Directed by: Gavin Hood
Written by:David Benioff, Skip Woods
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Live Schreiber, Danny Huston, Will I Am, Dominic Monaghan, Taylor Kitsch
Released: April 29, 2009
Grade: C+

There have been three films in the X-Men series to date and I’ve liked them all. They explored some interesting moral issues against the backdrop of a rather complex storyline. The characters were cool too.

The last X-Men flick was released three years ago and instead of churning out another sequel, 20th Century Fox has taken a different path. They’ve made a prequel which focuses on Wolverine and how he came to be. It’s bound to be popular given that Wolverine was easily the most popular mutant from the earlier flicks.

Unfortunately, I didn’t like this movie. Hugh Jackman runs around punching bad guys and blowing stuff up like a stereotypical action hero. It lacks the suspense and the depth of the other films. It starts off poorly and isn’t improved by a finale which is all special effects and no emotion.

The bad guy is a power-hungry government official named William Stryker (Huston). He has a secret lair where he’s been committing scientific experiments on mutant beings. He’s trying to harness their powers so that he can create a super mutant. One of the guys is he wants is Wolverine – for his fighting skills and retractable metal claws.

Having lived a quiet life for a number of years, Stryker lures Wolverine out of hiding by having his long-time girlfriend killed. The killer is Wolverine’s brother, Sabretooth (Schreiber). As you’d expect, this enrages Wolverine and sets him on a quest to track down Sabretooth and Stryker.

The more I think about this story, the less sense it makes. New characters are introduced late in proceedings for no apparent reason. Are they there for possible sequels? It’s also hard to work out who’s pulling the strings. Stryker seems to be in control but why everyone is helping him to become a super villain are beyond me. Dr. Evil is Austin Powers had better motives… and that film was a comedy!

With all the marketing hype, moviegoers will stand in queues like lemmings to buy tickets to this film this weekend. I’m willing to bet that the majority will leave the cinema unsatisfied.