Tuesday, February 11, 2014

X-Men Origins: Wolverine ★ 1/2

 Image result for X Men Origins: Wolverine title shot

    "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" is a superhero film that premiered in May of 2009, and it is the fourth major motion picture to follow the characters and events of the X-Men universe. This film focuses on the early life and struggles of one of the most popular Marvel characters, Wolverine. With an unconvincing plot and scathing special effects, this film takes its rightful place as one of the worst superhero films ever made.

    We begin "Origins: Wolverine" in mid-nineteenth century Canada, as our main character, then named James, is bedridden with some type of illness. After being tucked in for the night, James overhears a confrontation downstairs that ultimately leads to the death of his father. This infuriates young James, who subsequently releases bone type spears from his hands, the first sign of his mutation gene. He plows the daggers into this murderer and, as he slips into the realm of death, the man reveals his true identity as James' real father. This startling information sends James fleeing from the scene, into the dark of night, accompanied only by his half-brother, Victor Creed. We are then shown various World Wars and other historical battles in which James and his half-brother are participating soldiers.

    James and his brother never seemingly age or die simply because their mutated DNA does not allow them to. Their bodies age progressively slower than any human, and they are blessed with incredible healing powers that reject any damage. I guess these attributes, combined with their natural instincts, would only allow for a military career. (I suspect if they were painters or poets, then we would not be interested.)

    This film wraps up the background story of our favorite mutton chop sporting hero with his involvement in the government program Team X and his subsequent departure from the group. Six years later, we find that our protagonist has a new career as a lumberjack and that he goes by the name of Logan. He lives a quiet and peaceful life in the Canadian countryside, along with his girlfriend, Kayla Silverfox. However, one fateful day brings Major William Stryker, the founder of Team X, to Logan's work site. He tells Logan that someone is killing the former members of this team and wants him to rejoin his forces. Logan's declination will trigger a set of events that will ultimately change him forever and send him on a blood-fueled path of revenge.

     The performances in this film are one-dimensional and simply uninspiring. Yet, Hugh Jackman reprises his role as the title character and delivers an emotionally charged performance. Jackman certainly looks the part of this powerhouse superhero due to his superb training regiments; however, his aim to create a terrific film is overshadowed by a dubious plot and unflattering special effects.

    Additionally, there are many scenes in which you will question the integrity of the screenplay. For example, after a confrontation with fellow mutant Gambit, Wolverine stumbles upon Victor in a Louisiana alley. Gambit breaks up the fight and allows Victor to flee. Wolverine then instructs Gambit to take him to the island in which Victor and Stryker are held up so that he can get his revenge. Could he not have just picked up the scent and followed Victor himself? (This is considering the fact that it was only moments before, and it was proved earlier that Wolverine has superior scent tracking.) The answer is no, simply because we would then not have any use for the character of Gambit, whose presence inevitably adds nothing to the story.

    Here we have a film that intends to build on the legacy of Marvel, but it ultimately falls tremendously short. It is truly unfortunate, as Wolverine is a very interesting character with a lot of potential on-screen. Maybe if the picture were catered more to the story than to failed computer graphic enhanced scenes, then it could have logically stood a chance. The Louisiana back alley scene, mentioned beforehand, is a perfect example of horrendous production design. It is as if you are watching the film on set, which kills any credibility going forward. If the "Dark Knight" trilogy is the pinnacle of what a superhero film can bring to an audience, then "Origins: Wolverine" is the cesspool of heinous and unimaginative thought.


  1. Good Review Man! You definitely should be doing this professionally in the newspapers. Keep it up!