Wednesday, 7 July 2010

X-Men Origins: Wolverine


In today's review I have decided to focus's on X-Men Origins: Wolverine (ironic name since in research for this review I learned the first comic the character of Wolverine actually appeared in was the Incredible Hulk and not The X-Men, but go figure) which stars Hugh Jackman as the only X-Man with an interesting back story Wolverine.
Having Wolverine as the central character doesn't break that far away from the original X-Men series since Wolverine was the main character in those films anyway, with the other X-Men only featuring in small roles, but this is largely due to the large market the character creates.

The plot follows mutant James Logan 'Wolverine' from a young age as he discovers that he is able to heal his injuries and sprout bone claws from his hands, with his half brother and fellow mutant Victor Creed (Who is brilliantly portrayed by Liev Schreiber) he proceed to fight in practically every major war that the United States is involved in, due to their inability to die they are recruited by Colonel William Stryker (Danny Huston) as part of a special mutant task force.
Logan eventually grows tired of the violence and leaves this life in order to settle down peacefully, But all is not well for former members of Team X as some one appears to be hunting down and killing off former members and as Wolverine loses someone close to him he sets out for revenge.

First important point of this review is that the opening credit sequence for this film is absolutely amazing. It flows between Wolverine's fights in various wars such as the American Civil War, both World Wars and Vietnam; The transition between the wars sits incredibly well making this one of my favorite opening credit sequence ever.

Onto the characters, Jackman is ever enjoyable as the walking gruff machine that is Wolverine and its nice to see the character given more motivation than just "Who Am I?" for a change, I was concerned that the major plot twist would ultimately undermine the characters motives but this seems to not have been the case and the character is simply still a lot of fun to watch with Jackman able to portray a more well rounded emotional character compared to other entries in the franchise.

Minor roles that demand praise go to Ryan Reynolds as the over talkative Wade Wilson/Deadpool who's lighthearted constant talking is a pleasant change in pace and adds a light touch to the film compared to the more serious characters.
As mentioned Liev Schreiber is brilliant as the menacing Victor Creed also know as Sabertooth (Which left me a tad disappointed with the Sabertooth we got in the first X-Men film). Schreiber is able to create a real sense of unpredictability and animal ferociousness to surround his character that makes him and enjoyable villain.

Dominic Monaghan is terribly underplayed as tragic tech expert Chris Bradley who falls into depression regarding his ability with Monaghan easily out shining many of the other cast members but his screen time is so limited it can barely be considered a cameo.

And a final mention to musician turned actor Will.i.am who performs well as telephoning mutant John Wraith. Many musicians simply don't make good actors but Will.i.am is convincing as Wolverine's light hearted friend who is tortured by his past deeds working for Team X.

Now this film is highly enjoyable but there are a few problems with it mainly the fact that the film feels that it needs to murder off all the characters it introduces, granted this is to leave little knowledge of Wolverines origin for the main trilogy but the film turns homicidal on charterers who barely know him and it simply becomes a little depressing watching every character that is introduced die.

The other minor problem with this film is Taylor Kitsch's Gambit. Make no mistake gambit was always my favorite X-Men and I was happy to hear he was going to be included in Wolverine but his appearance simply doesn't sit right,

one of my favorite aspects about the character was his Cajun accent and where he does have an accent in X-Men Origins he seems to flick psychopathicaly between the Cajun accent i know and love and a thick American accent that leaves you unsure who is actually talking or if he suffers from multiple personalities.

A few final issue are that there are a few plot holes left unexplained such as why did Wolverine stop ageing at a specific age, is there a limit to his healing abilities or can he simply not die (with it being a tad difficult to fear for a protagonist that is invincible) another issues is that the plot is fairly predictable unfolding much like you expect it to but these issues aside the film is very enjoyable and is the kind of typical action film that is ridiculously fun to watch with the climax in particular (a two on one fight atop a power station) being simply shameless action that you cant help but enjoy.

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