Monday, August 8, 2011

The Winds Of Change

It's been a two years since our last official movie review. Life has been taking all kinds of turns for us during this time. All the while we have been expanding our continued involvement in our passion and pleasure; cinema. The biggest change has been gathering the effort to bring to life the next phase of SLFC. Being computer illiterate hasn't helped, not to mention being separated amongst three countries thus battling three different timezones.
After all the hurdles, we've taken the first step to entertain you with our favorite topic in a brand new way. Leaving the written word was a new and exciting move for us but being a work in process we may have a few shortcomings. For now the main postings will be on our FACEBOOK PAGE, that is until the new site is up and running. Please keep giving us your views, we rely on your thoughts, ideas and opinions.

Thanks for all the support along way and we certainly hope you will be there with us in the future. On that note we are thrilled to bring to you the newest medium of SLFC; The Movie Reviews Podcast. Be warned we will be holding nothing back in views or language.

Heres' a quote to capture the excitement we feel on our new venture; "...fasten your seat belt Dorothy, 'cause Kansas is...going bye-bye!"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


A Has-Been actress of yesteryear, a promiscuous actress of the modern era and an emotionally damaged nightclub hostess comprise the three main characters of AKASA KUSUM (Flowers of the Sky), a tale of regret, remorse and redemption.

AKASA KUSUM stars Malini Fonseka (Sandhya Rani), Dilhani Ekanayake (Shalika) and Nimmi Harasgama (Priya). The film is written and directed by Prasanna Vithanage.

AKASA KUSUM marks the directorial return of filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage. After a five year hiatus Vithanage tackles a topic that is closer to home than his previous stories, Sri Lanka's Entertainment Industry. The primary protagonist is an aging actress (Sandhya Rani) who has faded into anonymity. She now spends her days in a dreary repetitive cycle of renting a room out to entertainment folk, dealing with her self-centered sister, frying patties for the local "thé kadé" and feeding her cat. Her friend Shalika is a working film actress who frequents the room-for-rent with her lover. The plot begins when Shalika's husband catches his wife with her lover at Sandhya Rani's abode. Although this turns out to be a very embarrassing predicament, it is not necessarily the plot point that thrusts Rani back into the media spotlight. Rani reluctantly agrees to appear on a reality game show as a one-time judge; this reawakens fans of the forgotten actress. She then consents to work on a mega-teledrama series in the vain of Indian soap operas such as "Mahagedera" and "Praveena." This new found fame is what brings Rani to the attention of Priya a nightclub escort/prostitute. The most significant plot twist is when Priya claims to be Rani's daughter. The emotional state of pregnancy is cause for Priya's need to reconnect with the mother who abandoned her. This unravels the guilt and shame of Rani's past, which will consequentially change the lives of both mother and daughter.

The technical aspects of the film take a backseat because it is mainly a character driven piece but they do compliment the subject matter explored. The cinematography is subtle and unobvious, the style of editing is appropriate and the score matches the tone of the film with its somber melodies.

This is truly an actor's movie; where obviously the actors steal the show. Nimmi Harasgama's portrayal of Priya is articulate and captures the tainted fragility of her role. Dilhani Ekanayake is one of a few who can seamlessly work in both commercial and art house films. She gives a capable performance as Shalika. But it is veteran actress Malini Fonseka who deserves all the credit, her acting is filled with nuance and multi-layered emotions. This is a great example of getting the right person for the role.

AKASA KUSUM is a well made film by one of Sri Lanka's prominent filmmakers. But appreciation boils down to personal preference which is why I feel that it isn't a bad film but it isn't great one either. The director brings to surface a number of contentious themes that affect modern Sri Lankan society such as illegal abortion, prostitution, extra marital affairs, same-sex relationships and the two-faced nature of media and fame. But none of the above is prevalent in the overall story. Where Sri Lankan Cinema is concerned, I feel that local filmmakers try to misdirect the viewer with beautiful locations, gaudy wardrobes or lengthy songs. So it is refreshing to see that there are still some filmmakers who value "story" above all. Unfortunately this story in particular is not gripping and did not keep me at the edge of my seat. Nevertheless this film is far superior than the usual trite that’s produced by commercial filmmakers which is why it's worth watching. Support "true" Sri Lankan Cinema by watching it in theatres.

