Movie Review: X-men Origins: Wolverine


Logan is one of them. The Mutants with the “X” gene. The gene that causes human bodies to grown in a way many would consider unnatural. He has bone claws, he heals incredibly fast, and is immortal due to this process. Because of this, Logan is among the oldest of all the X-men. He has fought in every major war since the 1800’s, and because of this, he has become a killing machine. He does not let himself love, as that only bring heartbreak. He is a man without hope, doomed to walk the world for eternity.

So when a man comes and approaches logan about a special mission, Logan grudgingly accepts- it will entertain him a little while right? So he goes along with the man, and performs missions, until he realizes the mission is to eliminate other humans like himself, or cause mass genocide among african villages. He leaves. And burns several bridges in his path.

He swears to leave his brutal ways, and takes up working as a lumberjack in the North. He finds a wife, settles down, and is happy in his simple life. His past and secret safely kept to himself. However, one day he finds his wife, murdered, by none other than his brother.

This leads him to find the weapon that will give him the ultimate revenge and promise of certain victory. The bonding of Adamantium to his bones. The animal, is born again.

Things I Liked

Logan is a man portrayed as at least wanting to make good decisions. He desires to leave the life of killing and carnage, and start fresh doing good honest work. He keeps being drug back however, to face his enemies and those who would encourage him to live otherwise. It is a tragic thing, to see Logan fighting to be alone and live peaceably, but then being prodded back into the world of death he so well knows. Where does this desire come from? It never says specifically. But hints at many things. One thing is certain, we see Logan kill many people, but almost always it is from the cause of people inflicting pain upon him. He is not a hero to be cheered, but rather one to sympathize, and in this movie, I found myself doing so. Through it all however, we see him make choices which we would consider to be “above the beast” or, not indulging in his natal nature. He fails, like we all do, but in the end, when the true test comes, he makes the one which is considered “moral”.

Logan and his brother (who also has powers of regeneration) fight a lot, but truly do look out for each other. “Nobody kills you but me.” Logan’s brother tells him. And at times, we are fairly certain he is going to do just that. In the end though, we again see resolution between the two. “After all, we’re brothers. And brothers look out for each other.”

The Antagonist of the film, Stryker, is man who is eventually shown to be completely despicable in his actions and are in no way condoned or praised. He acts in such a way “because he is a patriot”, but his motives are self serving, and suffers the consequences of such.

Things I didn’t Like

As with any wolverine film, it is guaranteed there will be violence to an extreme level. This one doesn’t back off any as well. From the beginning- even as a child, we see wolverine as a killer. He kills a man with his claws, and it just goes from there. We see flashbacks from wars where he and his brother are violently getting shot, yet staying alive and causing mayhem. In another scene, a group of mutants dispatch (matrix style I might add) a room of guards to steal something from a crime lord.

And once wolverine’s wife is found bloody on the forrest floor… it gets really messy. He takes out several armed vehicles, two unarmed people are shot by Stryker’s men, Wolverine causes a helicopter to explode with a man still in it. When Wolverine and his brother fight, they stab, throw, and claw each other, but since both can heal, we just see them beat up with no blood or permanent injuries. A mutant is beheaded. Mutants fight other mutants with their special powers.

Wolverine’s Adamantium procedure is a cruel one. Needles bore and drill into the bones of Logan, causing extreme pain. After the procedure is complete, we see him jump off the table, buck naked, and kill several people trying to wipe his memory. We see his rear several times. A man also stabs another who disagrees with what he is doing.

Several profanities are in the film including the D word, S word, and Hell being used out of context. God’s and Jesus’s name are use in vain 10-12 times. Wolverine also gives someone the bird with his newly made Adamantium claws.

Closing Thoughts

Well, I found it. It helped us to create a metal compound so strong, that you’ll be able to withstand virtually anything. It’s called adamantium. I can’t put Victor down myself, Logan. To kill him, you’ll have to embrace the other side, become the animal.
~William Stryker~

A movie as torn as this, (pun intended) brings into consideration many ideas and questions regarding human instinct (the evil/animal) and human conscience (the man). All through the X-men series, we see Wolverine constantly fighting the urge to kill without thought or caring. We see him battle grudges of betrayal and learning to trust others. A man as old as Logan, you’d think he would have learned something.

But as we sadly see in this film, without Christ, man truly learns nothing worth anything in terms of morality or conscience. We watch a man torn apart by his own brother’s betrayal. His one constant friend, instantly taken from him by the actions of Stryker. That’s the most I can say, without spoiling the plot.

The plot however, is not what is truly important, what is memorable is the way Logan handles the hand felt to him in a most twisted way. Whether or not he lets his animal nature rule him, or whether he chooses to act according to his conscience. The messages there were profound for me, and left me thinking a lot on how often we fight against our animal nature.

While the messages, for me, were deep and engaged several good conversations from watching this film, the insane amount of fantastical brutal violence which accompanies it makes me wonder at times whether or not I’m embracing the animal when critically watching this film. So I will say viewer beware,  the darkness of The Wolverine can be consuming, but it can also be enlightening. It is all in how you delight in it.

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