X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) Poster

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Not a bad film by all means, but Wolverine did deserve a better origin story
TheLittleSongbird25 July 2014
The first X-Men film was fun and well-made though with a beginning-of-the-franchise-not-yet-properly-finding-its-feet feel; X-Men 2 was very, very good indeed and an example of a bigger and darker sequel better than the original(even if it wasn't quite perfect either) and X-Men 3 The Last Stand while nowhere near as bad as its reputation was disappointing(after being so impressed by the previous two) and a step-back in the franchise. X-Men Origins: Wolverine had much going for it but while it is nowhere near a bad film it could have delivered more, considering that this was an origins prequel story. X-Men Origins: Wolverine does have good things, it's well shot and edited(if a little rapid in a couple of the fighting sequences), the special effects are nicely executed and not used too much and the dark, gritty style of the previous three films is wisely maintained, nothing overblown or static here. The opening sequence is robust and exciting and gives you the sense of "looks like we're in for a treat here", most of the action sequences have tension and thrills especially at the end(which also makes a real effort to tie up loose ends), Sabretooth/Victor and Stryker are well-realised and there are a few good performances. Wolverine may be too ambivalent character-development-wise but Hugh Jackman's charisma and grizzled demeanour is pitched perfectly, Liev Schreiber brings real meat, toughness and menace to Victor/Sabretooth and Danny Huston as the villain Stryker is both classy and ruthless and does them very effectively, Stryker avoids being too one-dimensional. Ryan Reynolds and Taylor Kitsch do what they can and are quite good.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine does suffer however from a lot of the same things that X-Men The Last Stand had. The script is very contrived and in a worse way than X-Men The Last Stand, emotional moments are forced, exposition and any explanations are underdeveloped and any bits of humour are on the broad side(X-Men 2 especially avoided this and had a much more even balance). The story has some good atmosphere and good scenes and has some tension, but it does try to cram in too much and things feel rushed and not as developed as they ought. Gavin Hood does reasonably admirably in the action but very like Brett Ratner he is surprisingly not as comfortable in the non-action scenes, in a way that the writing and story, that should give the film depth, are sacrificed by the action(again mostly very good, apart from ones that did lag and you couldn't always tell who was who). Apart from Sabretooth and Stryker (Wolverine was written much better in the first two films but Jackman's presence did make up for things), the characters are disappointingly written, especially Deadpool who had a lot of potential but disappears just like that and appears even more abruptly much later at a stage where you think they've forgotten all about him. Gambit was also treated fairly insignificantly, and other characters like Blob and Kayla(Lynn Collins' acting is wooden in this part) are pretty useless. It doesn't have the too many characters problem like The Last Stand did but it like that film doesn't develop or write the characters well but not as insultingly. On a side note one positive review said that they couldn't understand why The Last Stand and this got criticised for the characters and the first two get a free pass; actually the first two films have been criticised for under-utilising characters and bad acting in them, namely Cyclops and Storm, but at least they tried to respect the characters and not distort them or deprive them of personality like this and Last Stand did(and this is NOT coming from a comic-book purist, far from it, you don't even need to have read an X-Men comic to have this criticism). Harry Gregson-Williams' score has some excitement and induces some suspense but at other points it's too over-bearing and strident, of the X-Men films this film had the least effective score in my opinion. Will.i.Am being cast in an X-Men film would cause alarm bells and his performance is not any better, it felt out of place.

To conclude, could have been better but it's not that bad. 5/10 Bethany Cox
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Not impressed
MR_Heraclius23 February 2020
There are few elements that actually work in this prequel, but none of them are enough to compensate for the lack of creativity, poor execution, terrible writing and awful looking special effects, ruining what it could've been a potentially promising spin-off from a great character.
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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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"Wolverine" 's journey is more about the visuals than the character
Movie_Muse_Reviews2 May 2009
The superhero genre reached a higher echelon in 2008 with "Iron Man" and "The Dark Knight," and considering the success of 2/3 of the X-Men franchise so far, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" can certainly be held to those standards, especially a movie whose title alone suggests getting right down to its hero's adamantium core.

But "Wolverine" plays more like a spin-off, defining "origins" as the back story and not the psychological workings of the character. It's weak on themes, but loaded on more new mutants with new powers, explosions and plenty of subplots. Basically, it fails where "X-Men 3" did, trying to do too much at once, rushing the plot along and sacrificing the deeper reason audiences are drawn to Hugh Jackman's character other than he's cool and has a crude, sarcastic sense of humor. However, it succeeds much of the same way X3 did and beyond: more explosive action and creative use of an immense visual effects budget. Although director Gavin Hood doesn't bring more insight into the film with his work, he certainly has as good of an eye for the stylish as anyone.

