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X-Men Origins: Wolverine (***)
directed by Gavin Hood
by David Benioff and Skip Woods, based on the character created by Len Wein
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Principal Cast
Hugh Jackman -- Logan / Wolverine
Liev Schreiber -- Victor Creed / Sabretooth
Danny Huston -- William Stryker
Will.i.Am -- John Wraith
Lynn Collins -- Kayla Silverfox
Kevin Durand -- Frederick J. Dukes / The Blob
Dominic Monaghan -- Chris Bradley / Bolt
Taylor Kitsch -- Remy LeBeau / Gambit
Daniel Henney -- David North / Agent Zero
Ryan Reynolds -- Wade Wilson
Ratings are based on Rick's four star system.
One star - the commercials are more entertaining than the viewing.
Two stars - watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars - good solid entertainment.
Four stars - you never dreamed viewing could be this good.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

Wolverine is an enjoyable superhero movie.

There was a time when most science fiction movies and all superhero movies were badly written. There were fewer writers in those days, so even bad writers could get a job writing B-movies. I don't know that there are more great writers now than there were then, but there are a lot more good writers. Wolverine Origins is a well-crafted entertainment. It's exciting. It has a few good lines. It is easily better than any superhero film before Superman the Movie. And much as I love Superman the Movie, that has a lot of hokey bits that you would not find in a movie today.

The plot of Wolverine Origins is a little confused and confusing. The writers were faced with the challenge of weaving together not one, but three origin stories, and somehow ending up where the first X-Men movie began. Not an easy task.

The first origin of Wolverine, from 1974, is that he was a Canadian superhero, a member of Alpha Flight, the Canadian version of The Avengers. He was recruited by The X-Men in 1975. That's Len Wein's origin. The second Wolverine origin is that he is Weapon X (or the creation of Weapon X, a Canadian lab that builds super-soldiers), with an adamantium skeleton grafted onto his bones. That's Barry Windsor Smith's origin, published in 1991. The third Wolverine origin was first revealed in a 2001-02 Marvel Comics mini-series titled Origin, written by a team of writers led by Joe Quesada, Marvel's current editor-in-chief.

At this point, there have been so many stories about Wolverine, who grew from a very minor character to one of Marvel's most popular characters, that I doubt anyone could make a coherent whole out of all that has been written about him. David Benioff and Skip Woods probably do as good a job as anyone could. Benioff wrote the not-so-hot Brad Pitt vehicle Troy and wrote an award-winning script for The Kite Runner. Woods is a very young writer -- this is his fourth film and first major film.

Sit back and enjoy. Munch your butter popcorn. There are worse ways to spend a summer afternoon.

There is a routine credit cookie.

Copyright © 2009 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.

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