First X-Men prequel is X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Why start here? Because Hugh Jackman is as close to a big name lead as the franchise has produced. And he is hot and talented.
More of a recap that review, sorry.
So the movie starts at the beginning with a young boy being cold and ill, then becoming enraged enough to kill with bony claws, sometime in the mid or late-19thcentury. He escapes with his (spoiler) half-brother that has a similar manifestation to the mutation: fingernail talons, sharp teeth and rapid healing.
We then flash to the grown up years, where aging stops around 30something. Hugh Jackman is fighting a series of wars (all the biggies) with big brother Liev Schreiber (one of my faves), who gets evermore ferocious as time moves on.
Eventually their antics and special skills call the attention of Maj. William Striker (Danny Huston, decent as a young Brian Cox) and they join a special special unit of specials. Seems Striker has created this big group so that they canâ€¦ fight alone, together.
During a melee in Africa, we meet each new mutant who gets a chance to showcase their individual skills one-at-a-time, instead of smartly fighting as a group. And yes I know it is to be clear who is who, who can do what, and save money by only having them work so much. Here they are, and no I do not care about canon:
- Rap guy (you want names?!): John Wraith, because the folks at Marvel lost their subtle, is a teleporter or something.
- Kevin Durand (Dark Angel, Lost) is a BIG strong guy who balloons into a human blob.
- Hot Asian guy (name): fast fighting skills, strong, good jumper, and sharp shooter. Lasts longer than most.
- Dominic Monaghan (Lord of the Rings, Lost): power tech dude. Think Wireless from Heroes.
- Ryan Reynolds (crap comedies, a Blade movie): hot sword fighter, smartass.
Melee goes bad, Jackman walks and Schreiber broods. Fast forward six years and Striker is a Col., someone (Schreiber) is taking out the group, and Jackman lives on a mountain with a chick that is not long for this world. Which is not a spoiler, nor is the eventual reveal of her having a power. (See also, the damn posters.)
Death of girl via brother is what sends Jackman to Striker, to get the hot metal injection (dirty!) for his revenge and become Wolverine. (Notice how much typing it took to get here; takes longer in the movie.) During the procedure, which basically kills him, Wolverine overhears the evil plans of the should-not-be-trusted Striker and escapes.
Which lets him reconnect with old combat buddies Wraith and Blob, for some boring not at all funny comic relief. And a chance to get â€œhelpâ€ from Gambit, young Friday Night Lights hotboy and lethal jumping, stick wielding card shark. No idea what his â€œpowersâ€ are.
Wolverine needs Gambit, who knows location of Strikerâ€™s secret base. During their bruhaha, Sabretooth arrives to do bad things (spoiler edited). Wolverine and Sabretooth fighty fight, and just as Wolverine gets the upper hand, Gambit intervenes and starts fighting â€¦ Wolverine?! Sabretooth? Both???
Because he is dumb does not realize the Sabretooth is a worse bad guy? No. Just to advance the plot and let Sabre get away, cause Wolverine cannot kill Sabretooth here, movie over too soon. Not five seconds later, Gambit goes right back to helping Wolverine. Uuggh.
Anyway, Wolverine uncovers more of the evil plot, ends up fighting Striker and his brainwashed minions. At which point you know everything that happens next. Calls to the previous movies:
- You see the blue/green eyed kid, Spawn of Striker
- Strikerâ€™s emporium of random powered mutants and the evil, no-conscience military-scientist tools that exploit them
- A Young Cyclops and Professor X
- Wolverine and Sabertooth fighting it out, in which case no one dies and you know that already, as they are in â€œfutureâ€ films, so your fingernails are safe
- Wolverine looses his memories
The Final Snark: Yes it was an Origins movie, but it took to long to get there, but then had nowhere new to go.