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X-Men Origins: Wolverine (DVD Review)

5 Sep, 2009 By: John Latchem


Street 9/15/09
Box Office $179.9 million
$29.98 DVD, $34.98 two-DVD set, $39.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG-13’ for intense sequences of action and violence, and some partial nudity.
Stars Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Ryan Reynolds, Taylor Kitsch, Danny Huston, Dominic Monaghan, Will.i.Am, Lynn Collins, Kevin Durand.

Simply put, X-Men Origins: Wolverine doesn’t feel like its own movie. Explanations are rushed, key sequences seem contrived, and the plot has little resonance other than backstory for three better films (especially X2).

Since audiences familiar with the franchise will know where Wolverine winds up, we are left with the outlines of a tragic romance set against the backdrop of brothers torn apart by competing moralities.

That the brothers are immortal and the characters all have superpowers should make for some fascinating, almost epic, drama. But all Wolverine manages to deliver is a competent, by-the-numbers action-adventure piece. This is a movie that does its best to bide its time between shots meant to be iconic, with little references to the other films thrown in for good measure, and lots of fights with Wolverine using his claws to slash various metal objects. Fortunately, Hugh Jackman has so made the role of Wolverine his own that he ably carries the film.

While the ending more or less flows into the beginning of X-Men, the producers pretty much confirm on the DVD that it’s all just a set-up for a second Wolverine movie that will adapt a story from the comics dealing with the character in Japan.

To that end, the filmmakers created a post-credits scene in which Wolverine is in Japan “drinking to remember.” (The post-credits scene attached to the movie deals with the fate of the Deadpool character. In theaters, some showed one scene, some showed the other.)

The home video presentation serves the film well. Between the behind-the-scenes featurette and two commentaries (one with director Gavin Hood, the other with two producers), fans should have a pretty clear picture of how the film was made and why certain choices were made and alternate scenes were abandoned.
Most interesting is an interview with X-Men creator Stan Lee and Wolverine creator Len Wein, who discuss the comic book history of the characters.

There also are some deleted scenes, including one with a young Storm (played by Halle Berry in the other movies) that is so ridiculous in its conception that including it in the final cut would have destroyed any credibility the film purported to have.

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