Overdue cinema review #2: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

July 26 2009 at 9:11 pm (Cinema reviews)

wolverine_1Of all the characters in contemporary fiction to warrant the now popular ‘prequel’ treatment, Wolverine doesn’t sound like an obvious choice – I had learnt by the end of X2 as much about the character as felt necessary. What’s next? Dobby the House Elf: The Early Years? The three X-Men films felt like Wolverine’s anyway (most of the other characters seemed secondary) so why Wolvie should get his own movie is anyone’s guess, particularly when it’s so toothless.

Logan (Hugh Jackman, growly, seething) and his half-brother Victor Creed (Liev Schreiber, growly, occasionally looks like the cowardly lion from The Wizard of Oz) are inexplicably indestructible and really quite cross. In a prologue we see a young Logan kill his father (who turns out not to be his father at all) and the brothers kick bottom in the last 200 years of warfare only to become bitter rivals by the time they reach the 1980s.

With the cumbersomely titled X-Men Origins: Wolverine (that dastardly colon threatening more to come), there are no peripheral characters to steal focus from the mutton-chopped cigar-chomping badass, so it ends up as little more than a snarl-off between Logan and Creed. It’s hilariously macho and has some unashamedly clichéd action scenes (roaring with rage at the sky over the death of a loved one, nonchalantly strolling toward the camera away from an explosion). The script and acting are appalling, and there is an inevitable over-reliance on CGI, which is also substandard. Even when you do get to see some long overdue X-Men like Bolt, Gambit and Deadpool, their appearance is far too brief.

Watch X2 instead. Hell, watch X-Men: The Last Stand instead.

Rating: 2/5

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