X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

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A mutant with a healing factor that makes him virtually unkillable volunteers for an experiment that will transform him into “Weapon X” to revenge himself on the brother who murdered his sweetheart.

Yes, that’s the plot to X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Not very imaginative, is it? The story follows the usual blockbuster formula of montage, action sequence, montage, action sequence, montage, action sequence in a way that made me think that the franchise has become a victim of its own success; in the best examples of the comic book stories, the extreme violence Wolverine perpetrates is merely alluded to and hinted at through images of the bloody aftermath. Here you have Logan gutting people with razor sharp claws and yet never managing to spill a drop of blood. In its desperation to appeal to mainstream, family audiences the Wolverine character is gutted itself and only in the opening sequence – which is skimmed over quite criminally – do we see any of the real potential of the idea. Despite the rather odd casting choice of Liev Schreiber, he actually makes a rather good Victor Creed and is a vast improvement over the WWF wrestler with a bronchial complaint we had in the first film. The rest of the plot is basically just a series of excuses to cram in as many peripheral characters as possible, the greatest waste of which is fan favourite Gambit who is relegated to air taxi duties.

The action sequences are competently staged and it’s passably entertaining, but X-Men Origins: Wolverine feels like a missed opportunity.

6/10

 

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