Regardless of the fact that it’s still all over the Internet in purloined form, “Wolverine” is getting clawed to death by critics.

Today, Variety writes that the Hugh Jackman blockbuster-hopeful is a “sharp-clawed, dull-witted actioner that falls short of the two Bryan Singer-directed pics in the [X Men] franchise.” Justin Chang also notes that “Wolverine” “bears all the marks of a work for hire, conceived and executed with a big budget but little imagination.”

Kirk Honeycutt, writing in The Hollywood Reporter, didn’t anything nicer to say:

“Bottom line: a keen disappointment as action and effects take over from a poorly conceived story.”

Of course, neither of these reviews, and two more on, say much for my own take on “Wolverine.” I liked the version I saw, but that’s another story. as they say. So far the’ New York Daily News and Arizona Republic also found the film lacking. Only The New York Post, Wolverine’s corporate cousin, seemed to enjoy this outing from Marvel Comics.

None of the reviews so far mentions the big surprise toward the end of the film. I won’t give it away, but rest assured, if you’re already an X Men fan, this will be a pleasant twist.

Even with the bad reviews, my guess is “Wolverine” will be howling at a heavy box office take this weekend. Will it break records set by “X Men: The Last Stand,” directed by Brett Ratner? Doubtful. But it’s going to do fine. I always chuckle when people take these comic-book based films too seriously. It’s just X Men, for gosh sake. As long as the story is easy to follow and there are plenty of explosions, sit back and enjoy it.

The real drama about “Wolverine,” meantime, is about the no longer asked questions: how did it get pirated in the first place? Who did it and why? What’s happened to the investigation? And why is it still out there?

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