February 17, 2009

Written by Matt Goldberg

Judging from the three TV spots Fox laid out over the last three days for “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”, I have to admit I’m almost turned around on the film. It looks, big, bad, and mean. While the first spot was a little corny, the second spot, “Brothers” got me digging the relationship between Sabretooth/Victor Creed (Liev Schreiber) and Logan/James/Jimmy/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). The final spot, “Legends”, which aired tonight during “American Idol”, gets a great “team” dynamic where Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) actually gets to crack a joke and remind us that Reynolds is great casting provided that they actually let him be a character.

And therein lies the rub. According to an interview from about a week ago (via, producer Lauren Shuler Donner says that the film is “well under two hours” in length.

Is anyone else having nightmare flashbacks to “X-Men: The Last Stand” where there’s way too much story and way too many characters crammed into a 104 minute run-time? Not just fans but audiences are willing to accept longer superhero movies if the story requires it. “The Dark Knight” should tell producers and studios that yes, you can get away with at least 2 hours and 32 minutes and still make an ungodly sum of money.

So hopefully this film either montage-happy, director Gavin Hood has a gift for economy of storytelling, or the runtime has been increased since that interview. But a revenge story that spans centuries, involves lost love, Logan‘s transformation into Wolverine, and a big team of characters that have to be made worthwhile needs some room to breathe. Maybe they should spread it out over three nights.

“X-Men Origins: Wolverine” hits theatres on May 1st.

TV Spot 1 – Outcasts

TV Spot 2 – Brothers

TV Spot 3 – Legends

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