Being the die-hard X-Men fan that I am and a fanatical admirer of Hugh Jackman, it was pretty much mandatory that I catch the latest flick of this combination – X-Men Origins: Wolverine almost as soon as it hit Indian screens. I personally have liked each one of the three movies of the X-Men series and admit to being a huge fan of the Wolverine character. Maybe the entire personality of Logan who unleashes his primal instincts of anger and killing at the drop of a hat, maybe the entire grim and nasty demeanor of the character, the dark past, all of these probably appealed to something inside the demented mind of mine to become a huge fan of this character in the ensemble cast. That being said, the fact that this was an entire movie devoted only to Wolverine made this a super-duper movie to me even before I watched it. So please do expect an extremely biased review of the movie to follow, although I will try and keep it somewhat neutral, if possible.
The movie begins with how young James Howlett sees his father being killed by Thomas Logan in 1845, and how this trauma activates the mutilation, bone claws which protrude from the boy’s hands. After killing Logan (who in his dying breath informs James that he is his real father), young James flees the spot with Victor Creed (who turns out to be Sabretooth), his brother. Somewhere, somehow both the brother realize their mutilation and their supposed immortality and spend the next century or so, doing what they do best, killing other people (because of their violent urges and skills), albeit as soldiers of armies in the American Civil War, the World Wars and other such wars.
The brothers are discovered by Major Stryker who recruits them in his Team X, a group of mutants which include Agent Zero – ace marksman, Wade Wilson – lethal swordsman and athlete, John Wraith – teleporter, Fred Dukes – the indestructible, and Chris Bradley – the telekinetic one. After a couple of missions, Logan realizes that Team X is a group of people who have scant respect for human life and are probably just an excuse for an execution squad or a bunch of mercenaries. He then decides to leave the team and go off on his own.
Some years later Logan is located by Stryker who warns him that someone is killing the rest of Team X. Victor reappears in Logan’s life and murders his girlfriend. This angers Logan who then agrees for Stryker to implant his skeleton and bones with adamantium, a virtually indestructible metal and rechristens himself as Wolverine. In his search for revenge against Victor, Logan stumbles upon the fact that Stryker is actually conducting experiments on other mutants in The Island.
With the help of Gambit, someone who has the ability to charge any object he touches with kinetic energy so that they explode, Logan makes it to the island thus setting the scene for an action packed finale to this movie. All said and done, the action sequences, the character sketches, the introduction of so many new mutants into the mix and the entire back story to Wolverine, all of these make for an awesome prequel to the entire X-Men series of movies.
What works for me in this movie is the fact that it never deviates too far from Wolverine the main character. Although there is a lot of scope for this movie to side-track into the various other new characters that are introduced, the script stays true to its name and restricts itself to the character sketch of Wolverine. Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and Liev Schreiber as Sabretooth make perfect foil for each other throughout the movie and as is the norm, any hero is only as good as the villain is, and therefore Liev’s casting works beautifully for this movie. The chemistry of the characters as well as the actors in the scenes they do together adds a lot of punch to this movie.
All in all this is a must-watch action movie for all X-Men fans and action-movie buffs. Yet another winner from the Hollywood Summer Blockbuster stable.
Wikipedia link to the movie
Rotten Tomatoes link