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X-Men Origins - Wolverine Reviews

Page 3 of 2588
July 3, 2014
Disastrously boring and weighed down by an abundance of violence. Also, what a sausagefest.
Willem DaPerson
June 23, 2014
And now we plumb the depths.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is the anxiously-awaited follow-up to 2006's enormous disappointment, X-Men The Last Stand. Considering the totality with which The Last Stand closed (it doesn't get much more final than Wolverine gutting Jean Grey), it was decided that a much easier method of vacuuming money out of peoples' pockets was to release a prequel, detailing the origins (heh) of the most famous X-Man of them all. Surely the ambiguous tale of Wolverine, complete with a number of familiar faces and darker themes, would be a great time, and make up for the dull ending of the trilogy?


How you go about messing up a film where Hugh Jackman kills things for 107 minutes is beyond me, but that's what we have. Instead of the ferocious, angry thrill-ride that Wolverine should be synonymous with, we are treated to a little too much family drama, way too much monotonous talking, and plot that manages to subscribe to all the formulaic clichés and innovate just enough to get on my nerves.

As it turns out, Wolverine's life has been intertwined with war and conflict for his 100+ year life. Having served in both World Wars and Vietnam among others, James Howlett (pre-Logan) left combat behind for the love of a good woman. However, the mutant-populated unit with which Wolverine served in Vietnam comes back to haunt him, as does his former best friend Victor (Liev Screiber, one of the film's few positive traits). Twists and turns ensue, as we are treated to the story of how Wolverine became the weapon we all know today.

The first problem with this film is that it exists. I mean, sure it's natural to want a film detailing the ambiguous backstory of Marvel's most popular mutant, but the minds behind this garbage fail to realise that Wolverine's character is as interesting and beloved as he is, precisely because of his ambiguous history and nature. Pulling the curtain back on why he has a relationship with William Stryker, why he has a relationship with Sabretooth, why he has so much anger, and just how he ended up in Alaska at the start of X-Men is a move that ruins much of what keeps fans so invested in the character.

Of course, despite everything wrong from a narrative and scripting perspective, any Wolverine-centric film has at least one redeemable quality, and that's Wolverine himself. Hugh Jackman, at the time of the film's release, had been playing the character for nine years, and his confidence within the role is considerable. He has an able sparring partner in Liev Schreiber, who appears to know the total kitsch in which he is appearing. Schreiber and Jackman's chemistry is very much appreciated in what is already a tired mess. And speaking of Kitsch, Taylor Kitsch is a surprise as the beloved Gambit. I never would have expected the former male model to hit the ground running with Gambit's casual swagger and laid back nature. The one other semi-bright spot in the cast is Ryan Reynolds (I know), who gets to be a promising Deadpool for mere minutes in the film, before plot contrivances ruin the character entirely.

As a CGI-fest, you could do a lot better than Origins. There are a few action set-pieces that impressed (a helicopter crash and smoke stack confrontation in particular), but even they are smothered by the excess of melodrama that permeates the film. For every standard action sequence (the series has seen better), there comes an abundance of wretched attempts at comedy, or pointless drama. There comes a scene where Wolverine must confront Blob. Now, Blob has never been a great character, but his portrayal here is baffling, and Jackman's over-use of "bub" is cringe-inducing. Undoubtedly, this is the worst-written X-Men film of them all.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is the kind of film that I would give a 0/10 to, if I were so inclined. As a reviewer, I tend to reserve the very low scores for films that truly have nothing to offer - lousy performances, poor writing, tepid narrative, and terrible action. This film doesn't conform to all the criteria, but it's the kind of bottom line-driven, lazy excuse of a film that gets under my skin in just a way that a 0/10 would feel necessary.

However, the optimist in me can see that the cast is surprisingly strong here, and some of the (mostly-poor) special effects-driven action is entertaining. Even then, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is the kind of poorly thought-out, rigorously unenjoyable film that someone with no interest in X-Men thought fans want of a Wolverine film. For everything it gets right, it gets ten more wrong, and the hurried, breakneck pace of it all makes it one of the harder X-Men films to swallow, even at a mere 107 minutes.

