X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Movies, Action and adventure
X-Men Origins: Wolverine

A schlocky, dispiriting affair that kicks off the summer season in loud, exhausted fashion, X-Men Origins: Wolverine relies less on its overqualified cast (or even the outsider mythos of the comics) and more on fake-feeling computerized stunts. The word origins implies backstory, motivations, brow-furrowing; these are elements that star Hugh Jackman can certainly handle. Too bad the screenwriters were on a different page, or maybe the editor sprouted adamantium claws. Big, dumb fun? Certainly big and dumb.

After shredding through a portentous, Watchmen-like historical montage of ageless mutant brothers Logan (Jackman) and befanged Victor (Schreiber) serving in multiple U.S. armed conflicts, we find ourselves in woodsy Canada, where our hero wants only the simple life of a lumberjack and an occasional bad dream. “Was it the wars?” a girlfriend asks ridiculously, after another night of bedsheets sliced to ribbons.

Revenge soon grips Logan when his love is taken away, but Tsotsi director Gavin Hood seems bored by the sibling rivalry; even the Frankensteinian weaponizing of a human body by smug government scientist Stryker (Huston) feels rushed. Instead, we get several WrestleMania-type smackdowns, one of them even taking place in a boxing ring with a grossly overweight villain straight out of an Austin Powers flick. Comics geeks may twitter over buried nods, but missing is the sad, thematic elegance Bryan Singer teased out of the first two X-Men films. We mutants deserve better.

By: Joshua Rothkopf


Release details

Rated: PG-13
Release date: Friday May 8 2009
Duration: 107 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Gavin Hood
Screenwriter: David Benioff, Skip Woods
Cast: Hugh Jackman
Liev Schreiber
Danny Huston
Lynn Collins
Ryan Reynolds
Dominic Monaghan
Kevin Durand
Taylor Kitsch
Scott Adkins
Tim Pocock
Julia Blake
Max Cullen
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