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X-Men Origins Wolverine

The 2009 prequel to the X-Men film series focuses on the Wolverine character.

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"Still The Best At What I Do...And What I Do Isn't Very Nice."

  • May 3, 2009
Rating:
+3

Seeking to further capitalize on the popularity of Marvel's favorite mutant group, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" is a prequel of sorts to the X-men trilogy. I'll get right to the point, if you thought Bret Rattner's "X-Men Last Stand" was a mockery of the franchise, then "Wolverine" provides some redemption. This latest spin-off won't exactly offer anything groundbreaking but it is an improvement over Rattner's version. Director Gavin Hood‘s (King Solomon‘s Mines, 2004) "Wolverine" is just popcorn entertainment that combines the usual Hollywood fare with some comic book references.

Logan was born in the 19th century. He was in puberty when his mutant powers began to manifest itself and his life had a tragic twist when his father died. Being endowed with a fantastic healing factor that slows his aging, Logan (now played by Hugh Jackman) and his companion Victor Creed (Liev Schreider) fought many wars for many decades. After being recruited by a sleeper group led by colonel Stryker (Danny Huston) for an unknown mission. Differences caused Logan to abandon his post and he finds a simple but quiet life with a beautiful woman named Kayla Silverfox (sexy Lynn Collins). But Logan's past have caught up to him that resulted with his beautiful girlfriend being killed by Creed (who would later become Sabretooth). Logan is thristy for vengeance as he agrees to be part of a "weapon X" program that would further enhance his mutant powers. 

                  Hugh Jackman in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine."

                  Logan (Hugh Jackman) and Victor Creed (Liev Schreiber) face off for the ultimate battle – against each other in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine."

The screenplay by David Beniott and Skip Woods combines the usual Hollywood mechanics such as revenge, love and betrayal to references from the comic book. The film carries some strong ties to "Origin", "Weapon X" and even issues from the X-men comic series. The film has its share of "iconic" comic book scenes. However, the film doesn't have any blood or gore as portrayed in "Weapon X". Familiar characters are a welcome treat to comic book fans as we see Gambit (Taylor Kitsch), Wade-Deadpool (?) (Ryan Reynolds) and William Stryker. Those who are "X-men veteran readers" would recognize Emma Frost, the Blob, Cyclops and the appearance of Logan's lost love Silverfox; these references are indeed a good part of our favorite "canucklehead‘s" life. "Weapon 11" and Xavier also makes an appearance. I was a little disappointed that the film didn't touch on Logan's time in Japan, but I suppose that if it did, it would slow the film's pace too much. The film also touches upon the element of friendship as brought into exposition by Creed and Logan's relationship. Creed loses a part of his humanity with each kill, and Logan tries to hold on any remaining sense of humanity. Creed embraces this fate he believes is his destiny while Logan only wants to stay within his brand of morality.

                        Ryan Reynolds is Wade Wilson, later to be known as Deadpool in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine."

                       Emma Frost (Tahyna Tozzi) and Cyclops (Tim Pocock) in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine."

The direction by Gavin Hood was decently played and does feel energetic. Hood manages to keep the film's pace very compressed and full of forward momentum in its 90+ minute runtime. While the film is undoubtedly crippled by certain blunders and some holes, Hood manages to keep the film moving that viewers will take notice of its entertainment value much more than its very simple plot. Th appearance of its characters does pay some welcome "tribute" to the comic books but most of them did feel absolutely unnecessary than to be a simple comic book eye candy since there are too many to develop. Director Gavin Hood revitalizes the screen with elaborate stuntwork, cool fight sequences, great CGI effects, and a lot of explosions--all in an attempt to cover up its very weak plot. The performances were decent for the most part, although I thought Stryker made for a somewhat underwhelming villain. Danny Huston was good but not entirely convincing. Liev Schneider made a good "Victor Creed" and his chemistry with Jackman was pretty palatable. Jackman well, is Jackman, he looks and feels the same as in the X-men movies. 

                      Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and Taylor Kitsch as Gambit in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine."

                     Emma Frost (Tahyna Tozzi) and Silverfox (Lynn Collins) in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine."

