Like most fans of comic book movies, I got really excited when I saw the trailer for X-men Origins: Wolverine. Wolverine has always been the best of the X-men and his backstory has always been the most interesting, so getting to see a Wolverine spinoff that shows Weapon X fusing adamantium to Wolverine’s bones makes me giddy. Of course, the best part about the Wolverine movie is the fact that Hugh Jackman does a fantastic job playing the snarling anti-hero.
Jackman was great in the first two X-men movies (and don’t try to tell me he was great in the third film as well – I refuse to acknowledge that movie’s existence) and judging from the trailer for this one, he looks to be just as bad ass this time around. There is so much to love in that trailer, including the part where Wolverine pops up out of the tank and charges at the government agents experimenting on him, the scene where he tells Sabertooth that he is going to chop his head off and the clip where he slingshots himself onto a helicopter (which has now officially topped John McClane crashing a car into a chopper in Live Free or Die Hard for the “Most Ridiculous Way to Take Down a Helicopter” award). After watching the trailer four or five hundred times, I was ready to camp out in front of my local Cineplex so that I could be the first person in line to buy tickets for the May 1st premiere.
When I saw that Hugh Jackman was hosting the Academy Awards, I got equally as excited. While the Oscars can often be quite boring, I pictured Jackman hitting the stage sporting those muttonchop sideburns and a tank top, chomping on a cigar while clutching a whiskey. I imagined him growling his way through an angry tirade about annoying, whiney celebrities before tackling Paris Hilton out in the crowd and going for her throat with his adamantium claws.
When Jackman hit the stage in his fancy tux (sans whiskey or cigar), I was still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. After firing off a few quick jokes at the top of the show, Jackman said, “Due to cutbacks, the Academy said they didn’t have enough money for an opening number.” Still hopeful, I was expecting the next words out of his mouth to be: “So instead, Liev Schrieber is going to hit the stage and we are going to reenact our fight scene from the upcoming Wolverine movie.” Unfortunately, what he actually said was: “You know what, I’m going to do one anyway.”
Thing went downhill quickly from there. Before I had a chance to avert my eyes, Jackman was singing and dancing and whipping out homemade props like a low budget Carrottop. By the time he was dancing around with a bunch of guys in shiny unitards, I knew I’d never be able to look at Wolverine the same again.
Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, in the second hour of the broadcast Jackman came out on stage talking about Mama Mia and declaring that “The musical is back!” From there, he put on a top hat and went into a lavish dance number that had him dancing down a flight of stairs with a dozen other men in matching outfits while Beyonce belted out “Hey, big spender!” Before long, Zach Efron was out on the stage and instead of going for his jugular, Hugh Jackman was singing right along with him.
I would expect this kind of behavior from the guy who plays Cyclops, but I would like to think that the guy playing Wolverine in a big budget action film would know better than to get involved in highly choreographed dance numbers. I was willing to look the other way when Jackman was the executive producer and guest star of the musical drama Viva Laughlin (mainly because the show was canceled before I had time to get upset about it), but now he’s crossed the line. It was bad enough that he was the host of a show that shuns action movies in favor of artsy dramas, but choosing to strut his stuff on the stage is just going too far.
Look, I have nothing against musicals or big dance numbers. I did four years of theatre in high school and in middle school my best friend used to tap dance. If I can handle seeing my good friend doing jazz hands to “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” then I can handle seeing just about anything. But not Wolverine. Not like this. I still haven’t recovered from seeing Christian Bale prance around in Newsies. (At least that movie came out long before Bale was famous and he’s doing all he can to keep his tough guy image intact these days, including berating crew members in lengthy, profanity-laced tirades.)
So if you really can’t keep the dance numbers in check Hugh Jackman, then please at least lay low until after May 1st. The only way I want you to pop up on my TV between now and then is if TMZ catches you punching out a fan or setting your trailer on fire. Otherwise, I’m coming at you with a helicopter and you better just hope and pray that you can slingshot yourself onto it before I take you down – because using jazz hands ain’t gonna cut it.
Joel Murphy is the creator of HoboTrashcan, which is probably why he has his own column. He loves pugs, hates Jimmy Fallon and has an irrational fear of robots. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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