Wolverine is the kind of movie that gives summer movies a bad name. The action scenes have no flair, just some fake-looking explosions and uninspired, poorly filmed martial arts. The humor is cheap and limp; one scene is just one long, stupid fat joke, like something from one of Eddie Murphy’s recent execrable “comedies.” The plot is hole-ridden and predictable, the pacing is saggy, and the director never comes across an emotional moment he can’t ruin with a trite, tacky flashback.
The whole thing never tries to be more than third-rate. It’s lazy and dumb, coasting on the charm of its star and the durability of the preexisting characters. In fact, Wolverine is the most pathetic sort of summer movie: something that had potential, that could have been good, if the filmmakers had only taken the time and nurtured the talent to create something worthwhile. True, it isn’t as actively bad as the repellent X-Men: The Last Stand—Wolverine might be half-assed, but it’s not an infuriating, character-assassinating mess—so … yay, I guess. Hooray for low expectations.