The first sign that you know this movie isn't going to be top tier for superhero flicks is the number of mutants/villains. For a story about one, singular X-man, there are way too many other characters to follow: Col. Stryker is their ringleader, but Sabretooth (Schriber), Wade Wilson/Deadpool (Reynolds), Bolt (Monaghan), Gambit (Kitsch), Wraith (will.i.am), Agent Zero, the Blob and young Cyclops (not to mention a slough of extras) make the film dizzying. Especially at the beginning, we need to see more Wolverine -- it's his movie.

To the film's credit, its quick movement makes it easy to watch and entertaining and there's some surprisingly good comedic timing on Jackman's part for an action movie. Seriously though, it must have been a blast (no pun intended) on the set during action sequences because they actually destroyed everything they possibly could: CGI, real and both. This film is the beginning of what will surely be mind-blowing visual effects at the movies this summer. Hood gives new visual strength to the franchise and provides a much more epic feel to this film -- it's clearly about this grand journey for Wolverine, even if it's more spectacle than introspective.

Surprisingly, the ending was the most satisfying part of the film. All the subplots converge, it makes sense and the loose ends that fans of the first three films will notice get tied up fittingly at the end. For the whole first hour of the film you're juggling Wolverine and Sabretooth's rivalry, Stryker's team of guys with powers, Wolverine's romance with Kayla out in the wilderness, what's happening to the team of guys with powers ... why the heck kid Cyclops is in the movie ... it's not overwhelming, it's just not as enjoyable when you can't focus on one thing or character as much as you'd like. Still, the ending justifies the strange means, at least in terms of the epic battle that ensues.

"Wolverine" is not a travesty for the genre, but it certainly doesn't meet the expectations for a thorough superhero movie experience. You get amped up action and style over meaning and that makes it entertainment more than catharsis. Expect to be entertained and little else and "Wolverine" will satisfy your itch for the summer movie season.

~Steven C

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"I'm the best there is at what I do" could hardly be further from the truth
pyrocitor1 May 2009
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.

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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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Surprising "Wolverine"
jon.h.ochiai4 May 2009
Hugh Jackman is powerful in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine". "Wolverine" is the fourth "X-Men" movie. Jackman as "Wolverine" may have made the transition to crossover box office movie star. "Wolverine" works as the modern telling of the classic hero story with Jackman as the tragic hero Logan/Wolverine. In the scene of ultimate betrayal, Logan regrets, "I ignored my instincts. I ignored who I am. I won't ever let that happen again…" For a visually stunning action tale "Wolverine" has surprising pathos. Director Gavin Hood ("Tsotsi") and writers David Benioff ("Troy") and Skip Woods convey a mesmerizing and compelling story for the first hour. I think the "Wolverine" narrative falters a bit at the last 10 minutes, because of the comic book mythology constraint. However, in retrospect this is actually fine.

Despite this, "Wolverine" evokes a visceral vengeance tale in the fierce conflict between Logan (Jackman) and his deadly rival Victor Creed (commanding Liev Schreiber), Logan's half-brother. Under the direction of Hood, their battles are bloody and full of rage. At a story arc during a vicious claw wielding struggle Creed commands Logan, "Do it!" The hero Logan must choose his fate.

Hugh Jackman, already anointed "Sexiest Man Alive 2008", looks incredible, his body is totally shredded. More impressive than his physicality, Jackman awes in his riveting performance as Logan, a man who suffers great tragedy and consumed by tremendous rage. Jackman never tames the animal in Logan, but he manages to humanize him with honor and compassion.

"Wolverine" tells the back story of the most captivating character of the "X-Men" mythology. Logan is a mutant with unheard of regenerative and healing powers, which makes him virtually ageless. He possesses great strength, animal-like reflexes and senses, and claws that retract from his hands. Logan is a killing machine without equal.

We learn that Jimmy (Logan) and his half brother Victor are forced to leave their home in 1845 following a family tragedy surrounding Jimmy's discovery of his mutant powers. Logan and Victor fight in the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and the Vietnam War. Recognizing their deadly gifts shadowy William Stryker (deceptively evil Danny Huston) asks Logan and Victor to join his "special team". Members include other powerful mutants like Wade Wilson (charming and charismatic Ryan Reynolds) who can split bullets with a katana, and strongman Dukes (good Kevin Durand). During a ruthless mission in Africa, Logan realizes what he may become as he witnesses Victor's fall into the dark abyss. Logan declares, "I'm done!"

