It’s not unwatchable, just not engaging or compelling.
After Logan (Hugh Jackman) has an early bonding experience with childhood friend Victor (Liev Schreiber), the two remain inseparable until they choose different paths in their lives. Trying to start a life free of war and assassination, Logan finds solace in the arms of Kayla (Lynn Collins) before (wait for it) tragedy strikes, putting Wolverine on a collision course to exact revenge on his former friend. Along the way, he runs into about half of the Marvel Comics mutants that the studio wants to introduce for future feature films.
Being the first official so-called “blockbuster” out for the summer is enough to live up to even if it weren’t for the fact that Iron Man became a surprise hit (and never looked back) the same weekend last year. Couple that with the fact that Wolverine somehow got leaked almost a month early (as an unfinished rough cut) and that it has to carry enough of an audience to green light more origin films (like Magneto, for example), and you’ve got a huge undertaking. With comic book fans with their own ideas already, trying to live up to everyone’s expectations of this origin film wouldn’t have been so bad if the film could make up its mind on what the important story to tell really was.
Wolverine suffers from what hurt Blade 3, just not as badly. The third Blade movie was so preoccupied on setting up additional films to get made that it forgot to work on the one getting them there (is it just coincidence that Ryan Reynolds is in both movies?) Likewise, Wolverine seems to go from location to location “recruiting” new mutants for future films instead of really delving into his own issues with being an animal (an option already embraced by his mortal enemy, Sabertooth). There was plenty of possibility pushed aside introducing Gambit, The Blob, and even a very young White Queen.
Liev Schreiber replaces wrestler Tyler Mane (who has his own gig as Michael Myers for Rob Zombie’s H2), while Danny Huston plays the younger William Stryker. While it was also amusing watching the filmmakers find original ways to keep Cyclops from actually meeting or seeing Wolverine (keeping with the continuity of the original film), it also calls attention to where the minds of the filmmakers were, which wasn’t on Wolverine. May be they should have subtitled it “Wolverine & Friends.”
(a two skull recommendation out of our)