Rating: 3 COCONUTS

S. V. Fernando

Saturday, August 15, 2009


JULIA is the story of a naïve girl who gets pregnant. It is the story of Dilru, a seductive and deceitful gold-digger. It is the story of Dev, a brother out for revenge but ends up becoming a knight in shining armour. JULIA is a story of impulsive decisions and its consequential heartaches.

JULIA stars veteran actors Robin Fernando, Sriyantha Mendis, Rex Kodipilli, Veena Jayakody and Ravindra Randeniya in a cameo appearance. The title character of Julia is played by Nadeesha Hemamali. The story and screenplay is by Sarath Samaranayake and the two male leads are played by Charith Abeysinghe (Dilrukshan) and Sampath Sri Roshan (Dev) who also happen to be the film's producer and director respectively.

Since Sri Lankan cinema is technologically far behind when compared to American, European and Indian cinema it is essential to concentrate on distinctive stories or styles of storytelling. And since JULIA is a film made by two young Sri Lankan filmmakers, I dared to form a speck of optimism thinking this might be a good movie. Unfortunately for my wallet I was dead wrong. JULIA is nothing but some old rubbish covered in High-Definition gift wrapping. The plot in a nutshell is about a poor-little-rich-girl who gets the old "Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am" treatment by a smooth operator and the subsequent repercussions of this act. The plot is so disorganized; it's difficult to articulate in a few sentences. Basically, Dilruskan (a.k.a. Dilru) is a manipulative player who loves 'n' leaves Julia. Dev has come to Sri Lanka in search of Dilru who happens to be responsible for the death of his sister, back in England. Meanwhile Julia's father unleashes his henchmen to find his daughter and her Romeo. And everything converges into an "Achchaaru" type plotline. It's as if the writer took the 5 most common plotlines from Lankan teledramas and jumbled it all up. This clearly created a number of potholes in the story that were painfully apparent. Such as; when an unknown guy knocks up your only daughter, the first words out of the father's mouth should NOT be "when are you going to marry my daughter?" After Dev gets tortured by the father's thugs for days and risks life and limb to escape, it's really hard to believe that Dev would forgive the father in a heartbeat and voluntarily agree to help him. In the second act the father is tearful and concerned about his daughter's unhappy life, I'm sure the idiot conveniently forgot that he only wanted to KILL his own daughter in the first act. These and many more noticeable blunders made the entire film absurd and amateurish.

The dialogue does not disappoint in its level of absurdity either. It is melodrama personified like only bad Lankan filmmakers can do. The mixture of English one-liners in the Sinhala dialogue is clearly a Bollywood fad that doesn't need to be imitated.

JULIA is another example of cinematic misdirection. If you can dazzle the viewer with shots of scenic or foreign locations, then they won't pay attention to the piss poor storyline. This is a strategy of mediocre filmmakers. With far too many aerial shots of London, crane shots of flower fields and song scenes similar to a Puff Daddy music video, the cinematography is simply trying too hard. The editing is no better, with its overdone split screen effects, the needless transition effects from one scene to the next and the annoying number of Fade-to-Black, it is evident that both the editor and director are beginners. The score is alarmingly disappointing because it sounds like a sample from an 80's Lankan flick, the chase scene is preposterous and the fight scenes are Charlie Chaplin-like.

The ensemble performance by the actors is certainly a sorry sight. Nadeesha Hemamali who is known for her roles in teledramas simply forgot that movie acting requires a degree of realism. Charith Abeysinghe's portrayal of Dilru is lacking in so many ways. He seems too concerned with posing than actually acting, modeling maybe a better career choice. Sampath Sri Roshan's performance as Dev is average but stands out in the sea of bad actors. What really blew me away were the three veterans who proved that acting is not like a fine wine; it doesn't get better with age. Statues carved in stone convey more vivacity than Robin Fernando. Sriyantha Mendis' performance for lack of a better word is LUDICROUS and downright stupid. He is unforgivably miscast as the leader of the henchmen; even his mannerisms appear fake and unnatural. But the Oscar definitely has to go to Ravindra Randeniya; his level of overacting, indicating and facial expressions is an all time low for the Lankan acting profession. It is just sad to see our so called professionals reduce performances to such miserable standards. Absolutely pathetic!

