Director: Gavin Hood | 120 minutes | action, thriller, fantasy, science fiction | Actors: Hugh Jackman, Ryan Reynolds, Liev Schreiber, Dominic Monaghan, Lynn Collins, Danny Huston, Daniel Henney, Taylor Kitsch, Kevin Durand, Tim Pocock, Tahyna Tozzi, Scott Adkins, Will i Am, Aaron Jeffery, Myles Pollard, Troye Sivan , Michael-James Olsen, Alice Parkinson, Christian Clark, James D. Dever, Matthew Dale, Stephen Leeder
Canada, 1845. Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is just a boy named James Logan when his father is shot dead by Victor Creed’s (Liev Schreiber) father. James rushes towards the killer and kills him with the enormous claws that suddenly appear from his hands. This deadly attack discovers that he and Victor are both the killer’s sons and that he killed his own father. And he also discovers that killing in the name of justice is relatively easy for him.
He and Victor go on to fight side by side in the American Civil War, World War I and Second World War, and the Vietnam War, although James is occasionally disgusted by the extremely violent nature of Victor who sometimes looks more like a beast than a human. This duo comes to an end when they become part of a team of mutants who, led by Colonel Stryker (Danny Houston), undertake dangerous missions. James doesn’t know exactly what those missions mean, but he does know that he and Victor are serving America. On yet another mission with the inevitable dose of violence, James is fed up. He leaves the team, becomes a lumberjack and is happy with the beautiful Kayla (Lynn Collins). Then the members of the former team are killed one by one and it is waiting for James to get the knock on the door.
Do you have to be an X-Men fan to like this movie? That’s for sure. Do you leave the cinema satisfied as a fan? Hmm … The film is certainly not bad, but it has not become what it could have been. The biggest flaw is the scenario, which does not maintain a fluid storyline, but serves up the interesting events as loose fragments to explain the how and what of the later films. These chunks are often very tasty packed, like the fight scenes that are exciting and spectacular with a lot of martial arts, but the road to the exciting ending with answers to the questions in the later films is about too many bumps to really give satisfaction.
The strongest point of the film is Liev Schreiber’s performance. Every scene with him immediately has something threatening and that is even the case when he has not even bared his teeth and has not yet knocked out his claws. The playing of Hugh Jackman also gets a lot better in the scenes with Liev Schreiber, because then he can get into action, start fighting and throw some biting or subtle humor at it every now and then. The moments when he is sensitively thinking about who or what he is are a lot less. And the love affair with Kayla, oh well, let’s just say it’s hard to feel. That it is not a lack of acting talent, Jackman has proven in “Scoop” (2006), where he convinces Scarlett Johansson.
The images are very beautiful, the sets beautiful and the special effects with the mutants more than fine. Also the body of Hugh Jackman in various stages of undressing or even completely naked is not to be sneezed at. That is why it is all the more regrettable that the scenario is so failing that you, as a fan, feel a bit let down with all your high expectations about the beautifully packaged gift whose content is disappointing. Average could have become very good, but is not. Too bad.