The movie traces Wolverine’s life from the childhood awakening of his powers in the 1850’s & his life from war to war alongside his brother Creed (Sabertooth, played by US born Liev Schreiber). The relationship becomes more uneasy as Creed’s blood lust becomes more obvious. This finally causes Logan to split from an elite squad of Mutants recruited by the military – moving to a quieter life in the Canadian Rockies with his girlfriend played by Lynn Collins.
Skipping part of the story as it would give too much away… Wolverine agrees to be injected with Adamantium to gain revenge … and through several plot twists ends up at a laboratory where mutants are being used – ending up with more spectacular fighting & introduction briefly towards the end of a key character from the X-men movies.
We see few other of the future X men characters, most just briefly as children; apart from Wolverine, Sabretooth and Cyclops (played by NIDA graduate & Sydney born Tim Pocock – Previously more familiar as a Tenor in The Australian Opera). I suspect they are holding back on these characters for future “X Men Origins”.
There are plenty of new characters though, including Bolt, with power over electricity (pardon the pun!) played by Dominic Monaghan (Merry from LOTR); Gambit (Taylor Kitsch) with control of playing cards and some crazy trick with a stick; and Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) with a nifty flick of the sword wrist (and who turns up later as XI, but played by Scott Adkins).
A criticism is lack of clarity in just some of the landscape shots (a waterfall fly by looks distinctly fuzzy), but this is not the case in the action shots, maybe this is just a grading issue with one part. The action sequences however are excellent, & some details are better than the original X men films such as Wolverine’s blades & the way they emerge from his hands. How this occurs is shown & also the original form they took before Adamantium merged with his skeleton.
We also of course get just as much detail of Hugh’s muscular body that he has worked so hard to harden up! According to interviews he was eating massive amounts from before dawn (mostly chicken apparently); as well as working out 6 days a week, listening to hard rock music and yelling like wolverine while doing it. I really have to speak to my trainer…. I knew I was doing something wrong!
Oddly, again there is a nod to Star Wars (as there was in Star Trek) – the goading of Luke by The Emperor in Return of the Jedi immediately came to mind during one piece of dialogue.
Overall this is a solid start to a franchise and worth going to see, even if just for the action sequences. The 100+ years of war sequences are sped through during credits & What thereafter starts slowly builds to an exciting last half, perhaps dulled a little as we know that the two main leads appear in the chronologically later X men movies, although their interactions are more important than that one issue. The formation of Wolverine’s character is very well handled by Hugh and bodes well for future films.
By the way, don’t stand up as soon as the credits start…. and stay to the end of them – there are two last bits that you’d miss if you weren’t a movie reviewer; and finally the best line of the movie…..“Ooh, Shiny!”
Release date in Australia 30th April 2009 – limited release on 28th.
Directed by Gavin Hood (Rendition in 2007)
Full cast and credits: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0458525/fullcredits