I have given some leeway to the pitfalls made by the director (Sampath Sri Roshan) because this is his directorial debut. But what struck me like a shock to the system was how haphazardly the story unfolded. It's as if these filmmakers have never seen a Hollywood or Euro movie. The lack of structure is clear, the recycled plot is unmistakable, but what sticks out like a sore thumb is the brazen disregard for character development or growth. Many characters just change their minds and opinions in a flash. Julia suddenly doesn't love Dilru anymore, but all of a sudden marries him? Dev is nearly killed by Julia's father but swiftly forgives and decides to help him? Dilru takes advantage of Dev's girlfriend but Dev forgives him for the sake of Julia and her unborn child? These are signs of infantile storytelling and the writer and director are solely responsible. If these guys are the so called future of Lankan cinema, then indeed the future looks bleak.

Rating: 1 COCONUT

S. V. Fernando

Friday, July 17, 2009


The year is 1985, the place is an alternate America in which masked vigilantes have been outlawed and the U.S. and Soviet Union are on the brink of nuclear annihilation. This is the backdrop in which the murder of an ex-superhero prompts his former teammate (Rorschach) to investigate the crime. The investigation will uncover a larger and sinister conspiracy that will determine the fate of humankind.

WATCHMEN feature actors Billy Crudup (Dr. Manhattan), Patrick Wilson (Night Owl 2), Jackie Earle Haley (Rorschach), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Comedian) and Malin Ackerman (Silk Spectre 2). The film is written by David Hayter and Alex Tse and directed by Zack Snyder.

The plot of the film is a murder mystery, a Who-Dunnit and that’s what kept me glued to my seat. The opening collage of scenes that establish the film's reality as parallel to our own is intricately done. In this America costumed crime fighters were commonplace but are now outlawed by President Nixon who is serving a fifth consecutive term in power. The film begins with the murder of ex-Watchmen team member, The Comedian. This initiates Rorschach's inspection into the killing and into his suspicions that ex-superheroes are being targeted. The characters are portrayed as imperfect and therefore more human. They are not typical superheroes like Spiderman and Superman; they are flawed individuals with their share of social and psychological problems. Rorschach can be considered the protagonist of the piece and the mystery unravels through his eyes. The back stories of the main characters are explored at opportune moments. Simultaneously clues are provided to answer the nagging question…who's behind this hullabaloo? Although a few exaggerated slo-mo action scenes and an extended sex scene jolts you into attention, keep in mind that the pace is of a drama and not an action blockbuster.

The dialogue is rich and constantly reminds us that this is a mature drama made for adults. Rorschach's monologues are complex, Dr. Manhattan's lines are filled with philosophical depth and even the other characters bring a gritty realism with the dialogue.

The cinematography is a feast for the eyes, but certain scenes unintentionally appear cartoonish. The editing is adequate but something that hinders it is the repetitive slowing down and speeding up of many scenes. I understand that every director strives for a visual trademark, but Snyder simply over does it to the point of being annoying. Something else that is overused is the soundtrack; a moody original score is replaced by song after song from the 60's, 70's and 80's. Yes we know its 1985, but we don't need to be reminded of it every scene.

The acting is definitely this film's strong suit. The male actors have been perfectly cast in their respective roles. The stand out performance is by Jackie Earle Haley who plays Rorschach. Even wearing the mask doesn't diminish his acting and screen presence. But the only kink in the armor is Malin Ackerman, who is clearly incorrectly cast as a key figure in the story. Her portrayal of Silk Spectre 2 is superficial and stands out like a sore thumb.

