X-Men Origins: Wolverine - Blu-ray Review

'the X-Men franchise is still a really very marketable one but if below-par, lazy, efforts like this continue then it soon won't be'

As X-Men Origins: Wolverine gets to about the fifteen minute mark, things are going swimmingly. We've been treated to a very dynamic title sequence which shows us both Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and sibling Victor (Liev Schreiber) participating in every major conflict the world has ever seen and introduces the fact that a) Victor might be a bit mad and b) although they're brothers, they might not get on too well and we've seen Danny Huston in top-notch slime ball mode as William Stryker. So far so good.

But then Ryan Reynolds appears on screen and proceeds to attempt to reprise his pathetic wise-cracking loser role from another film with a colon in the title (Blade: Trinity) and everything quickly starts to spiral downhill.

For a start after Reynolds has appeared and disappeared and Wolverine and Stryker's relationship has inevitably soured and Dominic Monaghan has done some stuff with a light bulb and good ol' Hugh has settled down in a log cabin with Lynn Collins and Schreiber has reappeared and done some Really Bad Things, it still feels like we're doing the pre-amble before the plot starts. And that's about twenty-five minutes in. To a one-hundred and seven minute film. Which doesn't leave a lot of time for something proper to develop and, shock-horror, eventually nothing 'proper' really does.

We get things we know we're going to see (the introduction of the Adamantium to Wolverine's body), inevitable meetings (Wolverine vs Sabretooth) and short sharp introductions to more interesting characters (Taylor Kitsch's Gambit, a personal favourite) but never anything that really does enough to captivate or suggest itself as something original or vaguely interesting. There's too much here that feels like it's pressured by the previous films and parts of it (the island escape in particular) feel like they actually were in the previous films.

There's loads of plot exposition too in a craggy script that most of the cast manage to deliver with a straight face but by the time some woeful CGI had crept in towards the very end it looked pretty clear that corners had been cut here and the film Wolverine promised to be way back at the start wasn't going to materialise. The X-Men franchise is still a really very marketable one with a massive amount of ready-made great material waiting to be produced but if below-par, lazy, efforts like this continue then it soon won't be, as audiences turn to look for something fresher that actually fulfills its promise.

Look further...

'since Wolverine doesn’t remember his origin in X-Men and has to reminded in X-Men II – none of the events here have any real importance to the character development of the Canadian superhero' - The M0vie Blog


  1. Today on The LAMBcast, I used this as an example that hiring a great (in this case Oscar-winning) director, does NOT promise awesomeness when it comes to comic book movies.

    For further proof look at Ang Lee's work with HULK, and Brian Singer's work on SUPERMAN RETURNS.

  2. I think that's a good argument yes although I would probably suggest in counterpoint that, although it has suffered from a bit of a backlash over recent years, SUPERMAN RETURNS was actually well-received at the time and I think it's far from a bad film. And, although Hood has an Oscar, you could also point out that he's not a sure-bet as a director (I thought Rendition was pretty bad).

    There's also perhaps the argument that it could just be coincidence. People who KNOW their comic books have also ballsed it up (Goyer, BLADE: TRINITY).

    But I do take your point, largely agree with it and look forward to listening to that LAMBcast; telling a comic book story does require a special understanding of the medium and I wouldn't disagree that Hood doesn't seem to have it.

  3. I saw this at the cinema in 2009, and just watched it for the first time since then to bridge the gap between rewatching the original trilogy and a first watch of First Class. I felt exactly the same about it now as I did then - particularly that the opening credits montage of Logan and Victor fighting their way through the second half of the 19th Century and most of the 20th would have made a far more interesting film than anything ORIGINS: WOLVERINE actually delivers.