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Movie Review of X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Wolverine: Fun, If You Don't Mind That It Makes No Sense

I'm a big fan of the first couple of X-Men movies and of the comic in general. Maybe it's the ensemble cast full of cool mutant powers or the fact that the gang of superheroes includes lots of women, but I've always found this Marvel comic to be totally entertaining — not to mention great source material for movie adaptations.

Definitely one of the better parts of this franchise so far has been Hugh Jackman's take on the surly and brutishly funny Wolverine. This isn't sissy stuff — and the machismo action star gets even more extreme in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. With favorites like Storm and Rogue long gone, we zoom back in time (way back, actually: 1845) to learn how the hot-tempered Logan came to be a lot of things: a mutant with a skeletal system reinforced by adamantium, a very angry mutant, and, in the end, a hero. It's a lot of big, blockbuster fun, as long as you don't mind plot holes you could drive an 18-wheeler through. To see the rest of my thoughts,


The movie starts us out somewhere in the far Northwest Territory in Canada, where a young James Howlett (later known as Wolverine) is very sick. In the first of many head-scratching moments, there's a strange paternal mixup that results in James killing a man with his mutant claws who turns out to be his father. James and his brother, Victor (later played as an adult by Liev Schreiber), then flee to the woods. Apparently the two boys, both afflicted with mutant powers (Victor sprouts catlike claws that one character later describes as "homeless lady" fingernails), grow into men who can live a long time and choose to fight in almost every American war up until Vietnam. You might have a nagging question at this point: but I thought they were Canadian? That's the voice you're going to have to turn off to enjoy this movie.

Eventually the boys become enemies — but it's revealed that all mutants in this pre-X-Men world are simply vulnerable pawns to William Stryker (played by the excellent Danny Huston), a military man who's the friend turned foe in this flick. While this is definitely Wolverine's show (we see him fall in love, lose love, seek revenge, undergo freaky scientific experiments, etc.), he assembles a crew of friends along the way, including Gambit (Taylor Kitsch), John Wraith (, and a very funny Wade Wison (played by Ryan Reynolds, who should have had more screen time because he's so good).

Everyone turns in great performances, but Jackman, known these days for being extremely easy on the eyes — not to mention very talented at singing and dancing — slips into the role of moody lumberjack wolfman with a surprising ease. It's awesome and — not gonna lie — extremely hot. There's a lot of talk about "counterprogramming" right now, with Ghosts of Girlfriends Past offered up this weekend as an alternative for women who aren't in the mood for a superhero movie. But for the record, Jackman is shirtless and/or naked in many scenes, and that's all the counterprogramming I need.

The movie has plot holes and logic gaps to spare. It also suffers from a lack of imagination in the fight sequences, with actors tumbling through the film like some kind of poor man's Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Yet, somehow, despite those glaring flaws, this movie isn't completely brain dead and succeeds at being totally entertaining popcorn cinema. When stuff didn't make sense, my audience snickered, but then Wolverine came screaming, adamantium claws out, charging the screen, and we were jolted back into enjoying this fun flick.

