Alexandra DuPont gets X-Men Origins: Wolverine exactly right — and, to my mind, firmly settles the question of how it compares to the much-hated X3:

The final theatrical version of “Wolverine” is an overstuffed, chaotic clambake of a mess of a wasted opportunity. The screenplay (by David Benioff and Skip Woods) just wasn’t in any kind of shape to come out of people’s mouths — it’s so full of plotty comings and goings that it never pauses to flesh out a character, turn a phrase, or create a moment that sticks with you.

Here’s something I never thought I’d write: “X-Men: The Last Stand” is a far better superhero movie than “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” Yes, “X3” is a continuity-challenged rush job that isn’t nearly as epic as it should be — the whole thing feels like a Canadian “Battle for the Planet of the Apes” — but at least it concludes a larger story arc, has one provocative core idea (the Whedon-inspired dilemma of a mutant “cure”), gives Ian McKellen a couple of speeches, casts Frasier Crane as Beast, and doesn’t make every single one of its special-effects shots look like a 10-year-old animatic.

In other words, for all its problems, “X3” is actually about something. “Wolverine” isn’t about anything. It just kind of moves Logan around a bunch and expects you to go “squee.”

I don’t tackle the X3 question (though you can find my review of that film, which I liked slightly better than most other folks, here), but my equally dismal take on Wolverine is up this afternoon at Reason.