Lauren J. Howlett returns to the The Flashback/Backslide Marvel Blogathon with a review of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Check out Lauren’s review of X-Men: The Last(ish) Stand. Lauren will return later this week with a review of one of her favorite Marvel movies; Thor.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
AKA: X-Men 4
AKA: The Legend of Hugh Jackman’s Abs And Just How Big Can His Shoulders Possibly Get?
AKA: The Liev Schreiber Story: A Genocide of Chickens
Since watching X-Men: The Last Stand, I have been eagerly anticipating this film for two big reasons:
#1: As anyone who read my review of X-Men: The Last Stand, or talked with me about X-Men can tell you, I am in love with Hugh Jackman and/or his epic hair. In fact, Damien gently talked me down from writing this entire review as a ballad to his abs.
#2: I have been waiting for a satisfying explanation for Wolverine’s kickass powers for three movies! We did get some information about William Stryker in X2: X-Men United, but were left on the edge of our seats when Stryker told Wolverine the adamantium injection was voluntary. (What? Tell us more! Don’t end the movie now, dammit!). Logan remains a (sexy) mystery throughout X-Men: The Last Stand. To be fair, X-Men: The Last Stand was a big non-sexy mystery for a multitude of reasons that do not bear repeating. Long story short (too late!) we finally learn something about why Logan has amnesia and what he has been blocking out all these years.
Post-viewing I have four comments to make: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, and The Hilarious.
Casting in this movie is incredible. Liev Schreiber is convincing as this violent, arrogant brother with his pride dependent on being the stronger of the two. Hugh Jackman’s portrayal is full of nobility, revenge, and hair gel. They have a palpable relationship built on loyalty and torn apart by betrayal. Their fight scenes are exciting and physical. And Ryan Reynolds was a surprising choice, but it works.
Oh, and obviously all of Hugh Jackman’s muscles, both individually and as a whole entity, are in this category. But I will spare you the delicious details.
The movie confused me because Sabretooth seems to be a completely different character than the mute Sabretooth in the first X-Men movie. The Sabretooth/Wolverine brother storyline has some continuity issues in the comics as well but the upgrade here makes me like the first X-Men slightly less.
Three words: the bone claws. *Shudders*. I was so uncomfortable during the first half of the movie because it seemed like any second they could snap off like the world’s most painful twigs. And of course, eventually, that does happen, and waves of nausea roll around the theatre. And my living room.
My favorite bit of trivia about this movie:
So obviously Hugh Jackman is a one-man mountain of muscle since he has been training for nine years for the role of Wolverine. However, in the movie, Sabretooth is just as big and strong as Wolverine. Unfortunately for Liev, he had not been training like a madman his whole life, so he was put in a muscle suit to be similar in size to Jackman. This tragic blow to his masculinity (in combination with internet comments from concerned fans) motivated him to train for the next 3-4 months and gain an impressive 30 lbs of muscle so he didn’t need the suit after all. I love this story, and admire his dedication to the character and also the fact that he called his protein-intensive diet “a genocide of chickens.”
Bottom-Line: Overall, X-Men Origins: Wolverine was a solid comic book movie and a welcome addition to the X-Men series after X-Men: The Last Stand. Lots of fun characters make appearances. Wolverine and his hair do not disappoint.
Thanks for reading!
Lauren from Flashback/Backslide
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