We will see Hugh Jackman all pumped up and oiled up to emphasize his nice physique, complete with "macho" posturing and facial expressions that look very reminiscent to the renderings of Jim Lee and John Byrne in the X-men comic series. Jackman does deliver as our favorite "canucklehead" although we have to take note than Logan should be a lot shorter, hairier and stockier than the actor. There is plenty of action scenes to be had with "Wolverine". The encounters with Agent Zero's group as Logan slices through a helicopter and Humvees are very cool to watch. The final encounter with Logan and Creed could've been a lot better and I thought it ended in a very perfunctory manner. The brawl on top of reactor was the exact exclamation point that Hood was looking for and he does somewhat achieve his goal.

I suppose "X-men Origins: Wolverine" does provide a credible backstory (in regards to Bryan Singer's groundwork) to our favorite mutant. Keep in mind that this is your usual Hollywood serving, beautifying up the film, and stays safe to be within the guidelines of PG-13. It does try to stay faithful to its source material but it does have major weaknesses. The action proves to be a good diversion and would likely impress action junkies. As a film, it does not offer anything memorable, but at least its wasn't too much of a travesty as "..Last Stand" was. Yes, it is better than Rattner's take of the X-men franchise but won't approach the status of becoming an instant "comic book adapted classic". "Wolverine" won't reinvent the X-men franchise but thankfully it doesn't hurt it either.

Recommended! [3 Out of 5 Stars]

Poster art for "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." Poster art for "X-Men Origins: Wolverine."





 

teaser poster cast gambit vs. logan creed vs. logan Hugh Jackson pose weapon x

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June 08, 2011
I can't remember if J and I saw this one or not. I'll have to ask him about it. I loved your review! Great job, William!
June 09, 2011
oops! seems like I sent you the wrong link for the X-film review: I meant to send you this one. thanks for the read, anyway, Adri! It was so nice to talk to you again!!
June 09, 2011
Ah, ok. No problem! Off to read the other one. Thanks for sending me the link. And yes, it was super fun to talk with you again!
 
October 21, 2010
Like I said before this was just dumb fun, also I thought Ryan Reynolds was good in this for the short time he was there.
October 21, 2010
it was entertaining....not good but entertaining enough. I am puzzled how someone can rate Fantastic 4 better than this one. I am also puzzled as to how folks think Wolvie is such a deep character--when he isn't really.
 
October 19, 2009
Well I finally checked this one out last night (rental). I was about to review it but fear that would probably come off as a near-clone of your interpretation here. You really captured the film's strengths and weaknesses. Conclusion: Best to go into this movie with low expectations!
 
September 24, 2009
True story, I almost ordered this one from Amazon last night but decided to stop in here first. Glad I did! Great review as always, woop. You've saved me a lot of money thgroughout the past year! A shame about this one though, here I thought that after the ending of the third X-Men film, things could only get better for the franchise.
 
June 08, 2009
Good use of the term "canucklehead." Canadians don't like to be called Canucks, ya know!
June 08, 2009
No I didn't know that fact--I just used the term because he was always referred to as 'canucklehead' in the late 80's-early 90's in the X-titles.
June 08, 2009
Canuck (informal term for Canadians in general and French Canadians in particular)
 
May 07, 2009
Yeah, I guess I'll be taking the boys to see this one. I can pretty much see that we'll all want to go. Still I'm a bit surprised at only 3.5 stars, I was hoping for better, but I guess we should be glad it isn't a travesty.
 
May 06, 2009
Looking forward to seeing the movie, especially the parts filmed in New Zealand. Hugh Jackman is fairly easy to follow as well :-)
 
May 05, 2009
Great review, I was a bit apprehensive since the last one was disappointing, but now I am excited to see it.
May 06, 2009
This was fun, I felt like I wanted claws at the end of the film. Forgive its plot blunders and lower your expectations, you'll be fine.
May 06, 2009
True, this film's biggest star isn't the characterization or the story... it's the action and that's probably good because there's a lot of it. I'm somewhat surprised that it only received a PG-13.
 
