So X-Men: The Last Stand was not very good. I know, the hottest of hot takes. So I’m sure the stakes while making X-Men Origins: Wolverine were high as a result. 20th Century Fox needed to this to be good, damn it! This could be the start of an entire X-Men Origins, or possibly lead to an X-Men 4! That’s obviously not what happened, in part because this film was… Well, I’ll hold off on my opinion ’til later for dramatic effect.
The movie opens with scene pulled straight from 2001’s Origin limited series: a little rich boy (gay singer Mr. Troye Sivan in his first IMDB credit) pops bone claws and is revealed to be a baby Wolverine! After his father is killed, he kills the killer, who is his real dad. Some real Days of Our Lives shit. But that means he’s half-brothers with Victor Creed, AKA Sabretooth (Liev Schreiber). The two grow up together, fighting in countless wars until their regenerative capabilities single them out as abnormal. Enter William Stryker (Danny Huston) with an offer to join a special task force of mutant operatives. Wolverine leaves the team after a few missions, and years later is living a quiet life with Kayla Silverfox (Lynn Collins). When Sabretooth kills her, Wolverine agrees to team up with Stryker again to get revenge and that’s how he gets adamantium coating his skeleton. He breaks free immediately after, going on a naked rampage. Teaming up with John Wraith (Black Eyed Peas singer Will.i.am), he beats up the Blob (Kevin Durand) and tangles with Gambit (Taylor Kitsch, which reminds me to review The Covenant at some point). Arriving at Styker’s base, Wolverine finds out that Silverfox is alive! And works for Stryker! Wolverine and Sabretooth–still mad at each other–then fight the mute Weapon XI, AKA Deadpool. Weapon XI is defeated and several captured mutant children–including Scott Summers–are rescued by an uncomfortably smooth Patrick Stewart. But Silverfox is mortally wounded and an adamantium bullet to the skull wipes Wolverine’s memories… somehow. The movie ends with Stryker being apprehended for murder, and a singer that’s best to forget about.
I think this movie is… drumroll please… average. A little on the mediocre side, but I don’t hate it. Although I did hate it until rewatching it, mostly because of the absolute disaster that was Deadpool. At the beginning of the film he was a near perfect portrayal of Wade Wilson, but then they butchered him into an unrecognizable super threat and all potential is thrown away for a rather lame final villain (all because this is a flashback and we can’t kill Stryker). It’s a shame that nameless actor never went on to do anything.
As for the rest of the movie there’s an even balance of good moments and really dumb moments. Gambit starts off with a lot of potential! He’s a fan favorite, and there was even talks of Channing Tatum playing him in a solo movie! But while his fight with Wolverine starts off cool, it quickly becomes the un-fun kind of dumb. Elsewhere, Blob is a joke character, Chris Bradley and Agent Zero have interesting powers but are largely useless (except for reminding me that the Maverick and Weapon X series existed), and Stryker still somehow has a career after disobeying orders, murdering a military general, wasting a shit ton of money of a now rogue Weapon X/Wolverine, and being partially responsible for the near destruction of Three Mile Island. Also, Stryker knew that a bullet to the skull would scramble Wolverine’s memories? And that bullet stayed in there and wasn’t noticed when the X-Men did a full scan of him in the first X-Men movie? I don’t know guys, it almost feels like these movies love to create continuity problems for themselves.
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