Wednesday, 14 June 2017

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (3 Stars)

One of the biggest problems I have as the author of a long-running film blog is consistency with my ratings. The five categories sound simple enough:

5 Stars: Great, must be watched
4 Stars: Good, worth checking out
3 Stars: Okay, matter of taste
2 Stars: Poor, not worth watching
1 Star: Awful, avoid at all costs

At first I wanted to stick with these five categories, but only a few weeks after starting my blog I started giving half stars for films that fell between two categories, or to express that of two consecutive four star films one was slightly better. A year later I added quarter stars. I'm still not sure whether this was a good idea. On reflection, my most misused rating is 3½ stars. I've been using this rating to say that a film isn't all that good, but it does have things that speak for it, so it isn't all that bad either. By that definition I'm saying the film is average, so it should be given three stars exactly, no extra half.

I'm not a professional film critic. I don't analyse films scientifically. My rating is a gut reaction to what I feel immediately after watching a film. The emphasis is on the word "immediately". When I sit down at the end of the year to decide on my list of the year's best films I always ask myself, "Why did I give film X four stars and film Y five stars? Film X was better". After waiting a few weeks or months a film might settle in my mind, so I can judge it more objectively. Alternatively, months later I might not remember the things that made a film so good or so bad in my mind.

I never correct ratings after making a post, even if I change my mind only a few hours later. What's done is done. If I watch a film a second time I might give a different rating. If I never watch it again the rating remains forever engraved in my blog for generations of future readers. "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" is a good example of a film where I couldn't make up my mind. I gave it three stars on first viewing, then four stars, and now three stars again. After watching it today I can't understand why I upped my original rating to four stars. Of the nine X-Men films so far (or ten, if you include "Deadpool") this is the weakest. It's disjointed and confusing. It doesn't even remain in continuity with the other films, contradicting the character of Weapon XI/Deadpool.

The film's strongest point is the portrayal of Sabretooth, or rather Victor Creed, because he isn't called Sabretooth in the film. He's one of the meanest killing machines in Marvel films, though he does have a shimmer of a likeable personality. Brilliant acting.

I'll watch the second Wolverine film again soon. That's a better film. No doubt.

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