Flawed but fun .
Wolverine was without a doubt the star of the first three X-Men movies. Many have said they could have been called "Wolverine and the X-Men", which ironically is the name of latest X-Men cartoon. Considering Wolverine's popularity from comic readers, it really came as no surprise that he was the most developed character of the franchise. Movie goers also became fans of the clawed Canadian with Hugh Jackman's practically perfect portrayal of the character. So it only makes sense to capitalize on Wolverine's popularity by giving him his own movie right? Well, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is here, and its a fun, if slightly inconsistent ride.
The storyline in X-Men Origins: Wolverine serves as an unofficial "what if?" story of sorts to those familiar with the comics. What if DOG really was Sabretooth? What if Thomas Logan really was Wolverine's biological father? And what if Wolverine and Sabretooth really are brothers and found out at an early age? These changes from the comic storyline work well, although some changes just seem unnecessary, such as Wolverine being born roughly fifty years earlier than he was in the comics. Unfortunately the story moves a little too fast, and ends a little too quickly. The first one hundred plus years of Wolverine and Sabretooth's life is told in the first ten minutes of the film, and Logan's time spent with the team assembled by Stryker is as equally short. The pacing is a little too choppy at times and keeps the film from maintaining a good consistent flow. There's also a few plot-holes that are never explained and will leave some scratching their heads. Also the method used to erase Wolverine's memories is rather crude and a little nonsensical.
Thankfully X-Men Origins: Wolverine is superbly acted. Hugh Jackman once again proves he's perfected the role of Wolverine so well that he could portray the character in his sleep. Jackman is well-matched with Liev Schreiber who fits the role of Sabretooth like a glove, conveying all the character's evil creepiness with eery believability. Sadly X-Men Origins: Wolverine makes the same mistake that X-Men: The Last Stand did, which is introduce too many characters and not give them enough screen-time. This is most true in the case of Deadpool. Ryan Reynolds is so perfectly cast as the character that it leaves you wanting to see so much more of him, and the final transformation the character makes is sure to displease Deadpool fans everywhere. Taylor Kitsch's role as Gambit is also far too short. Despite the accent, Kitsch's portrayal of the character is spot on, but again, it leaves you wanting to see more of him. The rest of the cast does a fine job, most note-worthy being Will.i.am's acting debut as Wraith, and cameo appearances of Cyclops and Emma Frost.
Despite the faults of the storyline and under-developed characters, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is still an enjoyable film. The action scenes are exhilarating and fun to watch, and most importantly, they are easy to follow. In fact, the action scenes in this movie are some of the best I've ever seen in a film before, filled with plenty of "wow" and "oh snap" moments. The special effects are also top-notch, featuring plenty of explosions and other visually striking moments. In many ways its the quintessential Summer popcorn flick. Its by no means mindless or unintelligent however. X-Men Origins: Wolverine has plenty of depth, humor, likable characters, and some beautiful cinematography to make this a solid addition to the superhero movie catalog.