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X-Men Origins: Wolverine
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2½ Stars - Fair
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Mpaa Rating
PG-13 (for intense sequences of action and violence, and some partial nudity)
Directed By
Gavin Hood
Run Time
1 hour 47 minutes
Cast
Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Danny Huston, Will.i.am
Theatre Release
May 01, 2009

As the finale of a trilogy, X-Men: The Last Stand was disappointing. It concluded by removing the natural superpowers of two key characters, killing off two other beloved heroes, and apparently killing, then inexplicably resurrecting, another central character—an odd ending considering all of them survive in the comics with powers intact.

Rather than resolve these threads—it's too expensive to renew the actors' contracts—the masterminds at 20th Century Fox are moving forward by looking back to the origin stories of various mutants. Naturally, they've started with the ever-popular Wolverine, followed by two other origin films in early development.

By now, fans know this franchise plays fast and loose with the mythology of the comics. The awkwardly titled X-Men Origins: Wolverine is no exception, but that's hardly surprising considering how murky and nebulous the character's past is. The movie still manages to strike some of the necessary beats of Wolverine's story, even while overloading it with extra characters and subplots that seem to conflict with the previous films. For example, how can a younger Cyclops or arch-nemesis Sabretooth appear in this movie when Wolverine seems to meet them for the first time in the original X-Men? The film attempts to explain questions like these with convoluted answers. (Hint: Sorta rhymes with magnesia.)

This tale originates with Wolverine's earliest days as James Howlett, a boy living in mid 19th century Canada. As a mutant with the ability to heal rapidly (not to mention those trademark retractable claws), he ages at a much slower rate than normal—hence why he still appears middle-aged even today. Turns out his half-brother Victor has similar talents, including a ...

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