X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) Poster

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Wolverine claws his way back on to the big screen
DAVID SIM8 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
X-Men Origins: Wolverine joins a whole host of films that's become a genre all its own in the last few years. An established film series taking a character back to its roots to reboot the series. Casino Royale, Batman Begins and the upcoming Star Trek are to name but a few examples.

If you were going to choose an X-Man to frame an origin story around, there is no one better than Wolverine. He's always been the most interesting character in X-Men. Perhaps because while all the others in the team use their mutant powers for the betterment of mankind, Logan's bad attitude makes him something of a wild card. One never to be entirely trusted.

I thought the idea of Wolverine getting his own movie was immensely exciting. Especially when Hugh Jackman agreed to reprise the role. And I'm pleased to say it was worth the wait. Quite a few have been quick to poke holes in the film's script, but I didn't feel disappointed with it at all. I felt it did Wolverine justice. Its a worthy addition to the series.

To side with a few nitpickers, 20th Century Fox and director Gavin Hood have taken a few liberties. Not just with the backstory, but also by breaking continuity with the other films in the series. For one, Logan's metal skeleton has always been the result of an experiment done to him against his will. But in Wolverine, here he willingly goes through with it, to get revenge on Sabretooth for killing his lover.

Also we get to meet a young Cyclops who runs into Logan. But no mention is made of that in the first film. They act like they've never met. Still, in spite of rewriting some of what we already know, Wolverine does a quite excellent job of bringing a lot of Logan's past into focus. All through a combination of Gavin Hood's involving, kinetic direction, David Benioff and Skip Woods' screenplay, and another excellent performance from the great Hugh Jackman.

The opening credit sequence stayed with me more than anything else in the film. We watch as Logan and Sabretooth (half-brothers in this version) grow up and go to war. The Civil War. Both World Wars. Vietnam. And then finally they go to war on each other. They're both recruited by William Stryker (who you may remember from X2) to work in a special covert operations team. But while Logan and Sabretooth may seem similar, they are quite different.

They may be part animal, but Sabretooth likes it a lot more than Logan does. Nor does Logan share Sabretooth's love of killing. So when he strikes out on his own, how much are you willing to bet that it isn't long before Logan's past comes back to haunt him?

It didn't take me long at all to become enthralled in Wolverine's life history. Some people have criticised the idea of Logan and Sabretooth becoming brothers, but I felt it added an additional level of gravitas. It made Sabretooth's betrayal that much more potent. And I quite liked the way David Benioff and Skip Woods attempt to humanise Wolverine.

Some of the best scenes in the film have nothing to do with large scale action sequences or revved up pyrotechnics. Some of the most touching and most moving moments is watching Wolverine trying to fit into a normal life. Away from wars and mortal enemies. And ultimately failing. His relationship with Kayla (nicely played by Lynn Collins), a seemingly ordinary human woman is quite affecting. Watching her take on the near impossible task of taming Logan's primal side is involving. Both Jackman and Collins shine in these scenes. Or the scene when Logan befriends an elderly couple. Who pay a terrible price for taking him in.

But Hood doesn't disappoint on the action front either. Wolverine has some breathtaking action scenes. Logan being chased by helicopter while on a bike is a real adrenaline pumper. And as it moves towards its climax, in a thrilling fight on top of a cooling tower, the film becomes something that makes you want to cry out for joy. This film really needs to be seen on a cinema screen. The photography of the Canadian Rockies provides a dazzling backdrop for the final fight. One suspects the film will lose a lot in the transfer when it goes to DVD.

The acting is all superb. Hugh Jackman is expectedly excellent. He dives into Logan's animal nature with pure, undiluted relish. But more importantly, he always knows the need to dial it down too, giving us that even more crucial chance to see inside the soul of Wolverine. I was a little wary to begin with when I learned Liev Schrieber would play Sabretooth. I just couldn't envision him in the role but he's a revelation. He brings a real meanness to the part. Something Tyler Mane never had in X-Men. You can see in his performance why it is that Logan hates him so much. The two have marvellous sparkage whenever they're paired together.