Photos courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Join The Conversation
LittleMissVain LittleMissVain 8 years
I just saw the movie today - it was good, I guess, not great, certainly not something I would go to see in the theater 5 times in a row (cough, Transformers, cough) - but pretty ok. But then again, anything where you get to see Hugh Jackman shirtless is worthy, even Australia, which I hated. But does anyone agree that Hugh is becoming pretty Matthew McConnahugh (spelling? can't remember how it's spelled) regarding his shirtless roles decision making? I don't think I can remember a recent film where he didn't bare the chest. Not that I'm complaining or anything.
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
I saw this movie yesterday and I was actually pleasantly surprised it. I thought it was good...not my favorite superhero movie ever, but I liked it. It can be really bleak at times, but the performances were great and I didn't get bored. I really enjoyed the roles played Hugh Jackman, Ryan Reynolds, and Taylor Kitsch...Kitsch's character of Gambit was especially intriguing. I completely agree with Buzz's review, the plot holes were annoying and I got a little sick of the Wolverine v. Sabretooth showdowns after awhile, but the movie was pretty good overall.
Symphonee Symphonee 8 years
I have seen most of it and the Tomboy in me loves it. Fellow Ryan fans - they in the works for a Deadpool movie so he will be back and mostly likely shirtless :cheer: The story doesn't follow the original comics so I have learned to shut my brain off as I watch.
ReelGirl ReelGirl 8 years
Argh, comments cut me off *grumble* Anyways, I was just going to say that while it was great to finally see Gambit on the big screen, his accent just wasn't thick enough! I came to the theater expecting to hear that spicy Cajun drawl, and got nothing :(
ReelGirl ReelGirl 8 years
Just saw this on Saturday, and was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. I mean, throwing Wolverine/Hugh Jackman into any movie is enough to get my butt to the theater, but as a big X-men fan from back in the day, I was really hoping that the movie would do Logan's back story justice. While the plot holes were pretty huge, I was still pretty satisfied with the end result. I thought was going to be completely terrible, but he really surprised me with how well he did, so good for him! The only complaints that I had were with some of the special effects during the fight scenes (looked a little hokey), the severe lack of Ryan Reynolds, and (sorry if this is a bit spoiler-ish) Gambit's voice. I know that Ryan couldn't have a lot of screen time while playing Deadpool, but seriously, if you put him in a movie, let him talk for *at least* 15 minutes! Not non-stop, mind you, but at least give him the chance to get out a few more zingers before he goes... >< On a related note, it was awesome to finally get some Gambit action on the big screen, but his accent just wasn't thick enough! I came to hear that spicy Cajun drawl, and his "accent" just bugged the hell out of me. Sorry for the mega-post, everybody!
psychobabble psychobabble 8 years
I'm a huge dork, I LOVED watching x-men on Saturday morning (never read the comic books though). I'm sure it won't be as good as some of the other X-men movies, but I'm really looking forward to seeing it! Plus, I've been waiting 3 movies for them to bring in Gambit.
alesimas alesimas 8 years
Just came back from the movie and wow... Xmen it's not. This has to be the worst of the sequels ( or pre sequels). I was so excited to see the flick, but for the most of the time I was just laughing, cause there were so many loose ends, so many stupid plots... Oh well, at least there was a lot of eye candy! :)
pargie pargie 8 years
I saw this yesterday, and loved it, although it did not live up to ALL of my expectations considering the first X-men movies were soo good! I didn't realize until reading this post, that Wolverine is that old (I was a bit confused by the 1800s looking scenery/costumes) and by his name change. Hugh and Leib are fantastic actors, could have done without Will.I.AM though.
yummymango yummymango 8 years
I was such a fan of the cartoons that even though I watched all three X-Men movies I was cringing a lot of the time. LOL. I might just skip this one and just wait for the DVD... But... Daniel Henney's in it... *sigh*
simplyfab87 simplyfab87 8 years
Just saw this and it was so cool! Yeah there are some plot issues but I didn't mind it, overall an awesome movie. Loved it!
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
hmm i'm upset that they're changing some things here. But yes Wolverine was born James but later always went as Logan. His mutant powers were healing ability, animal like senses and bone claws. He was experimented on and they bonded adamantium to his bones and claws (which is a bummer when Magneto is around). His healing ability allows him to live a longer life because no disease or antyhign can harm him and he regenerates any dying cells (hence why he smokes). Anyway, I really can't wait to see this!!! Loooooooooooove X-Men
FrogsOblivious FrogsOblivious 8 years
something that's fun and makes no sense- sounds like the perfect summer movie :)
Pinkrabbit Pinkrabbit 8 years
I don't think that them being in the wars that they were in were any plot hole. I just figured that since he was being called Logan that maybe they changed their identity? They could've moved to US and changed their names and such. It's not that hard. And back then... yeah not hard at all. But whatever. I hearted it
menthadict menthadict 8 years
The men in this movie were so so so so so hot. My friends and I were DYING
wendybird33 wendybird33 8 years
LOL! I just assumed that Wolverine and his brother were born in the U.S. and MOVED to Canada hence they were able to participate in all the wars. But yeah I wasn't too worried about the weird paternity mix-up thing because I assumed they would explain it later but then they just didn't. There was another part where I was like WHAAAAT? but I don't want to ruin it for people.
Alithyra Alithyra 8 years
I wanted to see this, I love the X-Men. Hugh Jackman as Logan helps. But every review has mentioned the large-ish plot holes. Maybe this will be a matinee, or even a Netflix.
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 8 years
* I "am" saving up...
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 8 years
This film looks entertaining (and the cast is very easy on the eyes :love: though I also like the film series. :P ) However I will be waiting for it to be available to rent then I will see it. I saving up to see Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen. ( :woohoo: )
fleurfairy fleurfairy 8 years
Tim Riggins as a superhero? Yes, please.
oohsexypenguin oohsexypenguin 8 years
Can't wait to see this. Hugh, Liev, Ryan - what more could a girl want? ;)
briggs313 briggs313 8 years
I don't need a plot - i could just watch Taylor Kitsch with no shirt on for two hours!
acemonkey acemonkey 8 years
Hopefully they will have a spin off movie with Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool.
infusedwithspice infusedwithspice 8 years
Looking forward to some action fun with this one . . . not to mention anything with Ryan Reynolds has my pulse racing! ;)
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