Logan finds peace in Canada with the love of his life Kayla (stunningly beautiful and strong Lynn Collins). However, the world can not let Logan be. Col. Stryker and Agent Zero (silently charismatic Daniel Henny) track Logan down. Apparently, someone is brutally killing members of his former team. Grave tragedy soon befalls Logan, and he is consumed by vengeance, "I'm coming for blood, no code of conduct, no law!" Stryker obliges, "You will have your revenge." Logan agrees to become the virtually indestructible Weapon X having Adamantium fused to his skeleton. Discerning certain betrayal by Stryker, Logan now wielding Adamantium claws goes rogue in an electrifying display of berserk rage. However, Logan soon unveils the depth of his betrayal.

Writers Benioff and Woods introduce perhaps one too many mutants. Although, some of the characters are engaging, like ally Gambit (strong wise guy Taylor Kitsch). Perhaps, the story's profound strength is Lynn Collins's Kayla. Here Benioff and Woods amaze as Kayla tells Logan the Indian legend of the Moon and the Wolverine. Jackman and Collins have a touching chemistry. We truly believe that Kayla's love calms the beast in Logan. "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" has great story telling and heart pounding action throughout the first half. I think Hood kind of rushes his narrative toward the end which may be more an artifact of the comic book mythology. In the end "Wolverine" satisfies as the classic hero story, and Hugh Jackman compels as the story's awesome hero.
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Far better than I expected
Joejoesan28 April 2009
To tell you the truth I'm pretty surprised by all the negative reviews I've been reading on the IMDb and elsewhere on the net (AICN for example). I thought X-Men 1 and 2 came close to being masterpieces and that X-Men 3 sucked big time. The Wolverine movie however is well made, exciting and surprisingly effective. But that's an opinion from somebody who doesn't know anything about the comics. To me Wolverine is mainly a movie hero and maybe that can make a big difference.

Two elements make this movie really work. Liev Schreiber - a very underestimated actor - does a great job as Wolverine's brother Victor/Sabretooth. It's their love/hate relationship that is the main subject in this story and that really keeps it interesting. In the first minutes of the movie this is well established. The opening credits are really beautiful.

Second: the story. I really love the story. It has romance, betrayal, vengeance, action, a touch of immortality... All the good elements are there in the right doses.

Yes, I really love this movie. I hope to see more of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in the future, because there are a lot more adventures he can and should have. Maybe director Gavin Hood can repair some of the damage that Brett Ratner did with a X-Men 3. Because an X-Men 4 - with hopefully Josh Halloway as Gambit - would be a great spectacle indeed.

There's only one big thing that really puzzled me. So the Liev Schreiber character is actually the same Sabretooth we see in X-Men 1? Because the two characters really don't seem the same in the two movies. Everything they have "experienced together in the past" (in the prequel) seems forgotten in X-Men 1 (when they only fight each other).

Anyway, go see this!

8,5 / 10
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Awesome - why are people complaining?!
gabriel-806 May 2009
I have no idea as to why people bash Wolverine. I think its an extremely well made, highly entertaining movie with great acting and a fitting storyline. Its also pretty dark and uncompromising in many scenes.

The fight scenes are brutal and intense which makes them really awesome.

I was actually surprised by some of the plot twists. Great.

The opening title sequence should win some kind of award. Gave me goose bumps. The editing is perfect.

Only complaint is the few plot holes towards the X-men trilogy.
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Best of the X
XweAponX4 May 2009
"I'm the best at what I do and what I do ain't pretty" This film surprisingly stays fairly true to what we know about Wolverine and the "Weapon X" program through the comic books. The film is largely based in Barry Windsor-Smythe's "weAponX" which was run as a serial in the "Marvel Comics Presents" comic book line and later released in Trade Paperback form.

There is a lot here for fans of Wolverine, certain aspects of this story were taken right from the Wolverine series of 1988 - Wolverine's relationship with "Silver Fox" uses a lot of elements straight from the books and that "chapter" of the wolverine story is actually fairly close to the source material. The only dramatic license I did not like was that Sabretooth and Wolverine are shown as brothers.

Since the weAponX story by BWS was drawn in a cinematic style, a lot of the imagery from that book survives translation to Film format just as well as any Frank Miller book.

While a lot of creative license was taken with some characters and some of the events that occur, much of the dialogue is taken straight from the books and the overall concept is maintained.

Regarding the look of the film, I can use one example, when "Gambit" reveals his powers, the image we are given matches the iconic profile of Gambit- From the comic books and the 1992-96 Cartoon.

Since "Victor Creed/Sabretooth" was a major part of this film, I was semi-disappointed that they did not get Tyler Mane to reprise his earlier 2000 role (Or, pre-prise, whatever the word would be) - The original X-Men film had perfectly cast Sabretooth. I wish they had cast Liev Schreiber for that original film, as he gives more to the character than occasional grunts and snarls that Tyler Mane used for language. Schreiber actually gives the character valid depth and darkness and is less of a cardboard cutout. My only real gripe about using a new actor for this role is that they did not try to match the image from the books, as the 2000 film did perfectly. And so the popular image of Wolverine engaged in mortal combat with Sabretooth- As painted by former Wolverine artist Mark Texiera and reproduced as a huge poster - That image was damaged and I do not know if other Wolverine fans are a forgiving as I am.

