Posts Tagged ‘Wolverine’

Deadpool is an R rated film about the Marvel Comics character from their X-men line of comics. The basic plot is a pretty standard revenge story, but the selling point is it’s over the top style and humor. Right from the opening credits (mocking the standard casting of hot chic, British villain, etc) it’s subversive, witty, and openly mocks the superhero genre. Immediately it provides a gag referring to the Ryan Reynolds failed Green Lantern film, as well as the poorly received version of Deadpool from the also dis-liked Wolverine: Origins film (They actually show an action figure of that version of the character). There’s even jokes about actor Ryan Reynolds himself, as well as a few name drops to Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld.

This film does take place in the same universe as the other X-men films (The Days of Future Past apparently retconned the timeline apparently (and thankfully) erasing Wolverine Origins). However there are little to no references to those films. Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead appear offering assistance to Deadpool, which leads to more hilarious moments, like when Deadpool breaks his hands punching Colossus.

Again the basic plot is nothing special, but the story is broken up between flashbacks to keep it from feeling redundant. Deadpool blatantly breaks the fourth wall talking directly to the audience explaining the flashbacks, joking about Wolverine, referencing other films, and commenting that the films budget could only afford two other X-men. There’s a few gags I’ve never seen before on film. In the beginning Deadpool gets shot right in his rectum. He also gets his hand cut off, and we later see him with a baby hand as it slowly regenerates, this gag of course is accompanied by a masturbation joke. It probably has one of the best Stan Lee cameos as well.

With it’s subversive nature, 4th wall breaking and general mockery of the superhero genre, Deadpool was quite a chance for a Marvel movie, but it works. It’s easily one of the best of the X-men series, and one of the best Marvel movies in general.

By the way, there is a post credit scene, but naturally it totally mocks the concept of post credit scenes. It’s purely for laughs, and also reminds people to have good theater etiquette when leaving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

X-men: Days of Future Past is the 7th entry in the X-men film franchise, and is also an adaptation of the classic 1981 comic book story. Predating Terminator, the original story had a dystopian future where robot mutant hunting Sentinels took over the world. Kitty Pryde travels back in time to the then present day to try to prevent this future. (At the time this future took place in 2013). The specific event she was to stop was the assassination of Senator Robert Kelly by Mystique.

The film adaptation is mostly similar, except it’s Wolverine that goes back in time. Kitty Pryde can apparently send the conscious of a person back in time (along with her powers to phase through solid objects) a few days or weeks into the past. The plan initially is to send Charles Xavier back to his past self in 1973, which is stated to be 50 years in the past. However, it is feared that such a journey could snap the mind, so Wolverine is chosen since his mind could snap back due to his healing power. Senator Kelly was in the first X-men movie, and was killed. So for this story he must prevent the assassination of Robert Trask, who built the Sentinels.  The Sentinels ability to adapt to mutant powers is linked to Mystique which was cool.

I’ve said in other blogs how I never liked the idea of these films set in the near future. This is the first time we get a suggested specific date. 50 years past 1973 would be 2023, which as I’ve said before, makes Magneto around 100 years old in these movies. From what we know of First Class Xavier wouldn’t be much younger.

Much has been made of Quicksilver being in this movie, and how he’ll also be in Avengers with his sister Scarlet Witch, which of course is in a different film universe in a different studio. In this film his sister is alluded to, and it’s hinted that Magneto is his father. Regarding Magneto he is tied into the JFK assassination, but not the way you’d expect.

Mystique’s powers always bothered me a bit. Changing her appearance is one thing, but she can mimic other people’s clothes? Plus she’s apparently walking around naked all the time, the cold never bothers her? Also she seems to be able to transform into a midget with no problems at all.

When it comes down to it this movie just didn’t grab me. It was kind of boring in a way. At first the dark future looked pretty good, but some of the set pieces just looked weird. SPOILERS here but I thought the end was a lot to believe. The mutants win, the Sentinels are never built, and people accept the mutants. It’s a lot to believe those things happened given the destruction in the third act during which the president was almost killed. As usual there’s good character bits between Xavier, Magneto, and Mystique, but by this point it’s not enough.

One thing it does is attempt to fix/make up for X-men the Last Stand. SPOILERS again but the events of that movie are pretty much erased, as the end sees Cyclops and Jean Grey alive and well. Again Cyclops gets the short end of the stick as the movie plays it off as “YAY Jean Grey’s alive! Oh yeah, Cyclops is too.” Wolverine Origins is foreshadowed, we’ll see how that plays out, since as of 1973 Logan doesn’t have his steel claws yet. I just thought of this now as I’m writing, that while X-men 3 is undone, the ending of that leads into the excellent The Wolverine from 2013. That sucks.

And that’s the thing about this Days of Future Past movie. It’s not a great movie, but while not a horrible movie it’s a bad sequel. I’m not one of those fans that think the movies must be exactly like the comics, far from it, but this franchise’s own consistency is way off. In the beginning of DOFP, Xavier is alive. How is that? Will Wolverine still get his metal claws? Will the government really never build Sentinels after all the mess the public saw? There’s numerous other things I didn’t even think of that are listed here and here. 

