But I had to think for a bit before writing about the movie. What do I want to say about it other than it pretty much sucks? Well, I decided to talk about why it was destined to suck all along.
Movies like Wolverine, X-Men and Iron Man are required to have a PG-13 rating. I use the word "required" on purpose and I'll explain why. These movies have pretty big budgets. I'm calling anything over $80 million big, because that means the movie has to do very well to recoup the cost. With that in mind, I'm gonna take a stand and say it's damn near impossible for an R-rated movie to make that money back. There are still a lot of theaters that actually enforce the Restricted rating and there are still a lot of parents that forbid their children to see these films. And the sad fact is, if your movie has a large budget, but doesn't get a certain percentage of teenagers or younger children, you're toast.
Just think about the scene at your local theater at any given time. If it's packed, there's probably a pretty high percentage of teenagers or parents with multiple kids. If there's a low turnout of teenagers or kids, there's probably a low turnout of... everybody. The Underage are the bread and butter of big budget hollywood. Plain and simple.
So back to Wolverine. Why does it need to be R-rated? Why will it never work as PG-13? Because unlike a lot of other popular comics, the Wolverine comic itself is gloriously R-rated. In the comic, people are dismembered, decapitated and otherwise dispatched on a regular basis. There are buckets of blood. Or at least they were in the comics I remember (and still own). But this is in contrast to the X-Men comic and other places where Wolverine makes an appearance. These are your usual family friendly affairs. Instead of gutting a foe, Wolvie will cut down a light pole and let it fall on them or he'll miss the kill swing and kick them into a wall instead. Still cool, but definitely censored.
This is perfectly acceptable for Spiderman or Iron Man. But, Marvel knows better than to do this with the Wolverine comic. They created a classic anti-hero character with Logan. He's tough, a man of few words, takes shit from nobody and backs up his talk with decisive action. And then they made him more badass by giving him 2 key weapons.
- Indestructible metal blades that can cut through anything
- The ability to take any amount of physical abuse we can imagine.
So what did they give us instead?
- Hugh Jackman's Wolverine smiles more than I do. Fail.
- Instead of slashing through torsos like butter, he stabs everybody... in the shoulder. And the claws come out squeaky clean every time. Fail.
- A truckload of giant timber logs falls on top of him, and they don't even do us the courtesy of giving him the trickle of blood down the forehead. Let alone showing us what we expected. The twisted, broken bones that will heal momentarily with really cool effects. Fail.
- A man does get decapitated. And we don't even get to see the bloody stump or the death grimace on the disembodied head. Fail.
- Only computer generated claws. Fail. (Having undeniably real steel blades strapped to Jackman's hands would've done a lot to placate me. Even if all he did was peel an apple or something)
- Adamantium bullets? Wielded by an old white dude wearing a tie? W... T... F.