Regardless of if the reason "James Logan" becomes part of the Weapon X program is the same reason as the comic books (In The comic books Logan is abducted) - The Process of Wolverine accepting the "Adamantium" metal to his bones is the centerpiece of this film, it is the most important part of the film, and as far as I am concerned you can toss the whole film and leave the process.

The filmmaker needed to take the threads that had been woven in the first 3 X-Men films and give us a start point... Where did the Adamantium metal come from, what Stryker wanted to do with it, and why, all of these questions are explored in this film and as a fan of the comic book series, and also a fan of films in general, I accept the questions, answers and the way it was filmed unequivocally.

I know I enjoyed this film highly, and so did the large amount of people I saw this with, this film got a lot of crown response.

And so, I say the critics and paid shills that are panning this film can go to blazes and I hope that someone does to them what Wolverine does to "Deadpool/Wade Wilson" at the end of the film - And you'll have to go see it to find out what he does. Oh, look the shills popped up and marked my post as "not helpful" - Which means nothing except that someone is using a bunch of fake IDs
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Wolverine Rising
thesar-23 May 2009
Watching Hugh Jackman play Wolverine again is like watching Anthony Hopkins play Hannibal again; no matter how bad the movie is, it's still great to watch them play their iconic, and #1 career roles. 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' unfortunately starts off slow, and despite some good action sequences, really never picks up. The major problem with prequels is you already know what's going to happen, and in 'Wolverine' you hear him say I'm going to kill Sabretooth and Stryker probably a dozen times. Well, unless they're asking us to forget the original 'X-Men' films, it's kinda like someone saying in Star Wars 1-3: "I'm going to kill Anakin" or someone actually attempting the murder of the Anti-Christ in 'Left Behind.' And speaking of the original movies, didn't they already give the origins of Wolverine throughout all three films? At very least you learned a lot more about Hannibal Lector in 'Hannibal Rising,' though an equally bad film. In this one, you learn he's about 150 or more years old, he once was in love and his original claws were made of bone, which, by the way was hard to watch – I wanted to see the steel ones throughout. That's about all the extras you'll get as you watch him grow & fight with or against his brother, Sabretooth, from the mid-1800s to present. And as mentioned, though some of the action sequences were well shot, a lot of the CGI, or effects were almost downright laughable. As was the unoriginal dialogue, the extremely predictable "mystery" (and I'm not referring to the fact it's a prequel; solving what this movie presents takes the mind of a four-year-old) and unnecessary and unoriginal origin story that's already been told. One word of advice, despite the "shocking surprise" after the credits, it's NOT WORTH IT.
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Spectacular superhero fun.
BA_Harrison9 October 2011
I'm no expert on Marvel Comics characters and have only seen two of the X-Men movies so far, but I'm pretty confident in saying that if you enjoy super-hero films in general, then X-Men Origins: Wolverine will provide 107 minutes of solid entertainment.

Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine makes for a very charismatic hero, and the character's back-story is more than worthy of its own movie—a compelling tale of sibling rivalry, betrayal, revenge and self-discovery. The film also boasts some great secondary characters in the form of his fellow mutants who display an impressive array of incredible supernatural talents, allowing for some really impressive action set-pieces.

If I was going to be picky, some of the digital effects are not quite up to the standard that I have come to expect from such fare—Wolverine's claws in particular looking pretty dodgy from time to time—and the final battle is perhaps taking things a step too far, even for a comic-book based movie, but I won't let that stop me from rounding up my rating of 7.5 to an 8.
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Better Than I Thought It Was Going To Be
Matt_Layden18 April 2009
This is the origins story of the mutant known as Wolverine and how he was attached to the weapon x project.

When I first heard they were going to make this flick, I thought that the series was going to go into a nosedive. The third film in the X-men franchise lacked everything that made the first two films enjoyable. Now a spin-off? I wasn't having it and the fact that they seemed to ruin one of my favourite x-men characters in the trailers didn't seem to help either. Well, I can say this, the film is not that bad. It's actually decent and a step up from the horrid Last Stand. Although they do miss a few steps that really hurt the film as a whole.

First off Hugh Jackman was born to play this character, here he is given more room to dive deeper into the animal and he does a great job. Mixing both comedic and dramatic elements, there is nothing new here to the character, just more of the same. More of the same though is fun and kick ass. Liev Schreiber plays Victor Creed, aka Sabretooth. His look is different from the first time we see him and he actually has some speaking lines here. Excellent casting choice, Liev really lets go here and you can see the fun he is having with the character.

