A Review by Jason L. King
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber
Directed by: Gavin Hood
Rated: PG-13 for action violence and partial nudity
Movie Released: 2009
After watching Brett “Rush Hour” Ratner run the X-men franchise into the ground with X-men 3, X-men fans returned to the big screen to see the origins of some of their favorite mutants. Fox promised a new series called X-men Origins, giving us all a behind the scenes look at our favorite mutants before they became the X-men or villains. With plans for Professor X, Magneto and more, the Marvel studios kicked off the origins franchise with one of the most popular of all X-men, Wolverine.
For those not familiar with the character, Wolverine has 3 strange claws the can protrude from his skin when he gets angry. He also has the ability to heal himself rapidly, even from some of the strangest mortal wounds. In Wolverine, we follow Wolverine, originally known as James Howlitt, as he lives through the civil, world and Vietnam wars before finally leaving his war like past behind him. But when his true love is killed he agrees to be a mutant science experiment that will make him stronger and faster than he ever was before. With his new found powers, he now calls himself Wolverine and will stop at nothing to get his revenge on those that took his true love from him.
Fans of the X-men have been waiting for a Wolverine movie for quite some time. The problem is, they were not waiting for this one. Right off the bat, the film gets off to a rocky start. We call Wolverine by the name James or Jimmy and suddenly change to Logan with no real good reason what so ever. You wonder through the opening credits why exactly a young boy with bone claws grows to be Hugh Jackman by the civil war and then just stops aging for the rest of time. You begin to wonder about his brother, Victor “Sabertooth” Howlitt and why he looks so different from the original X-men movies. The film introduces a plethora of characters that they under use and waste horribly. Their cameo screen time is just that, cameo screen time to make nerds drool. The film is so full of plot holes that you would think someone actually lost a good portion of the script and just decided to keep filming any way. I actually left the movie knowing less about Wolverine than I did by watching the X-men films. (For those of you who don’t remember, he has amnesia in the X-men films).
Where this movie does go right is in action sequences. Wolverine with his metal claws slicing through every thing that gets in his path is fun to watch. That’s the summer blockbuster fun that everyone came to see. It’s just too bad it is surrounded by such a horrid plot line that takes you out of the movie.
Also, one thing to highlight in the film is Hugh Jackman once again has nailed the Wolverine character (although he had 3 previous practice movies – all which he did a great job). Our stand out performance really goes to Liev Schreiber, who plays Jackman’s brother, Victor “Sabertooth” Howlitt. While his character is equally horribly set up, Schreiber does a great job with what little he is given once again proving he is one of the lesser known actors that deserves more credit than he is given.
Summing it up, Fox will give you the excuse that this got messed up on the editing floor. They’ll tell you the film’s leak on the net made them have to go back and work on better CG, re-shoots etc to make the film more exciting for its theatrical release. They’ll tell you whatever you want to hear except the honest truth. Fox made a bad movie and got this new franchise off to a very rocky start.
The action portion of the film and my love for Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine is enough to make me tell you this is worth watching, but my mind is telling me to tell you otherwise. I’ll give it a C- and leave it up to you to decide your movie night’s fate.