X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

Posted: April 14, 2011 in Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Born in the 1800s, Logan and Victor experienced the trauma of violence and betrayal but also learned at a young age that due to mutant powers they both aged at a slower rate. They experienced war after war and eventually found themselves working with Team X, which was made up of other mutants. During a mission in the jungle, Logan refused to kill innocent villagers, causing him to leave the team due to irreconcilable differences. When William Stryker finds Logan 6 years later living as a lumberjack, he warns Logan that someone is traveling the world hunting the members of Team X. After a fight with his former friend Victor where he believes his wife was killed, he chooses to go with Stryker and get fitted with an adamantium skeleton. Determined to avenge his wife, the newly branded Wolverine goes on the hunt to find Victor and the menace taking out Team X and disrupting his simple existence.

Starring: Hugh Jackman (Logan), Liev Schreiber (Victor Creed), Danny Houston (Stryker), Will i Am (John Wrath), Lynn Collins (Kayla Silverfox), Kevin Durand (Fred Dukes), Dominic Monaghan (Chris Bradley), Taylor Kitsch (Remy LeBeau), Daniel Henney (Agent Zero), Ryan Reynolds (Wade Wilson), Tim Pocock (Scott Summers)

Hugh Jackman reprises his role as Wolverine in this origin story of the brutish fighter of the X-Men. He shows a transformation from a follower to a defector and finally a hunter. He seems to quickly develop the ability to determine how to achieve his vengeance on both Victor and Stryker. Liev Schreiber has a similar brutish presence but maintains his focus on achieving actions through violence. While Jackman finds himself on a path of that ultimately is one of good heroics, Schreiber gets caught up in the rage and eventually with the mutant crowd that wants to hate humanity. Supporting Jackson as Wolverine are Will.i.am as the cowboy John Wraith, Lynn Collins as the graceful and calming Kayla Silverfox, Kevin Durand as the muscle Blob and Taylor Kitsch as the rebel Gambit. On the villainous side, Danny Huston serves as the controlling William Stryker and Ryan Reynolds initially is the loud-mouthed Wade Wilson, until he is altered to become the killing machine Weapon XI.

After completing the trilogy, there was a need to fulfill the backstories of some of the most memorable X-Men characters. Gavin Hood combines an assortment of exciting mutant powers with a challenging personal exploration that leaves Wolverine debating his purpose. The addition of Kayla Silverfox added the opportunity for Wolverine to embrace the animal at times but also have a sense of purpose that only love seems to be able to provide. What truly made the film were the explosive action sequences. Wolverine winds up in several battles that significantly have a high level of cool factor, including the motorcycle versus the helicopter, the alley fight against Gambit and Victor and the final fight with Victor and Weapon XI. The fantasy element of special powers makes this a significantly enjoyable experience.

I was initially skeptical of the origin stories since X-Men 3 was not as strong as its predecessors. While not a complete blowout hit, it is an great addition to the franchise and gives hope for the next installment in the series.

Dan’s Rating: 3.5/5

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