Let me spare any of you who were contemplating it the waste of time that would be involved in watching X-Men Origins: Wolverine. For a movie involving Hugh Jackman, one of the biggest current stars, and Wolverine, one of the most popular X-Men, and the one with the biggest dramatic potential, this was a resounding flop. The plot was absolutely inane, indeed so non-existent that I couldn’t even begin to summarize it. The villains were not particularly villainous, largely because they couldn’t seem to make up their minds whether they wanted to kill Wolverine, capture him and experiment on him, or capture him and turn him into a dangerous weapon. Again and again, Wolverine was confronted with overwhelming force, and instead of either being killed or captured (as the odds would suggest), or decisively crushing his enemies (at least a definite plot maneuver, though contrary to the laws of probability), the fight seemed to fizzle out, and he walked away, only to start the whole thing over five minutes later in a new locale.

The actors also were uniformly disappointing. Jackman is nice to look at, and did a respectable job of growling at the right times, and waving his claws around as expected, but since the script didn’t give him anything meaningful to say, he was pretty much handicapped. The only other semi-interesting mutant, Wade, a sword-swinger who deflects bullets while rattling off snappy insults, was killed far too soon. (I did like the introduction of the young Scott Summers, and the way he started to demonstrate leadership and protectiveness immediately.)

Essentially, Wolverine’s story is the most mysterious and tragic plot-line in the entire Marvel universe, and its potential was completely wasted in this movie, which, for all the dead bodies strewn around, failed to elicit any sincere emotion, or to make good use of any of the super-hero duels stuck randomly into the plot (I need to stop calling it a plot, because it wasn’t). Also the visual effects could not have been any worse if they had simply not used CGI; I’m tired of the fakeness of all recent movies, where the actors seem to be the only real objects in view, and scarcely real at that.