Sunday, 21 November 2010

Especially if you're an action hero living in the mountains

Wolverine is guilty of not realising the obvious: your past will always find you. In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, it happens to be the past of his past that finds him (it's probably right to be suspicious of any film with a colon in its title). This backstory can go on forever, right the way back to mysteries about his parents. And it all matters, apparently. Or it can just set up another thread of the franchise. I don't believe Hollywood is interested in making fan pleasing canon-fodder, so there must be some life left in these X-Men. Here we see that Wolverine and his brother used to be part of a military team of mutants, taking orders from the appropriately named Colonel Stryker. This all becomes a bit too shady for Wolverine but his brother seems to like it. Cut to six years later and the good one is living in the picturesque Canadian mountains, working as a humble lumberjack and living with his lovely girlfriend. Like the hundreds of retired heroes who came before him, he asks 'why won't they just leave me alone?' It was all going so well. The men in black cars always arrive to tempt you back into a plot that may or may not be a con. I'm not complaining. Thriller's are built on this idea. The violent past finds the pleasant present and then everyone can do some revenge. It's the standard for two thirds of all action films, even the good ones. In fact, Wolverine begins to make a habit of destroying idyllic things. He runs into two unrealistically kind old people, who let him sleep in their barn and give him the clothes he wears for the rest of the film. Then things start exploding.

Apart from this, a lot of time is spent in military labs and secret island bases. We see how he gets his metal and I'm reminded how invincible he is. There's no need to worry about him getting hurt, but the scale of the action makes up for it. He can slash through tanks with his claws. He's an action prop, but an effective one. This may all be about to change with the Darren Aronofsky sequel. Will he descend into a drug-fuelled haze and reflect on his loneliness? Possibly. And so, to sum up this film in a mildly interested sort of way: it's alright.


  1. What the hell is up with his claws in this movie? It look like someone photoshopped them on.

  2. My friend Jenny contends that Hugh Jackman's head is disproportionately large for his body.

  3. This is First Blood, right?
    However, I do fancy Mr Jackman a bit. Especially in those vampire-hunter ones. Oh God, and when he was the computer-hacker expert in something, with John Travolta as the baddy, I think.

  4. Titus - Swordfish. He was very good at the hacking. That film also had a flying bus, which is good.

    Drake - They did look a bit rubbish at times. I suppose real claws would have been dangerous.

    Artsparker - That's worth looking into.