Now, onto the two things that are ruined, from a "fan" perspective. Deadpool and Gambit. Many fans knew going in that these two guys were both kick ass and that the film was not going to do them justice. Well, it's true. These two guys lacked the screen time and the badass personas that people have come to love. Ryan Reynold has 5 minutes of screen time, he does he usual jokey bits like in Blade Trinity, but here it fits for the character. We see one scene in which he uses his blades to deflect bullets, quite cool. Then he is gone for the rest of the film. Gambit shows up 3/4 of the way through and is horribly underused. Why is he in here again? His scenes lacked a lot of punch it seems that his character was only used to draw in fans. The character in the film could have been anybody else and it wouldn't effect the story, but they chose Gambit cause fans wanted to see him. You will be disappointed.

The final fight sequences is interesting, I don't want to go into details cause that would give away certain plot points, specifically who the final fight scene is with and why he is fighting him. I have to raise another complaint though, as for the explanation for Wolverine's so called memory loss. They don't explain it very well in the film, they just say that this will make him not remember. Why? I don't know. Fighting fire with fire just doesn't make sense to me. The explanation for his memory loss is truly pathetic and doesn't make any sense.

There are cameos from a lot of mutants, cyclops as a kid is one and another one at the end that fans will enjoy. I thought that they could have trimmed the running time down a bit, currently 1hr46min. Subplots don't really work in this film, I'm talking about his love interest. A lazy way to try and drive the plot forward.

The action sequences range from enjoyable to laughable. The opening credit sequences is neat and mirrors what Watchmen did.Fans will most likely be disappointed by the lack of respect this "origin" story deserved. It's leaps and bounds over the last film, but that's not really saying much. The special effects are the worst in the entire series, which is a huge let knock against it because it's almost ten years after the original.
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Rushed, silly and all-around disappointing
DonFishies1 May 2009
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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Worst Superhero Movie to Date
jforem1-127 May 2011
What do you get when you take unimaginative storytelling, overdone special effects, and yawn-able fight scenes?

It is not hyperbole to call X-Men Origins: Wolverine the worst superhero movie ever made. Worst than Batman and Robin. Worst than Daredevil. I hated every single soul sucking, vacant, boring, trite, overplayed, cliché minute of this movie. I could not find one redeemable minute is the entire Hollywood mangling of what could have been a decently entertaining movie.

In sum, X-Men Origins Wolverine involves an unmotivated cast of characters defined by their powers and not their absent personalities. Some reviewers have highlighted Ryan Reynolds's performance as being notable. Well it is, because Reynolds overacts well beyond his supporting cast as wise-cracking cardboard cutout. Unfortunately even Hugh Jackman looks bored as Wolverine, and his performance is the least interesting rendition of Wolverine seen thus far.

If you want a superhero movie involving paint by the number fight scenes, fake looking cgi, a predictable and boring romance, and a climax that will leave you wanting to turn the movie off, I would recommend X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I will warn you though, it is not "so bad its good" its just so horribly below par it will leave you unsatisfied and wanting your time back even more than your money.

Not a single redeemable moment in the entire movie.
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Too Many Sour Notes
Hitchcoc14 August 2009
My son got me involved in these movies and, having not grown up reading the X-men, I am frequently forced to ask questions of him to clarify the events. That being said, I have enjoyed the movies mostly and have picked up on some of the ethos. This one is interesting in that it explains some things, disappointing in that there are so many unexplained phenomena in it. I do like Hugh Jackman, the angst ridden protagonist, but the story is so over the top that it leaves me with more questions than when I entered the theater. I also have trouble with the powers that characters have and which are more powerful than others and what their weaknesses are. Are they indeed incapable of being destroyed one time and vulnerable the next. Yes, I know the comic books explain these things but with all their sophisticated abilities, they still spend most of their time pounding on each other. Do they know that for some a thump on the head just doesn't do the job. Oh, well. None of it is that serious and there is a lot of action, even if it doesn't always make sense.
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Great action, sex appeal, a powerful and emotional script, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? See This Gem
sidfargas8 May 2009
The first real blockbuster of 2009 and deservingly so. It's exciting and an all-around entertaining comic book adaptation and I doubt anything will be better this year. Everyone involved in the production should be proud to know that their movie can stand toe-to-toe with the likes of anything else that summer 2009 has and can throw at them. Star power, sex appeal, a powerful and emotional script, and a great plot make this one memorable flick.

