Friday, March 3, 2017

Movie Review: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

The worst X-Men film to date disrupts the continuity and relays the tale of how Logan became Wolverine. I've been more forgiving of this film as I was not as familiar with the canon comics on which it was based. When I first saw the film, I was not aware of the bone claws that are a part of Wolverine's origin. They look awful in the film but so do most of the special effects trying to make something big off a limited budget. Gavin Hood directs this action-adventure that touches some other X-men superhero but disappoints at nearly every turn.

The film begins with a young James Howlett who is sickly and unknowing of his true lineage. His half-brother Victor helps him discover his true father and the boys flee after James discovers his bone claws and murders his dad. They run through wars as they grow to manhood as indestructible soldiers. In Vietnam, they are accused of turning on their old platoon. Logan (Hugh Jackman) and Victor (Liev Schreiber) agree to work for General Stryker (Danny Huston) who is forming a superteam. The rest of the mutants on Stryker team are the teleporter John Wraith (Will.i.am), Wade (Ryan Reynolds), Fred Dukes (Kevin Durand), Bolt (Dominic Monaghan), and Agent Zero (Daniel Henney). 

Logan decides he doesn't like the violence perpetrated by the team as they search for a mysterious indestructible metal. He retreats to a simple life in Canada as a logger with his girlfriend Kayla Silverfox (Lynn Collins). He finds peace there but is quickly disturbed as Victor Creed engages in a killing spree of all the old mutants on the team. Enraged but unable to defeat his brother, Logan agrees to make a deal with Stryker to cover his skeleton in adamantium in order to avenge his love. He is quickly betrayed but manages to escape. 

There is a fun motorcycle and helicopter chase scene that does suffer from the cheap special effects but is probably the most enjoyable part of the film. Logan goes to meet Wraith to find out where Stryker is hiding. Dukes has turned into the Blob and boxes against Wolverine. They do a terrible job introducing Gambit aka Remy LeBeau (Taylor Kitsch) in New Orleans as Wolverine seeks out Stryker's base. There is awful dialogue throughout but Will.i.am and Kitsch deliver some terrible performances.

Hugh Jackman does his best and after three films he had the Wolverine character down well. Even Schreiber is menacing as Sabertooth but his long nails are a distraction. The twist is predictable and Brian Cox was much better as an older Stryker in the second film. The film killed the Origins series for the X-men and the series basically washed over the existence of the film, especially with Days of Future Past. The end hints at Three Mile Island so could be set around the disaster of 1979 and gives fans their first look at Deadpool that was later corrected in his standalone film. This was the lowest point for X-men films and it thankfully improved since. 

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