We never really knew what happened to Wolverine before he joined the X-Men. X-Men Origins: Wolverine, starring the sexy-as-hell Hugh Jackman — along with Liev Schreiber, Ryan Reynolds and Taylor Kitsch — is a veritable beefcake fest that fills in the blanks while inspiring a bit of drooling. Jackman is such a charming, expressive performer (he’s able to excel is dramas, musicals and comic book films like X-Men alike), that it was a great idea to place him front and center in his own film. However, nothing particularly original happens in Wolverine, including a quest for vengeance, evil government conspiracies and a showdown between a monster and his maker.
Logan (Jackman) and Victor Creed (Schreiber) are semi-immortal, half-brother mutants who fight side-by-side in various American wars (Civil through Vietnam) until Victor’s bloodlust drives Logan away. After his true love (Lynn Collins) is murdered by Victor, Logan submits to the surgery that turns him into the metallic-clawed loner we met in X-Men. Exactly how that happens is what supplies Wolverine's suspense. Director Gavin Hood treats the material reverently and infuses enough thrills to make the film good summer popcorn fun.
Editor's note: Due to the box office success this past weekend of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Twentieth Century Fox is already working on not only another Wolverine movie (which will pick up with the acclaimed samurai storyline from the comics), but also a spin-off featuring Deadpool, the wise-cracking assassin character played by Ryan Reynolds.
UPDATE: X-Men Origins: Wolverine is now available on DVD and Blu-rayfrom Amazon.com.
Review by Neil Cohen, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and Phoenix's Echo Magazine.