X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Since the utterly abyssmal and just plain wrong X Men 3: The Last Stand, I’ve been desperate to see some more of the X Men universe up on the big screen. As you’d expect, X Men Origins tells the story of Wolverine’s erm…origin, and how he became to be the adamantium plated, but not yellow spandex-wearing, superhero.

Sadly, a film which had the potential to be amazing was let down on far too many counts.

Whilst Hugh Jackman is suitably ripped and to his credit is usually a pretty decent actor he was fighting against a pretty dreadful script. We counted four cases of Wolverine throwing back his head and doing the famous “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” for frith’s sake.

Now, the characterisation. This is where I have the most cause for complaint. I was pleased to see that they tried to get some screen time for some of the much loved but rarely seen characters like Gambit and Deadpool, but I really would have spent less time making sure there were hundreds of thousands of explosions and instead concentrating on making sure that the characters are at least reasonably close to their comic counterparts. To his credit, Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool and later as Deadpool/Mutant XI was in turn funny, then sexy/scary. He should have got more screen time, and after all the build up to the reveal of him as the super enhanced Mutant XI with multiple powers, he didn’t really get a lot of a chance to do anything before Wolverine and Sabertooth in a bizarre ‘brotherly love’ moment take him down.
Will.I.Am from the Black Eyed Peas played Kestrel/John Wraith was an example of a mistake.  Kestrel is supposed to an explosive loving bad-ass and Huggy Bear cool. Its pedantic, but Will.I.Am looked lost throughout most of the film, sounded ridiculous, and served no purpose. At the time I was annoyed that Gambit did not get more screen time and that his manipulation of kinetic energy was not more clearly shown as this is his main power, not gymnastics. However, Taylor Kitsch didn’t do a bad job of what in my opinion is one of the harder X Men to nail.

Origins also made me sad in that the writers and directors felt it necessary to cater so directly for the 12A audience with some embarrassing slap stick comedy (Wolverine vs Blob in a boxing ring) and gratuitous use of ‘Bullshit!’ Oh, and the CG. Oh dear. As Blackett pointed out, Wolverine’s claws look like they were from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and there was a scene where Wolverine is cutting Gambit down from a fire escape where some Mask-like (filmed in 1994 lets not forget) effects were employed which looked cheap and nasty. I wonder which bits were missing from the leaked verion?

If we’re talking CG, the end where Professor X turns up in a helicopter (Patrick Stewart complete with ‘youthful’ makeup which looked like he was wearing a halloween mask of himself) was horribly green-screened and would have been more suited for one of the puzzle rooms in Knightmare. Its these little touches which were clearly ignored for the sake of concentrating on the many stunts, explosions, demolition of a cooling tower and other unnecessary fripperies.

So, now for the good. I love Hugh Jackman so he can rarely do wrong in my eyes. He just is Wolverine, but looked like he was desperate for some better lines and more time canoodling with Kayla Silverfox (quite a nice inclusion actually. Although her betrayal was revealed all of a sudden in about 30 seconds and lacked any emotion) For me though, the star of Origins was Liev Shreiber as Sabertooth. Yes, that guy that played Cotton Weary in Scream all those years ago. (1996. Can you believe it? I feel so old) Shreiber seems to be the only actor in this film that is having fun. Everyone else is so angsty and overwrought with hormones that its refreshing when Sabertooth is on screen being a bastard and showing off his prosthetic canines.

Overall, I give X Men Origins: Wolverine 2 heads out of 5.


Definitely below average. As we seem to be waiting for a Magneto Origin and Young X Men Origin too, I would really like to see the makers concentrate on the story and the characters. Wolverine had too much going on, too much CG, and too many mutants there for the sake of it. At least there was no Halle Berry though.