WATCHMEN is based on the beloved graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Having not read the novel prior to viewing the movie, I cannot comment on how faithful the film adaptation is to its source material. What I can say is that the film experience is indeed novel (pun intended). The film isn't great, it isn't bad either it's just an ok movie. Director Zack Snyder (300) has come reasonably close to making a good film. Probably the most significant dilemma faced by the director was trying to compress the expansive story from novel to film. Snyder's attempt is commendable although many of the revelations in the plot came as no real surprise. Even the ending seems like much ado about nothing but I'm sure the version in the novel is dissimilar. This is Snyder's Watchmen and not Moore's so some credit is deserved by the filmmaker. Whichever way you view it, cinema or rental WATCHMEN is unique and worth the watch.

Rating: 3 COCONUTS

S. V. Fernando

Saturday, July 4, 2009


The murder of his girlfriend forces fugitive Dominic Toretto out of hiding and back into Los Angeles. In order to avenge her death Toretto must reluctantly join forces with onetime friend and betrayer Brian O'Conner. Together they must infiltrate a drug cartel to flush out the killer.

FAST AND FURIOUS reunites the original cast which includes Vin Diesel (Dominic Toretto), Paul Walker (Brian O'Conner), Jordana Brewster (Mia Toretto) and Michelle Rodriguez (Letty). John Ortiz (Ramon Campos) rounds up the cast as this film's villain. The film is written by Chris Morgan and directed by Justin Lin.

FAST AND FURIOUS picks up five years later from where the original THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS left off. It can also be considered as a prequel to the sequels 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS and TOKYO DRIFT. If that didn't confuse you just think of it as Part 4. Judging from the title alone, the filmmakers really couldn't care less about making this version bigger or better. The film's tagline declares "New Model, Original Parts," but after watching it the more appropriate tagline would be Salvaged Model, Bootleg Parts. The film opens in the Dominican Republic where Modern Day Robin Hood, Dom Toretto leads his band of thieves in a daring convoy heist of something they like to call "liquid gold." All that trouble to steal some petrol? I guess that's the Hollywood method because simply knocking the driver out cold and speeding off with his tanker truck would be too humdrum. The plot is just a hybrid of the first two movies, minus the cool cars, the urban humour and the underground street racing world. What remains is a washed up thug looking for revenge and a confused FBI agent trying to make amends. Toretto and O'Conner are conveniently looking for the same drug lord and the only way into that world is to win an audition race. This little plot point is identical to that used in Part 2 of the series. Even the entire dynamic of distrust between Toretto and O'Conner has been cloned from the first movie. The death of a loved one being the cause for revenge (Letty) and the rekindling of a long lost love (O'Conner and Mia) are clear examples of the generic plotlines exploited in the film.

The dialogue is a treat for the true lover of clichés. With such lingual gems like, "ride or die," "this is where my jurisdiction ends…and this is where mine begins," and my personal favourite "to the ladies we've loved, and to the ladies we've lost," the talk is a mix of the Old West and a Julio Iglesias song. It is understandable that movies like this cater to a certain demographic, but Hollywood writers need to desist from insulting the audience's intelligence so deliberately.

The technical aspects of the film also fall short when compared to its predecessors. The cinematography is unoriginal, the sound is forgettable, the editing is passable and the soundtrack does not enhance the images. It's as if the director used one of his I-Pod Playlists and selected some random hip hop songs to give the film some urban flavour. What really stands out is the videogame-like action scenes used in the race sequence as well as the cave-drive sequence. It didn't feel like I was watching a movie, instead it felt like I was watching someone play a game of Gran Turismo.

It seems the actors put in exactly the same amount of effort into their roles, as did the filmmakers in trying to come up with the title for the film. Michelle Rodriguez as usual is playing the same role she has played in every single film she has ever done, the tough girl. Jordana Brewster is proof that good looks will not get you everywhere. If you were to replace Jordana with a mannequin, I'm sure none would be the wiser. Paul Walker gives his trademark Surfer-Dude delivery and Vin Diesel gives his typical stone-cold performance. Having acted in such primo films like MIAMI VICE, AMERICAN GANGSTER and the upcoming PUBLIC ENEMIES (with Johnny Depp and Christian Bale) it is surprising to see John Ortiz playing a mediocre role in Part 4 of a waning franchise.

