The writers hired to script the X-Men movies truly are an amazing group of folks. They have somehow found a formula for producing scripts with less plot in each successive movie. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a shining example of how to take one of the coolest, most beloved and bad-ass comic book characters of all time and turn him into a boring, emo half-naked joke of a loser.
I was more than a little disappointed with this movie. I’ve been reading X-Men and Wolverine comic books for over 30 years now, and after the travesty that was X-Men: Last Stand, I had hoped Wolverine would be a fail-safe for a good movie. Never underestimate the power of Hollywood execs with dollar signs in their eyes to crush your hopes and dreams. Even my 11 year old son who loved the first three X-Men movies said Wolverine was only OK and had a difficult time coming up with a scene he really enjoyed.
For those who haven’t seen the movie, there are some spoilers after the jump. You’ve been warned.The movie opens in the mid-19th century. A boy, Jimmy, is sick in bed, and his brother Victor is angry because Jimmy is always sick. Two minutes later, two men are dead and Jimmy and Victor are running through the woods. As the opening credits roll we see them continue to run and kill their way through history going from the American Civil War, to WWI, WWII and ending in the Vietnam War. You quickly realize that Jimmy is Wolverine and Victor is his arch enemy Sabretooth.
In Vietnam, the two find themselves in front of a firing squad. Of course, since both can heal from any wound, the military puts them on a super-secret squad of mutants led by Colonel Bill Stryker. The squad includes John Wraith, a teleporter whose abilities seem eerily similar to Nightcrawler’s, Fred Dukes, who later becomes the Blob and Wade Wilson, aka Deadpool, played by Ryan Reynolds (yes, Ryan Reynolds). Wade is a joker who is able to walk through a hail of bullets by spinning his swords really fast, Wonder Woman style, deflecting them back at the shooters. After further wackiness involving killing some innocents, Jimmy decides he doesn’t want to be a part of the team, for ethical reasons of course.
Now we get to half-naked emo Wolverine. High on a mountain in the Canadian Rockies, he stands watching the sun rise in his shirtless, muscled and hairless chest glory. We meet his girl, Kayla Silverfox, who we know from the first moment she appears must die. Hit the fast forward button, Stryker finds him, Victor finds him, Jackman is still half-naked, Stryker convinces Wolverine to coat his skeleton with adamantium, Jackman is fully naked, more fights, people die, yada yada yada, the end.
Overall, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a cliche-ridden 107 minutes of your life you will not be able to reclaim. If it has one redeeming factor, it’s that the writers completely ignored the decades of canon built up around these characters.
Oh, wait. That’s a bad thing.