Balked at for its inaccuracies from the source material, poorly executed CGI, a dismally written script, and butchering of a fan-favorite character, X-Men Origins: Wolverine can easily be seen as the worst in the trilogy of Wolverine movies. It is undoubtedly down there in the minds of fans, sitting right next to X-Men: The Last Stand and, more recently, X-Men: Apocalypse. However, sit down and compare what the filmmakers were trying to accomplish to what they did accomplish, and there are more than a few redeeming qualities to be found.
One can argue that these qualities actually make it a better movie than the critically acclaimed Logan that fans praise as the number one flick in the trilogy of Wolverine films. Yes, Logan was probably the grittiest, realest depiction of everyone's favorite Canadian mutant and X-Man, but it was also gifted with the honor of being an R-rated Wolverine film, something that his first two solo outings couldn't do, giving it an unfair advantage. In terms of Wolverine films, we're here to argue that Origins is superior and we urge you to join us down mutant movie memory lane and revisit the film that started the popular mutant's solo outing on the silver screen.
15 LIEV SCHREIBER AS SABRETOOTH
Most recently known for his role as the titular character in Ray Donovan, Liev has a long resume with a wide range of character types from his smart and witty portrayal of Dr. Ted Fielding in Sphere to the creepy, fame-hungry Cotton Weary in the original Scream trilogy . As Sabretooth, he instilled fear into his victims and exhibited confidence with a blend of savagery that is required from this bestial character.
He exuded a character that you would not want to bump into in a dark alley somewhere, which is something that Will.i.am quickly learned. Some might have been upset that Tyler Mane wasn’t selected to reprise the role to maintain some continuity, but there was no mistake in recasting with Liev. Wolverine deserved a vicious, calculating villain to go toe-to-toe with and Schreiber delivered. Something Logan could have used as opposed to a carbon copy of our hero.
14 WOLVERINE IS ACTUALLY A HERO TO ROOT FOR
X-Men Origins: Wolverine presents the audience with a sympathetic character, someone that we hope wins in the end. In Logan, we see someone who's clearly turned his back on the world and wants nothing to do with it anymore. If it weren’t for the previous films that shows us who Logan actually is, we wouldn’t even care that he’s dying. He has a mother begging to help her “daughter”, but he turns her away.
In Origins we see a person that tries to stop the hurting of innocents. He holds true to his convictions so much to the point that he turns his back on his own brother, he ends up in a relationship and he works a blue collar job as a logger. This is someone that knows right from wrong. We don’t get that in Logan. Instead we see someone that cares only about money for a boat.
13 TEAM X
Despite the writing, X-Men Origins: Wolverine had an all-star cast. Most of which were a part of Team X. Danny Huston does a great job as Stryker picking up where Brian Cox left off as a manipulative and secretive military officer. Of course there’s the aforementioned Liev Schreiber as Victor Creed, but then we have Kevin Durand who delivers.
Then we had another Lost alum in Dominic Monaghan playing Bolt who could control electronics with his mind. His screentime was minimal, but given the chance there’s no doubt that he would really shine. Finally we have Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson aka the Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool who, admittedly was handed horribly but hey, it lead to bigger and much better things from Reynolds and that specific character.
12 LYNN COLLINS
On-screen diversity is an important and historically lacking thing in films these days, but X-Men Origins: Wolverine casts one of its key roles perfectly to a Lynn Collins. And the writer, director and casting crew didn’t have to stray too much from the source material to find this character. Not only is Collins’ Silver Fox Native American, but Collins herself claims to have Cherokee ancestry.
The best part about Silver Fox in this film is the way her heritage was incorporated into the movie with the story about Kuekuatsheu (pronounced koo-ay-koo-aut-soo) that she shares with Logan. It is a shame that she didn’t have more screentime for a chance to show off more of her fighting skills. Other notable representation in X-Men Origins: Wolverine is Will.i.am as John Wraith and Daniel Henney as Agent Zero.
