There is no doubt that Hugh Jackman is the perfect actor to portray Wolverine; and Marvell's decision to do an origin story on Wolverine is a good idea. The character is steeped in mystery for the average movie goer whom enjoyed the first three X-Men films. The idea is to take us back some 15 years before the X-Men films take place. For the most part we get introduced to many new X-Men when they were young? Cyclops is but a young teen, Emma Frost, Gambit all become small blips in the film. The story itself is worthy and the assortment of other Marvel characters in it, but when you use other characters, you open Pandora's box to their origins too. Certain enough that the bastardization of those characters hurts this film. There is much confusion as to what nationality Wolverine is. He's born in what appears America but as he ages infinitely slower than regular humans, he settles in Canada. The same goes for the key protagonist, Stryker. Is his program an American run operation or Canadian? After all the secret government facilities are housed in both Canada and America. It makes no sense. How can a man travel in both countries and run what appears a secret American commando operation out of Canada? On who's authority does he operate? While I'm condemning all this garbage, the film actually holds together the first 40 minutes. Then the story falls apart. At the seams. From Gambit interfering in a fight between Wolverine and Sabertooth without good reason, to Logan's continued interest in revenge after he learns he has no reason for it.
Aside from the failed story line there are still two major problems with Wolverine, one is story tellers bring in other characters without any true interplay. The second is the ending.
Starting with interplay: While the story between Wolverine and his brother Sabertooth (played by Liev Schreiber) offers some tension, it's not palpable. It doesn't work. With an entire film to build that tension up from, it fails to do so. Then there is the dreaded Weapon X program. This is a detailed storyline which is dismantled and reconstructed without appreciation for how it affects other characters such as Deadpool. I'll get to that. When Wolverine joins the X-Team we get to see him participate in part of one mission. We don't get to experience any true teamwork by the team. Instead we get a showcase of each member's power. We are spoon fed what each character's special ability is and quickly the story steps past them. There is no evolution. Just quick introductions showcasing abilities and onto the next. We never have a chance to savor any character as none of the characters are developed. It was much like the last X-Men movie, here is a character, now you've seen him/her, let's show you the next. This just insults the movie goer, and as for the comic book faithful, it's a travesty.
More on interplay? Well, in our parade of characters many don't resemble their comic book counterparts. OK... say that the comic books are silly, don't matter or discount them as thinly developed, that is a big mistake to assume. These characters have purpose in why they have costumes, mannerisms and attitude. The fact is these characters are supposed to jump out of these comic books in the same way they exist in print. Remember when we got a Robin in a purple suit when the Batman franchise began failing? Robin is a inconsequential character but he lost character when the director or film makers decided to change his costume. This same behavior has run rampant in the Wolverine movie. So many characters are just wasted, ruined and disposed of frivolously.
One that stands out: Deadpool. It is clear the director had no respect for this character. Wolverine's origin comes at Deadpool's expense. In fact his masked origin never occurs! What a joke! Instead Ryan Reynolds (whom plays Deadpool) is left with hardly any characteristics to Deadpool other than his wielding two swords. Deadpools deadpan smart ass mouth is hardly well executed by Ryan's own comedic style. The fact is Deadpool would have been a great character and storyline of his own had the film makers held true in the slightest to the true character of Deadpool. What is worst is that Deadpool is given an assortment of powers he uses ridiculously making the end of the film a farce. Here is a spoiler for certain so skip to the next paragraph if you still plan to watch the film: Deadpool is give so many powers from all the mutants that he is truly an ace in the hole. He can't be stopped, he can't be fought. He could kill every other character in a heartbeat but fails to do so. This in itself makes the ending unwatchable.
For the casual superhero fan that had no complete understanding of why Wolverine could produce adamantium claws, this mild mystery is put to rest. The back story of him losing the love of his life also turned out to be laughable. She dies, she isn't dead, she is dead, who cares? I say that because a man can be as wrecked emotionally as Wolverine when the love of his life turns out to be a fraud. I can see him with trust issues, but not love issues. It just doesn't work.
Now for the ending. This contains a spoiler. X-men movies have a habit of offering lame endings. Here again is a really bad one, because the beginning of the movie had more realistic and more fun action fight scenes than the end. The ending is a total let down. The fight between Deadpool and Wolverine is an abomination and true joke. Deadpool's origin is adulterated with so much rich history behind Wade Wilson's past not merely left out but discarded. Deadpool is created from a failed weapon XI attempt and worse yet, Deadpool generates swords from his arms. It's just a complete waste of film. The ending of Wolverine is why this film fails so miserably. It did in fact get off to a good start but continuously refused to respect the characters as it wore on. Characters with cameo appearances are great, having what seemed every other character in the film reduced to cameo appearances is tragic on every level. I could only recommend this film in video. Word is there are multiple secret endings. Let's hope a better one is in store for the DVD video version. I doubt it is possible as Deadpool's overwhelming power is just too hard to explain. It's even harder to explain how any other group of characters could take him down. Wolverine is too good a character to screw up, but this story was poorly told.
I give it a 4 out of 10.