Real fans (not those whinny online imposters who can't let go of their own warped preconceptions) can breath a sigh of relief because X-Men Origins: Wolverine takes the X-Men franchise films to the next level. There are plenty of action scenes that you have to see to believe! This movie was just shear fun. I love it. What are you waiting for?
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zetes3 May 2009
Way to start the summer, Marvel. This is a prequel to a series of mostly decent comic book movies - I'd rank the second one, X2, as maybe the second or third best comic book movie ever. It concerns the origin of the series' most popular character, Wolverine. Well, that's kind of a lie. It's not really that concerned with anything. It's an indifferently created action movie that goes through the cliché plot line ploddingly. Dialogue is flat, as is the acting. The film is overly violent but completely bloodless - I hate when they edit an R-rated movie into a PG-13 rated movie. At least it's sometimes laughable. Try not to giggle every time Wolverine is on his knees, hands (and claws) spread, screaming "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" That happens four times in the story, and the movie flashes back to one of those times at least once, as well. There's hardly a good thing I can say about it. It's a stinker, probably the worst summer blockbuster since Van Helsing. Sorry, Mr. Jackman. I have nothing against you, but these two movies are beyond abysmal.
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'We're going to make you indestructible - but first, we're gonna have to destroy you.'
gradyharp2 July 2017
'We're going to make you indestructible - but first, we're gonna have to destroy you.' Gavin Hood directs this 2009 cinematic version of the origins (read 'explanation') or the X-Men series of comic book heroes based on a screenplay by David Benioff ('Game of Thrones' etc) and Skip Woods ('Hitman', 'Swordfish', 'The A Team' etc). The team manages to pull of the credibility-testing feat with aplomb – just the right amount of humanistic emphasis on the early ears of Wolverine and a flair for the impossible feats and countless deaths of the latter half of this film. It is 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.

Leading up to the events of X-Men, X-Men Origins: Wolverine tells the story of Wolverine's epically violent and romantic past, his complex relationship with Victor Creed, and the ominous Weapon X program. Two mutant brothers, Logan (Hugh Jackman) who will become Wolverine of the retractable claws and Victor (Liev Schreiber), 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 (Danny Huston), recruits them and other mutants as commandos. Logan quits and becomes a logger, falling in love with a local teacher (Lynn Collins). When Logan refuses to rejoin Stryker's crew, the colonel sends the murderous Victor. Logan now wants revenge. Along the way, Wolverine encounters many mutants, both familiar and new, including surprise appearances by several legends of the X-Men universe (Ryan Reynolds, Taylor Kitsch, Dominic Monaghan, Daniel Henney, et al) whose appearances in the film series have long been anticipated.

The first half of the film is sensitive and humanistic (Ryan Reynolds manages to insert his expected spot-on one liners to keep the story light) – the second half is pure CGI tricks (though according to the featurettes Hugh Jackman performed all his own choreographic fights). Better than expected and a really fascinating cast!
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An origin-story, an action spectacle, and a critique of age-old philosophy
StevePulaski19 May 2014
I'm not sure mainstream audiences realize how massive the X-Men library of characters really is. I am informed by my close friends, many of whom are enthusiasts in early comic books, that the X-Men character roster stretches a mile wide and one cannot watch a few films of the X-Men franchise and expect to know all the characters of the series, let alone a select few in great detail.

It is precisely this reason why I feel that the idea of an X-Men Origins series being made is not such a bad idea, although with the middling reception and box office returns that Wolverine managed to recoup, I feel the studios are thinking differently. The X-Men film franchise has a sizable job of introducing a variety of new characters and villains along with giving them some sort of identification past their superpowers and throwing a conflict at them that they need to solve (or attempt to, at least) in the course of a film. Just the latter obligation is so heavy that it distracts from the other two points. Giving several X-Men characters their own film showing their beginnings and their development on a more personal basis would allow for more character resonation and depth, but also allow the films to spend more time developing stories and villains rather than trying to cram (or completely disregard) the film's core heroes last minute.

Gavin Hood's X-Men Origins: Wolverine has a few missteps in terms of CGI, but on a story basis, it is wholly interesting and easy to sink into. Opening in 1845, it tells the story of Wolverine's beginnings as James Howlett, a young boy who sees his father killed right before his eyes. These combined feelings of anger and sadness that wash over him activate his mutation of having long, metal claws that extend out of his knuckles, killing the man who killed his father only to realize that the man he killed was his father.

James flees his home with the man's son Victor Creed who grows up to be Liev Schreiber, while James grows up to be Hugh Jackman. The two wind up being dedicated soldiers for the next century, fighting in the American Civil War, both World War I and II, and the Vietnam War, before killing their senior officer and being sentenced to death, which they both survive. Together, they are approached by William Stryker (Danny Huston) to work for Team X, a mutant organization, to which they both accept before James leaves after six years being disillusioned with the entire process.

