Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 18
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
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For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

WHAT’S UP BRO?: Half-brothers James (Wolverine) Logan (Hugh Jackman, left) and Victor (Sabretooth) Creed (Liev Schreiber), almost come to blows because of their different approaches to their mercenary occupation. Wolverine does it reluctantly and only because the cause of justice demands that someone has to do the dirty work, whereas Sabretooth loves the violence and cruelty that is an integral part of their work.

X-Men Origins — Wolverine: Prequel Unravels Mysteries Surrounding Superhero’s Origins

Kam Williams

X-Men Origins is a prequel that develops the back story of Wolverine, aka James Logan, the superhero who is capable of morphing in an instant into a steel-clawed assassin. Hugh Jackman reprises the role he’s played in prior movies in the popular series.

Directed by Gavin Hood, the story opens in 1845 in the Canadian frontier where we find the teenaged James sickly and living in a log cabin. His life changes the fateful day when, in a fit of rage, he stabs a man (Aaron Jeffery) in the chest only to learn that he’s just slain his own father.

This pivotal piece of the Logan family genealogy means that James’ childhood friend Victor Creed (Liev Schreiber), must be his half-brother. Victor also is superhuman and his alias is Sabretooth. The two orphans agree to join forces and decide to go to America. The ensuing film footage shows these superhuman half-brothers serving together in the U.S. Army in the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and the Vietnam War.

However, the two brothers are fundamentally different. Wolverine does not enjoy the bloody work he must perform, whereas Sabretooth delights in every opportunity to pillage and plunder.

Therefore, it is no surprise that Wolverine decides to quit being a mercenary soldier after he witnesses a series of atrocities committed by fellow members of an elite squad of mutants who are led by Colonel William Stryker (Danny Huston).

Six years later we find James back in Canada working as a lumberjack and very much in love with Kayla (Lynn Collins). Just as the happy couple is preparing to settle down and live quietly together, Colonel Stryker shows up to talk Logan out of retirement in order to help track down the assassin who’s been murdering members of their old unit one at a time.

With the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, X-Men Origins wastes a lot of time weaving a complicated plot that leads to a simplistic showdown of good versus evil. To its credit, however, the story introduces several new mutants who possess extraordinary talents, such as as the teleporting John Wraith, Kevin Durand as the indestructible Blob, Ryan Reynolds as the self-healing Deadpool, Tahyna Tozzi as diamond-skinned Emma Frost, Dominic Monaghan as the electrifying Bolt, Taylor Kitsch as the detonating Gambit, and Lynn Collins as the telepathic Silverfox.

Be sure to stay for all of the closing credits in order to catch one of the two alternate endings.

Very Good (3 stars). Rated PG-13 for intense violence and partial nudity. Running time: 108 minutes. Studio: 20th Century Fox.

For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

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