The title of this blog is taken directly from the dialogue of the X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie. I went with this title* because I still cannot believe I heard someone in this post-Dark Knight Hollywood exclaim something as laughable as ‘Blow him to Bits!” in a modern movie. But then I guess in the context of the train wreck that is Wolverine it makes perfect sense. It certainly contributes to my argument that the writing method the studio employed for this film was to hire two seven year old boys, hand them the appropriate action figures and then record and catalog every plot and make believe dialogue snippet they came up with during the course of their play.
I’m being harsh. There were glimpses of things I liked about the movie. And yet apparently I didn’t like any of those things enough to discuss them here and risk the embarrassment of appearing even for an instant to be defending the rest of what, really, turned out to be a horrible, eye-rolling piece of shit chock full of every (and I do mean every) action movie cliché known to twenty-first century movie-goers. Considering the reliance and emphasis on textbook action movie exclamations and imagery such as the cut-away overhead shot where the hero cradles his dead lover’s body and screams at the sky, you’d think this was written by Seth McFarland as a send up rather than by a serious screenwriter**. Here’s a tip folks – once the Simpsons*** or Family Guy mock one of these conventions don’t use them anymore – they will never be effective again (if they ever were to begin with).
And how many times can they cut to Jackman posed perfectly with his arms outstretched, claws in the air and screaming. You can almost here the director yell ‘Action!’ before a couple of these.
Another big problem is that in Wolverine there is no prevailing logic that the characters subscribe to for the motivations of their actions. When an elderly couple find a naked and post-Weapon X operation Logan in their barn of course their very first inclination is to invite him into their home and give him their (presumably) dead son’s clothes and a hot meal.
Shortly after cursing the sky for his lover Silver Fox’s death Logan goes to old partner John Wraith for information. Wraith welcomes Logan into his fold when he learns that someone is hunting down the mutants from their old government black ops team of mutants. But then Wraith tricks Wolvie into a ridiculous confrontation with Fred Dukes (aka Blob), another former teammate who just happens to be there. Logan’s grief and rage seem to disappear long enough for him to participate in a laughable exercise to showcase Blob’s powers – a friendly enough boxing match that seems more a scenario from an episode of Entourage or an old Gene Wilder movie than what should seemingly have been a life or death appeal for help with his quest for revenge. I mean in theory, when the hero’s true love gets butchered by his former friends-turned-enemies the darkness wouldn’t lift quite so fast off the script for ‘Old School’ type hijinks. But hey, he’s the best there is at what he does, right?
Then there’s the matter of Gambit. I’m sure the studio forced re-write after re-write in order to get as many mutants into this one as possible. After all we all know that Marvel now has their own in-house studio and isn’t selling off the rights to their characters anymore, so that means the clock is ticking on how many previously leased character rights Fox can spin off into their own hopefully successful flicks to maximize their profits from the venture. We already know DeadPool is getting his own movie, but did the combined total of the something like ten minutes that Remy LaBeau was on screen wet anyone who wasn’t already familiar with the character’s appetite for more on him? My wife says yes but I think she’s been pre-disposed for the interest being that I talk about this shit around her a lot. Or maybe it’ll be a Blob movie, eh? Oh wait, someone already made that, it’s called FEED.
All in all I find myself very receptive to the theory that the studio leaked the no-effects version of Wolverine on purpose in order to stir hullabaloo and guarantee box office numbers, masking the warnings of ‘Let this one pass’ or ‘don’t waste your fucking time’ that will travel downhill fast from those who have seen it to those who have not.
* Yes this is me discussing how I try to be ‘clever’. I am fully aware that makes me deserving of someone throwing Tyler Durden’s ‘how’s that working out for you?’ line at me, thank you very much.
** And David Benioff is a good writer. I just finished his novel City of Thieves and I can tell you it is fantastic!
*** Remember when Bart’s class took a field trip to the Springfield box factory and Homer thought he had fallen into the machinery? ‘My boy is a box! Noooooo!’ he screams as we pull away from above for that spiraling, dramatic energy.