Review: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

I, like most everyone love Summer movie blockbusters for the explosions and non-stop action. My trip to the theater to see X-Men Origins: Wolverine proved that I honestly want and need more than just that out of a movie.awolva

I don’t need the epitome of cinematography or a metaphor laden script with Oscar contention as their motive, but I do need something cohesive with real character arcs and some attention to the source material; especially when dealing with a character like Wolverine that has a history in comic books that spans decades.

I would have been happy if they attempted to make a realistic connection to the former X-Films, rather than simply throwing a token character from said films into ‘Origins’ to loosely fill the gap.

Ironically the script doesn’t spend too much time on the actual ‘Origin’ of Wolverine, instead opting to fill the time of the opening credits with a montage of Logan and Victor’s time spent fighting in wars throughout a couple of Centuries, with the only dialogue throughout being the occasional grunt, scream or one character yelling the others name just prior to a ‘dramatic’ freeze frame.

Within 10 minutes of the start of this magnificent sequence, Wolverine and Sabretooth (Logan and Victor) are brought together with other Mutants by Stryker to form a ‘Special Team’, and for some reason neither Victor, Logan or any of the other mutants recruited for the ‘Special Team’ seem to be surprised by the mere existence of other mutants, much less the gifts that each one possesses. This made me wonder “Did they all already see the first 3 X-Men Movies too?”

Amongst the other Mutants in the ‘Special Team’ are Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), Frederick Dukes (Kevin Durand) and John Wraith (Will.i.Am), David North (Daniel Henney), and Chris Bradley (Dominic Monaghan). I really hope for your sake that you don’t like any of them because they don’t get a bunch of screen time before Logan’s conscience get’s the best of him and he decides to head to the Canadian Rockies to become a Logger and shack up with a sexy school teacher (Lynn Collins/Silverfox) in a log cabin.

The story then takes a different angle all together and Victor starts killing off former members of the ‘Special Team’, Victor then apparently works his way up to Logan on the list of former team members to kill (I wonder if it was alphabetical) but then  proceeds to kill Logan’s girlfriend instead of him, which leads to a successful attempt by Stryker to lure Logan into seeking revenge against Victor and offers to make him a more indestructible killer by infusing him with Adamantium to get the job done.

During the process of making Logan a more mutated Mutant, Logan is submerged in a tank when he overhears Stryker’s evil plan and that is when he launches out of the tank and goes into the ‘Berserker Rage’ and starts (Bloodlessly I might add) ripping everyone to shreds and bolting out of the facility… of course he’s naked, so for the ladies that want a glimpse of Jackman’s ass, if it’s worth $10 just for all means don’t let me stop you.

Logan is now on the run and ends up slinking his naked ass into a barn out in the Country, some naked hilarity ensues and he finds himself in the care of a Ma and Pa Kent type couple who feed him and give him some of their son’s clothes, including what will be Logan’s trademark leather jacket.

During his time in their home there is a scene that takes place in the bathroom, I guess you could compare it to Peter Parker testing out his web slinging ability for the first time. If you can watch that scene without reeling back in horror and shame by both the silliness of it and more staggeringly, the really (and I mean really) awful CGI of  Wolverine’s claws, then I either question your visual acuity or applaud your willingness to overlook something so drastically shameful because I literally slid down in my seat and felt ashamed on behalf of Jackman and thought ‘I hope everyone blinked and missed that’.

The catalyst for the big Humvee/Helicopter action-gasm in the trailer is actually set off by Agent Zero (David North/Daniel Henney) part of the ‘Special Team’ and Stryker’s right hand man,  whom he thought enough of to send him on a suicide mission by attempting to kill Wolverine, telling him to “Take his head off”.

Zero ends up firing a bullet through the barn and takes out Ma and Pa Kent, Logan jumps on a conveniently stored motorcycle in said barn and bursts out just as Zero’s helicopter fires a Hellfire missile directly into it and we witness it blow sky high into a million pieces, a chase ensues and ends with the clips you’ve seen from the trailer.

We know from Stryker’s chatty Kathy, plot device spilling mouth that Zero can’t kill Logan any way (proving he was sending Zero to his death), as he explains the only way to ‘take down’ Logan is to shoot him with an ‘Adamantium Bullet’. Really? That’s the best they could do?

So the Helicopter goes down and Zero is barely alive, as Logan walks to the helicopter and overhears Stryker on the radio asking Zero if he’s killed Logan yet? Jjust then, Logan grabs the headset from Zero and tells Stryker something like  “After I find Victor, I’m coming for you” Oh no!

Apparently Logan isn’t known for making good on his threats since via X2, we already know that Stryker survives this round.

Then there’s some other pointless fights, a boxing match with Frederick Dukes (Kevin Durand) or The Blob, whatever you want to call him at this point and then a fight with a mutant I’ve waited over a decade to see on the big screen, ‘Gambit’ played by Taylor Kitsch.  These two characters are both actually on the same side and I don’t really know why this fight between them was necessary.

Then there are, oh I don’t know about four (I lost count) pointless fights with Victor that end with both of them walking away unscathed and I’ll leave the final fight a mystery for those of you who haven’t had the great fortune of wasting $10.00 and 107 minutes of your life on this movie yet, but let me say this, I don’t care how over choreographed your fight scenes are, or how many explosions you have in a flick, if you already know the outcome of the fights and you gave us no real connection to the characters in the first place, it makes virtually every scene fall flat.

Jackman from what I have seen is a really good actor and I do like his portrayal of Wolverine. Schreiber is on my short list of favorite actors and while he made for a really good Victor/Sabretooth overall, he’s way too good an actor to be locked into such a one dimensional character.

Ryan Reynolds is killer (no pun intended) as Wade Wilson, it’s unfortunate that his screen time is just a minute or two North of being a cameo. Kitsch did better than I’d thought he would as the Ragin’ Cajun, the only criticism I have about him is his lack of Cajun/French accent, other than that he did well and really makes me hope for a ‘good’ Gambit movie.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine isn’t just bad, frankly it’s just shy of being considered a “terrible” movie in my book. Is it entertaining? – I suppose in a dumb, popcorn munching, direct to DVD action film kind of way that you could be entertained by it.

If you do decide to venture off to your local Mega-Plex to partake in this travesty, go for the Popcorn and stay for the CGI drag queen’esque looking Patrick Stewart cameo towards the end. Something I’m still wondering about with that scene, did they even bother to use Patrick Stewart’s body? Because it looks like it’s just his head floating above some stand in.

That will have to remain one of life’s great mysteries, along with why they approved the script for this movie.

I truly hope that the deserved respect and reverence for this genre of movie that has been earned by amazing movies like Christopher Nolan’s ‘Batman Begins’ and it’s follow up ‘The Dark Knight’, along with Jon Favreau’s amazing ‘Iron Man’ will not be diminished by a throw away flick like this.

I give X-Men Origins: Wolverine a One out of Five Stars.

Did you see it?.. what did you think? Let us know in the comments section.


Jason Moore
Written by Jason Moore

is a member of the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films and the Founder/Editor In Chief of SciFi Mafia®