REVIEW: X-MEN Origins: Wolverine

GATW Guest Writer

April 30th, 2009

Rating 7/10

We have our first summer movie of 2009 with X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE.  With awesome trailers and being part of a franchise with a solid movie pedigree, it's a film that certaintly appears like a great way to kick off a summer movie season.  On top of this, the film focuses on almost everyone's favorite X-MEN character, sir Badass himself, Wolverine (I'm pretty sure Dr. Seuss used the term badassness often in his writing, so I'm going to count it as a word).  Unfortunately, those expecting summer greatness will be disappointed, as WOLVERINE never becomes the summer spectacle you would like it to be; however, it is fairly fun, empty-headed entertaiment.

Unlike last summer's more reality-oriented comic book adapations, IRON MAN and THE DARK KNIGHT, WOLVERINE has a high cheese factor to it due to some lame, heavy dialogue and cliché shots. The film's most trite moments include Wolverine's nemesis, Sabretooth (Liev Schreiber), saying, "Look what the cat dragged in," along with the film's other primary villain, General William Stryker (Danny Huston), screaming, "This is what you were meant to do!" in over-dramatic fashion as Wolverine refuses to help him. The best of these worst cheesy moments is when, after suffering a tragic loss, our heartbroken protagonist screams with all his body as the camera pulls away.  Those of you that have been desperately wondering if Wolverine saw REVENGE OF THE SITH I think will finally have closure on the issue, as Anakin has a similar moment in that film after finding out about his wife's death.

Because the screenplay doesn't exude the depth needed to carry it to be something more, the story here is really a basic revenge tale.  Wolverine and his brother Victor Creed (who becomes Sabretooth) get recruited by William Stryker to carry out questionable missions until Wolverine has enough and walks way.   Well, you know it doesn't end there as Creed and Stryker eventually meet up with Wolverine again and screw him over, causing our hero to go looking for both men.   Things go as you would expect, with the few possible suprises being ruined by information learned in the previous X-MEN films.

What largely salvages X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE into being a decent movie despite all its setbacks is the film's action, which is always well done and intense. At one point, Wolverine jumps onto a helicopter as a rocket blast gives him the neccessary power to leap from his motorcycle onto the airborne vehicle.    This is probably the most memorable action moment, but there are several others that come close as X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE has plenty to impress you with when it comes to the fireworks.    The film's fast-paced action sequences never feel tiresome, even towards the end when you have seen so much ass already kicked.

X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE has its stale aspects, but it is redeemed just enough by its many exciting moments to keep you from feeling cheated when you leave the theater.

Commenting Rules: Comments are intended to open up the discussion to our readers about the topics at hand, and as such should be offered with a positive and constructive attitude. If your comment is not relative to the above post or is disrespectful to the authors and readers, we reserve the right to delete it. Continued abuse of our good nature will result in banishment of the offender. Additionally, if you have any burning issues to point out to the GATW crew - typos, corrections, suggestions, or straight-up criticism - please email us instead of commenting here.

  • Chase Whale

    Your review was dead on, although I thought the CGI was pretty bad.

    PS “I’m pretty sure Dr. Seuss used the term badassness often in his writing, so I’m going to count it as a word” was brilliant.

  • Fronkensteen

    I third the agreement on how bad the CGI was! I was disappointed, because yes, X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE was supposed to be THE first hit of the summer! How could they let us down? I’m trying to figure out where all the money went– maybe they spent it all on facial hair and professional pet groomers to make Liev and Hugh look pretty. Who knows?

    But overall, I enjoyed the film and while it wasn’t ALL that I had expected and spent months hoping for, I felt like it was worth the wait!

  • BobManzano

    Your critic is very good and well said about the film. I did enjoy it just the same, but it did lack story line finesse to make more sense of the origins of Wolverine. I felt like I was getting morsels of each character and missing the main meal.

    Keep up the great work!!

  • Kacey3

    Maybe I was expecting less going in, or maybe all I was looking for was a good ride with some muttered aggression, but I got exactly what I was looking for. I wasn’t looking for any depth, and cliches serve a purpose like black hats and white hats of classic westerns. The action was over the top and even had me gasping from time to time, so it did the trick.

    As far as the CGI, only two instances really stick out in my mind as being god awful. When Wolvie is checking out his new claws in the bathroom, they looked like they were drawn in with crayon in post production, and Orville Redenbacher there at the end cracked my shit up!

    Regardless, I got what I wanted. Great action, an angry Wolverine bent on revenge, a smart ass Wade Wilson, and all the right cheesy cliches to pull them all together. I enjoyed it and would see it again.

    In fact, I have to admit that I was thoroughly impressed by the opening montage. The use of texture and 3D photo effect really made the credit sequence pop. I’d actually watch the whole movie again for that alone… well, that and Deadpool’s classic moment after the credits.

    (this brief review will likely be re-posted with edits to my blog)

  • Kacey3

    my thoughts, expanded:

  • Chase Whale

    I’d still go gay for Hugh.

  • SyCo

    I Agree whit Chase Whale, but other than that I would say the story was a bit lacking, It seems as though the Wolverine we know in the x-men trilogy is a much more interesting character than the one in x-men origins, But all in all it was a enjoyable film and Wolverine is still my all-time favorite x-men!

  • James Wallace

    Was I the only one puzzled by the use of CGI claws vs. the realistic ones we’ve all come to know and love and wanted to get our heads cut-off by for 3 previous films.

    There are moments where the claws looked more cartoonish than computer generated, similar in look to the over sized revolver in WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT?

    I thought the scene where he releases the claws for the first time could have been a very cool, emotional moment yet instead it was made into a slapstick scene with Wolvie fumbling around, slicing objects on accident like Edward Scissorhands.

    I mean they have the prop claws that look awesome and, better yet, are real. Did the prop guy lose them at the last minute or something? CGI is becoming a dangerous crutch in film. I find myself questioning more and more its odd use over practical effects.

  • Vega

    I think the pirated version on the net had better effects. I was really disappointed in all the hype they gave to Deadpool just to see him on screen for what maybe 20 minutes? Not even sporting his signature mask. Overall just a disappointing movie for any that follow the Marvel comic story lines.

  • Nomad

    i almost laughed out loud when the helicopter blew up, then blew up again, then one more time…

  • Chase Whale


    Yeah, I was like, “OK, we get it, it blew up.”

  • Traci_one

    Yeah, the CGI was way worse than roger rabbit. wtf?
    Also, when wolverine gets up from that helicopter crash you hear his claws retract, but they don’t actually retract until a second later…and it’s a slow retraction. I laughed at that.

    And YES! why did the workprint claws look better??

  • Recent Post