X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

After three successful X-Men movies in which the Marvel mutant’s adventures were detailed, it seemed filmmakers decided it was a good time to backtrack into history and tell Logan’s story. In ‘Wolverine’ fans are treated to a bitter rival between brothers and a cliché romance, nevertheless the movie is entertaining.  

Until he saw the man who he thought was his father murdered, young Jimmy Logan didn’t know that his rage could unleash mutant powers. This death prompts him to murder the man who really was his father and go on the run with his older brother Victor who, through multiple wars in the American history – the Civil War straight through Vietnam, gets a taste for death that soon even Logan (Hugh Jackman) cannot foil. Both of their lives change when the brothers are approached by Stryker (Danny Huston) and asked to serve on mission to recover a powerful meteor substance along with a team of fellow mutants – among whom are John Wraith (Will I Am) and Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds). Reluctantly Logan agrees to go with the team where he sees the thirst for destruction his brother (Liev Schrieder) has and reigns down on his victims – his powers can no longer be controlled. The lines between ruling the world and letting the humans stand in awe of their kind and protecting the humans from evil doers blur – and Logan walks away.
Six years later, Logan is living a peaceful live in the Canadian rookies working at a logging camp and falling in love with Kayla (Lynn Collins), a school teacher. His comfortable life is shattered when Stryker returns with news that one by one, former members of the unit have been killed. Logan’s refusal to return brings Victor back into his life with horrific consequences and unleashes his thirst for hunting his brother down.  

As a lesson in the history of a character that is a cornerstone of the X-Men series, this wasn’t a bad movie. Even if the agencies used to further its story are stereotyped, this script explains a lot of what drives Logan, and I can now understand and say that having followed up ‘Origins’ with X-Men. Soon as the film “settled in” and the story started moving, one of the first thoughts I had was that it wouldn’t end well – if my “movie radar” was to be trusted, I had a pretty good idea where it was going and wasn’t surprised when, yep, it went there. Every writer knows, the easiest way to push a protector or good guy’s buttons is to take away that which is most dear to him and in Logan’s example, that script is followed to a T. First he walks away from his brother – after making sure no one ended Victor’s life, then the person he loves most leaves.
There are some epically cool special effects and of course, the cast is fun featuring some names and faces who can actually act and make the best of what they’ve been given. Something that does take a lot of talent to pull off – anyone that can take some of these script maneuvers and/or mistaken character relationships has got some skill! The one BIG thing that puzzles me about the franchise is how many intricate character connections there are, none of which seem to be in order and I am left more confused than satisfied. Why does Emma Frost show up here when clearly she once upon a time was working for the terrorist mutants? Or how does Scott Summers play into ‘Origins’ and then he’s no longer a gangly kid suddenly when Logan is brought to Xavier or what about the time gap between Logan’s story and his introduction in X-Men? Either way, the various writers and filmmakers have made some goofs over five movies. Still, the film has its good qualities (plus this specific cannot be blamed too much in relation to "First Class'" inconsistencies, since 'Origins' came first!) and for that, it seemed a decent edition to the popular Marvel series. Now, I am eager to find out what comes next. Let the guessing games commence!  
(Parental concerns: the mutants all have a litany of powers – ranging from mind reading to claws that impale as well as one character who can ricochet bullets off his weapon, a pair swords. Countless characters die; there are tons of explosions and various fiery crashes, a man is shot repeatedly in the head [non-graphic]. Innocent bystanders are murdered by a sniper rifle and the opening credits feature various war battles. There are several brief scenes of a nude man, from the backside as he attempts escape [prior to this, he is hooked up to various machines and undergoes a procedure that puts needles into his entire body]. There’s a brief inference that a man is going to rape a woman [he throws her against a wall] and an unmarried couple are seen lying in bed together – sheets covering them. There’s one or two F-words, other minor profanities like sh*t, h*ll and the like plus a crude hand gesture. The film rates PG13.)


  1. Bad, bad movie. The "new" Wolverine is much better than this one. And yeah, don't try and make the mythology line up, because it's not there -- there are a LOT of inconsistencies between the prequels and the originals.

    1. Oh, thank you! I am so glad you said there is no way the timelines line up - I thought it was only me (particularly since I watched most of these late at night) and had to ask myself, "should I even admit this!?" ;)

      ...I VERY much am looking forward to watching the "new" Wolverine movie, Charity - hopefully I'll have seen X2 and 'Last Stand' first. :)

      The one I am most looking forward to is 'Days of Future Past.' I think that one is going to be EPIC.

    2. One of the most glaring inconsistencies is between when Xavier was crippled and when he appears to be crippled in the original films. X3 I think has him walking around when he's middle-aged! Either way, don't analyze the changes too much or your head will implode.

      I was surprised how much I liked the new "Wolverine" movie. It was strange in a way because it has so FEW mutants in it -- just a handful, and most of them are characters we've never met before. It's more about family than anything else. Plus, the Japanese setting was pretty awesome. I love martial arts.

      Can't wait for DoFP. Hope the trailer's good.

    3. You know, at the end of 'Origins,' Xavier was walking (I think), and I had much the same reaction. It seemed off of the timeline given the story in 'First Class' or rather 'First Class' was "off" the timeline - either way, don't these people take more pride in their work than that!?

      I thank you for saying that the mythology doesn't match up because like I said, I was wondering if it was just me. :)

      Believe it or not, I've grown fond of several of the mutants, so I'll miss that element in 'Wolverine.' However, hopefully the rest will make up for that.


  2. To jump right into your comments in the last paragraph, let me say this. First Class had NOT been made when this one was. If you look at it that way, then First Class is really the one with the inconsistency. It is totally possible for there to have been another time gap between when Summers was rescued to when Logan finds Xavier.

    Anyway, that's my speculation. Glad you liked this one, despite the obvious cliches!

    1. You are SO right, Rosie - thanks for that. I knew that while I was writing these, I guess I just didn't articulate that correctly. Revisions... here we come. :)

      I did like it, Rosie! As a movie that tells the backstory of a key character, it was entertaining and I like it explains a lot about Logan.

  3. I remember seeing this in theaters, and the only thing that kept me from walking out was Hugh Jackman...on the big screen. He was mighty fine to look at! It's definitely a fun movie but not really a great one - at least for me! :)

    1. 'Origins' isn't my favorite either, Katy. However as you say, it was "fun." Plus it does reveal a lot about Logan's character - clichés and all. ;)


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