Save your time, save your money, and skip this film. The team behind the following X-Men films certainly did.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine gets a 3/10.
June 5, 2014
Great action & surprises, but not as good as the "perfect' 2013 Wolverine movie set in Japan. This one was always one to go back to for me because it has mystery/action/Reynolds/Gambit/Schrieber + Hood (the director of Ender's Game) to make a good movie about weird mutants and a guy in 1970's jeans and a beard, who really piles on the weirdness. It doesn't quite get nearly as good as the new Wolverine movie, but that one was an instant classic. This was a darn good movie, just not anywhere near a masterpiece. If I had to assign a number I would mark down a 7 maybe a 7.5 it's not really an 8 since I don't even own the disc, or plan on spending money on it to watch or rent or whatever. It wasn't THAT good but just another epic, forgettable blockbuster movie 7/10.
June 30, 2014
The worst movie in the franchise, the worst interptation of the comic characters, for example Deadpool and Gambit, thank gos Days of Future Past happened.
June 29, 2014
my first-ever x-men movie, in 2014. thoroughly enjoyed it and was actually sort of glad it takes place before the others, even though it was the 4th one released.
muffin0681
November 25, 2012
I own this on Blu-Ray in a six movie pack along with:
* X-Men (2000)
* X2 (2003)
* X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
* X-Men: First Class (2011)
* The Wolverine (2013)
Brandon C.
June 28, 2014
Hugh Jackman's outstanding performance couldn't save this movie. Bad cgi, bland storyline, and underused characters. The one thing that really bothered me about this movie was deadpool. They messed him up so badly.
sanjurosamurai
sanjurosamurai

Super Reviewer

May 3, 2009
the entire film worked incredibly well for me until the final act, which fell so flat that it left me feeling that the film as a whole lacked the direction that seemed to build well in the first two thirds of the movie. it wasnt just one or two things, but rather the entirety of the final act that took a wrong turn from the art direction, to the motivation of the characters, to the script itself. Entertaining but overall pretty bad.
Rowan O.
June 26, 2014
terrible film, they butchered lots of loveable characters and fan-favorite and we finally got Gambit after 9 years of waiting and yet he was barely in it. The one thing I give the movie credit for is Hugh Jackman as Wolverine.
December 13, 2008
Jackson is as good as ever but the film suffers from too many characters thrown together for not reason, and a script more focused on fighting than plot. The lack of a real powerful villain is also a huge disappointment.
Sarah P.
May 10, 2014
I want more Deadpool! They didn't have enough of Wade WIlson. Hugh Jackman is always great as Wolverine, the movie could never be one of the greats, though I did enjoy it somewhat. But Taylor Kitsch ruined Gambit. Don't let him near that role ever again.
Jacob Parkin
May 23, 2014
When I First Saw This I Thought It Was Pretty Good But Then After Constant Viewings After Viewings It Didn't Seem THAT Good To Me Ok I Know Hugh Jackman Is The Best Part Of The Film I Know But That Doesn't Help The Awful Script And Its Lame Acting But I Find This Movie Still To Be A Guilty Pleasure But Everything Else That's Terrible Still Gets In The Way....
June 18, 2014
While I have come to enjoy the X Men movies, ( First Class and Days of Future Past) this one not so much. This movie was just completely ludicrous, filled with very cliched characters, poor writing, and a story that'll just make you wonder " What the hell is this?" Even though Hugh Jackman was strong as Logan, all he got to do was act circles around his weak co-stars. Overall, this was a disappointing entry into the X-Men franchise. Hope the X-Men movies are much better than this.
4/10
Eric B.
August 12, 2012
This film had potential but was boring and very different than the comics.
June 4, 2011
A huge mess, but not nearly as heartbreaking as The Last Stand.
Turner
May 19, 2009
Yep, this one is pretty bad. While Wolverine has always been one of my favorite characters, and I loved his portrayal in all 3 films; I always felt that Wolverine should be the supporting character as opposed to the main character. And it's not just this film, the other three are defiantly guilty as well. But I was still excited to see us dive into the mysterious past. And given the fact that Gavin Hood is a very talented director, I was hoping we may get a decent film. Sadly I was really let down.

The film follows Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and his secret origins. He and his brother Sabertooth (Liev Schreiber) are two immortal mutants who have fought in every war since the civil war. They are recruited in the 70's by William Stryker (Danny Huston) to a top secret mutant squad to do various missions. But when one mission goes south, Wolverine has a change of heart and leaves the organization. He starts a new life with a beautiful new bride. Sabertooth however has different plans for Wolverine, and murders his wife for revenge. Angered and outmatched, Wolverine decides to make a deal with Stryker and undergo a dangerous experiment to defeat Sabertooth.

