Oh. My. Goodness. Yep, it was that good. Within ten seconds I knew that X-Men Origins: Wolverine was going to be awesome, and it was – from start to finish.
Hugh Jackman (Deception) reprises his role in this prequel that explores Wolverine’s inception, from the childhood moment when his mutant nature was revealed, to the government manipulation he endures as an adult. I’m not familiar with the comic books, but I watched the animated show on Saturday mornings as a kid. I had no idea that Sabretooth and Wolverine were “siblings,” although I think they are kindred spirits rather than literal brothers. Logan (Wolverine) discovers his mutant ability as a child, when his emotions bubble to the surface and his bones extend beyond his flesh, creating sharp claws and deadly weapons. Sabretooth, meanwhile, has cat-like reflexes with teeth to match.
In one of the best opening sequences ever, we see Wolverine and Sabretooth fighting as comrades and brothers in various wars throughout the 20th century, invincible and immortal. And hot. Especially Wolverine. Sabretooth (Live Schriber) looks a little too menacing and sinister to be hot. He’s just scary. Anyway, everything is good with the pair until they are approached by the government and asked if they’d “really like to serve their country.” The government assembles a mutant task force to carry out random covert (and probably borderline illegal) operations. One such opportunity involves the takedown of some shady characters by Ryan Reynolds’ character, some dude who is EXTRA NICE with a machete, deflecting bullets left and right and even slicing one in half. It was sweet! The whole movie was an adrenaline rush, the perfect blend of special effects and action. When the task force is asked to begin eliminating mutants and civilians,Logan draws the line and refuses. His brother is game, and this signals the end of their relationship. Sabretooth has a dark side;Logan, not so much. He does however have an inner rage that surfaces when pushed. That is exactly what happens when the government, led by one William Stryker, refuses to take no for an answer. Logan retired to a quiet, simple, remote life with his soul mate Kayla. They seem to be in love, and she becomes the inspiration for the moniker Wolverine, after sharing a story withLogan about a man/creature whose unrequited love causes him to howl sadly at the moon. Stryker uses Kayla to disruptLogan’s life and draw him back into the fold, manipulating him for personal gain. He convincesLogan to become fitted with a liquid metal that will adhere to his bones permanently, rendering him virtually indestructible. WhileLogan was living the simple life, someone began picking off members of the task force. Stryker claims that he needsLogan to hunt down the killer and protect the rest of the team. He endures the excruciating experiment under the guise of justice, but quickly discovers that he is being victimized as well. At this point he is on the run, seeking out Sabretooth so that he may avenge what he and Stryker have done to Kayla. I’m purposefully being vague about what exactly happens to her and spursLogan to action, so that I don’t completely spoil the movie. Logan’s pursuit allows for some amazing action and fight sequences and the introduction of heretofore unseen characters, like Gambit – a bayou boy with more than a few card tricks up his sleeve.
I won’t recite the entire movie; I think I’ve said more than enough to draw you in. This is what the summers are made for – popcorn flicks just like this one. Whether you’re a fan of the franchise or not, I think Wolverine was just a good movie, period. There’s nothing to dislike. Hugh Jackman and Live Schriber embodied their characters perfectly: one moralistic and resolute, the other amoral and cruel. It was awesome. I’m actually going to see it again. A perfect ten.
This article first appeared at www.poptimal.com and was reprinted with permission.