Thursday, April 30, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Genre - Action-Adventure/Comic Book/Fantasy
Year Released - 2009
Running Time - 107 minutes
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence and some partial nudity
Directed by Gavin Hood
Written by David Benioff (who also wrote Troy, 25th Hour, Stay, and The Kite Runner) and Skip Woods (who also wrote Swordfish and Hitman)

Cast Includes:
Hugh Jackman (reprising his role of Wolverine from the X-Men films)
Liev Schreiber (from the Scream films)
Danny Huston (30 Days of Night)
Ryan Reynolds (from the television show Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place - he is also in Blade: Trinity, the '05 Re-Make of The Amityville Horror, and Just Friends)
Taylor Kitsch (Snakes on a Plane and The Covenant)
Scott Adkins (Unleashed, The Bourne UltimatumUndisputed 2, and the upcoming Undisputed 3)
Lynn Collins (50 First Dates, The Lake House, Bug, and The Number 23)
Tahyna Tozzi
Dominic Monaghan (Merry from The Lord of the Rings films and the upcoming I Sell the Dead)
Kevin Durand  (from the television series Dark Angel - he is also in The Butterfly Effect and the '04 Re-Make of Walking Tall)
Daniel Henney

Rating: 4 Skulls

The Cover of X-Men Origins: Wolverine #1

An earlier poster from before the film's name changed

Plot Summary:
This action-packed prequel to the popular X-Men films explores Marvel Comics character Wolverine's past, and the events that influenced the mutant before the Weapon X Program bonded his skeleton with the powerful, strong metal alloy adamantium.

After the death of his girlfriend, Wolverine seeks vengeance against supervillain Victor Creed.

So, I just got back from the midnight showing of Wolverine and it was definitely worth attending!
The local comic shop was on-hand, giving out prizes - one of which my son won [the '03 Wolverine comic-book mini-series Exile] which made his night. Another prize included a statue of the Zombie Wolverine [from the Marvel Zombies series] I wish that I could say I won that one!

As a fan of the Wolverine comics, I was looking forward to this film, and I was not disappointed!

The film starts off with Logan & Creed as young boys [the year was 1845] and follows them through the different wars... then along comes Col. Stryker [played by Danny Huston - who played Marlow in 30 Days of Night] who recruits the brothers in his quest for adamantium, etc. 

In X-Men 2, Stryker was played by Brian Cox, who I really like, so I wasn't sure about Huston filling those shoes - in fact, the same can be said for Tyler Mane [who portrayed Sabretooth in the 1st X-Men film] I was disappointed when I heard that he would not be reprising the role, though I can say that Schreiber floored me - I absolutely loved him as Creed!! [and Huston portrayed a great Stryker as well]

As for Deadpool & Gambit [two of my favorite mutants]
Ryan Reynolds was excellent as Wade Wilson, who becomes Deadpool - who was portrayed wonderfully by Scott Adkins! [for even more Deadpool mayhem, be sure to check out the animated feature Hulk vs Wolverine - you can also check out my review on that one!]
As for Taylor Kitsch [who played Gambit] I'm not too keen on him - the character was okay, Kitch just isn't how I pictured Gambit.

All of this is well and good, but the movie is about Wolverine after all. How was Jackman
Though I am still curious as to how Danzig would have portrayed Wolverine, I must say that Jackman was indeed impressive. He knows the character well enough and was able to take him back to his savagery!

The film ends a few years before X-Men takes place, and in my opinion, they should have chosen a different ending. [My understanding is that there are several different endings to the film, depending on which theatre you see it at [I saw it in a Marcus Theatre]
The ending that I saw had a horrible CGI rendition of Patrick Stewart as Professor Xavier picking up some mutants [why didn't they just get Stewart to reprise the 10 seconds that he was on-screen? Or, at the very least,  just show the back of his bald head, with a voice over... This ending just left a bad taste in my mouth.

Oh yeah, in case you are planning to stay all the way through the credits, don't bother! What a stupid final scene!

