Friday, May 1, 2009

Review: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Grade: B

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is just that, it is the origin story of the infamous character Wolverine. It starts out in the mid 1800’s when we see a young Jimmy Logan and Victor Creed. Logan’s father is shot and he becomes furious and suddenly claws appear out of his hands, he kills the man who killed his father then he and Creed take off into the night. During the opening credits we then see the two fighting in the civil war, World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War. With each war you see Victor’s blood lust increase. William Stryker appears at one point and brings them onto a team of mutants that include Agent Zero, Wade Wilson/Deadpool, Bolt, Fred J. Dukes/ The Blob and John Wraith. After a conflict in Nigeria Logan becomes disturbed by the team then leaves. Years later we see him with a woman and he appears to be in love. Creed shows up at one point killing this woman and infuriating Logan. Stryker then convinces him to join the Weapon X program and have an indestructible metal infused to all of his bones. Once the procedure is done Wolverine goes on the war path to hunt down and kill Victor Creed and everyone else involved in the death of his girlfriend.

This movie is very intense and the action was fantastic. It was nice to see them bring the character back to where he should be. In the X-Men trilogy as each movie advanced he became more and more domesticated and calm and loving. If you know anything about the character you know this is the opposite of what he should be. This movie shows the “Berserker Rage” that Wolverine was always known for. This was a great relief to all the fans of the character. Throughout the movie you see his intensity and anger on a level not seen in any of the previous movies.

Hugh Jackman (The Prestige, Van Helsing) did a great job portraying the character of Wolverine. One thing that gave me hope for this movie was an interview I saw where he stated that he almost turned this movie down because he felt they softened Wolverine too much in the previous movies, specifically X-Men 3. This is true so the fact that he saw enough anger and emotion in the script to do it made me happy. Liev Schreiber (Defiance, Scream) did an amazing job as Logan’s one time friend and brother Victor Creed, who goes on to become Sabertooth. He really showed the characters violent tendancies and anger very well. The rest of the actors did a pretty good job with their characters but unfortunately in many cases, the characters were on screen for such a brief amount of time it almost wasn’t worth it. (from the band Black Eyed Peas) play John Wraith, Daniel Henney played Agent Zero, Dominic Monaghan (TV’s lost) played Bolt, Kevin Durrand (Smokin’ Aces, Wild Hogs) played Fred J. Dukes who turn into The Blob, Ryan Reynolds (Van Wilder, Waiting…) played Wade Wilson/Deadpool and Taylor Kitsch (TV’s Friday Night Lights) played my personal favorite, Gambit. All these characters are great and have such great potential that it was very disappointing to see that they all have about five to ten minutes of screen time.

Granted, this movie didn’t really do what it was portraying itself to do. The first X-Men movies had plenty of questions about Wolverines past, but unfortunately this movie barely answers any of them. It does reveal more about his relationships with Victor Creed/Sabertooth and William Stryker, but not much else. It only half heartedly explains his memory loss. To be honest this movie did need to be a bit darker, edgier and more violent to truly show Wolverine’s origin. I can get over all of this because I really didn’t expect Fox Studios of all people to really try to make an honest origin story for this character. Plus if nothing else it was a great popcorn flick and that is all I was honestly looking for.If you are looking for a good action popcorn flick to kick off the summer, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is the way to go for sure.

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