Well, well. If Bruce Lee made Fist Of Fury (1972) the choice of jury, Hugh Jackman’s X-Men Origins: WOLVERINE (2009) is a weak story that has clawed its way to glory. No doubt about it. It has raked in $ 35 million on the first day of its release. And that is just the beginning.
The critics went after the weak story giving it as low as 37 in rating. But the critics have long since forgotten to make news although they are in news-making business. Reviews are dime a dozen just like use and throw. Most are not even read. They just fill spaces. Critics like seeing their name in print although their ‘valuable’ opinion is a matter of contest. So, let’s forget about what the critics wrote or said. It mostly went over the head when the real treat was in the watching.
X-Men is the stuff legends are made of. No amount of criticism or weak storyline can bring it down. It has die-hard fans, who are fanatics and wait for the series’ arrival. Just like Star Wars, Lord Of The Rings and Fast And Furious series, it has gone into the realm of history. For these movies, the proof of the pudding lies in its eating. And that is what the viewers did. They took to it like fish to water.
It is the people, who purchased the tickets and liked the movie that are making it the choice of this week. Viewer is the ultimate decider. And viewers’ choice is selling like hot cakes.
For the uninitiated, the X-Men film series is a series of superhero films based on the fictional Marvel Comics team of the same name Wolverine. Wolverine comics were as popular as Superman or Spider-Man comics. They too were made into films that were huge hits by the same names and not to forget Fantastic Four and V For Vendetta.
X-Men series is a trilogy that has been released since 2000:
1. X-Men (2000): This film introduced Wolverine (fictional superhero played by Hugh Jackman) and Rogue (she-villain mutant) into the conflict between Professor Charles Francis Xavier’s (leader and founder of X-Men) X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants (super villain team devoted to mutant superiority over normal humans), led by Magneto (powerful mutant). Magneto plans genocide to declare mutant superiority but Xavier knows it is futile.
2. X-2 (2003): Colonel William ‘Bill’ Stryker MD (supervillain and enemy of X-Men) questions the imprisoned Magneto about Professor Xavier’s mutant-locating machine, Cerebro. Stryker attacks the X-Mansion, and brainwashes Xavier into locating every mutant. The X-Men must team up with the Brotherhood and prevent Stryker’s worldwide genocide. Wolverine discovers that Stryker has links to his mysterious past and was responsible for the bonding of adamantium (fictional man-made indestructible metal alloy) to his skeleton.
3. X-Men: The Last Stand (2006): A pharmaceutical company has developed an antidote to the mutant gene, provoking controversy in the mutant community. Magneto declares war and has his own weapon: the Phoenix (Phoenix Force in a central role), who is the resurrected former X-Man, Jean Grey (superheroine Marvel Girl). Phoenix kills Cyclops (superhero, a field leader of X-Men) and Xavier, and Wolverine must face being a core member of the X-Men.
And now in 2009, we have the fourth in the series, X-Men Origins: WOLVERINE, which is actually a prequel to the trilogy. Hugh Jackman again stars as Wolverine. It is the mark of the man that he has lasted this long and still finds favour with the viewer.
The action takes place at least 17 years before the trilogy. Set in NorthWest Territories, Canada, in 1845, the movie focuses on Wolverine (Jackman) and Team X, before and shortly after his skeleton was bonded with adamantium. Sabretooth, supervillain mutant (Liev Schreiber) is discovered to be actually his brother.
So what will happen now between Wolverine and Sabretooth, who are opposite ends of the spectrum? The film also introduces Gambit (mutant Taylor Kitsch) and Deadpool (mercenary Ryan Reynolds).
So, this much is the storyline of the newly released movie. With a weak script, it has an equally weak narrative. Nothing special about it. But what is magnificent are the visual effects and the execution of the story. It keeps you glued to the screen and involved in the action.
And for Jackman fans, it is a wholesome treat, one not to be missed. The conflict between the X-Men and the mutants is superbly crafted. This summer is pretty hot. Wolverine will cool you down.
Go for it if you like adrenalin-pumping action fantasy and be lost in it for 120 minutes. And you do want to watch Jackman’s claws. They are a marvel. They dig deep in fans’ hearts and find favour there.
All ye X-Men series fans, there are more treats waiting for you in the future. At least two films – Magneto and First Class are on the anvil. Great, eh! So, watch the current one and dream about the next two. The future is worth waiting for. I give it a Hi5. Yo!