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Saturday, May 02, 2009

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X-Men Origins: Wolverine

X-Men Origins: Wolverine X-Men Origins: Wolverine
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Starring: Hugh Jackman ... Logan / Wolverine

Liev Schreiber ... Victor Creed / Sabretooth

Danny Huston ... William Stryker

Will i Am ... John Wraith

Lynn Collins ... Kayla Silverfox

Kevin Durand ... Frederick J. Dukes / The Blob

Dominic Monaghan ... Chris Bradley / Bolt

Taylor Kitsch ... Remy LeBeau / Gambit

Daniel Henney ... David North / Agent Zero

Ryan Reynolds ... Wade Wilson / Deadpool

Scott Adkins ... Weapon XI

Tim Pocock ... Scott Summers

Synopsis: Warning! This synopsis contains spoilers!

James Logan aka Wolverine and his brother Victor Creed (who will later become Sabretooth) run away together as children in the mid 1850's after Logan kills their biological father who had murdered Logan's adoptive father. After serving together in many wars they are recruited by William Stryker to serve in a special unit made up of mutants. When Stryker orders the destruction of a village that refuses to reveal the location of a 'precious metal' Stryker yearns for (hmm...I wonder what that could be?), Logan quits the unit and goes off to live a life of peace and isolation as a lumberjack in the Canadian Rockies. He resides in a cabin, high in the gorgeous mountains, with his girlfriend (later to be known as the Silver Fox) who helps calm him though the nightmares of the past.

Six years pass for the both of them until Stryker shows up and asks Logan to come back into the fold as part of a new Weapon X project. Logan refuses but Creed shows up and murders Logan's girlfriend leaving him wanting revenge against his brother. Logan accepts Stryker's offer to be infused with adamantium so that he may be indestructible and then follow through with his revenge but is quickly double crossed by Stryker who, after the process is a success, gives the order to wipe his memories. Logan, who is still in the tank where the adamantium was fused to his exoskeleton, breaks out and escapes. Retreating to a nearby farmhouse, Logan befriends an elderly couple who helps him get back on his feet. We also get to see where a few symbolic props of Wolverine originate. Unfortunately, as is usually the way in Logan's chaotic life, this respite is quickly brought to the end by Agent Zero and crew, who have been sent by Stryker to kill him. After one of the best action sequences in the film come to an end, Logan sets out to find Victor once again.

After reuniting with a few members of his old team, he finds out that Stryker and Creed are actually working together to kidnap mutants and keep them in confinement working on a new project, Weapon XI and that only one person knows where their new base of operations is. Remy LeBeau, aka Gambit, is the only mutant to escape this place and Logan along with John Wraith go searching for him in New Orleans. They find him in a card game where Logan tries to question him but with less than desirable results. After being blasted through a wall by Gambit, Logan sees Creed standing over the dead body of Wraith and the fight is on. Right when Logan is about to get his revenge and kill Creed, Gambit comes flying in with his staff and blows everyone apart. Creed uses this distraction to escape while Logan and Gambit then go at it. After showing Gambit the light (with his claws), Gambit agrees to take Logan to Three Mile Island where the secret facility is hidden.

Arriving at Three Mile Island by plane, Logan finds many mutant children being kept prisoner by Stryker with the support of the U.S. Government. Logan confronts Stryker while he is at the finishing point of his Weapon XI project and learns the truth that Silver Fox death was faked in order to trick him into participating in his own project. Her task was to keep an eye on him during their six years together and to manipulate him to a state of complacency with her mutant power of persuasion. This hurts Logan deeply and he decides to just leave it all and move on with his life, leaving them all behind. Shortly after Logan's departure, Fox confronts Stryker demanding the release of her sister only to be placated by him and told to wait. Creed comes in and Fox tries to persuade him that Stryker is only using them. This doesn't work and Creed, grasping her throat (apparently immune to her powers), promises her death for real this go around. Logan hears her screams and comes to her rescue almost killing Creed but is convinced by Fox that if he does that he will then be no better then Stryker. She also convinces him that she truly loves him.

Fox and Logan then go to free her sister, along with the other mutants, including Scott Summers (who was earlier captured by Creed and Stryker in an amazing scene showcasing that impressive energy blast of the one who will later become Cyclops, leader of the X-men) and while leading them out of the facility, hangar doors open to reveal Weapon XI in all of his disfigured glory (and I could swear that the body used for him was that of Deadpool's due to the fact that Logan comments on how Stryker was finally able to 'shut him up' ((he was always cracking smart retorts during missions that happen in the beginning of the film)) by having his mouth fused shut, but the credits do not reflect this because apparently a different actor plays him). Logan orders the others to find another way out so that he can engage this new abomination on his own. As they explore an alternate escape route, Fox is wounded by sniper fire and sends her sister, along with the other mutants, on while she goes back to look for Logan. The mutants make it out of the facility and are met by none other than Charles Xavier who offers them escape and protection. The paths of the X-Men and the New Mutants are now in full effect.

