Starring: Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Ryan Reynolds
Director: Gavin Hood
Running Time: 107 mins
X-Men Origins: Wolverine is an American film following the story of Wolverine from his early years to his days as a part of Team X, before first joining Professor X’s group of mutants.
It’s easy to understand why we got a Wolverine spin-off movie, he’s the most charismatic character of the entire X-Men series, so you’d think it’d be a no-brainer that his own movie would be great fun. Unfortunately, that really isn’t the case, as X-Men Origins: Wolverine squanders its main character and excellent lead performance with a generic and loud blockbuster story that places it in the doldrums of the modern superhero genre, far away from the rest of the X-Men series.
However, let’s start on the bright side, with the man at the centre of it all: Hugh Jackman. As disappointing as the majority of this movie is, the one thing that works really well is Jackman’s performance. Although we’ve seen him do better with better dialogue, he makes the best of a bad situation here, and gives as entertaining and charismatic a performance as possible, almost single-handedly saving this film from being a purely tedious and lifeless studio blockbuster.
Apart from Jackman, however, there’s nothing much else to write home about. Wolverine is a cool presence on screen, but the story is so thin and formulaic that we don’t get anything like the deep backstory that a film titled ‘Origins’ should definitely bring, and that means the stakes surrounding the character, as well as some other story lines centring on his own internal conflict, just aren’t that interesting.
Another big issue with this film is that its atmosphere is completely wrong. Although it’s admirable that it tries to go with something a little different from the shiny and modern main X-Men movies, the general visual vibe, which is mostly dark brown and black, along with the distracting camerawork, makes this film pretty unpleasant to watch, and sits it in a category much closer to the likes of Resident Evil or Underworld, but without the silly, comical fun.
On the whole, it’s fair to say that I was very disappointed by X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Largely because it squanders its main character and strong central performance, but also because of its visually drab atmosphere that’s worsened by a formulaic and dull blockbuster plot that offers very little in the way of intriguing or even engaging drama or thrills, and that’s why I’m giving it a 6.5.