Here's the trailer:

As for my above rating - while I loved the film, and I will definitely be buying it [which is basically 5 Skulls] I just can't give it the same rating that I gave Watchmen :-)



Anonymous said...

Could you spill the beans for me a bit about the status of Deadpool in the movie? I'm a huuuuuge Deadpool fan and I've been kind of nervous about all the things I've been hearing online about what they do with the character, but then your review said it turned out well, so I'm curious. If you want, you could drop me an e-mail (so as not to let any spoilers up on your blog). Pleeeeeeease, please, pleeeeeeease spill some beans fo' me.

iMike said...

I am still curious as to how Danzig would have portrayed WolverineAre you talking about Glenn Danzig? lol
If so I'm curious too!

I'll give it a go and check it out. Most of my friends told me they hated it... but they also said Watchmen was horrible... and we know how much I loved that film:P

wiec? said...

not sure Glennn has the chops (acting wise, not side burn chops) to play Wolvie righteously. seen him lately? some one is getting faaaaaaaaat.

glad to hear RR playing Deadpool didn't suck. i thought he was a lame choice but if yer saying he pulled it off then i'm glad. hope Deadpool comes back (but in the full costume) next time.

the line for the midnight show last night was around the block. looks like i'll catch this one next week. thanks for the preview/ review.

Ryan Harvey said...

I enjoyed but didn't particularly love the film; some of the "bonus mutants" don't fit in very well, and the attempts at comedy and pathos just fall far weaker than the action scenes. I liked Huston a lot, but I've always found him an ideal villain. Schreiber was also very good. But somehow a lot of movie ended up feeling very clumsy to me, and I wasn't fond of how Deadpool was used. Also, for a film supposedly taking place in the late '70s, it sure looked a lot like 2009!

thebonebreaker said...

William, as far as Deadpool goes - not really a spoiler - Ryan Reynolds portrays him as Wade Wilson - his body is then used in the Weapon X program to eventually become Weapon XI [aka Deadpool - Stryker's personal pet "mutant killer"] played by Scott Adkins.
Stryker merged different mutant's DNA into Weapon XI, giving him the abilities of each of the mutant's DNA that was put into the "pool"...
This may not be the Deadpool we all know and love, but it worked [for me] in this film!

Mike, yes, I am talking about Glenn Danzig ;-)
Back in the day, he was rumored to be attached to a Wolverine project [this was well before any of the X-Men films came along...
As for whether you will like the film - if you like action films, I don't see why you wouldn't like this one, as it is definitely action-packed!

wiec, I can't help but still be curious as to how Glenn would have portrayed the character, back in the [late 80's/early 90's?] when he looked closer to the charcater - nowadays, not so much ;-)
Ryan Reynolds was great during his big "sword scene" [keep in mind, that it is Scott Adkins playing the actual embodiment of Deadpool]
I have heard that Ryan Reynolds has been interested in playing Deadpool since '03 and a possible Deadpool feature is currently being discussed amongst the Marvel "powers that be" So, that is a possibility, as he would definitely be in costume then!


thebonebreaker said...


I completely agree with the "bonus mutants" - they should have stuck to the original ones, used in the 1st X-Men, at least.

What made you think the film was taking place in the late 70's? [I completely missed that!]


Ryan Harvey said...

The reason I'm sure the film is taking place in the '70s is the "Three Mile Island" incident; the U.S. apparently used the excuse of a nuclear accident on the island to cover up the mutant-fight. The date of the accident was 28 March 1979. The overhead shot of the reactor mirrors images of the meltdown at the reactor. (As people in the film act as if they have never heard of a place called "Three Mile Island," this can't be a "second" incident there, but meant to be the first.)

Also, if we take the Vietnam scenes, and then go with the "six years later" caption, that would put us in the late '70s (I would guess the Vietnam scenes would then be occurring in 1973 to put us at the right time for Three Mile Island.)

thebonebreaker said...

Understood Ryan - I must have missed the 6 years later caption, after Vietnam - thanks for pointing out the blatantly obvious! ;-)