11 NOT A ROAD TRIP STORY
Strip away that noir feeling, wipe away the dust and grime, and what does Logan leave you with? The bare bones of the film is a National Lampoon movie without the humor. Or more accurately, it's an escort mission. The most loathed type of mission by gamers across the globe. You know that one quest where you’re tasked with escorting cargo (commonly a person) from one point to another unharmed.
We start with Logan in his little hideaway in the middle of the Mexican desert and he has to get X-23 all the way to North Dakota so she can cross the border into Canada. There are hiccups along the way, like X-23 getting captured and Logan getting a nice little family killed. X-Men Origins, on the other hand, is a story of self-discovery with Logan metaphorically walking that fine line between his more bestial nature and humanity.
10 RICHARD DONNER AS PRODUCER
You can miss it if you blink, but in the opening credits, there is a credit to the one and only Richard Donner as Executive Producer, adding a bit of nerd credit to the film, something that Logan can't boast. This is the man that brought Superman to the big screen for the first time in 1978, and helped audiences believe that a man can indeed fly.
He also collaborated with Geoff Johns on Action Comics for a time, and had a hand in helping revive interest in modern day comic book films as he produced Bryan Singer’s very first X-Men film. All great credits, which doesn’t include any of the other classics he worked on. It is difficult to ascertain exactly how much influence he had on X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but having him and his name on board for a superhero movie never hurts.
9 IT HAD A SENSE OF HUMOR
Say what you want about the pacing or CGI of Origins, but with Ryan Reynolds’ quips and banter, X-Men Origins: Wolverine was objectively funnier than Logan. Sure, Mangold wasn’t going for a humorous movie, but neither was Hood and he still managed to tell a decent story that incorporated just as much humor as a current MCU flick.
As funny as it is to hear Patrick Stewart drop an f-bomb or two, the novelty of that particular kind of laugh wears off fast. With how barren Mangold’s film felt, it needed a little more pick-me-up to show even a glimmer of hope in a landscape that has mutants nearly extinct. When one leaves the theater after watching Logan, it's hard to not feel the same despair you felt at the beginning of the film, with little joy in-between.
Remy LeBeau is a character a lot of fans had been waiting to see since Bryan Singer’s first X-Men film, and even more when X2: X-Men United had the little easter egg of his name appear on a computer database, but X-Men Origins finally delivered. One can nitpick the accent and maybe a couple costume decisions, but this character was spot-on.
The only complaint about Taylor Kitsch’s Gambit should be that he wasn’t in enough of the movie, though he did fit in nicely and didn’t feel like he was shoehorned in. Then there is the fight scene between he and Wolverine that was a lot of fun to watch. Cards flying, explosions, and walls being smashed in, it was a well-deserved introduction of the Cajun to the cinematic world. Fans can only hope to see him again soon.
7 HUGH JACKMAN BUTT
How could this not be on the list? Who doesn’t want to see a well chiseled Hugh Jackman butt? With every movie, Hugh Jackman did his best to stay in top physical shape to meet the demands of the role and to make fans happy. No, not because they wanted to see his butt. Because he knew fans didn’t want to see an out-of-shape Wolverine that could barely take a swipe at an opponent without getting winded.
In his 40s when this was released, Jackman only got in better shape with each passing film. He spent hours at the gym with a personal trainer to attain and maintain that bestial, animalistic look that one would expect from Wolverine. How many times did Hugh Jackman run across screen naked in Logan? Answer: ZERO. How many times did Jackman show off his butt in Logan? Answer: ZERO. Sorry, but facts are facts.
6 WOLVERINE VS SABRETOOTH
Something, or someone, that was missing from Logan was a villain worth fighting. An actual villain, to be exact, as opposed to an entire organization. We didn’t need a rehash of the X-Men Origins: Wolverine ending where Logan is fighting a genetically modified mutant with his DNA. We needed a classic villain that could go toe-to-toe with the hero. We needed Sabretooth because X-24 felt like a cheap stand-in for Creed, someone that can give Logan a run for his money.
