After the success of the X-MEN TRILOGY, it was inevitable that the film franchise would continue and Wolverine features in the first of the X-MEN ORIGINS series.
The story begins in 1845 with Logan as a young, sickly child who discovers he is a mutant when he kills a man with long bone claws which protrude from his hands. Logan learns this man is actually his father and that he is the half-brother of his friend Victor Creed. Both boys run and become fugitives.
Over the opening credits we see Logan (HUGH JACKMAN) and Victor (LIVE SCHREIBER) fighting together in the American Civil War, throughout both World Wars and, ultimately, in Vietnam. It is here that Victor goes too far and, displaying increasing anger and hostility, attacks his fellow soldiers. This incident earns both Victor and Logan a date with the firing squad, which as mutants they manage to survive, and while locked in a cell they are visited by Major William Stryker (DANNY HUSTON) who offers them redemption if they join his new special outfit.
Both agree and take part in a military operation in Nigeria which sees them fighting alongside other mutants including Fred Dukes - The Blob (KEVIN DURAND), Agent Zero (DANNY HENNEY), Wade Wilson - Dead pool (RYAN ROBERTS) and John Wraith (WILL I AM). After attacking the heavily defended headquarters of a diamond smuggler, Logan learns that Stryker is not interested in the jewels but another item the Nigerian kingpin has - a lump of adamantium.
Disillusioned with the way the team operates, Logan leaves, returns to Canada and settles down with schoolteacher Kayla Silver fox (LYNN COLLINS). Six years pass before the past comes back to haunt him with the arrival of Stryker, who says somebody is hunting down and killing members of the old outfit.
Events transpire to persuade Logan to join Stryker. He undergoes the risky and painful operation of having his body reinforced with adamantium to make it virtually indestructible and ready for the coming confrontation. He even renames himself Wolverine.
Yet all is not as it seems. Stryker has his own hidden agenda which will have far reaching effects on the mutant population - and to Logan in particular!
In X-MEN ORIGINS WOLVERINE we meet some of the most popular characters from the X-MEN graphic novels, several in cameos - including surprises at the end of the film and in one of the cut sequences - which should please fans no end!
The film answers some of the questions about Logans past - including how he loses his memory - and there are plenty of action scenes throughout. One highlight is a chase sequence when Logan is relentlessly pursued by armoured vehicles and a helicopter. All the actors seem to be having fun, especially SCHREIBER, who relishes his role as Creed (also known as Sabretooth) although he looks less animal-like than he did in the original X-MEN film.
At 102 minutes the film is just the right length and there are two further brief sequences during the end credits, as well.
There is a wealth of superb Extra Features on the disc, too. These include several cut scenes (9 minutes), footage from the Fox World Premiere (6 minutes) and audio commentaries by Director GAVIN HOOD and Producers, LAUREN SHULER DONNER and RALPH WINTER. Further features are The Roots Of Wolverine (a 16 minute interview with LEN WEIN and the legendary STAN LEE) and The Thrill Of The Chase at 6 minutes in length. However, best of the lot is Weapon X Mutant Files, a great 54 minute documentary about the mutants of the film featuring all the actors involved.
X-MEN ORIGINALS WOLVERINE works well as both a stand alone thriller and the prequel to the original Trilogy of films.