final product we're presented with is as good as the best X-Men movies that came before, enhanced by modernized effects and more a focused narrative. It's the antithesis to X-Men Origins, and refuels the popular hero with the same sense of purpose Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins did for The Dark Knight.


Another glowing review for the film can be found on ComingSoon.net, which is under the umbrella of CraveOnline just as SuperheroHype.com and WrestleZone are:

Fans of the character disappointed by "X-Men Origins" who have been clamoring for a great Wolverine movie, one that lives up to Bryan Singer’s early "X-Men" movies, should be thrilled. Those just wanting a solid, well-made action film might be surprised by how much depth Mangold brings to the mix. The results are the best comic book movie of the summer and one that rarely feels like a comic book movie.

Total Film.com has a more grounded, though still positive view, of the film:

Yet though it doesn’t have the vibrant wit and zip of an Avengers Assemble, or the allegorical grandeur of a Dark Knight, it’s a step up from the garbled silliness of Wolverine’s first solo outing. Unlike Origins, the storytelling is more sharply focused here, ignited by flashes of stylised superheroism.

True, there’s probably one too many scenes of steel striking adamantium. But the 3D-assisted action is never less than spectacular, notably during a Kurosawa-flavoured ambush that sees Wolverine turned by arrows into a mutant pin-cushion.


RottenTomatoes.com currently has the film at only a 55% "Fresh" rating with a total of 11 reviews in all. Of those reviews, 6 of them are "Fresh" and 5 of them are "Rotten".

The success of The Avengers has really set the bar at an all time high when it comes to the critics belief in comic book film excellence. It's understandable when you consider just how well of a rounded action movie The Avengers is. As a result, I doubt there'll be many other films of the genre that will be able to impress them as much. As of right now, it's looking like The Wolverine is going to get a reaction similar to what we saw with Man of Steel: critics were generally split right down the middle between good & bad reviews while fan reactions have been extremely positive. For instance, IGN.com gave Man of Steel a 9 out of 10 while the market research firm CinemaScore polls reports an average grade of A- based on opinions from moviegoers.
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  #2  
Old 07-18-2013, 11:19 PM
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The early lukewarm reception doesn't surprise me too much. I'll still watch The Wolverine in theaters regardless, but I'm not paying for the 3D. Richard Roeper and Roger Ebert are the only two critics, who could influence my decision on whether to see a movie or not, and one of them is dead. And well, the only reason I started paying attention to Roeper as a kid is, because he filled in for Siskel on the show after he passed away.

The early reviews don't bother me too much, BUT this one little snippet I came across on Rotten Tomatoes from another review did catch my eye:

Quote:
You'll be left wishing that it was a fun comic-book movie with some emotional weight, rather than a serious character study with a few exciting scenes.
I get this same exact feeling, when I watch the trailers. I know they're just trailers, but so far, The Wolverine looks like it could be one of those comic book flicks that takes itself way too seriously.
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:10 AM
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I've heard nothing but average reviews. That being said, Wolverine has had his day. Or at least Hugh Jackman's version. It would've had to have been spectacular to avoid apathy from most people reviewing it. 6 films with Wolverine in them and a 7th due next year, Jesus Christ!

I'm seeing it next Friday.
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:28 PM
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I'll still watch it, but I expected nothing more than a lukewarm response.

Wolverine has been flagging for years, sure Jackman is synonymous with the role but it has been beaten to death. Shoddy writing and Origins has crippled all potential it once had (as well as killed the Deadpool Movie rumours in the process)

The writing (as mentioned) is the main problem. I think it was Roger Ebert who said about Origins (and I'm paraphrasing) "the guy is indestructible, nearly invincible...and I'm meant to care? How can I care about a guy who can't be beaten."

And that describes the Wolverine films to a tee, you can't care. It's just meaningless action. I'm hoping for more in this, but unless the post credits involve Winter Soldier killing his wife and thus setting up the Dakon/Wolverine showdown in an eventual Marvel Film Crossover of Siege then I'll leave disappointed.

Other than that, they really should've done Old Man Logan. If you haven't read it, please do.

And this leads to the problem. Following the source material. Movies. They just don't. And sadly for an avid comic book fan like myself, it annoys me.