Since this is a conventional formulaic Hollywood action flick, one cannot be too critical. The fact is this entire thing had been done before, but Universal Studios still went ahead and did another one. This is evidence that the Hollywood Idea Machine is running out of concepts. Justin Lin is merely a director for hire, having helmed the third film THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT he is the logical choice for directing this one. Lin is better suited for directing automobiles and not actors. But all the blame should not be placed on Lin alone; Chris Morgan the writer deserves much of it for penning such a shameless script. FAST AND FURIOUS is an unashamed copy of an uninspired, uninteresting and purely unexciting film. Try saying that 4 times, really fast and furiously!

Rating: 2 COCONUTS

S. V. Fernando

Sunday, June 28, 2009


The rabid Wolverine is back in his fourth film installment, but where as the first three was a team effort WOLVERINE is all about the man with the claws. The film opens in 1845 in the North-Western Territory of British North America. A young James Howlett (future Wolverine/ Logan) witnesses the slaying of his father John Howlett by his friend Thomas Logan (Victor Creed's father). This traumatic event is the catalyst for James' latent mutant power to rise to the surface and so does his claws of bone. In a fit of rage young James plunges his claws into Logan. But with his dying breath Thomas Logan reveals to James that he is his biological father. The young Victor Creed helps his half-brother James to escape the clutches of an angry village mob and the two brothers pledge to look after one another. Preceding the scenes in 1845 the two brothers now adults, are shown battling in a montage of historical wars. During the Vietnam War they are recruited by William Stryker into Team X, a motley crew of mutant mercenaries. The mayhem the team is forced to commit takes a toll on Logan's conscience and so he quits and disappears. This is the end of Act 1 and the actual beginning of the plot.

Released in the U.S. on May 1st 2009, X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE stars Hugh Jackman (Wolverine/ Logan), Liev Schreiber (Sabretooth/ Victor Creed) and Danny Huston (William Stryker). The supporting cast includes Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool/ Wade Wilson), Taylor Kitsch (Gambit/ Remy LeBeau) and Lynn Collins (Kayla Silverfox). The screenplay is co-written by David Benioff and Skip Woods and the movie is directed by Gavin Hood.

SVF: The entire first act feels like a documentary, similar to something you would see on the Biography Channel. By centering on the history of the Wolverine character a number of questions are answered. Such as his approximate age, the beginnings of Logan's and Creed's relationship and the discovery of the metal called adamantium. Only after the history lesson does the actual plot begin. Now going by his biological father's last name, Logan lives a quiet and quaint life with his girlfriend Kayla up in the Canadian Rockies. But the murder of Kayla ignites the inner rage in Logan and brings his sibling rivalries to a boil. This is ultimately a revenge flick and there's nothing wrong with that. The plot is unpretentious and the narrative is straight forward. Wolverine is portrayed as a complex character with his share of inner demons and dreams for the future. Sufficient subplots such as treachery, revelation and payback keep the story moving forward without any areas of lag.

DMP: The character of wolverine first graced the covers of Marvel Comics in 1974, and has become the second most popular Marvel Character of all time (right behind Spiderman). He was the first anti-hero & the quintessential bad boy in the marvel gallery. It is not over complimentary to say he is a icon of American literature. He has been known as an superhero for the average joe, with a tough exterior and animal/primal instincts, but it’s his mysterious past that has been continuous appeal for avid readers. In fact since this was such a major attraction to readers, his origin was not written until much later in 2002. This was done with great care so not to upset history & persona of the character.

I wish the writers of this film took the same care to bring the origin to life on screen. Considering the audience unfamiliar with comics had come to love the character over the past 3 X-MEN films, deserved a great origin story.

