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X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE
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Reviewed by: Matt Withers

Directed by: Gavin Hood

Starring:
Hugh Jackman
Liev Schreiber
Danny Huston

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
We take a step back in history to find out how our favorite X-Man came to be the loveably gruff hack and slash berserker that we all dig. There's betrayal, lost love, brotherly rivalry, and all manner of scum and villainy. Why it's positively Shakespearian in it's scope.
Is it good movie?
The problems and disappointments of Wolvie's first dedicated feature have been pretty well catalogued, but include blatant disregard for continuity, crappy F/X, and generally nonsensical plot developments. Despite all those completely accurate criticisms, I still had a lot of fun with it.

The heart of the film is the hetero menage a trois of Logan, his half brother Victor Creed, and General Stryker. The three have a compelling interplay and each is played to perfection. Logan is torn by the conflict between his fundamental decency and loyalty to a brother who goes increasingly out of bounds. Victor pretty much wants to follow every violent, animal instinct he has, but is also deeply hurt when Logan leaves him. And Stryker, well he is one cold bastard who has the devil's gift for manipulation. It's tough to believe a non-mutant could have any control over these two dangerous brothers, but Danny Huston as the general makes us believe.

In fact, there's not a bad performance in the film, all the way down to Will.I.Am as Wraith. So even when way too many characters are introduced, and the story never really gets itself together, the film feels pretty strong because great actors save scenes that don't deserve them.

I'm not going to bother revisiting all the ways the F/X and storyline fail, because as mentioned above, that's been well trod. Suffice to say I'd have to agree with all the criticisms on that front.

Basically what we're left with is a movie that could have been amazing, but as it stands is far better than it really should be. I'd like to think this bodes well for the next Wolverine which is supposed to be the Japan storyline, but as long as the property is with Fox, I'd really rather they just leave it alone.

Video / Audio
Video: Widescreen 2.35:1

Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Surround and French / Spanish Dolby Surround along with English / French / Spanish subtitles

The Extras
Wolverine Unleashed: The Complete Origins: Typical movie featurette talking about how dedicated everybody is to making this a kick ass movie.

Anti-Smoking PSA: What?

Trailers

Last Call
I had fun with this. It's anchored by far stronger performances than the movie deserves and they really save the day. I expect casual X-Men fans will have a much easier time stomaching the major continuity issues that arise than hard core fans. Which is a shame, because there's no reason for this character, as played by Hugh Jackman, to be anything less than a full scale crowd pleaser. But Fox has continuously shown a callous disregard for their audience, so I don't suppose we should be surprised.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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