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A.O. Scott says the new Wolverine flick kinda blows:

"Wolverine" is shorter and less pretentious than "Watchmen," but almost programmatically unmemorable, a hodge-podge of loose ends, wild inconsistencies and stale genre conventions. Vengeance is the default motive for most of the mayhem that is perpetrated, and for good measure there is a military-scientific government conspiracy overseen by a reptilian bad guy (the excellent Danny Huston).

A flotilla of secondary characters parades through the scenery, mostly mutants with various powers and questionable franchise-enhancing capabilities. Ryan Reynolds, Taylor Kitsch and Will.i.am show up and do what they can, but prove hopelessly unable to compensate for the absence of, say, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin or Ian McKellen.

"X-Men Origins: Wolverine" will most likely manage to cash in on the popularity of the earlier episodes, but it is the latest evidence that the superhero movie is suffering from serious imaginative fatigue.

I'll catch it on DVD. Not because of its merits or lack therof, but because the theater's are just too damn loud these days.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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