To go on ruins the fun of watching Wolverine's life unfold, which is interesting in itself. Jackman has gone from embodying the aura of Wolverine to quickly becoming the character, portraying him in many different lights, from emotional, to strong-willed, to violent, to uncontrollable, to vulnerable, and so forth. Jackman is assisted here by Schreiber, who manages to work with him to create an entertaining partnership that is less about buddy-buddy charisma but more about two men stuck together and bound by what seems to be a curse.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine lacks the clear love and affection for the material that director Bryan Singer delivered, along with being burdened by some poor CGI/green-screen work here and there, but the film is also missing the downright awful dialog that was present in X-Men: The Last Stand. Writers David Benioff (who wrote Troy and went on to write several episodes for HBO's breakout hit Game of Thrones) and Skip Woods forgo the abundance of useless one-liners for drama, and director Gavin Hood changes pace from directing South African dramas (including the incredible Tsotsi) to a film that allegedly has more depth than one initially would think.

Hood comments on X-Men Origins: Wolverine's possible political side by saying, "Any movie that is simply about good versus evil...is in my view putting out into the world and certainly into a mass audience and young audience's mind a rather dangerous philosophy, which is that there is good and evil in the simplistic and easily defined way. I think that for the last eight years, we've had that philosophy very much prevalent in the Bush administration that if you're on the side of good, at least as you perceive it, then you can do no evil. That's what's so great about this character or about this movie for me and why I wanted to do it. This is a guy who recognizes his own capacity for evil and I think that's exciting in a sort of popular culture kind of way." Because Hood recognizes Wolverine's deeper side and delivers it in a way that is critiquing of age-old philosophy, we get a film that subsequently gives us a more enriching endeavor than your average superhero film.

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Danny Huston, Dominic Monaghan, and Ryan Reynolds. Directed by: Gavin Hood.
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no matter how hard it tries, this is soulless, bloodless, unnecessary storytelling
Quinoa19847 May 2009
X-Men Origins: Wolverine could be a prime example for what is superbly wrong with Hollywood film-making. There is a director credited here, Gavin Hood, who has made good movies such as Tsotsi. Perhaps they hired him for that, or for his previous film (unseen by me) Rendition. Or, further perhaps, they knew he could be pushed around for a good paycheck. Maybe he does love the Wolverine character and the X-Men franchise, but from a standpoint of only seeing the film as evidence, it doesn't look that way. This looks more to be a case of film-making-by-committee, where a whole gaggle of producers and studio heads (not least of which Tom Rothman) called the shots on what would happen in this story. Which, ultimately, wasn't really necessary in context of the other movies (or at least the first two).

Wolverine, as a character, is captivating and a bad-ass in the comics. In the first two films it's Jackman's performance, and some clever ambiguity, that make him worth watching and a pivotal character, of actually not knowing a whole lot about his past (save for some exposition and the character Stryker, then played by Brian Cox). By delving into this character's back-story, who from what I've heard and been told has one of the most convoluted and complicated backstories in the history of the comic-book medium, there's a whole lot of noise and whistles but not any depth. I didn't learn or gain anything about Wolverine/Logan/Jimmy(?) in the entire running time, except that if you possibly kill the love of his life then, well, he'll get revenge. And, really, if you had claws that could retract and lived over 150 years and was basically indestructible *before* Adamantium, you'd be ticked too.

Basically, it's a story that holds very little water to start with and has to work hard to give us something, anything, to care about what will happen to an indestructible man-beast like Wolverine. Jackman is game, but what about the other actors? Liev Schieber grunts and barely acts his way through his Sabretooth, while Ryan Reynolds, who may someday give us something as a version of Deadpool, only acts like that for all of five minutes before he's yanked off only to return late in the film (as apparently a very funny and witty self-conscious comic character in print) without any dialog to speak of! Others like Will.I.Am (yes, that's how his name is spelled) don't bring much at all, while there's some other room for thankless cameos - my favorite (by that I mean the one I was equally mortified and ironically amused by) was Patrick Stewart as Professor Xavier, appearing before some lost mutants before disaster strikes, his face super-smooth and looking so CGI you'd swear Brandon Routh was neo-realist in comparison.

There's simply no invention, nothing that stands out even as a fun bad choice; this is more akin to Fantastic Four than something that is really *fun* bad like The Spirit or Ghost Rider. You have to keep your eyelids open by force just from not being bored by the films generic tendencies, most prominent when it tries to give some sense of humor (totally dulled or with the lowest common denominator of gag, i.e. "oh, my claws broke your sink, um, ha?), but especially when delving into the action sequences. No personality, nothing to make it stand out from probably much superior video games, and whatever inanities present can't even give rise to unintentional laughter. It's hack work through and through.

