Wolverine verdict, no spoilers

I wish I remembered whose comment it was I read earlier today, re: the Wolverine movie, but I agree with it. Basically, unlike The Dark Knight or the earlier X-Men films or a bunch of the other superhero movies we’ve gotten these past years, this movie? Is not trying to talk about any Issues. Not civil rights, or vigilante justice, or anything like that.

It’s just an action movie.

With superheroes.

And it’s a perfectly competent action movie, as such things go. It has its good moments and its plot holes and some lines of dialogue I would have changed, and what I found the most interesting was the way its entire science-fictional component is just one piece of the whole, rather than the central focus. I mean, how far into the movie are you the first time anybody uses the word “mutant”? And then it’s just a line of dialogue like any other, not an occasion to stop and exposit. Mutants. Moving on. The script just kind of assumes you’re on board with the basic concept, and proceeds with its action-movie business without any further ado.

Which strikes me as an efficient statement on the mainstreaming of genre tropes. I mean, hell — they spend more time explaining the gadgets in a Bond movie than they did on the mutant powers here. And y’know, I think I like that.

0 Responses to “Wolverine verdict, no spoilers”

  1. j_cheney

    Going to see it this afternoon….your review sounds promising. I’m after mindfluff, not a political statement.

  2. Anonymous

    The thing I’ve started taking away from superhero films, especially ones like Watchmen, is that they’re fantasies about relief from the way nature “breaks the backs of men upon her wheel.” Movies have long given us fantasies about avoiding death; superhero films seem to be fantasies about avoiding dismemberment. The fantasy is that you can survive being thrown from a car, or crushed by a falling building, or a jump from a cliff, and get back up again, and keep going.

    We’ve surrounded ourselves more and more with a world full of devices much more superhuman than we are. Even the simple automobile empowers your average schlub with more horsepower than the King of England could have summoned in a year. Movies like Wolverine appeal to us with the idea that we mere meatbags can survive in such a world.

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