Wolf it down, babyby Zoe Henry / 30.04.2009
Our boy Gavin has done it! Skipped on over to the land of milk and honey, and sent back a product that is so garishly American it makes your bottom jaw succumb to the law of gravity. I spent the first 40 minutes of the film staring at the screen in disbelief mouthing like a guppy, “I can’t believe this director’s South African. It’s so American.”
But this isn’t something that Gavin Hood should feel bad about. And honestly, I doubt that he does. He’s done a bang-up job with X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It has an angry protagonist, a couple of tricksy antagonists, explosions, cheesy one-liners, awesome car chases, and fight scenes that may inspire the signing up for a kung-fu class or two. It’s classic comic book film formula. Not every comic book film can be The Dark Knight you know.
Logan is just a messed up guy. Practically immortal owing to phenomenal healing abilities, he goes from century to century, putting his expert fighting skills into what he thinks matters. Serving in almost every important war in American history during the visually impressive title sequence, he eventually gets drafted into a unit made up of other mutants, all with powers akin to Logan’s. When it becomes apparent that this unit gives into their animal instincts far more than Logan is comfortable with, he abandons army duty and becomes a lumberjack in the Canadian Rockies. He meets a nice nursery school teacher and settles down for the quiet life. But of course, since this is a comic book film, the baddies catch up to him and start to add a little noise to his life. Serious fans of the comic book will be happy to know that the absence of Gambit during the last three films has finally been eradicated, and he makes his cinematic debut in rugged style.
Hugh Jackman is a little hammy in his portrayal of Wolverine. There are a few moments where he looks up to the heavens and screams in frustration, and by the third time he does this it’s lost whatever little oomph it had the first time. He’s very good at dishing out the one-liners though. Liev Schreiber as Sabretooth may seem like odd casting, but he really got into the role and actor and character are now one. There is nothing in those eyes but pure evil.
A very promising start to the X-Men Origins franchise. It’s a neat little prequel that leads up beautifully to where the first X-Men film starts, although the minor cameo by Professor X to presumably assist in the flow feels a little tacked on. But it makes me wanna see the next X-Men Origins, and I suppose that’s the point.