X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE —-make that X + 3 = negative x, as the fourth time up for our Marvel-us mutant friends and the first of a trilogy spinoff focusing on the buffed-up, ticked off, hair-styled stud with handy claws. He can hurtle and hurt, heal without healing, and move pretty fast for a guy a century and a half old, one who’s been killing people through four wars yet has retained zen and a sense of humor. Faster than you can say “adamantine“, your supply of peace or puck may diminish a good while before the prayed-for 107th minute closes out this 2009 berserker bash. The tagline was “Witness the Origin“, which has more tie-in appeal than “We have Been There, Already, and Again.”
“Great. Stuck in an elevator with five guys on a high-protein diet.”
In the early 1840s, two brothers with extraordinary powers run away from home (logical after fratricide) and earn their keep, stripes and attitudes by slashing their way through the American Civil War, both World Wars and Vietnam, eventually parting way when ‘Logan’ (Hugh Jackman) cannot abide the indifferent homicidal bent of brother ‘Victor’, (Liev Shreiber), dubbed ‘Sabretooth’, displays as a member of the mayhem-dishing mutant squad known as ‘Team X’. Years pass, Logan is happy (relatively) working as a logger in Canada, when Team X leader ‘Stryker’ (Danny Huston) prevails upon him to submit to processing his body with an indestructible metal. There’s always a catch, and many will pay the price. I think I zoned out when someone said “His name is Stryker” and all I could think of was Airplane! That said, I did appreciate the exchange between Logan and ‘Fred Dukes’—LOGAN: “Jesus, Fred, you just met her last night.” FRED: “I love her.” LOGAN: “You love her? After one night?” FRED: “She’s a gymnast.” Boys will be mutants…..
The price paid to mount this prequel was in the area of $150,000,000, but the finished product revealed not just Jackman’s imposingly jacked up body, but a wayward script (David Benioff and Skip Woods) that few were happy with, cast and crew during the production, critics and fans upon release. Overmuch, and not enough, though loyalty to the franchise returned a worldwide gross of $374,826,000. A further $112,911,000 came in from discs, something like 6,394,398 of them (gulp, and I gave mine away!), which should tell where we’re headed as a specie. Hey, if you enjoy it, more power to ya. Word around the Wolv-den is its considered the weak kit of the litter. The opener sequence is pretty neat, accompanied by the suitably pounding score from Harry Gregson-Williams.
Directed by Gavin Hood. With Will.i.am, Kevin Durand, Lynn Collins, Dominic Monaghan, Taylor Kitsch, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Henney, Troye Sivan.