After the highly successful X-Men trilogy that had taken in an impressive $1 billion, 20th Century Fox knew they were onto something. ‘Wolverine’ was soon released three years later in 2009; becoming the first of the Marvel ‘X-Men Origins’ series, the first film to be produced by Hugh Jackman’s production company, and the first time since Christopher Reeves (as Superman) that one actor has been credited as playing a comic hero in four consecutive outings.
If you’ve seen the trilogy, then this film aims to answer some questions. The film begins in 1845, where a young James Howlett sees his beloved father, John, killed by Thomas Logan, the father of Victor Creed. Enraged, bone claws grow out of James’ hands which he uses to stab Logan. With Logan’s dying breath, he reveals to James that he was not the son of John Howlett, but his son. James had killed his biological father, and was now the half-brother of Victor Creed, who had talon like fingernails. Together, they were united by something that no one could understand – they were mutants. The first five minutes explain where the name Logan came from, how he discovered that he was a mutant, and why his beard is shaped the way it is…it’s all genetic.
The montage after this scene is truly remarkable. The brothers, now called Logan and Victor (Hugh Jackman has now taken on the name), running and fighting in the American Civil War, World War I, World War II, and eventually the Vietnam War. All throughout this montage, they’ve been shot, blown up, attacked…but never died. These aren’t just ordinary people, they are people who can’t age once they hit their 40s, and can’t be killed. Throughout their war history, Victor becomes increasingly more ruthless, bloodthirsty, and brutal even to the point of raping women and killing his own commanders. Will Logan support his brother, or his moral conscience?
They then join a team of mutants including Merry from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and Will.i.am from The Black Eyed Peas. Ok, not too intimidating. But, throw in Ryan Reynolds with a pair of katanas and this dysfunctional team begins to seem a little more powerful. But, this team goes too far beyond Logan’s moral codes, so he quits, becomes a lumberjack, falls in love with a beautiful woman, she is the moon to his wolverine, Victor kills her, and Logan promises to kill Victor. However, there’s a problem… his bone claws are snappable. He gets an invincible skeleton made from adamantium, and rejoins the team under the name ‘Wolverine’. However, things turn sour and they try to kill him…and once we’ve seen a glimpse of Hugh Jackman’s naked backside, he escapes… with an invincible body and super shiny claws. Wolverine discovers Victor had been enlisted to track down mutants, in order to combine their mutations into Weapon XI. Hugh is not happy. Eventually, he finds the island where all this is going on, and a lot of drama prevails. Seriously, a shock reveal, an epic battle between Hugh and Weapon XI, and the reason why Wolverine (throughout the trilogy) can’t remember his past is explained.
The whole film has you gripped, there’s never a dull moment. The performances from Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber and surprisingly, Ryan Reynolds were amazing. The script was easy to follow even though there is a lot going on (especially if you’re trying to remember how it links to the trilogy), and the visual effects were mind-blowing. It might just be me, but I love watching people casually walking away as a massive explosion happens in the background – if you, like me, enjoy these scenes too, then this film will provide you with one of epic proportions.
I’m not quite sure what the director, Gavin Hood, did – but it worked, and drew in a whole host of new fans and like the trilogy before it, it took in an equally as impressive $370 million. Since then, ‘X-Men: First Class’ has been released showing the origins of Professor Xavier and Magneto, in 2014, ‘X-Men: Days of Futures Past’ will be released, and potentially in 2016, ‘X-Men Origins: Deadpool’ may be released. It is early days, but I’m certainly looking forward to another ‘Origins’ release, especially if it can follow this…