Let me start out by prefacing the review with the fact that I am a huge Jason Aaron fan. His work on his own creation, "Scalped" not to mention his take on The Punisher in "PunisherMAX" remain some of my favorite graphic novels of the past decade. Having not read a great deal of his output on "Wolverine," because frankly, Wolverine feels often played out, I was naturally drawn to the motion comic adaptation of one his Wolverine story arcs, "Weapon X: Tomorrow Dies Today." Having seen great writers adapted quite handedly before in the motion comic format, despite the Marvel Knights line's inherent technical issues, I naturally thought at minimum, the output would be somewhere in the above average category.
"Tomorrow Dies Today" draws its inspiration from Aaron's "Wolverine: Weapon X" issues 11 through 15, and almost immediately, despite not having ready the source material, just knowing Aaron's skill as a writer and his prior track record, something felt amiss. In "Tomorrow Dies Today," the viewer is expected to have a lot of prior knowledge of recent Marvel history including, but not limited to the Civil War, death of Steve Rogers and most importantly, the character of Deathlok (no, "Agents of Shield" fans, you don't really know who Deathlok is). That's all well and good for a seasoned comic fan, but for the ultimate target audience for a Marvel Knights production, there's a great deal of back-story and ultimately, subtlety that is devoid from the program, resulting in a very anemic 64-minute production.
With so much of the story focused on dialogue and wishy-washy characterization, the hope would be the animation process at least offers up some action sequences of visceral quality. You'd be wrong here, to the level that "Tomorrow Dies Today" has not only a flat narrative tone but a generally flat production design. To be blunt, "Tomorrow Dies Today" is a tough slog and does a complete disservice to Jason Aaron as a writer, employing voice actors who barely pass the bar of competency, committing the sin of making Wolverine feel boring, although not nearly as boring as the ill-fated anime incarnation (but the less said about that the better). "Tomorrow Dies Today" on the technical spectrum is a big step backwards for Marvel Knights productions and if I hadn't said it numerous times before, only to go back on my word, I'd say it's so unappealing, that I don't care to see what they have in store for the future.
The actual story of "Tomorrow Dies Today," at least this adaptation of it, is more cerebral than past "Marvel Knights" incarnations, yet, the nagging feeling that Aaron's work has been liberally edited cannot be shook. Yes, we get a few nice explorations of themes of destiny and fate, even a few hints at the nature of good and evil; all of this ends up being too little too late, the tragic victim of a story requiring too much back-story to be effectively told in the motion comic fashion. "Tomorrow Dies Today" feels like the middle of a much grander tale, maybe even the conclusion of a solid story arc with a more firmly rooted set-up and execution. It's very mediocre Wolverine and very mediocre Marvel; two things no comic fan should be subject to in a "post-Avengers" world.
The 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer captures the animation reasonably enough and accurately compared to the source material, capturing the essence of the original title quite well. Likely a result of the motion comic process, there aren't a lot of smooth lines to be found, although as in previous titles, compression artifacts weren't as noticeable here..
The Dolby Digital English stereo audio track is much better than a lot of the Marvel Knights offerings I've reviewed, with an overall high level of kick to the low-end and a remarkably balanced mix that doesn't suffer from dialogue sounding like added narration, rather than natural voice work.
An interview segment with the original comic artist is the lone extra.
Clocking in well under an hour (sure it says 64-minutes, but like all Marvel Knights production, the actual feature is broken into chunks with full intros and closing credit sequences), "Tomorrow Dies Today" is not a great representation of Wolverine, Marvel comics, or quite frankly, the writing of Jason Aaron. It's a hodgepodge of interesting concepts, often with little clear context to the average viewer, all woven together in a technically disappointing motion comic experience. Skip It.