The human government develops a cure for mutations, and Jean Gray becomes a darker uncontrollable persona called the Phoenix who allies with Magneto, causing escalation into an all-out battle for the X-Men.
In the 1960s, superpowered humans Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr work together to find others like them, but Erik's vengeful pursuit of an ambitious mutant who ruined his life causes a schism to divide them.
When bitten by a genetically modified spider, a nerdy, shy, and awkward high school student gains spider-like abilities that he eventually must use to fight evil as a superhero after tragedy befalls his family.
Two mutant brothers, Logan and Victor, born two hundred years ago, suffer childhood trauma and have only each other to depend on. Basically, they're fighters and killers, living from war to war throughout U.S. history. In modern times, a U.S. Colonel, Stryker, recruits them and other mutants as commandos. Logan quits and becomes a logger, falling in love with a local teacher. When Logan refuses to rejoin Stryker's crew, the Colonel sends the murderous Victor. Logan now wants revenge.Written by
SPOILER: There is a scene in the closing credits: William Stryker is arrested and taken into custody for the murder of General Munson). See more »
German theatrical version was cut by the distributor before submission to the FSK to secure a "Not under 16" rating (the killing of the old couple is shortened, you don't see Wolverine igniting the gasoline). Ironically, the uncut version, submitted for the home video release, was rated "Not under 16" as well, thus rendering the cut theatrical version completely unnecessary. See more »
Despite the unoriginality of the title, X-Men Origins: Wolverine accomplishes what few titles do: it acknowledges the main character in the film (as played again by Hugh Jackman), and tells the audience exactly what it is going to be about – the origin of Wolverine. Crisscrossing around timelines before settling on one undisclosed period before the first X-Men film, Wolverine chronicles how James Logan got his adamantium skeletal frame, how his relationship with Sabretooth (Liev Schreiber) began, and everything in-between.
While my small amount of knowledge in regards to X-Men lore is not as vast as others, I had an idea of what to expect from the film story-wise. And while it deviates from the comics in some rather large areas, other parts are fairly true to them.
But in adapting this story to film, the filmmakers stumble right out of the gate. The storyline, as fantastical as it is, descends into silliness and absurdity faster than Wolverine can bring out his claws. I understand the material is based off of a comic franchise, but the filmmakers take this for granted. Instead of fleshing out a jumpy origin story, the film rushes from one point to the next, throwing dialogue and characters at the audience that people will either understand or be completely thrown off by. It takes the time to really make you understand the bond between Wolverine and Sabretooth, but then never makes any of the motivations of anyone else clear. There is so much going on here, and so little explanation that it is a miracle any of this came together at all. The whole film hinges on explaining Wolverine's origins, and what lead him to the gang in X-Men, but the film feels incomplete – like something integral is missing.
The X-Men series has always been about a group of people, and this film is no different. But whereas the other films had strong supporting casts backing up the main individuals, this film lacks any good supporting characters. Characters played by Dominic Monaghan, Kevin Durand, Will i Am and Daniel Henney are given so little to do that they could have been played by special effects. Each is given something to do, but so little is done to make them more than one-note that it is a wonder why they are even here in the first place. Other characters, played by the likes of Lynn Collins, the horrendously miscast Taylor Kitsch (who needs accent lessons) and Ryan Reynolds (in another stereotypical wise-ass role) are integral to the film, but have no time to really prove themselves as being useful to the film. They merely stand as plot devices, and items that the like of Jackman and Schreiber use to move from point A to point B. They have a point, but the filmmakers care less in giving them any real motivations or emotions. If they do not care, then why should an audience?
If the story and the acting were a bit out of touch, the CGI fares even worse. In some scenes, it looks just fantastic and smoothly developed. In others, it looks fake and rushed. The bootleg copy of the film that circulated online before the movie opened apparently had very little special effects in place. That came out a month ago. Was that the working version of the film at that point, and everything else has been added in since? It would make sense for how patchy of a job some scenes look and how incredibly horrendous others look. Even simple scenes involving Wolverine's claws, which should look quite realistic by this point four films in, look horrible. Even the makeup effects (especially for one key character) are laughably bad. I know the film had its problems on-set and in post-production, but there is no excuse anyone could make for how bad some scenes look. When dated films from years past look better than something current, I think there is a problem.
The villains played by Schreiber and Danny Huston are the most interesting part of the film. While not as key to the film as Wolverine himself, both deliver excellent performances that belong in better movies. Huston is deliciously evil as always, using his face to hint at ulterior motives while saying something else entirely. Schreiber gives a level of depth and ferocity that was totally missing from Tyler Mane's original performance in the first film. The animal of a man Schreiber becomes is nothing short of excellent. Both actors take the film seriously, even at its most ridiculous moments, and they make something of their roles that none of the supporting cast really attempts. Perhaps their scenes were not as cut up as others, but watching them act alongside anyone is proof that there is some form of a good movie buried deep within X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
But the real strength of the film belongs to Jackman. He nails everything about Wolverine from his attitudes, to his mannerisms, to his behaviours. This is his most physical portrayal of the character, and it works the best because of how concrete and involved Jackman is. He knows this character, and never once does he leave him. He never falters. He dives headfirst into every scene he is in, and he gives it every single one the same amount of depth and complexity to make the character a real entity. This is not just a simple comic book character. We can see the layers of emotion, and the scarring this character goes through.
I was not expecting a lot from X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but I got even less than I wanted. The film feels too rushed, too silly to truly be what was originally envisioned for this film. Jackman, Schreiber and Huston all make it work, and make it watchable because they genuinely try; even with the often horrendous material they are given. I just hope this is not the beginning of a lousy summer.
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