Before becoming the X-Man,’ Wolverine’, James Logan had an entirely different life. Having a close relationship with his half-brother, Victor, the pair end up with a group of mercenaries but, disagreeing with their barbaric methods, James leaves them and starts a new, more functional life. However, when his former friends begin to be killed, James is forced to return to his previous life but with few people left to trust, he must decide which of his so-called allies are still on his side.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) – Director: Gavin Hood

Is X-Men Origins: Wolverine appropriate for kids

Rating: 12

Running Length: 107 mins

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Danny Huston

Genre: Comic Book, Action

REVIEW

‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ is the fourth instalment of the ‘X-Men’ franchise (one which never seems to show signs of stopping!). Choosing Wolverine to be the first of the X-Men to focus on was easily the best idea as he is arguably the most interesting character in the X-Men and, as no other ‘Origins’ stories have so far been planned, his is clearly the only back-story that fans want to see.

Hugh Jackman once again beefs up for his most famous role and, with his rugged good looks and tough but honest charm, he manages to be appealing to men, women and children. The supporting cast, which includes Ryan Reynolds, Will. I. Am and Kevin Durand enhance the movies light-hearted nature but Liev Schrieber’s villainous Sabre Tooth ensures that the movie is balanced so that despite plenty of humour, it never becomes a comedy.

While it isn’t the best movie in the franchise, it is certainly enjoyable and with lots of action and fun characters, it’s bound to be a hit with any child who enjoys a comic book movie.

IS ‘X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

A montage of several wars throughout history is shown in a scene where soldiers are seen to be blown up, shot and badly injured. There is no blood, the injuries are quick and there is no injury detail, however it is realistic and as this scene lasts for around 5 minutes, it could be quite distressing for younger kids. During this scene, one soldier who is supposedly on the ‘good’ side, carries a screaming woman into a tent and throws her onto a bed. It is obvious that this man intends to rape her, however nothing is said in the dialogue and nothing graphic is seen so most kids will not understand the implication of his actions.

A mercenary threatens a man by holding him tightly by the neck. When the man doesn’t help, the nails on his attackers’ fingers extend and the man is killed, although nothing graphic is shown. When this happens, other people are terrified and panic, they scream and attempt to escape but the other mercenaries shoot at and kill several people who are unarmed and running away; another character steps in to stop any further bloodshed.

A character is visited by a former ally and is instantly scared of him due to something that has happened in their past. This character tries to reason with the visitor but they are very menacing and suddenly lunge at them. There is a scream but the camera moves away from the action so nothing graphic is seen. It is made clear in later dialogue that this character has been killed.

A character attacks an innocent woman in order to get the attention of an enemy. He slowly approaches the woman’s car, dragging his fingernails along the side of it which penetrate the metal while the woman looks at him fearfully. The audience is aware that this character will kill innocent people and therefore this short but intense scene could be quite scary.

A character chooses to take part in an experiment that will change his physiology. He lies down and several thin needles whir around his body. One near his head starts to move towards him, the camera cuts to an image of a human body on a screen which represents the character; the needles are shown to go into the image then the camera cuts back to the man who cries out in pain. There are close-ups of the needles in his face and the dialogue between two other characters explains that the anaesthesia will have no effect on the man.

An established character is killed when their attacker puts their hand through their body. The victim gasps in shock and pain; the attacker finds this all amusing and tells the character ‘I can feel your spine’, there is a ‘crack’ and the character dies.

A previously ‘good’ character is transformed into a merciless villain after going through forced medical procedures. Their mouth has been sewn shut and their personality has been removed which makes them appear very frightening; they have a multitude of mutant powers so are extremely powerful and hard to fight so are likely to be very scary for kids.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?

VERDICT

  • Violence: 3/5 (two men are tied to stakes in the ground and face execution by firing squad, the punishment is carried out and both are shot numerous times. There is no injury detail and no suffering is shown. A man is shot in the head, there is a close-up of the bullet hitting his face, he recoils but immediately brings his head forward as he hasn’t been badly hurt)
  • Emotional Distress: 2/5 (several established ‘good’ characters are killed and although their deaths aren’t dwelled upon, some kids may become attached to them, especially any who are fun and charismatic. Two nice characters are shot and killed unexpectedly, they have had no part in any of the fight but their deaths are callous and unfair)
  • Fear Factor: 3/5 (long, sharp bones erupt from a young boys hands, he is shocked and cries out in pain, however due to other circumstances, he becomes angry and attacks another person, therefore any suffering is minor and short-lived)
  • Sexual Content: 2/5 (a man tells his friends that he is in love with a woman after spending one night with her, when another character asks how, he replies ‘she’s a gymnast’. A man is forced to flee from danger, naked. He enters a barn and an old man gives him some cloth to ‘cover it’ and says ‘I don’t want you giving the old lady a heart attack!’ This nudity is not meant to be sexual in nature)
  • Bad Language: 3/5 (mild and moderate cursing and blasphemy throughout)
  • Dialogue: 3/5 (a character who is able to persuade people to do things tells someone to ‘walk until (your) feet bleed and keep walking’)
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of striving to be a better person, not accepting evil (even in those you care about) revenge, knowing who to trust, betrayal and the consequences of a ruthless pursuit of what one wants, even if it hurts people in the process.

Words by Laura Record

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