The filmmakers behind X-Men Origins: Wolverine want their movie to be dark – partly as an artistic choice but mainly, I think, out of financial envy over the billion-dollar gross of the aptly titled Batman installment, The Dark Knight.
And so the movie – which tells the background story of Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), the X-Men superhero with the metal claws – piles up tragedy, starting with the death of his father when Wolverine was only a child. Bad things continue to happen throughout the film – nice people die, diabolical experiments are conducted, Wolverine wakes up screaming from nightmares – but it’s all surface darkness. The film never feels authentically dismal, as The Dark Knight so oppressively did. What we’re left with is a below-average superhero movie that suggests we don’t necessarily need a superhero movie every summer.