Guest Review: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Site member and pop culture pundit Johnny M reviews X-Men Origins: Wolverine for us. You can read more of Johnny’s reviews and writing in his blog. And let us know what you thought of the movie, here or in the Forum.

Title: X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Director: Gavin Hood
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Liev Schrieber, Danny Huston, Ryan Reynolds
Rating: 3 out of 10


This is the story of Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), aka Logan, aka James Howlett, aka the mutant with the metal claws, although his past has been alluded to in the three previous X-Men films, of which he was the primary character. The film shows how Wolverine went from a sickly child in the 1800s to a relentless warrior with his half-brother Victor/Sabretooth (Liev Schrieber) at his side. Both are recruited by William Stryker (Danny Huston) to join a special all-mutant military squad, but when a mission goes wrong, Wolverine leaves the group and tries to begin a normal life. Stryker, however, will stop at nothing to get him back and bring him into the fold.

In the previous X-Men films, Hugh Jackman fit well into Wolverine’s iconic adamantium claws. He still works here, too, but whereas those films were sharp and entertaining, this one is dull, lifeless and maddeningly transparent. Director Gavin Hood was a strange, ill-fitting choice to make a headstrong action film (he’s mostly known for the overhyped South African drama Tsotsi) and his inability to stage a clear, compelling action sequence is one of the film’s biggest and more egregious flaws. Fistfights are blurs of movement accented with quick facial reaction shots. At least a dozen directors could have made more fluid, vibrant set pieces at the same salary (Pierre Morel and Kurt Wimmer spring to mind). Hood’s also fond of the “star wipe” approach to directing and believes that if something worked once, it will work again no matter how many times he repeats the same sequence over and over again (Wolverine screaming “NO!” to the heavens, Wolverine and Sabretooth charging at each other, etc.).

(Read the rest of Johnny’s review after the jump.)

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