If Fox studios would have had the foresight 15 years ago they could have made an X-men film universe from the ground up in the style of the current Marvel Cinematic Universe. Personally I think the first trilogy should have led to Days of Future past, and from there they could have made numerous spinoffs, prequels, and sequels.

The previous two X-men films, The Wolverine, and First Class, were superb. Here’s to hoping whatever follows is decent.

 

 

This 1996 crossover has two of comic books most popular covert teams, Marvel’s Weapon X, (whose team members include Wolverine and Sabertooth) and Image/Wildstorm’s Team 7 both engaged in separate secret missions that have them both end up at the same location. That location is some secret base in the middle east that is doing super soldier experiments. Marvel’s Russian mutant foe Omega Red is present, as is a woman named Mirelle Dupless who I presume to be a villaness from Wildstorm.

There’s some nice back and forth bits as the two teams and their backup intel realize they’re not the only ones on a mission. It’s scripted by G. I. Joe alum Larry Hama so there’s lots of military lingo and the action feels authentic even though it involves super powered characters. It’s a one and done story that ends with a twist involving Mystique. Given the concept I would have liked to have seen a longer story with even more intrigue but for what it is it was entertaining.

P.S. We also get some Dossiers in the back about the characters which was nice.

The Wolverine is a direct sequel to X-men 3, and ignores the previous Wolverine movie that focused on his origins and was not as critically received.

The Wolverine focuses on the emotional fallout of the events of X-men 3 without completely relying on the knowledge of that film. Logan is in self imposed exile in Canada, wishes to no longer kill, and is haunted by dreams of the now dead Jean Grey.

He is then taken to Japan where he meets someone from his past, and is offered a chance to lose his immortality. A series of events unfolds where he comes in conflict with the Japanese underworld, another mutant, and a giant adamantium samauri. For a while I was wondering what the giant robot was doing here, but involves a twist so obvious that you miss it.

Fox Studios took a lot of heat for X-men 3 and Wolverine Origins. However it has bounced back very strong with X-men First Class and The Wolverine. When First Class came out I said it was the best X-men movie, but Wolverine is even better. The Wolverine is a shining example that a franchise movie can also be a strong character piece.

There is a mid credit scene which presumable leads to events of next years Days of Future Past film.

Also one thing I never liked about the first 3 X-men movies is it’s future setting. I didn’t see why it had to be set in the future. The Wolverine makes no mention of this. For all we know it is set in present day, but definitely after the first three films. Hopefully this future angle is ignored in future films.

Wildcats/X-men was a series of crossovers between the Marvel Mutants and the Jim Lee created team from Wildstorm/Image. There were four books, one for the Golden Age of comics, one for Silver Age, Modern Age, and the future.

The Golden Age story is naturally set in World War Two. The colors in the book are black white and red giving it a nice WWII gritty atmosphere.  Wolverine and Zannah from the Wildcats fight a Nazi/Daemonite alliance that attempts to re-awaken and ancient Daemonite. (Daemonites are aliens that have secretly inhabited Earth for a while. They can posses people, and are the main villains for WIldcats.) Wolverine is portrayed as the more heroic of the two and Zannah has no qualms about seeing people as expendable. 

The Silver Age is probably the strongest story of the four. Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. recruits Grifter on a mission to stop an alien invasion that is an alliance between the Daemonites and the alien race from X-men comics called the Brood. S.H.I.E.L.D. provides Grifters iconic red mask, which is presented as a James Bond era gadget. Along the way Grifter has a flirtatious encounter with Jean Grey. She is traveling to Australia for a modeling gig, and is upset that Cyclops did not say goodbye to her. Gets accidentally mixed up in the alien schemes, which involve X-men foe Mr. Sinister who made a Daemonite/Brood hybrid. Along the way there are references to 60s icons like Lennon, Dylan, and Jagger. On the comic book end there’s a reference to Jean Grey’s silver age costume, and Team Seven from the Wildstorm Universe. Also we get some nice banter about the nature of teamwork vs working alone.  

Grifter and Jean meet again in the Modern Age. Here the second X-men team and the Wildcats meet in England. The X-men are investigating the disappearance of a mutant possibly being connected to the Hellfire club. The Wildcats are investigating a connection with the Hellfire club and the Daemonites. Nightcrawler mistakes Warpath for Wolverine, and Warpath thinks Nightcrawler to be a Daemonite. Wolverine meets Zannah again and Jean notes that Grifter has now joined a team. 

The Dark Age is a dark future where the Daemonites merged with Sentinel technology and taken over Earth. Many of the heroes from both Marvel and Image are now dead. Wolverine, Grifter, and some others lead the resistance. Their plot involves time travel elements from the X-men and has some consequences involving both teams that leads to an interesting ending.

Wildcats/X-men showed an interesting way to present a crossover. It would be interesting to see a a Marvel/DC crossover using the same mechanics of covering different eras. Given DC now owns Wildstorm it would be fun to see a Golden Age story focusing primarily on DC characters, followed by a Silver Age story with Marvel characters, culminating in a 90s era story with Wildstorm and possibly Ultraverse which is now owned by Marvel.