Jonathan Poritsky

Review: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Sitting down to con­sider an entire series of X-Men (X-People?) Origins films, I am reminded of Chaucer, the Middle English scribe whose death kept him from com­plet­ing nearly 100 promised sto­ries in The Canterbury Tales. With any luck, I’ll be long dead before any­one tries to make another install­ment in this fran­chise with the same fool­hardy bravado that direc­tor Gavin Hood and his team have brought to X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

The film opens with a hint of promise in north­west­ern Canada in 1845. A sickly young James Logan, who is to become our Wolverine, acci­den­tally kills his bio­log­i­cal father (who had just killed his adopted father!) with his newly dis­cov­ered retractable bone claws and runs off to the woods. There, another boy, Victor, who we just learned is in fact James’s brother, is wait­ing. They run off together, promis­ing never to sep­a­rate and to never go back.

As it turns out, Victor is a mutant just like James. He will grow up to become who X-heads will rec­og­nize as Sabretooth, though film­go­ers will never know that as he is never bestowed a fab­u­lous nom de guerre as our hunky Logan is (Wolverine, rawr). Since their main power is the abil­ity to cheat death, they live on through his­tory, though oddly, United States his­tory. For what­ever rea­son, these two mutant Canucks fight in every major U.S. war of the last two cen­turies. This con­fu­sion is com­pounded by the ques­tion: if they are immor­tal, why did they choose to stay thirty-five for­ever? Normally I might gloss over these nig­gles, but this is an ori­gin story after all; these are the ques­tions we need answers to. Continue read­ing at the can­dler blog.

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