Release Date: May 1st, 2009
Click here for the X-Men Origins: Wolverine Trailer.
Hugh Jackman puts the claws back on and reprises his role as the vicious Wolverine.
The fourth movie adaptation for the X-Men comic book series, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, sets off on a course to explain, well, the origins of Wolverine. How he got his claws, his healing ability, his name, and what caused the traumatic memory loss seen in the first three X-Men movies is mostly all explained in this film dedicated solely to the guy who is "the best at what he does".
Definitely one of the most interesting and beloved characters of the X-Men, Wolverine is the perfect fit for an origins story, considering their is so much we do not know about him or his past. The story starts off with a young James Logan, a.k.a. Wolverine, sick in bed in a mansion in Canada. Oh, and did I mention the year was 1845? Even though the X-Men movies take place in present time and Wolverine is a grown man, he has actually been around for more than 100 years! When young Wolverine's father is shot and killed, he gets so upset and angry that claws of bone come out from between his knuckles and he attacks the killer. After this happens, Wolverine(Hugh Jackman) and his brother, Victor Creed(Liev Schreiber), also known as the mutant Sabertooth, go on the run, promising that each would look after the other. The next thing you see is Wolverine and Sabertooth fighting in every major war this country has seen, from the Civil War to Vietnam. When Victor kills a superior officer in Vietnam after he attempted to stop Victor from raping a Vietnamese woman. As the squad begins to attack Victor, Wolverine steps in to help and the both are captured and sentenced to death by firing squad, which doesn't bother them considering they can't die.
After their sentence is carried out, a man, named William Stryker(Danny Huston), questions the two about their abilities and offers them a spot on a special team he is creating, a team of mutants called Team X. The team consists of Agent Zero(Daniel Henney), an extremely agile and deadly marksman; Fred Dukes(Kevin Durand), also known as "Blob", a ridiculously strong mutant with an impenetrable layer of skin; John Wraith(Will.i.am), a mutant with the ability to teleport; Chris Bradley(Dominic Monaghan), a technopath who can control machines with his mind; Wade Wilson(Ryan Reynolds), a deadly mercenary who wields samurai swords and of course, Logan and Victor. The two agree and go on their first mission with the team to Africa to retrieve a piece of a meteorite. When they question the village of where the meteorite landed, they are met with no help. Stryker then orders the team to murder the villagers in an attempt to make someone talk. Wolverine, disgusted by this behavior, stops the team and leaves. Six years later, Wolverine, now going by his last name Logan, is living in the Canadian wilderness with his girlfriend, Kayla Silverfox(Lynn Collins), and working as a lumberjack. Everything is going good until Stryker and Agent Zero come knocking at his door asking for "help". According to Stryker, Victor is hunting down and killing members of Team X, in a bloody quest for vengeance and, with Stryker's help of course, Wolverine is the only one that can stop him. But when Wolverine refuses, he pays for it as Victor kills Kayla. It is at this point that the animal in Wolverine takes over and he agrees to go through a procedure that coats his entire skeletal system in adamantium, a nearly indestructible metal. Only due to his incredible healing factor does Logan survive the operation, and it is here that he takes on his new identity as Wolverine. When he realizes he has been set up and betrayed by Stryker, Wolverine escapes and heads off to find some members of his old team who are still alive.
Wolverine meets up with Wraith and Dukes who tell him about Stryker's activities of capturing young mutants and harnessing their powers on his base on Three Mile Island. Wolverine then seeks out the only person to ever escape from the prison set up by Stryker on the island, a man by the name of Remy LeBeau(Taylor Kitsch), otherwise known as Gambit. Together, the two break into the prison and Wolverine sets out on his quest to take out Stryker and his plans. Wolverine is then confronted by his brother, Victor, and the two face off. After this, Stryker prematurely sets off his ultimate weapon, Weapon XI, a mutant infused with different powers from captured mutants including Cyclops' optic blast, Wraith's teleportation, and Wolverine's healing ability. Weapon XI also has the same adamantium skeleton as Wolverine and the two face off in a final epic battle. After Wolverine defeats Weapon XI, he his shot in the back of the head by Stryker using adamantium bullets, which renders Wolverine unconscious and no memory of what has just happened. Wolverine leaves after releasing the captured mutants who are greeted by a helicopter and a young Professor Charles Xavier. Wolverine then sets of on his own to figure out what all had just happened and who he really is.
This movie was high on everybody's anticipation meter from the very first announcement from it. And although it was a good movie, it did not live up to the hype and fell short, which is sad for a movie with so much potential. Now to get to the goods and bads of it. The cast of characters and actors in this movie definitley lived up to an X-Men title. It was good to see mutants, most of which are fan favorites, have screen time that didn't include anybody from the first three films. I was particularly happy to see Blob and Deadpool, but not as much as the incredible Gambit, which had me hooked from the first preview. The actors cast in the respective roles did a good job of capturing the character they were portraying. Ryan Reynolds was good as the sarcastic and crazy Deadpool, as was Liev Schreiber as the fierce Sabertooth. My only problem with these iconic characters being in Origins is that none of them, except Wolverine and Sabertooth, got enough screen time. To put great characters like Deadpool, Blob, and Gambit in a movie is great if they get face time. However, such high caliber characters deserve more than their 10 minute scenes the were given.
Another negative point in this movie was some of the graphics. Wolverine is all about the claws and while Hugh Jackman doesn't actually have razor sharp adamantium claws yet, it is up to the special effects guys to give him some. However, some of the slowed down close-up scenes showed incredibly poor animation on the claws not making them realistic at all. I mean come on, its 2009, our technology is good enough for simple tasks like this. Although they did do an incredible job on Wolverines bone claws seen before his "adamantium dip". The bone claws were a very cool thing to see. Mostly people think of the adamantium claws but nobody really thinks of what it was like before that. In origins we get to see what Wolverine was like before the operation which gave an interesting spin on Wolverine's life.
The story, at times, was a bit choppy and didn't flow. Like Wolverine's past, somethings didn't make sense. However, where the plot line lacked, the action more than made up for it. With Wolverine, you know there is going to be bloodshed, and Origins doesn't hold back. That was one of the best things about this movie. The action. The scene with Team X taking out the diamond smugglers in Nigeria to obtain the adamantium was non stop, high energy action. The fight scenes with wolverine were intense as well. Most of the fight scenes involved Wolverine and Victor. Considering they are both brothers with similar powers and the same healing abilities, the fights turn away from the tradition because how do you win or lose a fight when neither of the combatants can die?
Overall, the most this movie did was leaving you wanting more, not because the movie was incredible, but because so much could have been done but was left out. The graphics needed a serious boost in places and the story could have gone many different ways and been better. Yet, it was not a total loss. even though it did not live up to the hype, I still thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Hugh Jackman and Liev Schreiber delivered good performances, and despite having a widely talented yet underused cast, the characters were mostly spot on. I give X-Men Origins: Wolverine a 7 adamantium laced bad-asses out of 10
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