Thursday, 7 May 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine Review

With the success of the X-Men series of films, and the popularity of the title character this movie has been pretty much certain for some time. However, whether it would be any good has been the topic of some debate, particularly after popular characters such as Deadpool and Gambit were announced to appear in the film. The director Gavin Hood was under immense pressure to do these characters justice, and in my opinion he succeeds...Just about.

The plot is fairly faithful to the comic books, and follows yes you guessed it...Wolverine's origin story, as he is enlisted in Team X and subjected to the adumantiam bonding process. The plot is decent, but many aspects of it make little sense. Sabretooth's motivations are bizarre, and are never really properly explained, causing him to be a somewhat unsatisfying antagonist for Wolverine. Wolverine himself was also somewhat bland, Hugh Jackman is a decent, likeable actor but struggles to effectively portray Logan's inner turmoil, and the struggle between man and beast that often makes him such a compelling character. Also, despite the history between the two characters there is little chemistry between them on screen, not helped by the fact that most of Sabretooth's dialogue is composed of terrible one liners. 

The rest of the cast are decent, with in particular impressing as John Wraith, a very minor character from the comics. Most of the others are hit and miss; Taylor Kitsch as Gambit is nowhere near as bad as he could have been, but doesn't exactly nail the cajun, his accent in particular being very dodgey. There has been a lot of furore over Deadpool's brief appearance, I'm not going to comment on the change that occurs later in the movie as it will obviously be reversed but I thought Ryan Reynolds was a good choice as the merc with the mouth, and I look forward to seeing his role expanded in possible future films. 

Lastly I have to comment on the brilliant action sequences, despite some rubbish CGI the fight scenes in this film were truly fantastic, and drag it kicking and screaming away from mediocrity. Overall a decent effort, while hardly up there with the likes of Spider-Man 2 and X-Men, far better than it could, and perhaps should have been. I would be happy to see a sequel.