There are times when the film lapses perhaps too much into the realm of the comic book (I'm thinking of The Blob as I write this), but for the most part, Gavin Hood treats the material with the utmost respect. It ends on a shocking downer that also manages to tie in neatly with the first X-Men film. The script has many surprises that leaves you as jolted and embittered as poor Logan. A highly enjoyable film that exceeds all expectations, and the best X-Men adventure since X2.
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Wolverine isn't Bad, but it's not as good as it could've been
musica13 May 2009
I'll state my credentials up front: I'm a chick. I have read X-Men comics in my past, but it's been years. I don't remember every detail of every relationship and back story, so I'm not a huge X-men expert. I LOVED the original X-Men movie and X2.

I was so excited when I heard they were making a Wolverine movie. He and Gambit were my two favorite characters from the comics, and Wolverine was by far the best written and one of the best acted characters in the X-Men franchise. I thought, "This should be good!" I counted down the days until it came out. And I went to the theatre, and came out not disappointed, but not excited either. It was a middle-of-the-road movie, which seemed to not know what it wanted to be. But I would say go see it if you're an X-Men or Hugh Jackman fan.

The main crime committed in Wolverine is in the writing. I always say writers don't get enough credit on a good movie. But no amount of good acting (pretty much everyone in Wolverine does well with what they're given) and okay directing can cover up crappy writing like this. The script was all over the place. It didn't have any of the jaunty yet edgy feel of the first two X-Men movies. Wolverine's wisecracks and smart wit were all but forgotten. That would've maybe been okay if they had chosen to make Wolverine the dark, nearly evil character that he was supposed to have been before he lost his memory. But they didn't. He was neither good nor evil. This was ambivalent Wolverine. Kind of Emo Wolverine. Not above doing bad, but not really into it because it made him Feel Bad. No really interesting lines or plot points either way. The writers didn't seem to even know how to develop the relationship between Wolverine and Sabertooth. And was the love story put in by the studio just to satisfy us chicks who wouldn't go a see a comic-book movie without it? If so, the studio did us a great disservice, because if you wanted to make a story about Wolverine the lover (which, hey, I would go see), this movie wasn't that either.

And when I saw in the trailer that Gambit was in the movie, too, I was thrilled! Gambit in a movie, at last! But here he is, the underdeveloped and kind of confusing Gambit. Couldn't he at least have had his New Orleans accent? The cards were cool, but he was mostly underutilized and didn't feel like Gambit that much.

The movie does have some good moments in it where you actually say, "Yes!" I'm not putting spoilers, so I won't tell you what they are, but for me, they made the movie worth seeing. While I wouldn't put it anywhere on my worst-movie list, I wouldn't rank it with X-Men and X2 on my favorites list, either.
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X-Men Origins: Wolverine - a good addition to series
tr9127 July 2013
I am a big fan of the original trilogy of X-Men films. Wolverine is my favourite character so I was really looking forward to watching this.

I think the idea to learn more about his early life was a good idea. There was plenty of good over the top action and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine is superb as usual but the story just wasn't as interesting as it could have been. It was just the kind of film where after 20 minutes it became very predictable.

Overall I would still recommend this film, whether you have seen the original trilogy or not it should be quite easy to follow. It was decent viewing, a good addition to the series but not as good as the others.

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so... what was the problem?
Sergio_Ivan_19853 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
With all the bad reviews as luggage, I came into this movie expecting the worst... but, after i saw it, i found myself both entertained and at the same time wondering what was the big problem every critic and fan boy seemed to have with this movie. I think i got it: they all got up in a bad mood in the morning, and, not wanting to be the odd guy out, set out to criticize every flaw this movie has. Which has plenty. But, again, what's the problem? it has the same flaws the previous three movies had: underdeveloped characters, uneven rhythm and a ludicrous plot that tries to handle a hell lot more than it can in just about an hour and a half of running time. But somehow, the first two movies get a pass from critics and fans alike, while "the last stand" and this one get ripped to pieces.

I mean, this movie has it's share of flaws, but has plenty to like too: Hugh Jackman plays this character he knows so well to perfection, as Liev Schreiber does with Sabretooth, the action scenes are nicely done, and quite exciting, an quite a lot. The rhythm picks up exactly when it needs too whenever it falls behind, etc.

