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'Wolverine' Is All the Rage
Logan takes audiences on a deep, riveting ride
Nicolas van der Leek (Nick)     Print Article 
Published 2009-05-01 10:54 (KST)   
©2009 20th Century Fox
Once you leave the spirit world you can never come back...

I'm not going to write too much about this flick and I recommend you steer clear of reviews that run through the plot too much, because part of the thrill in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" is the roller coaster the story takes you on.

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All you need to know is that I've seen it three times now and it works. Without having seen "Terminator Salvation"(coming out in May), "Harry Potter, Star Trek" and other film fare coming in 2009 it's risky to make bold statements, but I'm confident "Origins" is going to slice it's way to number one in the Box Office. It's either going to be the biggest movie of 2009, or it's going to be up there kicking butt in the top three.

"Origins" has a lot of mutants in it - something I somehow didn't suspect since the title suggests that it's really the story of Wolverine. Well, it is and it isn't. The heart of this flick is about a bond that exists between two brothers, two almost indestructible warriors. Liev Schreiber steals the show, some have suggested. Yes, he puts in a great performance.

Anaesthesia won't work on him...

Hugh Jackman, who produced Wolverine, also put Hugh Jackman the actor through his paces. It's Jackman's best performance, and he acknowledges that in all his earlier incarnations he wasn't 100 percent happy with the results. You see him here looking in the shape of his life, and this didn't come cheap.

Jackman claims he was able to "lift 20 percent harder, heavier and longer [in the gym] as Wolverine" - by staying in character. He brings a lot of emotional commitment to this flick, possibly because - for the first time - Jackman himself has become completely aware of the mythos behind this character.

You may be surprised too, to learn that Wolverine has been around for some 150 years, and has accumulated a lot of trauma. There aren't too many movies that acknowledge high levels of trauma [pain] in their heroes. "Highlander" was one. "Batman", to some extent, is another. Wolverine takes the haunted, powerful man mythos even further, and it's a fascinating ride.

This is your idea of an idea?

Jackman's mission for "Origins" was simply this: Exceed expectations.

Director Gavin Hood, who admits to not being a comic book nut may not seem the logical choice for an unforgiving fan base. A man of classical tastes (Hood points out that some of the first superheroes in the human cultural archive came to us in Greek Mythology - the likes of Zeus and Poseidon), Hood delivers a mythic Wolverine: he takes us on a raw, visceral journey through some beautiful scenery. No, not Canada, but the New Zealand woodlands easily pass off as the Canadian wilderness.

There's no redemption where I am going...

What I enjoyed about this flick was its sheer masculinity. The proponents of this film are all intensely masculine, and charming, themselves. Schreiber, Jackman and even Gavin Hood himself, a man I interviewed a few days ago. The Wolverine mythos delves into all those things that young boys and men fixate upon - a man on his own finding his own way, wars, blood, physical work, fighting, strength, sweating in nature, rivalry and loyalty, love and betrayal. Perhaps more than anything else, Wolverine taps into the raw nerve of rage - something men and women alike may feel more sympathetic to in Wolverine than they expected.

Jackman had seen Hood capture this sense of inner conflict in Hood's Academy Award winning South African production, "Tsotsi," and felt that Hood was the man to delve into Logan's inner turmoil.

"Origins" is filled with themes, from rebirth, to revenge. The package is cohesive, the script (from the pen of David Benioff) taught and riveting, the cast exceptional and the scenes carefully crafted and well executed. Jackman and his team have set a high standard and met them. They exceeded my expectations. Wolverine will probably punch you unexpectedly in the gut too.

8.5/10


For more visit www.nickvanderleek.com
©2009 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Nicolas van der Leek

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