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X-Men Origins – Wolverine

July 6, 2010

X-Men Origins – Wolverine

This is basically what I expected from an X-Men Origins film, a fun romp, not all that much in terms of plot and basically not all that much in terms of acting.  I wasn’t disappointed at all with that aspect, however, some mindless summer films are better than others, and this one was just alright with limited rewatchability save for the best character in X-Men, Gambit.

The story starts with with James and Victor (Wolverine and Sabertooth) fleeing the village in the Northwest Territory where they have lived and promising to take care of each other.  They make it through the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War thanks to their regenerative powers, but fall apart as Wolverine has try and keep Sabertooth in check.  They join up with a team of mutants led by the US Government and Major William Stryker.  The team takes on the brutal mentality of Sabertooth and Wolverine quits the team.  Time passes and Stryker comes to Wolverine for help as someone has been killing off members of the team, and Stryker gives Wolverine his adamantium shell.  Things don’t go as planned and Wolverine suspects more is going on then he has been told, he tracks down Gambit with some help and they end up going to a Three Mile Island facility where experiments are being performed on mutants.  Wolverine sets them free and then faces off with the help of Sabertooth against Deadpool.

The acting in this film is subpar, the performance by Hugh Jackman is entertaining enough to watch, but no one would mistake it for a good acting performance, and in a film that relies mainly on action, that isn’t the biggest deal, but the story is predictable enough that there needs to be something more than just action.  Ryan Reynolds gives a kind of annoying performance ad Deadpool.  Some of that is intentional, because prior to becoming Deadpool they quip about how he can never shut up.  The rest of the performances are pretty pedestrian.  Even Taylor Kitsch, who plays Gambit who is my favorite X-Men, gives an entertaining enough performance, but nothing that is all that memorable or well acted.  It is mainly just fun to see him on screen.

Visually they do well creating a lot of action scenes and a lot of impressive action scenes.  In terms of action you won’t be bored, but in terms of story this film is only a slight step up from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.  Gavin Hood the director wasn’t given a ton to work with, but he really doesn’t do anything special with the story or gets anything special from the talent to make this any better then a pretty below average superhero action film.  And while there is some depth to Wolverines character that could have been played on more, this is primarily glossed over, which is disappointing for as interesting a character as he is.  Skip Woods and David Benioff don’t really do anything to develop this story beyond the below average.

I like the X-men so this was disappointing (as disappointing as Gambit never showing up in the X-Men movies).  Jackman makes a good Wolverine, but he was given nothing to work with in terms of a story that could have had a lot of depth and emotion.  This film is probably one that should be skipped more often than watched, but it has a little bit of entertainment value.

Entertainment Grade: C+

Critical Grade: D

Overall Grade: C-

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