The ‘brothers’ montage in the beginning was a useful plot tool to fast forward the story to it’s current point. Unfortunately the whole first act moved way too quickly. The remaining 2 acts were just a mess as they attempted to jigsaw puzzle subplots incoherently. There is no character development whatsoever! For a character driven film surprisingly all the characters here played on a single note, there is no arc in their evolution, very 1 dimensional! They are either bad or good, and when there is a change it is literally a flip of a switch rather than a slow growth. It’s only fair to expect more coming from a series (X MEN 1 & 2) which despite having over a dozen characters in each film focused on the story of about 3 at time, and let them grow and evolve. Other than Logan, Creed and Stryker all other characters didn’t even serve a purpose for being in the film!

The characters have absolutely no motive for any of their antics and in some cases a feeble explanation. Sabertooth never gives a reason for why he turns on Wolverine other than their senseless sibling rivalry. The ‘special’ team characters also seem so bland whether they are slaughtering a village of African innocents or confronting each others personal bouts. Deadpool was comic relief, Agent Zero(probably a reference to his personality score), The Blob(aka Fatbastard), Bolt, John Wraith(who’s as stiff and awkward as Black Cowboy Robot), were all moving props! They are void of any real emotion. The heart of the main character is based on the animal/human element….but this movie lacks any human element...hell there’s barely any humans in the film! This was another mistake which previous XMEN films didn’t make, their characters were all very human in their insecurities, hurts and frustrations. The simple proof that this movie had no heart was the lack of empathy or concern I had when any of the characters died!

SVF: The dialogue is succinct and to-the-point. At times overuse of clichéd one-liners seem to dumb down the movie. But it is worth mentioning that the character of Wolverine is not a prolific orator, he's more of a "Dirty Harry meets John McClane" and you can't expect him to be verbally eloquent just because he's in a more serious film.

DMP: Dialogue was kept simple and to the point. An animalistic yell of “RUAWWWW!” would have been effective if used once maybe twice by our wild lead. But after the 10th & 11th time the sense of menace is gone and becomes laughable(and also makes for a great drinking game:). In fact Wolverine never truly became fearful to anyone. He was supposed to become a frightful and intimidating force deformed nature to his foes, friends and even the audience. This was especially important as he became the ‘animal,’ but this transition happened with no significance or threat.

SVF: The cinematography is mediocre, the Special FX is surprisingly average for a big budget movie and the action scenes are repetitive.

DMP: The special FX was horrendous and cheap; a few memorably bad examples are Zero jumping into chopper, Gambit climbing up the ladder like a lemur, jumping into the water from the helicopter, Patrick Stewart's de-aging face, the CG helicopter and ‘jungle book’ painted background Patrick Stewart steps out of, The Blob wearing the borrowed FAT BASTARD's suit didn’t help. Making the claws CGI (as opposed to the perfect prosthetics in X1 & X2) was a fatal mistake. The claws looked like a rendering from ‘Roger Rabbit’, the bone claws were worse and looked like ‘chopsticks’ borrowed from Chinese Dragon, every mutant’s ability to jump a round as if their shoes had ‘blubber’ was very ‘video-game-like’ behavior. Forget that they messed up a currently popular character Deadpool, but the whole last action sequence was straight out of MORTAL COMBAT. The sword/action sequences in BLADE ’98 from 11 years ago were far superior to this scene.

The action was simply poor and clichéd giving us nothing new. All 3 face-off fight scenes with Creed & Logan begin the exact same way, the unoriginal, over dramatic 100 meters sprint, I’ve seen more brutal fights with similar scenes courtesy of JCVD in UNIVERSAL SOLDIER’ 92. It doesn’t matter how brutal the fight scenes are when we are told at the opening credits that both characters heal to the point of invulnerability, there is no tension about the damage they might receive in a battle. This is where creative ideas are supposed to come from the directors/writers to make us feel tense about the mortality of these characters. It’s also a little silly to find so many characters with blades, claws, swords but we never see any blood!

The explosive action of the chopper was probably the most prominent but certainly unimpressive. I would like to think BLACK HAWK DOWN or THE MATRIX had better, similar scenes! Each action sequence has been bettered by prior films.

