This long-awaited prequel to the X-Men trilogy bares its fangs and claws with pure animal ferocity. But beyond the slick action moves, this movie lays bare the heart and soul of dogged hero Logan, better known as Wolverine.
From the first three movies, audiences have come to expect pure, unadulterated action from our brooding hero. In that respect, the movie delivers. What is unexpected is the emotional and dramatic weight that this movie carries in terms of dealing with the heartache, pain and confusion that mark the origins of this X-Man.
From the time he was a child, Logan and his brother Victor Creed (played by Liev Schreiber) have been on the run because of their mutant powers. They both possess hyper-keen animal senses and are each endowed with their own lethal set of claws. These brothers stick together and employ their powers to craft out a career in warfare, violence and bloodshed. This inseparable brotherhood reaches a point where Logan must decide, does he continue to run with the pack and follow his brother down the only path they have ever known, or does he turn his back and walk away. It is at this point where the brothers Wolverine and Sabertooth diverge, one seeking a life of peace, while the other’s bloodlust continues to grow. Unfortunately for Wolverine, it’s not so easy to simply walk away.
Marvel Comics purists may cringe at the creative liberty the scriptwriters have exercised in terms of tweaking not only Wolverine’s story but those of other characters like the sardonic mercenary Deadpool, and the card-slinging charmer Gambit. Those who are familiar with these characters would spot the skirting of historical accuracy, but for those who are just in it for the action and special effects, the meshing of storylines is neat and palatable.
On this token of deviation, this movie differs from the previous 3 X-Men feature films in a number of ways. The all-star cast for this film consists of Wolverine, Logan and Hugh Jackman — so don’t come expecting to see “Wolverine and friends”. In terms of themes, X-Men Origins flies far from the lofty heights of world peace and race-relations — instead this is really a biography of Wolverine. The origins of other characters are merely inadvertent offshoots of Logan’s story. So if you are looking for some kind of continuity from the previous X-Men films, you will not find it here.
But that aside, Origins proves a great night out at the movies. The two leading men shine as the gritty pair of Wolverine and Sabertooth, their chemistry and tension are ferocious and tender at the same time. They embody the tension between good and evil, peace and war, forgiveness and revenge, civilised man and untamed beast. It is from this tension that the antihero Wolverine is born.