And the same goes with the story itself, and its super-duper-holy-s*** contrivances. Adamantium is one thing, that's a given, even if one wonders why Wolverine would need or want it thanks to his already near indestructible nature (sorry to harp on it again, it appears vaguely important to me given Wolverine's attitude towards it and Stryker). But the Amnesia-bullets... do I need to go on?
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One Of The Few Genuinely Good Superhero Movies Which Aptly Translates The Comic Book!!
DareDevilKid19 April 2009
I was fortunate to catch a special screening of 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' a few days ago and I must admit that, it way exceeded my expectations. So much so, that I was stimulated into writing this review, something that I don't often practise.

First let me clarify that this isn't one of your run of the mill, blown-up SFX in your face, unrealistic action-oriented, plot less superhero movies that's thrashed out nowadays('Spiderman 2&3', 'Hulks', 'Fantastic Four 1&2', the intolerably over-hyped 'Ironman', and more...). It might be no 'Dark Knight' or 'Batman', but its definitely worth your movie ticket.

The movie begins just like the 'Wolverine Origins: Super Special' comic book - which I'm might proud to have in my possession - and Wolverine being one of my favourite superheroes since my teenage years, the initial sequences itself gladdened me immensely. From hereon, the movie just keeps escalating.

The script is spot-on, the narration flows smoothly, 'Gavin Hood's' direction without being brilliant, is noteworthy, and the action is mind-blowing with a rustic feel. The SFX might not be the best in recent years(which might be a blessing in disguise, considering some of the inane SFX extravaganzas released in recent years), though certain FX, animation and compositing amalgamations are still astounding. Fact in the matter being the climax, which rivets you to the edge of your seat and lingers in your mind for a considerable period.

As far as the acting goes, most of the cast turn in decent performances, especially 'Leiv Schrieber' as Sabertooth is exceptional, but its undoubtedly 'Hugh Jackman' who steals the show. This guy was just born to play Wolverine, its like he emerges from the comic book pages on to the big screen. Add to this, his superlative physique and fleeting nudity, and there's eye candy for the ladies too.

The X-men franchise without being the best around(Star Wars, Indiana Jones), has always strived for entertainment and sensibility simultaneously. This movie is no exception, with it being on par with the first of the series.

A great summer blockbuster after a long time.

My Rating: 8/10..........Go for it guys!!!
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" We're immortals, created for destruction, what makes you think otherwise? "
thinker169110 October 2009
Out of the incredible world of Marvel comics, arrives this fantastic movie called " X-men Origins: Wolverine. " It is basically the foundation film which introduces the Character and his brother. Born over a hundred years ago, the two discover they are somewhat immortal as we see them participate in nearly every war America has been in. Yet it is only during the Viet-Nam conflict they are openly discovered to be impervious to death. The two young men Logan and Victor (Hugh Jackman and Liev Schreiber) are given an opportunity to join an elite team created by William Stryker (Danny Huston). It is during their travels and their original purpose they further discover their job is funded by the government and therefore clandestine, secretive and murderous. Discovering this, Logan resigns and walks out on the gathered mutants. Fearing he might prove disloyal to their cause, Stryker ordered the rest of the team to seek out and destroy 'Wolverine' as he is now known. The entire film mutates into a battlefield of violent conflicts and cross purposes as former friends now become adversaries. The movie magic of this film is superbly dramatic, exciting and together with the assembled cast, have create a masterpiece. The story of Wolverine is laced with sympathetic memories, rational purpose and a comic-book flare which will enthrall any viewer seeking an exciting two hours. A Classic in this making. ****
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Highly recommended for those who have or haven't seen the other X-men movies.
kirk-2462 May 2009
From the look of the preview,I thought that this movie was going to be pretty good.So me and my friend decided to go see this movie together.After the movie was over,I didn't want to wait until the movie came out on DVD.I loved this movie!!!I haven't seen the other X-men movies,but even I know that they can't possibly be as good as X-men origins:Wolverine.The special effects were outstanding,the acting was top notch,and the storyline was as powerful as Wolverine himself.Here are all of the words that describe this movie:Outstanding,intelligent,awesome,fantastic,exciting,jaw dropping,wonderful,and X-cellent.Don't hesitate.Go see this movie NOW!!!!
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The 4th one is better then the first 3.
jacobjohntaylor120 March 2017
This is a great film. The first three X men movie are good movies. But this is better. This is one of the best action movies from the last decade. It has a great story line. It also has great acting. It also has great special effects. X men first class is better. Wolverine is also better. X men day of further past is also better. X men apocalypse is also better. But this is a great movie. 6.7 is a good ratting. But this is such a great movie that 6.7 is underrating it. I give it a 9. See this movie. It is a great movie. Has fare has time goes this is the second X men movie. This is a very good prequel.
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