Out of all the X-Men films, with their highs and lows, this is by far the worst in the series. Even Last Stand at least had some redeemable values. It was just undermined by a messy plot and a lack of interest in its source material. This film has little to no redeeming values. While the other films did often lead too many characters or story lines, they at least were able to keeps the focus straight. This film is all over the place though. It lacks any sense of direction. We start with them as brothers in an orphanage and it's revealed that the man Wolverine stabs when he awakens his powers is his father. And then Sabertooth reveals his is his brother. And then they leave and never mention it again. It's never explained what happened in these scenes. Why were they at an orphanage? Why were they pretending that Wolverine wasn't related to them? Then they cut to a brief montage of them fighting in every war. Why? Do we learn anything from this? Does it help us understand them as characters? Nope. It's just glossed over in brief montages.

And the film just keeps switching focuses throughout. One minute we are in a revenge film, and the next it turns into a sci-if action flick. The movie just glosses over any moments that could have helped us understand Wolverine and his past. Instead we just get one action scene after another. By the end, Wolverine loses his memory, making everything feel even more pointless than it already was.

The action scenes rely heavily on CGI, and unfortunate they are mediocre at best. They lack any sort of grace or excitement. In one scene, Wolverine literally walks away from a explosion without looking back. There is no hint of of irony or intended humor. They play in completely straight. The scene feels like a dated 1980s film and this film doesn't seem aware that scenes like these are been parodied to the point of death.

But action is one thing. Even in films with lackluster action, the characters can at least make the story interesting. But unfortunately that is not the case. In the trilogy, Wolverine was clearly the funniest and most entertaining character. In this film, they suck up almost all of Hugh Jackman's charisma and charm that helped define the character. He feels less like John McClain and more like ever boring 80's action star. There is no humor, whit, or fun with him in this film. He just fights and regenerates. There is no risk of danger or vulnerability to this character. He feels like a walking until label machine. And I'm sorry but that's far less interesting than a character who can die or who can be killed. There is no emotional attachment to this character whatsoever.

And it's not as if he has a great supporting cast to back him up. Good actors all around, but most of these characters are bland and forgettable. Danny Huston lacks any of the menace or intrigue of Brian Cox in X2. His love interest is...just that, and nothing else. They hook up off screen and she dies ten minutes later. There is no reason to feel bad for her or care about the romance despite it supposedly being his motivation for killing Sabertooth. We no almost nothing about her, she barely appears before she is axed, and she had no chemistry with her co-star. She is just a plot device and nothing more. She briefly appears at the end to reveal that she was alive all along, but I really could not care less. It was a completely unneeded plot twist that only served to negate any investment I might have had with this story.

Most of the mutant cast is pretty bland as well. They receive almost no any defined characteristic or identity other than their powers. Even then some of them are not clearly defined (Agent Zero's power is to...shoot things really well? Deadpool's is to...move a sword very fast?). Will I Am has to be the worst in this though. It's painfully obvious he isn't an actor, given that he reads every line with the same monotone voice. Unfortunate, he is practically the only other mutant who interacts with him besides the antagonists. Most of these characters are shoved in with no rhyme or reason to the story. They add nothing to it and are just fan-service or set up for a spin-off. The only decent supporting character is Taylor Kitch as Gambit. And even he is barely in it.

But I will give the movie some credit. Liev Schriber is the only good thing about the film. While he doesn't look like either the comic version or the portray in the original series, he is by far the only one having fun here. He is menacing, scary, and downright badass. It's a shame that he probably won't get the chance to return to the character, given that he was one of the few things this movie did right.

I feel bad for Ryan Reynolds too. He is a decent actor, and did well in those early scenes as the iconic murk with the mouth Deadpool. But then the film makers decided to strip him of any of his iconic features and turn him into a silent, brainwashed, drone. I didn't know much about Deadpool before this movie. But even then I thought the final fight scene was underwhelming. It's boring and feels like every other action movie fight scene.

I can't blame the director to much for the film, given that the studios basically controlled it and gave him little to work with. They gave him scripts that night before filmings and made forced him to include the film with characters that added nothing to the story. It was a studio produced, soulless, and cash grap and it shows on screen. The film wasn't made to make a good story. It was made for a profit and nothing else.

*1/2 (out of 5)
Joe
June 14, 2014
The Last Scam was shit and this also fucking dissapointed me.
June 14, 2014
The style of the film and the performances make it watchable enough, but every single plot point has been done before. There is nothing original here.
April 2, 2014
worst movie in the franchise
June 13, 2014
It shouldn't be considered canon in the X-Universe.
Page 3 of 2588
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