X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) – Gavin Hood

 

Hugh Jackman returns as iconic mutant Logan aka Wolverine in Fox’s next stumble and mishandling of a Marvel franchise, as I continue my journey with the X-men in the Sci-Fi Chronicles book.

While there are some nice visuals, and moments, overall everything about this film falls flat, and one of the things that angered fans the most was the flubbing of the character of Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) in Deadpool’s first onscreen appearance.

We follow Logan from his youth as he learns of his regenerative abilities and longevity, as he fights through war upon war, serving alongside his brother, Victor (Liev Schreiber) aka Sabretooth.

He attracts the notice of William Stryker (Danny Huston) and is recruited into Team X, alongside Victor, Wade, Dukes (Kevin Durand), Bolt (Dominic Monaghan) and Wraith (Will.i.am).

Logan tires of that life though, and wants peace and love with Kayla Silverfox (Lynn Collins) but gets drawn back into things when Stryker orchestrates a plan that could ruin everything.

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There are cool moments, there’s an appearance by Gambit (Taylor Kitsch)  as well as younger versions of X-men we’ve already met, but it just doesn’t work. There are missteps aplenty as a story that should have been epic in nature, while retaining an emotional core is squandered in service to a script that is muddled at best, and a nightmare at worst.

I think at this point 20th Century Fox still didn’t understand the things they could do with the universe they have access to, and were more interested in making a buck or two. To be fair, none of the actors turn in a terrible performance, they are simply shackled with a a terrible story that seems more intent in handing us cool visuals, instead of a kickass story.

Jackman, over the course of these films, has made the role his, anyone who is going to follow in his footsteps has their work cut out for them, and is the strongest reason to watch the film. He has the character down, though as noted in the previous film, X3, the character’s edge has been tamed a bit. Those of us hoping to see a full on beserker Logan with an R-rating will have to wait, as Fox had, at this time domesticated the X-Men universe to be more family friendly.

The opening credit sequence is great, and really raised my expectations for the film, but it ended up being a letdown. And the less said about the Deadpool/Three Mile Island sequence the better.

It truly felt like the filmmakers didn’t care about the characters they were using or the situations they were being put in.

Oh well. The next time around however, the studio got it right…

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