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X-Men Origins: Wolverine


Stars: Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Danny Huston, Lynn Collins, Ryan Reynolds, Dominic Monaghan, Taylor Kitsch, Daniel Henney, Patrick Stewart

Director: Gavin Hood

A blaster of an action pic in the X-Men series, with committed performances from Jackman, Schreiber and Huston that are a credit both to them and to director Hood.

The story opens in the mid 19th century when Jim and Victor discover that they are brothers, and have special powers, long, retractable claws that spring from Jim's knuckles and Victor's fingers. Unable to die, they fight side by side in the American Civil War, World Wars I and II and Vietnam, even though Jim - later Logan, alias Wolverine - does not have his brother's innate lust for blood.

The brothers (now Jackman and Schreiber) join a band of mercenaries - led by Stryker (Huston) - with powers even stranger than their own, including swordsman Wade (Reynolds). But Logan, sickened by the mindless killing, quits the group and becomes a lumberjack in Canada, shacking up with Kayla Silverfox (strikingly well played by Collins). Six years later, alas, he becomes a pawn in Stryker's latest plot.

Lots of lightning-swift and spectacular action, stylishly staged, blends in well here with dialogue scenes that prove no dull interludes, with crisp exchanges that go well with each character and never mess about. Jackman has to be at the top of his game to match Schreiber's ferocity and it's his best performance in the series. And Stryker's mad scientist makes a silken-smooth villain in Huston's hands.

David Quinlan

USA 2009. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Colour by deluxe.
107 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 28 Apr 2009