People are even complaining about the quality of the effects which leads me to believe most of them saw nothing but the unfinished leaked version and, if they did attended the screening of the actual finished film, they didn't pay attention to it and instead, spend their time thinking ingenious ways how to use the title to mock the movie.

So, in a way, this is the ideal kind of movie: if you're looking for a fun unpretentious and well done, if not perfect, summer movie, this is it. But, if you're looking for a movie to complain about how Fox is the devil, this is it too. Choke on it.
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My expectations were too high
espunier17 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
All of the X-Men movies were great. And I mean all of them, including the long hated X-Men 3. They had solid characters (Magneto and Xavier were the best ones, in my opinion), and a good story arch.

I was all excited when I heard this movie was on production, and my expectations grew bigger and bigger until I saw the movie. I was so disappointed.

Hugh Jackman is not a bad actor (his best movie is The Fountain, although you won't hear about this movie when they talk about the actor), and his acting is not what screws the movie up.

The whole film is plagued with lots of meaningless characters that add nothing to the plot (like Blob or Gambit), which were tossed there to make fans believe that the film makers had read the original comics.

I am a fan of XMen, I have read many, many of their stories and this movie respected none of them. None. Not even the continuity. It doesn't respect Weapon X project, or the relationship between Wolverine and Sabretooth, or Emma Frost, the motivations for wolverine are plain stupid and seen in millions of movies: Revenge for the death of a loved one.

Oh. What I was expecting the whole darn movie was a Berseker moment for Wolverine similar to the one he has in X2 in the school when Stryker men come in and he alone decimates the enemy forces, but hey, this is Fox, this a family flick and you will not see explicit violence from the most violent and gruesome Marvel hero.

Besides, I had a feeling of constant dejá vù with this movie because Wolverine's Origins are already explained in X2, we already know how he got his adamantium skeleton so it kind of does not make sense to make a movie of something we already know.

I personally believe that wolverine is one of those few characters that does not need a solid back-story because mystery is the nature of the character. Do we really want to know how the Joker got his scars?
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Much better than the reviews, actions packed FUN
goods1164 May 2009
Forget the reviews that focus on dialogue (it's a comic book character, of course it's clichéd) or other types of thing you may look for in movies like a Room With A View. In this movie you want to see cool action, cool use of superpowers, great fights with CGI that is not obvious and some tension about what happens next. This movie has it all. Academy awards? No. Amazing plot? No, but enough to keep it very interesting, with answers like where Adamantium comes from, Sabretooth and Wolverine relationship, introduction of Deadpool, early view of Cyclops, and much more that keeps the movie going along just fine. This is a solid action film, better than most.
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Lots of action, drama, humor and... Wolverine
Tom van der Esch11 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
X-men Origins: Wolverine is an enjoyable film. There's a bit of everything in this movie. Let me start with the characters.

Most of the movie is about Wolverine and Sabretooth. Makes sense, if you look at the title. How they grew up together, what kind of life they lived and how, in the end, they became two men who couldn't go through the same door ever again. Rivals till the end of time.

There isn't much room for the other characters in this movie, compared to Wolverine. I was a bit disappointed that both Gambit and Deadpool didn't get as much screen time as I had hoped. The same can be said for the other well-known x-men characters like the Blob or Emma Frost. They both have a minor role in this movie. Maybe that was done on purpose, since this IS a movie about Wolverine, but a little more screen time would have been nice of course.

The villain in this movie is none other then general William Stryker. If you are a X-men fan, you know him very well. Danny Huston plays a VERY good Stryker. You are really going to hate this character, if you haven't already by reading the comics, playing the games or watching the previous movies.

Action. TONS of it! A lot of cool stunts and daring moves. Motorcycles, cars, helicopters, explosions, gunfire and even a tank. This movie has spread the action nicely, since there aren't very long pauses between the action scenes. So if you are a fan of action, you will love this movie.

There's also a nice amount of humor in here. Hugh Jackman plays a great Wolverine once again and it paves the way for a few obvious and less obvious jokes. Gambit and the Blob add some humor as well. This movie is not as humorous as the previous 3 x-men movies, but it wasn't meant to be. This is the story about Wolverine's past, which is very dark and dramatic. So I'm glad they didn't add too much humor. It would have killed the atmosphere of the movie.

