X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

Posted in Reviews by - June 29, 2014
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

Wolverine’s past is riddled with grief, conflict and insecurity. Born a 19th century mutant boy named Jimmy with extendable blades protruding from his knuckles, he kills his real father when he loses his temper and winds up living the next 100 years or so with his insane brother Victor (who has opposing extendable finger nails) fighting in a load of wars.

They’re recruited by nutty colonel Stryker to form a “special team” of mutants (they’re always forming special teams in X-Men movies) to act as a Dirty Dozen-style mercenary gang on a quest to find the strongest stuff in the universe, a made up metal called Adamantium. Jimmy leaves to start a new life of domestic bliss as an Ohio woodchuck before Victor and Stryker reappear and kill his girlfriend. Now Wolverine’s really pissed off, divided by the loyalty to his brother and a quest for retribution.

Here we have an attempt by Marvel to launch a spin off from the X-Men films which were already starting to look tired by the time of the second sequel. Wolverine’s back story is an obvious choice for closer inspection because of his cult appeal and the likable bravado brought by Hugh Jackman who clearly relishes the role. The film enjoys slowly piecing together Wolverine’s appeal: how he gets the name; how he gets indestructible steel pumped into his bloodstream; why he’s angry all the time. But it’s not explained why he has that beard.

The film doesn’t have the same political clout as the original films, instead opting for big thrills: a bike chase with a helicopter and a machine gun, a plethora of sideshow mutants with gimmicky powers, and a two on one fight atop a decaying steam furnace with Deadpool (Reynolds), here depicted as a silent kung fu mutant shooting lasers from his eyes. The dialogue is also clunky. But for the most part it’s fun if ultimately a bit disposable.

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