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X-Men Origins: Wolverine - Movie Review

Julie Gray
Julie Gray

X-Men Origins: Wolverine opened nationwide today. And flying my 'geek' flag high, I scored 12.01am tickets. It's kind of a traditional thing I do for movies that should be worth staying up until midnight to watch. I will admit straight away that I am not one of those hardcore marvel fans that knows everything there is to know about the X-Men universe and/or Wolverine. But I know a few people that are Marvel fans and judging by their initial reactions (none of which were very positive), X-Men Origins: Wolverine seems to be yet another attempt to drag out an already battered franchise for the sake of making a few (million) bucks.

Super buff Hugh Jackman reprises his role as Logan/Wolverine and the movie begins with flashbacks of his past as a mutant child growing up with a half-brother named Victor (a.k.a 'Sabretooth') played by Liev Schreiber, also a mutant. Violence seems to follow the pair wherever they go and after being inundated with slow motion action sequences depicting the two brothers in various battles throughout history (The American Civil War, World War I etc), it seems the two brothers are practically inseparable.

Enter General Stryker (played by Danny Huston) who sets a tragic chain of events in motion after both Logan and Victor agree to become part of special team of mutants which include Wade Wilson/Deadpool played by Ryan Reynolds, John Wraith/Kestrel played by and Chris Bradley/Bolt played by Dominic Monaghan. Logan ends up ditching the team after he begins to question the Stryker's (and his brother's) morals and goes off to live with a school teacher in Canada.

Stryker doesn't give up and neither does his brother, and eventually Logan comes face to face with his past after Stryker convinces him that someone is murdering members of their mutant team. Tragedy ensues, Wolverine goes on the hunt for revenge (after being fused with the indestructible Adamantium) and finds himself at 'Three Mile Island' where fellow mutants are being incarcerated for experimentation by Stryker.

There's no doubt that Hugh Jackman is Wolverine. And the casting of Sabretooth and the cajun thief Gambit (played by Taylor Kitsch) are solid calls with Liev Schreiber bringing a twisted and sadistic edge to his character. There are also some pretty epic action sequences (Deadpool's swordfight is great) and menacing looks and grimaces from Wolverine in all the right places. But something seemed off. The story wasn't as engaging as I had hoped, despite Hugh Jackman's input to try and humanise and 'flesh out' the character of Wolverine.

I wouldn't say that X-Men Origins: Wolverine was at all bad - it delivered what was expected in the way of giving us more info on one of our favourite X-Men. But it falls a little flat and it does make me wonder how they'll do with the Magneto spin-off slotted for a 2011 release.

Bottom line - perhaps not as worthy as I thought for the midnight screening. Here's hoping Star Trek will be next week.

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