I found the acting quite good, with the exception of Gambit maybe. But that's because I cling myself too much to the cartoon version of Gambit. I don't think anyone is ever gonna top that Gambit. He was okay in this film, but it could have been much better. No complaints about the lead characters though. I already mentioned William Stryker and Wolverine, but Liev Schreiber (Sabretooth) plays his character very well. You can almost feel the anger and somewhat sadistic aura whenever he shows himself on the screen. A job well done, Liev.

In conclusion, I found this movie entertaining. It could have been better at some points, but it's not horribly mutilated as I first thought it would be.

One last warning for fan girls of Hugh Jackman... There's like 5 minutes in the movie where he is completely naked...
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Much better than most say.
Neveah Van Grieken1 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
There seems to be a lot of negative, critical comments on the boards and in the comments here on IMDb, but I beg to disagree.

Though this movie wasn't perfect, and surely could have been better, I found that it was a great watch, and worth the 12.50 I paid for my ticket.

Hugh Jackmans performance of Wolverine was as always, outstanding. As a huge comic-fan/reader, I feel he never fails at portraying one of my favorite characters. Leiv Schreiber as Sabretooth was much better then I'd ever expected. I had my doubts about him playing Sabretooth, and I didn't like how human he looked(as opposed to the Sabretooth appearance in X1). But his excellent portrayal of the character definitely countered the looks for me. I wouldn't change anything about Leiv's performance.

As for Deadpool/Wade, I understand some peoples dislike for how he was different from the comics. But even with these changes, Deadpool was still an amazing character, well-done by Ryan Reynolds. The secret ending with him(Shhh!) makes me very excited, because if Reynolds plays Deadpool in a spin-off of the movie, I'll be very eager to watch.

Finally, Gambit. Gambit has always been my favorite x-men, so I had extremely high expectations of the character. This being said, I found Kitsch did very well with Gambit, the only problems I had with the character were his accent, and his lack of screen time. Though his accent wasn't horrible, it definitely wasn't cajun.

I'll admit, the storyline jumps around, and there are some minor plot holes. But a major thing to have in mind when watching this movie, is to just think of it as a MOVIE. Some changes were made from the comics, and some characters may not be what you expected. But if you go into this movie strictly looking at it as entertainment and a good summer movie, you will not be disappointed.

Even myself as a major x-men fan, I was not disappointed. Overall, this movie lived up to my expectations, and in my opinion, it doesn't deserve the negative comments being made about it.

I definitely recommend it to everyone.
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One reviewer's point of view
A_Different_Drummer2 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
A true story.

The year is 2015 and one of the local movie channels recently ran this film.

So I watched, thinking this must be one of the series films that I missed...? And I watched and I watched and I watched.

And by the very last scene, when Wolverine walks off into the sunset (literally) I realized that I had in fact seen this when it first came out and EXACTLY like Jackman's character in this wretched film, I had suppressed the memory because the experience was so traumatic.

How bad is this film? Well if you are teaching a film class you could use it as a clinic for how NOT to write a script.

With the sole exception of an "action" scene about 45 mins in -- where the Wolverine gets serious about mayhem and the viewer is caught up in the contagion of the moment -- this is a film that starts weak and just gets weaker.

There is no character to identify with. There is no one you would want to have a drink with when the film is over. There is no audience connection. There are no triumphs, only progressive losses.

I am going to end the review here and try to forget the film ... again. If you have not seen it, as your faithful scribe, I suggest you watch X-Men I instead. It is not merely better. It is 100X better.
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X Men makes spectacular viewing
trevixarama7 November 2009
I finally watched X-Men Origins: Wolverine today not too sure what to expect hoping for at least traces of the quality of the previous X Men movies which i love. Let me tell you that i was blown away by this incredible movie and dare i say was the best out of the series. It is action packed and the story line is superb, I was glued to the TV without wanting even to look away for a moment scared id miss something. I found X-Men Origins: Wolverine far more entertaining than Watchmen and several so called blockbusters.Whether you're are an x-Men fan or not do yourself a favor and watch this, I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised...
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