Leading up to the events of “X-Men”, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” tells the story of Wolverine’s epically violent and romantic past, his complex relationship with Victor Creed and the ominous Weapon X program. Along the way, Wolverine encounters many mutants, both familiar and new, including surprise appearances by several legends of the X-Men universe whose appearances in the film have long been anticipated.
Director Gavin Hood hasn’t quite reached superstar status in Hollywood. It’s not due to his lack of efforts either. He brought an amazing foreign film “Tsotsi” to us back in 2005. He then took on a risky political film called “Rendition,” and wasn’t afraid to show us what our government keeps secret from the public eye. After being given the chance to create the next installment in the “X-Men” franchise, his name won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
The Al Borland (Home Improvement) groomed, adamantium clawed superhero from Marvel is back in this action packed “X-Men” side story. The story picks up with the boy who later becomes Wolverine, finding out some shocking news about his family history. He and his brother share a special bond that no other siblings have before. You get to see the two mutant brothers fight their way along side one another through three or four major wars in our history. The government tracks down Logan (Jackman) and his brother Victor Creed (Schreiber) to be part of a special assignment. They agree to take part until innocent people start becoming the targets. After losing the girl he loves, Logan agrees to take part in an experimental surgery, enhancing his attributes, and making him nearly unstoppable. Now, there’s just one thing left on his mind. He has to make good on his promise to hunt down and kill his brother “Sabretooth,” who turned on him.
Before viewing “Wolverine,” I’d only seen the first “X-Men” movie in the franchise. It really didn’t do much for me, but I may have to go back and give them another shot. Gavin Hood totally hooked me in just the opening sequence of this film. “Wolverine” comes at you in a style like “Running Scared” meets a Guy Ritchie film. I dare say that Hood made “Wolverine” every bit as cool as Favreau made “Iron Man.” Liev Schreiber hadn’t done much worth mentioning since the “Scream” franchise until this year. His role in “Defiance” was outstanding, and seeing him play “Sabretooth” wasn’t too shabby either. Casting Ryan Reynolds as “Dead Pool” must have been the right choice, because Hollywood’s already putting together his own spin off movie as well. The action scenes left me very satisfied, and Hugh Jackman has the lead role on lock down, after playing the clawed mutant four times over. I wouldn’t complain one bit if they decide to make another stand alone “Wolverine” movie. I do think keeping Hood on board for the next installment would be nothing but a wise choice. The nice thing about the “X-Men” franchise is that they have many avenues they can choose to follow for follow up chapters. It’s no wonder this movie was the number one renter in my store for 3 weeks straight.
There are an impressive amount of special features on the Blu-ray version including: commentaries, deleted and alternate scenes with commentary, and a TON of featurettes.
Review by Charlie Giltenboth
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Buy on Amazon: Wolverine