X-Men Origins: Wolverine review

405px-Wolverinetheatricalposter_aWhen I saw the first X-Men film, way back in 2000, 2 Canadian girls sitting next to me audibly gasped upon seeing the bare chested Wolverine debut. And with good reason. Hugh Jackman cuts a menacing figure, and he’s only been getting buffer in every film. I say that from a strictly heterosexual point of view, by the way. So as the X-Men films continued to be released, offering increasingly spectacular action, and Marvel cameos, it was only  a matter of time until Logan received the honour of his own flick. It’s no surprise that Wolvie is the most popular X-Man, even headlining the recent (and excellent) animated series. He’s a bad boy.

This Gavin Hood directed film is a disappointment though. Wolvie deserves better. I’m happy to see that the humble Jackman has always respected his roots. This hairy character created his career, and he doesn’t forget it. Unfortunately the screen writers do. Now this film wasn’t produced by Marvel’s film studio, so it’s not as faithful to the source material as Iron Man, but it does it’s best with its constraints to give a nod to the fans. Certain lines that Wolvie says are some of his well-known quotes, and the cameos of other mutants, such as Gambit and Deadpool are welcome, but are barely screen-worthy.

I was expecting a film closer to the comics, but I also understand that Logan’s history is murky at the best of times. It’s only been in recent years that Marvel has offered a definitive version of the character’s origin, in the great Paul Jenkins & Andy Kubert Origin series. Fans of the X-Men films may well enjoy this, and see familiar, though again, unnecessary faces like Cyclops and a walking Professor X. The Weapon X project glimpsed in X2 is seen in more detail here and thanks to the 2 different alternate post-credits endings,we know that more Wolverine films (and a Deadpool) one are certainties. In the comics, Wolvie is a short, surly killer. He’s been cleaned up for the films and fans will wonder why. The main difference from the comics would be the fact that Sabretooth is Logan’s brother, while that has only ever been hinted at by Marvel.

Origin TPBThis really is bland action film, with no concern for Logan’s love life and no complete understanding of his motivations. The special effects are okay, Liev Scrieber as a lunging Sabretooth rocks and the ending makes sense to those who wondered upon seeing the trailer how Wolverine met Cyclops and Sabretooth, yet forgot them in the first X-Men film. At times, Logan’s claws are very fake looking and the character is really only referred to as Jim or Logan prior to his adamantium lacing procedure, rather than James Howlett as he was in the comics. There’s also no sense of a proper time-frame, though it should be set in the 1980s primarily.  At least he acknowledges his Canadian heritage though. Origins should’ve been better. Fanboys won’t be pleased and film fans won’t have any satisfactory answers. If you want more Wolverine in your diet, go to your local comic shop, or wait for the DVD of this film and the obligatory, but welcome doco on the history of the character.