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X-Men Origins: Wolverine


Review

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a 2009 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics’ fictional character Wolverine. The fourth installment in the X-Men series, it was released worldwide on May 1, 2009. The film is directed by Gavin Hood and stars Hugh Jackman as the title character, along with Liev Schreiber, Danny Huston, Will.i.am, Lynn Collins, Taylor Kitsch, Daniel Henney, and Ryan Reynolds. The film acts as a prequel to the X-Men film series, focusing on the violent past of the mutant Wolverine and his relationship with his half-brother Victor Creed. The plot also details Wolverine’s early encounters with Colonel William Stryker, his time with Team X, and the bonding of Wolverine’s skeleton with the indestructible metal adamantium during the Weapon X program.

The film was mostly shot in Australia and New Zealand, with Canada also serving as a location. Production was troubled, with conflicts arising between director Hood and Fox’s executives, and an unfinished workprint being leaked in the internet one month before the film’s debut. Reviews for X-Men Origins: Wolverine were mixed, with critics considering the film and its screenplay uninspired, but praising Hugh Jackman’s performance. It opened at the top of the box office, and has grossed $179 million in the United States and Canada and over $373 million worldwide.

Plot

In 1845 Canada, young James Howlett sees his father killed by groundskeeper Thomas Logan. The trauma activates the boy’s mutation: bone claws protrude from James’ hands, and he kills his father’s murderer. With his dying breath, Thomas Logan reveals that he, not John Howlett, is James’ real father. James flees with Victor Creed, the abused son of their father who is thus James’ brother. They spend the next century as soldiers in the American army, fighting in the American Civil War, both World Wars and the Vietnam War. In Vietnam, Victor attempts to rape a local village woman, but is stopped after killing a senior officer. Despite his objections to Victor’s actions, James defends his brother, and the two are sentenced to execution by firing squad, which they survive. Major William Stryker approaches them, now in military custody, and offers them membership in Team X, a group of mutants including marksman Agent Zero, mercenary Wade Wilson, teleporter John Wraith, invincible Fred Dukes and technopathic Chris Bradley. They join the team, but the group’s questionable actions and disregard for human life cause James to leave.

Six years later, James — now going by the name Logan — lives in Canada with his girlfriend, Kayla Silverfox. Colonel Stryker locates Logan and warns him that someone is killing members of the team; both Wilson and Bradley are dead. Shortly afterward, Victor murders Kayla and attacks Logan. Stryker offers Logan a way to beat Victor; Logan undergoes an operation to reinforce his skeleton with adamantium, a virtually indestructible metal. Before the procedure, Logan asks for new dog tags inscribed with “Wolverine”, based on a story that Kayla told him. Once the procedure is complete, Stryker orders Logan’s memory erased, but Logan overhears and fights his way out. Logan hides at a farm, but the next day Zero tracks him down. Zero attacks Logan and Logan kills him.

Logan locates Wraith and Dukes and asks them about the location of Stryker’s new laboratory, referred to as “The Island.” They tell him to find Remy LeBeau (“Gambit”), who escaped and knows the location of The Island. Logan locates Gambit in New Orleans, and ask for the Island’s location, but Gambit suspects Logan was sent to recapture him and attacks, Logan subdues Gambit and convinces him he is not working for Stryker. Gambit takes him to Stryker’s facility on Three Mile Island. Logan learns that Kayla is alive and conspired with Stryker in exchange for her sister’s safety.

Logan leaves, enraging Victor. When Victor demands the adamantium bonding promised for his service, Stryker refuses on the basis that Victor would not survive the procedure. Victor attempts to kill Kayla when she tries to persuade him Stryker betrayed them both, but Logan hears her screams and returns. Logan defeats and nearly kills Victor, but stops when Kayla reminds him of his humanity. Kayla and Logan free the imprisoned mutants.

Stryker activates Weapon XI, originally Wade Wilson, but now a “mutant killer” with the abilities of other mutants, which Stryker refers to as “The Deadpool.” Logan holds Weapon XI off while the mutants flee. The party is greeted by Professor Charles Xavier, who offers them shelter at his school.

Kayla, mortally wounded, decides to stay. Logan lures Weapon XI on top of one of the plant’s cooling towers. Logan is almost killed until Victor intervenes. Logan decapitates Weapon XI and kicks him into the base of the cooling tower. Victor departs and Logan is saved from the collapsing tower by Gambit. As Logan carries Kayla to safety, Stryker shoots him in the forehead with adamantium bullets, rendering him unconscious. Kayla uses her persuasion powers to make Stryker drop the gun and commands him to walk until his feet bleed before dying from her wounds. Gambit returns as Logan regains consciousness, but the bullets that were shot at his brain have triggered amnesia. Gambit tries convincing Logan to come with him, but he declines, wanting to go his own way.

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