May 1, 2009 X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Studio: 20th Century Fox Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, and some partial nudity.
Leaving his X-Men teammates behind, the Marvel comic book hero Wolverine is the subject of a new film showing how he came to be.
Hugh Jackman reprises his role as the mutant named Logan with a healing factor and razor sharp metal claws.
But he didn't start out that way. Born in the early 1800s and a participant in every major conflict since the Civil War, Logan finally finds a peaceful life Canadian rockies during the early 1970s.
But tragedy forces him to go looking for his equally savage mutant brother Victor (Liev Schreiber) in a quest for vengeance.
Soon after an ill-fated fight against Victor, the military reappears and offers Logan a chance to defeat his brother. But the proposal comes with a very high cost. Logan must endure an experiment which molds an indestructible metal to his bones and gives him "adamantium" claws capable of slicing through anything.
This is a film that definitely produces mixed results. Playing this character for the fourth time, Jackman is very much at ease in Wolverine's skin. Both he and his on-screen brother are the best parts of the movie. Unfortunately, the performances of the other actors in the film aren't quite as good. They're either very wooden, very subdued or inappropriately over the top.
The film also suffers from an uneven story and generally weak direction. I'll give you a good example. In different scenes Wolverine comes upon the dead body of a loved one, looks up and screams in anguish as the camera shoots down from above him while pulling back.
It is an overused device which becomes almost laughable. In addition, the special effects go from very good to very bad. During one scene in which Wolverine explores his new metal claws they appear cartoonish. At other times they look like the lethal weapons they are intended to be.
Although the film isn't a total flop, it misses the mark enough to leave you wanting more. With very good lead performances but gaping holes throughout it's a decent summer diversion but not a great movie.
On my rating scale, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" earns a DOUBLE.
HELL'S KITCHEN Tonight at 8:00 PM 8 Chefs Compete
The chefs create ethnic dishes with select ingredients; a team falls behind before dinner service begins