That being said, the reviews from The Daily Mail do annoy me, because any run-of-the-mill rom-com gets rave-reviews but anything beyond that is dressed down as nothing more than meaningless drivel. Which isn't surprising, given the tabloids other content. It irks at me as much as somebody going "...yeah but wrestling's fake."
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Old 07-19-2013, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Quote:
You'll be left wishing that it was a fun comic-book movie with some emotional weight, rather than a serious character study with a few exciting scenes.
I get this same exact feeling, when I watch the trailers. I know they're just trailers, but so far, The Wolverine looks like it could be one of those comic book flicks that takes itself way too seriously.
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I agree. It's good for a comic book-based movie (or any movie, for that matter) to carry some emotional weight, but it shouldn't drown out the fun/enjoyment factor. This is the main reason why I didn't care for The Dark Knight Rises or Ang Lee's Hulk movie; they were so dark and joyless that I was happy when they both finally ended.

I'm staying optimistic for The Wolverine though. Hugh Jackman is a great actor and is right-at-home as Wolvie by now. Also, Claremont's run with the X-Men comic book is one of the high watermarks of the series, and if the film's writers had any sense at all, they wouldn't deviate from the mini-series too much.

I'm definitely watching it next Friday.

Last edited by Wally Dangerously : 07-19-2013 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:52 AM
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I will still see it. I don't expect to see storytelling like the Avengers, when dealing with a Wolverine stand alone movie. That isn't who Wolverine is. I expect violence from a guy that relishes dishing it out, maybe something about how he struggles to control his most violent tendencies, but other than that, as long as they don't fuck with the character to much, I am happy. It would be asinine to expect something along the scale of the Avengers, so I won't. Wolverine is what he is. You just can't tell a Wolverine story the same way as some other heroes.
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Old 07-22-2013, 07:08 AM
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"Finally the Wolverine movie you've been waiting for" is the tagline they're promoting on the previews. As bad as it sounds, the Wolverine movie I've been waiting for is not rated PG-13. It's weird to say that, and I even considered making a thread on the subject, but any PG-13 Wolverine movie, I'm waiting until it comes out on DVD. He's just a character that should not be watered down.
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Old 07-22-2013, 08:43 AM
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But again, that just implies you want violence for the sake of violence even if it doesn't make sense. And if that does it for you then you should probably stick with the "Best There Is" comic line and leave it at that. I personally prefer the A vs. X/Post A vs. X Wolverine who shows an incredible amount of remorse for what he's done, therefore when the action kicks in you know the character means it. Rather than him just mindlessly stabbing the shit out of anything that moves, "cause I'm Wolverine, bub."

Avengers proved comic book movies can be funny, action packed, and generally have a well written plots with characters we can care about. It's a shame they can't do it with Wolverine.
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:14 AM
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I don't need violence for the sake of violence, but the character Wolverine pretty much demands it. The Avengers was a great movie, but it was also a collection of very special individuals, each unique in their own way and able to suck you in with their personalities and dialogue. Yes, part of that goes to writing for sure, but to say Wolverine is known as being an articulate individual would just be dumb. His character personifies hardcore action. That's one reason he's always been so popular.

They have tried to humanize Wolverine already, and it hasn't worked. Or worked with very average results. They're trying too hard. He is a living, breathing fight scene. Keep it simple and I guarantee people will respond well.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:20 AM
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But can you not see how that further degrades The Wolverine franchise? There hasn't been one decent "pure action" flick from the past few years that has been taken seriously. Hell, even the "classics" don't really hold up now but their critical acclaim means they'll never be "unpopular."

Wolverine in the comic works fine, it's artwork, the dialogue can be thrown in as inner monologues and it creates the tone for you. That doesn't transfer well into film, if they tried to fully emulate a Wolverine comic onto the silver screen it'd be a long running voiceover and stabbing. It'd be this generations Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. Endless, endless flips and explosions and fight scenes that don't tie in well together or add for much the viewer...much like a CZW COD PPV.

I'm not saying humanise the character, but they need to find a balance between compelling dialogue and plotines to find reason for the violence. And that's all on the writers.

I still think an Old Man Logan story would work if they could get the rights for Hulk and Wolverine to appear on the big screen together. It's an adult storyline with an appropriate amount of action thrown in. Plus blind Hawkeye in the Spider-Buggy
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