Movie Review: Wolverine

05 · 01 · 09


By @katiedoyle

wolverineSo, last night I went to see the midnight showing of Wolverine.  There are two main reasons I like seeing movies at midnight.  First, I like being an elitist who has seen the movie before most other people.  Second, I like being in a theatre with a lot of people who are there because they want to see movie a WHOLE LOT.  And the people who see comic book movies are the best.

I could start this review off with the boring stuff like who the characters are and who plays them and blah blah blah.  But I think that most of the people who are going to be reading this, heck, most of the people in the world know all of that so I’ll just dive in.

The short version of this review is I really liked the movie.  And the friend I went to see it with really liked it as well, despite the fact that she has no real prior knowledge of the X-Men other than seeing one of the movies. 

I think the biggest pros of this movie is its marketability.  First we have the people who read the comic book and are going to see the movie because they love X-Men.  Next we have the people who saw the X-Men movies, liked them, and want to see the “next installment.”  And last we have the people who were maybe just drawn in by the trailer and don’t know all that much about the franchise.  I think I’m going to break this review up into what each of these groups can expect.

First I’ll talk about the movie for people who are not in the know at all.  I think the most confusing part of this movie for these people are the characters.  Yes, it’s a movie about Wolverine, but it’s also based a world full of mutants.  This movie comes with a huge supporting cast of mutants who have a lot of abilities.  Some people you’ll need to remember, like the characters on the mercenary mission in the beginning of the movie.  Make sure you pay attention to them, because they’ll be coming back.  The cast is very clearly introduced and they’re also very distinct.  The biggest thing you need to look out for is when you are introduced Wade Wilson played by Ryan Reynolds.  He’s in the part of the government group in the beginning of the movie, pulls some badass moves, and then kind of disappears.  But you’re going to need to know who he is because he is mentioned for the rest of the film. The movie has a good plot that is full of big explosions, romance, revenge, and my personal favorite, morally grey situations.  I’m fairly positive those going into the movie with no prior knowledge will enjoy.

Next we’ll move on to people who have seen the original movies.  Pretty much what I said above still applies, though you’re at an advantage being a little more in the know.  There are a couple of characters whose names and abilities you might recognize from the first three X-Men movies, but for the most part, there’s a whole new cast of characters who do things that may be even cooled that what the X-Men team can do.  If you’re going to see this movie because you want to learn more about the characters you met in X-Men, X2, or Last Stand, you’re going to be disappointed but keep an open mind and I think you’ll enjoy it just as much as the movies you know and love.  And if you’re interested in learning more about X-Men, I highly suggest checking out the comics.  If that sounds daunting to you (It should!  There are a lot of them!) The first and second series of X-Men: The Animated Series just came out on DVD and you can find them for under $20 if you look.

Last we’ll move on to a review for the people who read the comics and this is where we’re going to get nitpicky.  X-Men writers, as we know, have always taken great liberties with Wolverine’s origins.  Well, the movie is no exception.  They take advantage various origins, as well as creating and exaggerating relationships between characters. 


First we have Sabretooth, who has always been hinted that he and Wolverine are related.  In the movie, it is explicitly explained that they are in fact brothers.  The two are very chummy and go off fighting in wars together in a really awesome opening credit sequence.  When they are recruited to the government’s program to go off killing people, they do it together, and quite happily.  At this time, we also meet Wade Wilson (not Deadpool, but we’ll get to that in a bit), Blob (before he’s blobby), John Wraith (Kestrel), Chris Bradley (Bolt), and Agent Zero.  Another kick-ass fight sequence, shit goes down and Wolverine moves to Canada.  There he falls in love with Kayla Silverfox who isn’t actually Silver Fox.  She has none of Silver Fox’s abilities (that is, her artificial rapid healing).  She is also Emma Frost’s sister.  Who knew?  We also meet Gambit in this movie and HE IS AWESOME.  That might just be me, but as soon as he starts dishing out the cards, I was done.  He has always been a favorite of mine and seeing him in “real life” made my night.

This is getting a bit lengthy so I’m going to wrap it up with a brief explanation on DeadpoolDeadpool is in the movie.  But so is Wade WilsonWade Wilson is the one you first meet.  He’s not wearing a cool outfit, but he does have cool ninja swords.  He’s funny like Deadpool is, but they had Ryan Reynolds and did not take advantage of what an awesome character he could have been on screen.  At the end of the movie, we find out that Deadpool is Weapon XI.  He is created after Weapon X and Wolverine successfully has adamanteium bonded to his skeleton.  As more of a marketing ploy for people unfamiliar with the comics, Wade Wilson becomes Deadpool only after he completes the process Weapon XI.

*end spoilers*

Depending on how sensitive you are to the liberties made by movies, hard core X-Men fans will either be so disappointed with the liberties made in order to create a better movie plot, or they’ll be like me: so excited that you get to see you’re favorite characters on the big screen that you can overlook a little bit of change to make the movie marketable.

One comment

  1. As a reader of comics I was in the camp of viewers who hated the film content but loved that there was Wolvy and the Weapon X crew up on screen…

    I think Ryan Reynolds got it right in his interview I caught on super hero hype: http://www.superherohype.com/news/x-mennews.php?id=8282

    You can sense his despair over how they took “liberties” with the origins – and my favourite line is “there is nothing greater than the source material” aka don’t mess with the Marvel canon!

    And lastly, if its called Wolverines Origins – why the hell did I find out more about Deadpool in this movie than about James/Logan’s past?! The entire Origins comic line was summed up in 2 secs of preview before the title credits! Rose didn’t even make it in who is actually important for all his future love interests!

    ugh. just ugh.

    Bottom line is Fox made it so of course it’s gonna be crappy.

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