Synopsis: "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" tells the story of Wolverine's (Hugh Jackman) epically violent and romantic past, his complex relationship with Victor Creed/Sabretooth (Liev Schreiber), and the ominous Weapon X program. Along the way, Wolverine encounters many mutants, both familiar and new, including surprise appearances by several legends of the X-Men universe.
Wow, where to start with this review. I don't want to get all geeked out and show my comic book knowledge, but I think this film will be far better judged from the view of someone who hasn't read any of the story and doesn't know any of the characters. As a stand-alone movie it's very entertaining and filled with action and interesting, although underdeveloped, characters. As an adaption of the "real" Wovlerine story, it's rushed, shallow and misses the point.
For example, it's sort of cool to see them show some of the characters if you know who they are (Gambit, The Blob, Deadpool, Cyclops, Prof. X) but it's also frustrating at the same time because they don't get into the characters enough but merely use them to wet your whistle a bit and they also don't stay very true to the comic book versions of them. They're secondary characters (and some just cameos almost) and feel like they're used just in case they want to make movie spin-offs for them. The main characters in the film even, Wolverine and Sabretooth (although he's never called that), aren't very true to their comic book selves even. That's a point I'm sure most fan boys will attach to and not be able to enjoy the film. Rightfully so I guess if you're that into the story and history.
But as a stand-alone film or at least an extension of the 3 previous X-Men movies, this is more of the same. There's a lot of slick, loud superhero action around a thin story that's very similar to many other superhero stories since they really don't get very deep into it. It's much more style than substance for sure and could benefit from more character development. It's still entertaining, but in a more mindless sort of way. Flashy whistles and bells replace the storytelling part and that's good to keep you entertained the way a fireworks show at the 4th of July might.
The effects are really good, but nothing we've not seen before. The action is a bit choppy and often shown from too close up to really get a good view of what's going on, including most of the fight scenes. The acting by Jackman and Schreiber are good but I wish they had more work with. Danny Huston is good as Stryker as well. I really wanted to like Taylor Kitsch (Tim Riggins on Friday Night Lights) more as Gambit but the lack of his trademark charisma and thick cajun accent put me off a bit. I think a much better Gambit would have helped the film and I feel the same way about Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool. He was interesting but underused.
It's not all that bad as I've read in some reviews, but it's not all that good either. If not nitpicked, the story is enough to entertain and the visuals are fun. Still, I think it missed it's potential by missing out on the needed depth of characters (see The Dark Knight) and ignoring a lot of source material.
X-Men "experts" will probably hate this movie. Casual fans should be very entertained. I'm somewhere in between I guess.