X-Men Origins: Wolverine is an entertaining, exciting film that delivers in telling the origin story of Hugh Jackman's ill-tempered, fast-healing alter-ego.
Gavin Hood steps in to direct this 4th installment of the 20th Century Fox lucrative franchise. He manages to infuse the action with great character-driven moments. Through his expert eye we get a picture that delves into Wolverine's past from point at which he is a small boy, to the point leading up to the events of the first X-Men picture.
Jackman carries the entire picture upon his chiseled soldiers and he is more than up to the task. This is a man who takes his fanbase seriously and gives every once of himself to craft as compelling a comic book hero as has ever graced the silver screen.
Liev Schreiber plays Wolverine's nemesis and half-brother, Sabertooth. Schreiber rattles the screen with unabashed menace. He has a real presence and provides our hero a worthy adversary. Schreiber, like Jackman is brilliant in every role I've ever seen him play, and continues that tradition here.
Gavin's feat of summer fun is made more extraordinary when you consider he and the writers were tied to the events of three previous films. Gavin smartly stays in line with the mythology laid down by Bryan Singer in X1 and X2. While some fans are bound to cry foul over the fact that this film was not a direct adaptation of the comic book Weapon X, it must be pointed out that the film series exists in its own universe, independent of the events found in the pages Marvel's magazines.
XO:W stands tall in a month that has brought us Star Trek and Terminator Salvation. This is shaping up to be a great summer at the cineplex!