The fight between Wolverine and Weapon XI rages on, from inside the facility to the top rim of a nuclear reactor. At first it appears Logan is outmatched (remember Weapon XI has a wide assortment of mutant powers - everything from the teleporting abilities of John Wraith, aka Kestrel, to the rapid regeneration of Logan himself) until Creed shows up to help save him uttering the line; "No one is allowed to kill you except me..." Back to back they take on XI together until Creed is able to grab him by piercing both hands into his chest as Logan finishes the battle with a lightning-fast decapitation. XI's body goes falling into the reactor, followed by the head which spins on it's descent into the reactor, emitting a final energy blast (gained from Cyclop's DNA being used in the mix to create this 'mutant killer') that cuts a spiraling path of damage into the structure the whole way down, greatly weakening it. Sensing their hang out time has come to an end, Logan tells Creed that helping him out has changed nothing between them and after a quick retort Creed leaves the scene.

After leaping from the collapsing reactor and hitting the ground with buckling force (Logan jokes earlier in the film about the weight he had gained - adamantium is pretty heavy stuff don't ya know?), Logan is saved from the falling debris of the structure through a remarkable move by Gambit. They then go their separate ways in search for Stryker but Logan comes upon the wounded body of Fox and starts carrying her toward the plane. Stryker walks up behind them (apparently Logan's nose is too full of Fox to notice) and shoots Logan in the back, and later in the head, with adamantium bullets, which are the only things that can supposedly 'hurt' him. This knocks him out long enough for him to go after Silver Fox but she turns the tables by touching his ankle and at first forces him to put the gun to his own head. Killing him is not her style however so she instead commands him to "walk until you bleed... Then keep walking."

Gambit comes back finding Logan regaining consciousness but without any memories. Finding the body of Silver Fox, Gambit asks if Logan knows her but he doesn't. Going their separate ways, the movie ends here but you should watch through the credits for a few seconds for the first of two bonus scenes: Stryker is picked up by the MP's (and of course his shoes are demolished from the extensive amount of walking he has been doing) for the murder of a general who threatened to end the project earlier before all hell broke loose. Btw, in this earlier scene, listen closely to the words Stryker uses to justify the project to the general he later murders for they are akin to comments made by none other than VP Dick Cheney to justify the war against terrorism, an interesting injection of politics into the film I thought. Now, go ahead and stick around for the rest of the credits because after they finish you will receive another bonus scene: Out of the rubble emerges one of the blades, followed by the arm of Weapon XI, which then reaches down to pick up it's severed head. As the eyes open we notice that the mouth is no longer fused shut and opens only to utter a single sound, "Shhhhh..." - Fade to black.


(edited & modified by CVEckian)

X-Men Origins: Wolverine X-Men Origins: Wolverine X-Men Origins: Wolverine

X-Men Origins: Wolverine
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
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Review: By Robert Wilonsky

Without fail, the dullest installment in any superhero movie franchise is the origin story, during which audiences anxiously awaiting The Big Bad Guy have to suffer through, yaaaawn, scenes of childhood trauma, romantic tragedy, and other expository effluvia, by which point the closing credits are fast approaching. Alas, the X-Men franchise takes a giant leap backward and off a cliff with its fourth offering—yet again starring now-co-producer Hugh Jackman as the scissorhands from Canada—by collapsing 30 years’ worth of comic-book backstory into an altogether anticlimactic who-dat. Wow, so that’s how Jimmy Logan got those kick-ass razorblades in his knuckles. What else ya got? Not much: The filmmakers—among them Tsotsi director Gavin Hood and 25th Hour writer David Benioff, no joke—relegate the most interesting parts of Logan’s early story to an opening-credits sequence that dashes from his 1845 childhood to the Civil War to the Vietnam War in a span of seconds. Sooner or later, of course, Logan’s on the operating table and being injected with the unbreakable adamantium metal that gives his skeleton a sparkly shine. And sooner or later we meet the familiar rogues: the villainous Sabretooth (Wolverine’s brother, this time around played by Liev Schreiber with “the fingernails of a bag lady”), the treacherous William Stryker (the Brian Cox character in ’03, now recast with Danny Huston), even a certain Cyclops (a whiny teenager with bad eyes, in keeping with the franchise’s history of treating the X-Men’s longtime leader like a spindly punch line) and the inevitable cameo by a very familiar X-tra. Most of the action is a mere replay of a single sequence: Wolverine and Sabretooth galloping toward one another, two immortal bros locked in eternal combat. Certainly feels like it. And the filmmakers have further junked up the franchise with bit players from the comic books, among them the playing card-throwing Gambit (Taylor Kitsch) and assassin Deadpool (whose comic relief shuts off around the time the moviemakers unwisely sew together Ryan Reynolds’ lips, bad move among many). Odd thing is, 2003’s expeditious X2 more or less covered the same ground in a matter of seconds, as opposed to 107 minutes that feel like almost as many hours. A suggestion? Wait for the bootleg.

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