As the name states, Wolverine is an origin story for the beloved X-Men character, so let’s start at the beginning. The character of Wolverine was born through a very traumatic night when the young boy, Logan, learns that the murdered body he is mourning over is not really his father, his mother pulls the “what are you” card, and he is hunted. But the good news is that he gains a brother in Victor Creed (who eventually becomes Sabertooth), who is more than willing to spend the following slew of decades fighting in war after war until the present day. However, Logan is not satisfied in this lifestyle, nor does he have the bloodlust of his brother, so he turns his back on this world. Unfortunately, Victor sees this as an act of betrayal and decides to seek revenge on Logan for the rest of the film, killing anyone who stands in his way, including Logan’s girlfriend, which sends Logan along the path to becoming the not so organic Weapon X (AKA he trades his bones for metal).
With all the hype that has been built around this favorite comic book hero, it’s hard not to find this film disappointing. It starts out strong with the opening credit sequence showing Logan (Hugh Jackman) and Victor (Liev Schreiber) transitioning through the world by partaking in different wars; however, once the movie shifts to a revenge story, it loses something that I can’t quite put my finger on. But what I do feel is that most of this film seems really half-a**ed, as if it was a sure hit going in, and therefore didn’t need to try so hard. For starters, Logan’s character seemed off from what I have come to understand about him in the last three X-Men films (though this could be because Wolverine is about the man before he joined the X-Men), and he was surrounded by other’s that I just couldn’t really care about. For one thing, Victor’s motivation towards ruining Logan’s life is really vague, with sibling rivalry being the best guess of a source, making him no more than an incredibly lame character in serious need of a nail file. And speaking of his power, overall, the variance of mutant abilities doesn’t seem to branch out as far as once might hope, but instead, sticks to the indestructible / strong / weapon oriented types for the most part. Furthermore, in concern to character range, certain characters seemed to be thrown in just because they would be cool to do the CGI for (Cyclops, Gambit, Emma Frost, etc), and each death does not have resonance that it should.
But the thing that I really found odd was that for a character so filled with rage, I was never really impressed with a lot of the action. Instead, it just seemed like filler, especially considering the best moments came from Deadpool’s (Ryan Reynolds) sword prowess and from when Cyclops’s accidentally rips his school in half (both of which were shown in the previews).
One thing that I can say this film did well was the visual effects, however, this is hardly enough to keep this weak story from becoming more than just an empty summer blockbuster, full of more questions than it answers. And because of this, I would recommend trying to find a descent origin story in the comics instead, because hopefully it will do better at explaining the character of Wolverine than this.
Final Grade: C
PS – (SPOILER ALERT – THOUGH I AM NOT REALLY SURE IF IT IS CONSIDERED A SPOILER SINCE THIS SHOULD BE COMMON KNOWLEDGE BY NOW…) the way that Logan loses his memory in this film Is completely lame and seems to be one of those things that they almost forgot, so they just tack it on at the end of the film. It could have still been handled in a better way.
PPS – Can someone tell me why Logan and Victor stopped ageing when they got to this age? Or more importantly, why they don’t age at all? I understand that they are more or less immortal, but clearly they were kids in the beginning of the film (and Logan was sick), so what changed this?