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X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

Wolverine

Directed by:

Gavin Hood

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 107 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12A

Country: United States

I like Hugh Jackman, and I’ve always enjoyed Wolverine, the character, in the X-Men movies and comics. And it’s not that X-Men Origins: Wolverine is really that bad or anything. It’s got action and story galore, and plenty of Wolfie doing his thing—it’s just that it feels like a movie that was made mostly for the cash value and merchandising. I mean, I know it’s blockbuster time and all in the movie season, but even when X-Men films seemed somewhat cheesy and a bit flimsy as compared to their comic starts, they still seemed to have some of their heart in the right place. This prequel kind of just seems to exist as a franchise entity.

There’s a lot of plot, but it’s really not all that interesting. Basically, there’s some tragic stuff that happens in the life of young James Logan (Jackman), he learns he has a half-brother named Victor (Live Schreiber), and he has some bone claw things that make nifty weaponry during the years he and Victor fight through all the major modern wars. Victor’s kind of a violent guy, though, and his wild ways land the boys in big trouble, only to be “rescued” by a man named Stryker (Danny Huston) who’s rounding up other mutants on a mission. Logan quickly learns that he doesn’t want to be any part of what they’re doing and tries to live his life far away from them, but of course it all goes awry, and he ends up with a new skeletal system, a cool moniker like “Wolverine,” and a nasty drive for revenge.

If all you want is action, this is an OK 107 minutes of time. Even then it’s not much, and for a film with a budget the size of something really, really big, it’s amazing to me that a few of the CG effects were actually noticeable. And honestly, yeah, it’s a movie about Wolverine, but I think I saw his claws WAY too many times to care. His story isn’t that interesting, as far as superhero stories go, and as a character, again, I’ve always liked him, but he was never, say Gambit (who could’ve been so much better and more had he been written and casted differently). All of the other X-Men films have had their flaws, but they balanced their shortcomings by making us care about the mutants—we felt the pain of the outcast mutant/hero, forced to save the world in a world that hates them. Overall, this just feels like a lot of history shoved in between some vaguely entertaining action that looked good in some instances, mediocre in other.

It's Got: Hugh Jackman, some OK action, and a little humor at the farm.

It Needs: Better Gambit, better story, and more heart.

Alternatives:

Hellboy, Hellboy II, The Dark Knight, X-Men

Summary

I guess it’s a kick-off to the summer movie season, but Wolverine is basically a CG film with less than stellar CG where a mildly interesting character is given the task of carrying an entire film, and sadly, he’s just not enough.

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