We got Sabretooth in Origins and their fights were epic and they were personal. Victor kept pushing and pushing to get Wolverine to cross a line he didn’t want to cross and that made their fights that much more thrilling for the audience and the final fight in Logan wasn’t personal enough as he just wanted to help get some kids across the Canadian border and one of them was his clone.
5 WOLVERINE AND SABRETOOTH
Just as thrilling as it was to watch these two characters fight one another, it was more satisfying to put their differences aside to fight a common enemy. When the two go back-to-back, the audience can see the brotherhood there. Wolverine even offers a hand to Victor when it's all over. You can see the history those two characters have in that one scene. Imagine that Victor was in Logan and he’s fighting Logan until it gets to the point that he learns that his employer is the reason mutants have died off.
Imagine Victor and Logan work together to protect Laura and the other kids from this secret organization that has ties to to their origins. Having two sworn enemies come together for a common cause is a great plot point to elicit an emotion from the audience. An opportunity that Logan missed, but X-Men Origins: Wolverine seized.
4 DIDN'T HAVE TO BE RATED R
Since the success of Deadpool, Fox as been more liberal about making R-rated comic book movies. Logan followed suit and did pretty well because of it. X-Men Origins: Wolverine didn’t have to be rated R, however, to be dark at times. One specific scene that got particularly dark was during the fight between Victor and Wraith. While Wraith is teleporting and punching Victor, Victor grabs and holds onto Wraith’s spine, forcing him to stop teleporting. They exchange some words that lets the audience know what Victor is holding onto before he rips out Wraith’s spine.
Sure, this scene could have been amplified had they been allowed to show the gore, but there is something to be said about not seeing the visceral violence. This is to the filmmakers credit that they were able to make someone cringe with the very thought that someone had their spine forcibly removed.
3 EXQUISITE FIGHT SCENES
Ignore the CGI, ignore some of the cringe-worthy writing, the fight scenes were masterfully choreographed. From Wolverine taking on a helicopter to Gambit coming down from the air to slam his staff to the ground, these scenes were a work of art to watch. That last battle with “Deadpool” on its own was a lot of fun to watch, if you can get past the tidbit about that being Deadpool. That’s not to say Logan didn’t have some exquisite fight scenes, too.
Most of the action sequences, though, was Logan running from being shot at or him running people down with a vehicle. There are only a few notable scenes. It is easy to be mad at X-Men Origins: Wolverine but you have to give credit where credit is due, and the cast and crew put some effort into their fight scenes.
2 AFTER CREDITS SCENE
Something MCU films have been known for is their mid and after-credits scenes. They either drop tidbits of info that lead into the next movie to be released, or they can be completely benign. While Logan obviously is not in the MCU, it's disappointing that it didn’t have one. A problem a lot of movies have is introducing a great character (typically female) only to never see or hear from them again.
Fans want to see more of Laura and seeing a scene with her, solidifying her spot in the continuity of Fox’s Marvel movies would have been more than welcomed. Whether we get to see her immediately after the events of Logan or down the road, it would have been comforting to see her in an after-credits scenes. X-Men Origins: Wolverine surprised audiences with a variation of after-credit scenes, one of which was the Deadpool being more Deadpool-like.
1 INTRODUCED RYAN REYNOLDS AS DEADPOOL
Even before his appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Ryan Reynolds was a fan-favorite to play the Deadpool on the big screen. Unfortunately, we all know how that turned out, and this is not in defense of what that movie did, but it reaffirmed that Ryan Reynolds was and is meant to play Deadpool. There were some times that it didn’t look good for him.
When everyone saw him in the flopped Green Lantern movie, we were all sure he was done with comic book movies. But no, he eventually returned with possibly the most faithful adaptation to the big screen and he nailed it. We got the witty banter we saw at the beginning of X-Men Origins: Wolverine and the only time we ever had to see that horrific “Deadpool” with his mouth sealed shut was as a gag in his own movie.
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