Following on from the successful X-Men trilogy is this prequel that shows us what Wolverine (Jackman) got up to before he hooked up with Professor Xavier, Jean Grey and the gang. It seems James (aka Wolverine) was actually born in the 19th century and, complete with bone claws that grow out of his hands, spends many years alongside his half-brother Victor (Schreiber) fighting in the American Civil War, two World Wars and Vietnam. However, Victor's increasing rage leads them both in front of a firing squad (which their regenerative powers cause them to survive), and then to Major William Stryker (Danny Huston), who recruits them to his Team X, made up of an elite group of mutants that includes super-strong Fred (Kevin Durand), teleporter John Wraith (Will.I.Am), electricity-controlling Bolt (Dominic Monaghan) and mercenary Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds). When the team commit murder during an interrogation in Lagos, however, James decides to leave the group, eventually settling down with a girlfriend in a remote area, disguising himself by going by his last name, Logan.
His simple life doesn't last long, of course. Victor is hunting down and killing members of Team X, and he murders Logan's love, leading our hero to join forces with Stryker to stop him. Stryker convinces Logan to have his skeleton reinforced with a metal called adamantium, but when Logan realises what else is expected of him, he is on the run once again, this time with numerous bad guys and mutants in hot pursuit. Phew.
Better than X-Men: The Last Stand but not a patch on the first two movies, this starts off interestingly enough with the early years back story but then gets bogged down in too many characters and plot twists. There's not enough of Reynolds' or Schreiber's bad guys, and far too much of po-faced Jackman looking moody/grumpy/like he needs the toilet. Some of the effects are great, but others look far too computerised, and fans of the series will get increasingly annoyed by some of the gaping plot holes littered throughout (for example, wouldn't it have been more sensible of Stryker to try and wipe Logan's memory BEFORE making him invincible with the adamantium, rather than after?) Skip this one and move straight onto X-Men: First Class.
Is X-Men Origins: Wolverine suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Like the other X-Men movies, this is aimed at older kids. There are violent war scenes, battles, murders and fights. The scene in which Logan is given the adamantium is pretty grisly and scary for younger viewers.