X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Dir: Mark Stouffer
Star: Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Danny Huston, Lynn Collins

I am struggling to start this review. I mean, I kinda enjoyed it - especially when the action got all excessive and ludicrous - but the storyline definitely leaves a bit to be desired. Mutant half-brothers Romulus and Remus James Howlett (Jackman) and Victor Logan (Schreiber) have been fighting wars since the mid-19th century. They're now part of Team X under Colonel Stryker (Huston), but James has qualms over what he is asked to do, and leaves the group to become a lumberjack in Canada, taking his father's name of Logan. Six years later, someone then starts offing the former members of Team X: turns out it's Victor, and he murders Logan's schoolteacher girlfriend (Collins). Stryker offers to turn Logan into an indestructible killing-machine, by reinforcing his skeleton with adamantium, a metal obtained from a meteorite. However, Logan refuses to have his memory erased and escapes. Turns out that Stryker is actually in league with Victor and... Well, there's other stuff, but it's not necessary to the plot.

Having written that all down, my thoughts are somewhat clearer now. I enjoyed the mad stupidity of some of the fights, such as the one where Logan goes from a bike, to a truck, to the decapitation of a helicopter (it makes sense when you see it), or the final three-way dance atop a cooling tower at Three Mile Island. However, the stuff between the fights feel some way short of keeping my interest intact, and there were elements of the plot which seemed to be there for no other purpose than the story needed them, rather than logically following-on from the circumstances, such as Stryker's decision to wipe Logan's memory. As with the other X-Men films, there are just too many mutants roaming about: what is novel and has the potential to be cool when these special abilities are rare, basically ceases to be entertaining once those without special powers become the minority. When everyone is abnormal, where's the fun in that?

[April 2010]

Wolverine sharpens up
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