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X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

PG-13 | | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 1 May 2009 (USA)
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A look at Wolverine's early life, in particular his time with the government squad Team X and the impact it will have on his later years.

Director:

Gavin Hood

Writers:

David Benioff (screenplay), Skip Woods (screenplay)
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414 ( 93)
3 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hugh Jackman ... Logan / Wolverine
Liev Schreiber ... Victor Creed
Danny Huston ... Stryker
Will.i.am ... John Wraith
Lynn Collins ... Kayla Silverfox
Kevin Durand ... Fred Dukes
Dominic Monaghan ... Chris Bradley / Bolt
Taylor Kitsch ... Remy LeBeau
Daniel Henney ... Agent Zero
Ryan Reynolds ... Wade Wilson
Tim Pocock ... Scott Summers
Julia Blake ... Heather Hudson
Max Cullen ... Travis Hudson
Troye Sivan ... James
Michael-James Olsen ... Young Victor
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Storyline

Two mutant brothers, Logan and Victor, born 200 years ago, suffer childhood trauma and have only each other to depend on. Basically, they're fighters and killers, living from war to war through 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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Witness the Origin.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, and some partial nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 May 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wolverine See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$150,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$85,058,003, 3 May 2009, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$179,883,157, 1 October 2009

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$373,062,864, 1 October 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gavin Hood compared the relationship between Logan and Victor Creed to the tennis rivalry between players Björn Borg and John McEnroe: Victor hates Logan because he loves and needs his brother, but is too proud to admit he wants him back. See more »

Goofs

On Zero chasing Logan by a helicopter scene; while two SUV chasing Logan, just after the helicopter appears at the and of the road, you can clearly see that helicopter's rocket launchers are empty. After Logan cuts trough SUV from the side, we see helicopter from behind where rocket launcher has only three blanks on left launcher where at the beginning of scene before blowing up the house they only sent two rockets from left and right launchers. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Young Victor Creed: You're always sick.
Young James Logan: You were sick when you were my age.
See more »

Crazy Credits

For the X-Men trilogy, when the 20th Century Fox logo fades away, the 'X' in the logo stays for a second longer before it also fades away. For this film, the 'X' disappears with the rest of the word. See more »

Connections

Follows X-Men (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Tie A Yellow Ribbon 'Round The Ole Oak Tree
Written by L. Russell Brown and Irwin Levine
Performed by The Romantic Strings & Orchestra
Courtesy of The Reader's Digest Association, Inc.
By Arrangement with The Orchard
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"I'm the best there is at what I do" could hardly be further from the truth
1 May 2009 | by pyrocitorSee all my reviews

Like fellow 2009 superhero release Watchmen, Wolverine is that rare comic book film which almost appears inevitably more likely to please audiences that are not fans of the source material. However, unlike Watchmen, which adhered so closely to its source material that a falling short by comparison proved inescapable, Wolverine's inevitable backlash of fan outrage stems from its flagrant disregard for its source material. The film casually mutilates and re-writes the comic book context of its source material with the cold disdain of its protagonist, hacking one of the most genuinely compelling, subversive and horrifying superhero back-stories into the worst kind of safe, familiar, PG rated commercial dross. All of Wolverine's compelling comic book edginess is distilled into a flaccid script which forgoes exhilaration for only occasionally impressive fight/chase/explosion scenes, complexity for eye-rolling cheese and broad humour, and story cohesion for an attempt to cram in far too much subject matter and avoid the true dramatic meat of the story.

While further focus on the Wolverine/Sabertooth dichotomy could have yielded a narrative volumes stronger, the film continually broadens its scope, seemingly attempting to bank on the in-jokey winks to fans of the comics by hinting at broadening the Marvel universe in further sequels demonstrated in 2008's Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. But while their fan nods were tasteful and enjoyable, Wolverine's attempts at matching them appear to be building up to an almost sinister bid for Fox's superhero franchises to compete. Recognizable X-Men characters are continually shoehorned into minuscule parts (fans of Deadpool, Blob, Gambit or, *groan*, Cyclops don't go in expecting much but disappointment) for seemingly the sole purpose of leapfrogging off Wolverine's story into their own spin-offs. However, such an overflowing mass of secondary characters only serves the dual purpose of both derailing Wolverine's story and not even serving to satisfy comic fans clamouring to see their favourite characters on screen, as the fleeting, shallow depictions hardly prove satisfying character development by any stretch of the imagination. If the filmmakers choose to tackle established characters to appease fan expectations, doing nothing with the characters (let alone doing them far from 'properly') hardly seems a suitable way to satisfy a demanding audience.

Director Gavin Hood (known for excellent African drama Tsotsi of all things) has been vocal about his clashes with the studio over the film, and one can only assume, given his excellent credentials, that most of his proposed changes would have been for the better. As it is, Hood demonstrates a shaky directorial presence at best, masking his action scenes in whirling cameras making it near impossible to see, and complimenting most tense or dramatic scenes with a cascade of Harry Gregson-Williams' tiresomely banal and clichéd musical score. That is not to say the film is entirely devoid of quality, but it is reduced to occasional fleeting moments (sporatic bursts of creativity during fight scenes, a promising African raid plot point, and an undeniably gripping if under-explored sequence of Wolverine going through the Weapon X program). But, like the irritatingly freeze-frame beset but otherwise clever opening montage (showcasing Wolverine's progression through numerous world wars) such quality is often overshadowed by cringe-worthy prevailing flaws making it all the more difficult to appreciate.

Ironically for the film situating him most justifiably in the lead role, Hugh Jackman gives his weakest performance in his foundational role as Wolverine. While Jackman's natural charisma and steely credibility still make him a far more sturdy enough lead than his film deserved, his under-exploring of Wolverine's feral ferocity and darkness still leaves an ultimately unsatisfying taste in the mouth. Despite initial skepticism of miscasting, Liev Schreiber proves far more resonant as Wolverine's animalistic adversary Sabretooth, providing a savagely threatening yet controlled performance, which, despite falling short of the true animalistic frenzy Sabretooth should have been, proves one of the more successful attributes of the film. Similarly, Danny Huston provides a welcome dash of class as Machiavellian military official William Stryker, managing to overcome the shortcomings of an underwritten character with an impressively realized, wonderful presence. Ryan Reynolds also proves perfectly cast as twisted mercenary Deadpool, thankfully managing to suppress star showiness in favour of suitably manic humour - nonetheless, Reynolds is criminally wasted in a far too brief and insultingly warped butchering of his comics incarnation. Taylor Kitsch, conversely, gives a bland, dopily flat take on fan favourite Gambit, the character's legendary suave charisma as nonexistent as Kitsch's Cajun accent, doing little to justify his character's near pointless addition.

While it may function suitably as mindless summer entertainment, the inherent complexity in Wolverine's backstory makes its reduction to such a near outright insult to fans of the comic source material. If left as a standalone film, Wolverine might have been dismissible as a mostly harmless disappointment, but with such blatant spin off begging, it evolves into something far more objectionable. While the film has its moments, as a cohesive unit it can be considered nothing less than a tragic waste of potential, floundering any inherent quality in gaping plot holes and unnecessary obvious comedy or "tearjerking" scenes. Wolverine's adage of him being "the best I am at what I do" could hardly be farther than the truth when applied to his film.

-4/10


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