May 05, 2009
So how do they depict the other X-Men characters? I saw a brief glimpse of Cyclops in the trailer, but I wasn't sure if it was just rehashed footage from the original film.
May 06, 2009
The other characters were underused. I wished Emma Frost was more developed. They were just an attempt for groundwork as to how much older Logan really is. Although it does open up a huge plot hole in the film and in the comics...
 
May 04, 2009
Stryker should have known there's a reason why you should chip your animals.
May 04, 2009
LOL! that's one way of saying it.
 
1 2 Next
More X-Men Origins: Wolverine reviews
review by . July 17, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Spin awef-ul
I liked the X Men movies, even the Last Stand which in all honesty made the most effort to present the "mutants rights = modern day civil rights" issues that was supposed to be the X Men's comic book analogy in the real world when it debuted in the 60's.  As the movies were made, more and more emphasis is put on Wolverine who had the strongest back story of the characters in that he has none and is always on a quest to learn more about his past and top that off with an animistic …
review by . July 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Disappointing.  I wanted to like this movie.  I really did! But by the end of it I not only wanted my money back but I also wanted to strangle Wolverine.  Yes, one of the greatest X-Men comes across as nothing more than a whiny, mopey, emo...kitten.  He spends a large portion of the film either mourning his past or his girlfriend.  Eventually you just want to scream at him "Get over it and kick some butt!"       The only saving grace of …
review by . February 05, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
There used to be two stakes in the heart to any superhero series.  The first is making a third movie with so many villains it's just hard to focus (Spider Man 3, for example) while the other is making a fourth movie.  Yet it seems there could be another stake... making a prequel.  Much of Wolverine's story was pretty much told in X2: X-Men United.  Quite a bit of it actually.  The pivotal scene in the film is just shown rather than told.  If there was anything …
Quick Tip by . July 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
There used to be two stakes in the heart to any superhero series. The first is making a third movie with so many villains it's just hard to focus (Spider Man 3, for example) while the other is making a fourth movie. Yet it seems there could be another stake... making a prequel.
Quick Tip by . August 05, 2010
Purely average action film that is more enjoyable the less you know of the other movies and this movie's characters. Lots of action and Hugh Jackman is awesome as always.
review by . August 28, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
I was never a huge X-Men fan, but I enjoyed the first three X-Men movies. Between Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, and Hugh Jackman, they had a strong cast that made the movies slightly more than just an adaptation of a comic book.     X-Men Origins: Wolverine has a lot going for it. It has a good soundtrack, strong acting (Hugh Jackman is really raw), and the effects pretty good. Unfortunately, X-Men Origins: Wolverine doesn't rise to the level of its predecessors. For whatever …
Quick Tip by . July 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
a good addition to the series. lots of action and some pretty good special effects. you finally get to learn more about wolverines background.
Quick Tip by . July 25, 2010
Three words... "Slow. Motion. Explosion" Decent action/comic flick if you ignore the cheese ball parts.
Quick Tip by . July 21, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
thoroughly disappointed. The hype of Gambit was disappointing. Most of the character stories and plot had nothing to do with the comic.
Quick Tip by . July 18, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This movie could have been better I felt I know some people that really enjoyed it I was not one of them
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About this movie

Wiki

Wolverine is a 2009 Action, SciFi film by Academy Award-winning director Gavin Hood. This X-Men spin off, stars Hugh Jackman as James Logan, the mutant who eventually becomes Wolverine and struggles to find the secrets to his past. The film tells the origin story of how Logan emerged from a barbaric experiment as an indestructible mutant with retractable razor-sharp claws and awakes the pain and loneliness once forgotten. In this thriller, Wolverine battles his complex relationship with Victor Creed (who later becomes Sabertooth) and seeks revenge for the death of his girlfriend, ultimately going through the mutant Weapon X program.

Hugh Jackman appears alongside the cast of Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), Gambit (Taylor Kitsch), John Wraith (william), Victor Creed/Sabretooth (Liev Schreiber), and Col. William Stryker (Danny Huston). The screenplay was written by David Benioff and Skip Woods. Wolverine was filmed throughout New Zealand, Australia & Canada.


Official site:
http://www.x-menorigins.com/

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Details

Director: Gavin Hood
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Release Date: May 1, 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: David Benioff
DVD Release Date: September 15, 2009
Runtime: 1hr 47min
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