X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

DVD Cover (Twentieth Century Fox)
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> Worst Films of 2009
Overall Rating 58%
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Ranked #249
...out of 13,217 movies
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Hunted down like prey and always on the run, the mutant half-siblings, James Logan and Victor Creed, roam this earth for nearly two centuries. Having survived an endless string of devastating wars thanks to their incredible regenerative and self-healing abilities, the brothers, eventually, will part ways when Colonel William Stryker offers them a chance at redemption. However, against the backdrop of a personal loss, Logan will also confront an even bigger challenge--one that brings him head-to-head with the ugly face of retribution, and a technologically enhanced mighty adversary. Has the wild Wolverine the tools to vanquish him? --IMDb
Review by Crispy
Added: July 08, 2009
The last X-Men movie was, how to put this delicately, hated with an intense passion by 95% of people who saw the movie. Even though I was able to enjoy it more than most, the wanton killing of numerous key characters left quite a bad taste in my mouth as well. Not only was this a poor decision in terms of fan response, but it also severely limited the franchise as far as sequels are concerned. Until they can figure how to sort that mess out, the powers that be have decided to throw a few prequels at us. The first of the Origins series focuses on perhaps the most famous X-Man of them all, Wolverine.

In 1845, little James Howlette watches his father get shot by his groundskeeper. The sight catalyzes his body to undergo his dormant mutation, and bone claws push their way out of his hands. In his rage, he stabs his father's killer, who in his dying breath reveals that he is actually James' father. The man's other son, Victor (who is also a mutant with similar powers), takes James aside and tells him they must always stand together. And stand together they do, fighting side by side in the American Civil War, both World Wars, and Vietnam. The shit hits the fan in 'Nam, where Victor is about to rape a local woman, then killing the officer who attempts to stop him. Since James was physically defending his brother, he shares his punishment: death by firing squad. Their inevitable survival attracts the attention of Major Stryker, the leader of Team X, a mutant team. While Victor loves his new duties, James quickly tires of the group's blatant disregard for innocent human life, and leaves the group. Six years later, he has started a new life in the mountains of Canada, living with his girlfriend as a lumberjack. However, it seems he can not just walk away from his past, as his brother has gone rogue, and has come looking for blood. Shortly after, Stryker arrives to give him the opportunity to finally beat Victor. An opportunity that involves an extremely painful procedure concerning a certain indestructible metal.

First of all, I don't know who the hell made the decisions with Sabretooth here, but they could stand to be smacked around a bit. The brother bit was just blatantly made up for this movie, and in a lot of ways, it ruins the relationship between the two characters. These guys hated each other with a bitter passion, and growing up fighting side by side undermines that hatred to a crippling degree. Now, even though they're enemies, there's always that love deep down for each other, which accomplishes nothing but watering down the feud. On top of it, Liev Schreiber was a terrible casting decision. It's not so much that the man gave a poor performance, he just did not have the ferocity that Sabretooth needs. Honestly, I probably would have been happier if they had brought back Tyler Mane to replay the role from the first film. Mane certainly wouldn't have given an award winning performance, but he would have brought the brutality that was sorely missing. Deadpool was treated quite horribly as well. Now, explaining what went wrong with him is treading pretty deep into spoiler territory, but suffice it to say the ball was dropped. The ball was dropped hard. Sadly, they weren't the only mutants to get their stories twisted for no good reason. The Blob was just thrown in there for the sake of being in there, with some retarded "eating disorder" plotline to explain his weight. Gambit was also missing the little things that make the character, like his trademark eyes and accent. Would it have killed them to pop some contacts in to make the fans happy?

The rest of the film just felt really uninspired. I can't quite put my finger on what it was that didn't sit well with me, but I'm sure that the aforementioned character gripes were a big part of it. I think the biggest part of it was how meandering the plot was though. It covered a lot of ground throughout its running time, without fully delving into any of it. For example, we only get a quick glimpse of his new life once he leaves the military, so we don't get much of a chance to accept how happy he is before it's taken away. It's almost like there were two or three main plots that would switch off as the movie went along. Granted, it's not a jarring transition going from one section to the next, but it's not without its drawbacks.The special effects were kind of lacking too. Sure, the eye blasts looked pretty cool, but Wolverine's claws were completely CGI 100% of the time, and they didn't really look like part of his hands so much as superimposed over the film. They would have been much better off using the computer for the extraction, but then switching to actual prosthetic claws attached to his fists. Sabretooth wasn't handled very well either. Scenes where he was supposed to be moving on all fours looked extremely awkward. A little work making him more fluid would have gone a long way.

Until they can figure out how to fix the initial X-Men series, it seems we'll have quite a few more prequels to keep us busy. Magneto and Deadpool are slated for their own movies, Gambit's been announced as a possibility, they're even looking into a Wolverine sequel. Hopefully the results are a bit more satisfying than this one. This wasn't painfully horrible, but it was sure lacking. 5/10.
Lucid Dreams #1: Lucid Dreams - added 07/08/2009, 12:44 PM
When he was in the bathroom looking at his claws I couldn't help but laugh at how fake they looked. 6/10
Nirrad #2: Nirrad - added 07/08/2009, 02:56 PM
OMG, yeah seriously. It looked absolutely horrible. I don't get why they just didn't use props for that part. Ah well, I enjoyed the movie though. I know nothing of X-Men so I actually enjoyed this. 7/10 seems about right.
steveoutr #3: steveoutr - added 07/09/2009, 08:30 AM
they rushed it. could have been something really good. 5/10
Chad #4: Chad - added 09/23/2009, 03:36 AM
Decent movie and I loved seeing Gambit get some time to shine, but the CGI in this was fucking awful. Oh, and the opening was so clichéd that I almost wanted to puke. So, yeah, decent. 5/10.
Griffinheart #5: Griffinheart - added 10/21/2009, 10:25 PM
I'd rather watch a documentary on fiesty mammals on the Discovery channel...
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