Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Spoiler questions, now that we've seen Wolverine

Posted By on Tue, May 5, 2009 at 1:41 AM

click to enlarge Read between the lines!
  • Read between the lines!

X-Men Origins: Wolverine earned $85 million over the weekend, down a bit from the opening weekend of the previous film in the franchise, X-Men: The Last Stand. Here I'll pose a few of Wolverine's nagging questions. Several give away the ending, and some of them may have actual, logical answers.

1. First, one that involves no spoilers: Why are the special effects so bad? Several of my friends pointed out that they're noticeable worse than the first X-Men film, which came out almost 10 years ago. I like the theory advanced by Alexandra DuPont, the best writer at Ain't It Cool News:

The special effects are shiny and unconvincing. They are a very specific kind of shiny and unconvincing -- where it looks like the studio realized the movie wasn't going to be as successful as they'd hoped, so they told every effects house working on the show to skip the last couple of rendering passes to save money.

But that doesn't account for the lousy 'fat guy' make-up on The Blob. Any other ideas?

2. Speaking of bad special effects, when Professor Xavier makes his cameo, Patrick Stewart's CGI face-lift looks much worse than a similar effect from the last film. My question is, why is Professor X walking? I guess he must not have had the accident that cost him the use of his legs -- I believe he walked in the prologue scene of the previous film, too. So what put him in the wheelchair, and when? Is there a comic book-based explanation that accounts for this?

3. Similarly, does teen Cyclops' appearance makes sense chronologically? Most of the film takes place in 1979: we know this because the finale takes place at Three Mile Island, which had its famous partial core meltdown on March 28, 1979. Teenage Cyclops looks to be about 14 years old in Wolverine, which would put him in his mid-30s in X-Men which came out in 2000 (assuming the film takes place in an approximation of "real time"). Does that timing work? Maybe it's plausible, but James Marsden, who plays Cyclops in the X-Men films, was born in 1973.

4. Should Wolverine have been recognized in the later films? At the end, Wolverine saves a bunch of young mutants from Stryker's evil experiments. I've seen several reviewers complain that none of them recognized him in the subsequent movies. Cyclops would not have seen him, because he had to keep his eyes shut, but were there others who played prominent roles in the subsequent films? I may have missed them. (Don't get me started on the differences with Sabretooth.)

5. This one shouldn't bother me, but does: at the end, Wolverine faces off with the mutant assassin Wade Wilson, now a super-mutant called Deadpool. To match the adamantium claws in the back of Wolverine's wrists, Deadpool has adamantium swords that come out of his hands. My question is, if adamantium is unbreakable, how can Deadpool bend his wrists or elbows? I also wondered how Wolverine could bend his wrists when the claws are retracted, given how long they are, but I suppose they can tuck into his forearm between wrist and elbow. But Deadpool's swords are way too long for that. Can he just not bend his arm when the swords are in? Maybe I should let that one go.

Any answers? Any other questions?

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