SVF: WOLVERINE is a well cast film. Liev Schreiber is surprisingly sinister as Victor Creed/ Sabretooth. Danny Huston is perfect as the ambitious and ruthless William Stryker. Lynn Collins' performance is natural displaying sexual chemistry with her leading man and Hugh Jackman takes this version of Wolverine to another level. Sadly the supporting cast is forgettable, especially Will I. Am's one-dimensional portrayal of John Wraith. The Black-Eyed Pea certainly needs to stick to his day job.

DMP: The 3 leads of Logan, Creed and Stryker were well cast. The sad thing is even the supporting cast despite being all good actors put up a poor performance(except the who was a God awful mannequin throughout). Even Lynn Collins had potential as a good love interest, she played a single note throughout. The total blame for this falls on the director for not getting the best out the actors and writer for not giving these thespians better material.

SVF: WOLVERINE is definitely not a faultless film. Many comic book fans will whine about the screen writers not being faithful to the source material. Stuck-up Armchair Film Critics with their turtle-neck t-shirts and cups of cappuccinos might say that the film is unmemorable, lacked quality dialogue and there are no lessons to be learnt. To all I say "This is WOLVERINE not FORREST GUMP." Wolverine has been voted the No. 1 comic hero of all time so audiences will continue flocking into theatres to watch the sequels.

DMP: The unimpressive plot provokes a few rhetorical questions; Why would Stryker spend all the time/effort/money to find a rare metal, find a 1 in a million matching subject for procedure with little chance at success. And when it works out and the subject gets uncontrollable immediately (after the experiment) try to kill him? Initially Stryker was trying to hunt/kill Logan using his best mutants/weapons/machinery, but waited till the end to use the special gun with the ‘silver’ bullets (very clichéd Werewolf nuance!)? And even when he was told that it wouldn’t kill him, he’ll settle for ‘taking away his memory?

There are no answers to these questions as they are the plot holes existent due to sloppy writing and hurried production.

SVF: This is the first big budget film directed by Gavin Hood who previously directed character driven dramas such as TSOTSI and RENDITION. You would think that Hood was the ideal choice as director to help explore a character more elaborately but he fails in his attempt. WOLVERINE suffers from the same dilemma as SPIDERMAN 3 and X-MEN 3; too many characters, so little time. Why is the kid Cyclops even in this movie? The film's biggest mistake is that it's merely a shallow back story. The story could have been better if more in-depth concentration was placed on the psychological elements of human nature versus animal nature. The "feral or primitive side" could have been to Wolverine what "fear" is to Batman and what "rage" is to The Hulk. This would have enriched the character incredibly. Alas X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE is a well made action film, all the loose ends in the subplots are tied up and the ending is spectacular. But if THE DARK KNIGHT is the new benchmark for the superhero genre, then WOLVERINE needs a century worth of evolution.

DMP: Fox had been going head to head with Gavin from the beginning. Considering he’s South African , politico/war issues were very real to him. His prior films TSOTSI and RENDITION both had elements of dealing with government or decay of human society. He had attempted to bring this (along with other elements) to WOLVERINE but Fox shut him down. This article gives some insight to his inner workings.

Deadpool’s character was thrown in here as a plug for XMEN ORIGINS: DEADPOOL Gambit was introduced cause he too will co star with Deadpool, plus the fanboys have been waiting for his on screen debut since 2000. The young Cyclops along with the weird pre-aged Prof X was there to introduce their spin off XMEN ORIGINS: FIRST CLASS. Actually this was the reason for the unnecessary imprisoned young mutants, as they will all be part of the series/movie which will get the typical Fox treatment of DAWSONS’CREEK meets TWILIGHT!

It was rumoured that Fox had capped their production budget, this clearly showed with the piss poor special FX. Especially when comparing to films from last year such as IRONMAN & HULK which had ‘quoted’ the same amount ($150 mil) but gave us far better, polished products. I feel this will be the result of all future XMEN films from Fox until the movie rights come back to the capable & faithful hands of Marvel Studios. This is sadly a very forgettable film for an unforgettable media icon.

S. V. Fernando: 3 COCONUTS

D. M. Pieries: 2 COCONUTS