Rogert Ebert’s Wolverine Review

 What did Roger Ebert think about Wolverine? Not much:

Am I being disrespectful to this material? You bet. It is Hugh Jackman’s misfortune that when they were handing out superheroes, he got Wolverine, who is for my money low on the charisma list.

[Via Michael J. Walsh.]

4 thoughts on “Rogert Ebert’s Wolverine Review

  1. To answer some of Mr. Ebert’s criticisms, while Wolverine had what was called a “mutant healing factor” early in his history, injuries still hurt — in one Chris Claremont/John Byrne issue from the early ’80s Pyro burnt him badly on both sides of his torso, and he was damn near crying from the pain even as his charred body was already starting to heal. I noticed indications in Mr. Jackman’s performance that Wolverine was feeling pain from injuries in the 2nd X-Men film, but they were subtle and short-lived.

    I think what’s happened here is “power-creep” (like “mission-creep” — not too long ago the Punisher ran him over with a steamroller, including crushing his skull almost flat, but he “got better” anyway), just as happened with Superman.

    Originally Superman could lift a car over his head, run “faster than a speeding bullet,” long-jump an eighth of a mile or high-jump a skyscraper, and “nothing less than a bursting bomb could pierce his skin.” This eventually became the ability to travel faster than light, pure flight, and invulnerability enough that he could fly *through* a star (if it wasn’t a red giant or dwarf, and in “Final Crisis” he even did that.).

    As for Wolverine’s taciturn manner of speaking, I saw a Marvel Civil War parody a year or two ago in which the original artwork was used but all the dialog of all the characters was replaced. Wolverine’s spoken vocabulary was limited to “Snickt” (the sound-effect of his claws extending) and “Bub”.

    (In the same parody, in escaping from the S.H.I.E.L.D. heli-carrier Captain America jumped onto the back of a passing F-15, smashed through the canopy with his own shield, and hung onto the canopy frame with one hand as the plane flew at nearly supersonic speed. The pilot looked back over his shoulder at him and cried out “Holy shit!”, to which Cap replied “Yeah, I get that a lot.”)

  2. I think Ebert’s criticisms were aimed at the movie. I suspect most of the folks seeing the film would have no idea who this Chris Claremont/John Byrne might be that you speak of.

    I am reminded of the handout one got when seeing David Lynch’s DUNE movie. “Hi, this film is so opaque you need this handy dandy guide.”

  3. “I noticed indications in Mr. Jackman’s performance that Wolverine was feeling pain from injuries in the 2nd X-Men film, but they were subtle and short-lived.”

    There was completely explicit dialogue in the first movie, David, between Rogue and Wolverine as to whether it hurts when his claws come out, piercing his skin. “Every time,” he replies. This is right up front at the beginning of the movie that started the movie series, so everyone would be clear about it.

    Roger frequently gets plot points and clear statements wrong, oddly enough.

    “I think Ebert’s criticisms were aimed at the movie.”

    Roger has also explicitly stated about a bazillion times in his reviews that he reviews films, not original source material (although he doesn’t refrain from commenting on the latter, if he’s familiar with it). And he has also made perfectly clear over the decades that he has no familiarity with comics beyond the most glancing.

    To be sure, I read Roger’s website every week, and have read the overwhelming majority of every review he’s ever written (the majority of which are on the website), and it’s understandable that not everyone is clear on these points.

    “not too long ago the Punisher ran him over with a steamroller, including crushing his skull almost flat, but he ‘got better’ anyway”

    Haven’t read that one, but I assume it was during the period Magneto had sucked the adamantium out of Wolverine’s body; otherwise his adamantium skull couldn’t possibly be even faintly dented by a mere steamroller. In any case, his healing power has always been strong enough to recover from such an injury; no “power creep” involved; it’s been clear since early on that about the only thing that could kill Wolverine would be nearly instantaneous incineration of all of his flesh. Otherwise he just regrows whatever, including his brain.

    “his eventually became the ability to travel faster than light, pure flight, and invulnerability enough that he could fly *through* a star”

    Until the John Byrne revamp in 1986, which depowered him drastically, although he’s since gone through further reboots.

    No comics character that has been around a while hasn’t gone through multiple incarnations and interpretations, of course. Different writers and editors, different takes. That’s just how comics work. (And, indeed, they’d be stultifying to work on otherwise.)

    Star Trek has gone up and down slightly at the Tomatometer over the past two days from an incredible 98% positive down to a low of 93%, and is currently at 96%, with 204 reviews, by the way. That’s extraordinary.

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