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May 3, 2009

6

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

by Franz Patrick


X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
★★★ / ★★★★

Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is the first in line to get his own spin-off from the highly popular “X-Men” franchise. Though I must admit that it could have been a lot stronger, I was entertained for more than half of the time so I’m ultimately giving it a recommendation. I thought the way that the film started off was solid: a sickly little boy named Logan (who will eventually be named Wolverine) stumbles upon a shocking revelation regarding his bloodline. From then on, the opening credits feature Logan and his brother Victor Creed (who will eventually be named Sabretooth played with intimidating ferociousness by Liev Schreiber) fighting side-by-side in several wars. The two soon team up with William Stryker (Danny Huston) in a government task force consisting of people with strange abilities (Will i Am as John Wraith, Kevin Durand as The Blob, Dominic Monaghan as Bolt, Daniel Henney as Agent Zero and Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool). A few years later after Wolverine leaves the special team, members of that team start getting murdered. With a little bit of (albeit morbid) motivation inflicted by Sabretooth, Wolverine goes on a journey of great measures to find the people responsible for taking away things that are important to him. While the action scenes are entertaining, I think the dialogue could have used several alterations. Some of it are so cliché, a friend who I was sitting next to started to voice out what a particular would say in a situation. With movies that are based on comic books, there’s a way to wink at the audience without resulting to painful clichés. Another negative that I have about the film is its significantly slowed down middle portion. Yes, characters such as Cyclops (Tim Pocock) and Gambit (Taylor Kitsch) are fun to watch, but some could argue (such as another friend of mine who I saw the movie with) that they were truly unnecessary to the story. I did not read the comics so I don’t know how closely the movie followed it but I feel like if the film were to intergrate major characters such as Cyclops and Gambit, they should feel more important. One of my favorite characters in the “X-Men” universe is Gambit but, when I really think about it, I feel like he could’ve been used more in this picture. Still, I take consolation in the fact that Gambit is finally featured–a step above from his unfortunate absence from the other “X-Men” movies. Those are only somewhat minor complaints and I really enjoyed the picture when I look at it as a whole. For me, die-hard fans can either love it or hate it but casual fans should be pleased because it does have some eye-popping fighting scenes and visual effects, something one would typically expect from blockbuster films. I can only hope that the next spin-off will have stronger writing and pose deeper philosophical questions regarding special abilities and society, while at the same time still having that intense energy that “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” possesses.

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6 Comments Post a comment
  1. May 3 2009

    This sounds like the kind of movie I would eventually end up watching, because the numbing feel of the wave of the summer blockbuster is not yet as strong in May.

    Reply
  2. May 11 2009

    I agree with the cliche dialogue, heck, I guessed a few myself hahaha. I just watched it today. I still like it, but then again I also didn’t read the comic.

    Reply
  3. May 19 2009

    Jørgen: Have you seen it yet? I’m interested to know what you think!

    Reply
  4. May 22 2009

    I saw it tonight, and I’m afraid I didn’t like it. Like, at all. Apart from crisp cinematography and one or two instances of spot-on deadpan humor, I was pretty much taken by a sense of frustration. The serial ‘showdowns’ between Jackman’s and Schrieber’s characters quickly lost my interest as a narrative centerpiece, and neither of those two actors have the nuance to make their respective characters particularly interesting.

    On a far less serious note, I was mildly amused by Jackman’s slight resemblance of Abraham Lincoln (!, but no kidding, with the facial hair and all that), and that Huston looked like Britain prime minister Gordon Brown did ten years, when he was still a succesful Treasury Secretary, pre-recession, Iraq War, corruption and all of that.

    Reply
  5. May 25 2009

    I can understand why you didn’t like it because it does have its share of (some glaring) imperfections. I guess I was just happy that it was a step up from the dreadful “X3.”

    I have to disagree with you about the showdowns between Jackman and Schrieber. I thought those scenes were really exciting and I care for both of them, strangely enough, because they were brothers. I guess I could relate to it because I have a brother who’s the complete opposite of me. This may sound silly but I kept thinking, “What if this was us???” So I was engaged. Haha.

    LoL @ the Lincoln comment. He does!! I didn’t notice it before. I have to Google images of him and Lincoln now.

    Reply

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