Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wolverine: Keegan's take on a movie that's being bashed

The reviews of Wolverine are so bad, they're intriguing. In fact, I found them irresistible. How in the hell could a bunch of extremely talented people (including Stan Lee and Hugh Jackman) get it so incredibly wrong?

So I went along to the 2:00pm session yesterday at the Megaplex.

Keegan's verdict? For godsakes stop reading the reviews, go and see the bloody movie, and you will discover several things.

The CG effects are nowhere near as poor as the critics are blathering on about. A couple of the shots look a little bit "fake" by the standards of 2009, but in 1999, the same shots would have blown your brains out. (Get real here: a couple of less-than-perfect CGI shots do not make unmitigated crap out of an entire movie. )

There are two, maybe three, genuinely wobbly bits in the plotting. (Get real, again: it's a comic book. Turn a blind eye to the wobbly bits and concentrate on the important element: Hugh Jackman is the sexiest thing on two legs.) Unless you are terminally heterosexual, and male, or a terminally hetero female in lust for a pixie like Elijah Wood, there is no way in any world that you could call the movie "dull" or "dry." In fact, you may need a bib, because you'll spend just under two hours in a full-on drool.

The plot is NOT "overly complex," and my guess is that the critics who employed this old chestnut as a reason to smack Wolverine with a D or an F spent one half of the time texting and the other half running out to the bathroom and/or parking lot for a smoke. The plot is not complex at all, so long as you're wide awake. The same bozo-grade critics levelled the identical lame criticism at the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Guys, let me give you a tip: drink less at the press meeting before you go to the theater, and stop blaming the movie after you anaesthetised yourself on several gallons of free champagne. I hope you had the hangovers you damned-well deserve.

And no, I am NOT blind to the fact that a couple of the CG shots are less than staggering by current standards; and the plot has a hole you could drive a Mack truck through. However, Hugh Jackman acted his a$$ off, and lived in the gym while making this opus. The results are somewhat spectacular. And in Keegan's not so humble opinion (which comes to you complete with fresh bib), he's more than enough to make up for the shortcomings of the rest of the movie. And I know, I'm biased. I paid for the movie ticket (while critics get theirs free!) so I'm allowed a degree of bias. I bought the bias option with my ten bucks.

Now, let me give you the POSITIVES that 1001 critics are falling over themselves to utterly ignore ... and it beats hell out of me why they do this:

  • Fully 95% of the CG work is just fine.
  • A solid cast gives sterling performances.
  • The dialog is, on the whole, realistic and believable.
  • The film offers unexpected, and welcome, humor.
  • The cinematography is stunning, with marvelous wilderness locations.
  • The sets are extremely atmospheric and evocative.
  • It's an ACTION movie, hence the ACTION sequences, and there are plenty ... would you go to the ballet and then call it rubbish because of all the dancing?!
  • The SOUND balance is crystal clear, sharp and admirable. I never missed a word.
  • The FOLEY work is spot-on. Most of the bozo-brigade critics who're currently rubbishing this movie wouldn't even know what the word "foley" means.
  • The film's visual editing is crisp and clear. There is NEVER any ambiguity in the denouement, which is more than can be said for numerous movies which have been lauded by the same critics.
  • The film score, or soundtrack music, is extremely good...
  • ... and did I mention that Hugh Jackman is the sexiest thing on two legs?

So ends Keegan's verdict. I'm giving the movie 4 out of 5 stars, because you certainly can drive a tank through the most major hole in the plot. For myself, I don't actually give that much of a "stuff" about a couple of off-kilter CG shots; and the remainder of the production is of a very high standard.

So ... why all the rotten reviews?

There are many reasons, I'm sure. Far too many action movies have jaded the critics, since the early 1980s, when Arnie and Sly got into overdrive. Then again, is it vaguely possible that US film critics harbor a deep-seated, possibly even unconscious resentment about the fact that Hugh Jackman is an Aussie, born and bred? More than a decade of massive special effects movies have made some people so "CG happy" that when a shot or two fall short of the expected standard, they bin the entire movie ... which would be like dumping the whole live symphony orchestra performance in the bin because a few individual musicians hit blue notes here and there. I do believe that certain critics have just had enough, more than enough, of these big action movies, and would much rather be watching something else (which is fair enough; I just wish they'd bugger off and review something else, and leave someone who still enjoys actioners to cover them) ... and lastly, I wonder how many of these critics watched the movie with their partner going consistently gaga over Jackman for two hours in the seat beside them, and growled at the screen, "I'll get you for this, you Aussie bastard, if it's the last thing I do!" The pen being mightier than the claw in our own world, they unsheathed their own ballpoint weapon and did their worst -- secure in the knowledge that professional motion picture folk never, never ever respond to critics, no matter what stupidity is printed. Such is the etiquette of the trade. If you're a movie critic, you have an official license to literally babble through your hat and say what you like. And my gods, they do.

Lastly, there's also safety in numbers. When everyone else is calling a certain movie crap, you run the risk of not being "one of us," if you tell the truth and say you enjoyed the hell out of it, and could clearly see the 85% of the movie that was brilliant -- as well as the faults!

Well Keegan -- being Keegan -- is giving Wolverine four out of five stars, and is going to go see it again next week.

And no, I don't like movie critics.

To Hugh Jackman, if anyone significant sees this and forwards it: Cheers, mate. You did good.

Ciao for now,



Anonymous said...

Personally, Sabretooth was my favourite. :)

GDad said...

That was a really fun rant!

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