• Tag Archives William Stryker
  • Canister X Movie Review #100: X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

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    X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
    Written by David Benioff and Skip Woods
    Directed by Gavin Hood
    Runtime 107 min.
    3 out of 5

    Little James was born in the 1800s and was always sick. His family background . . . well, he didn’t have much of one, at least, one that cared. Except for his friend, Victor. One night, during a drunken upset with his later-to-be-found-out father, James learned he could produce bone claws from his hands and defended himself, killing his father.

    That night, James and Victor were on the run, and promised to always stick together. The years go by and the two find a great outlet for their rage: war. Victor (Liev Schreiber) also has a special ability and he is more animal than man, with claws coming out of his fingers. The two are very similar and age very slowly. War after war goes by, and the two eventually end up working with a secret team run by William Stryker (Danny Huston). While on one mission, James—now calling himself Logan (Hugh Jackman)—feels Victor has gone too far in his attack on an innocent and walks out on the group.

    Years later, the group’s been disbanded and Stryker comes to warn Logan that Victor is behind the recent string of deaths of its former members. The only way Logan will be strong enough to fight the always-stronger Victor is to undergo a special experiment of Stryker’s own design: graft the indestructible adamantium to his bones. Logan agrees.

    But there’s something Stryker hasn’t told him about what’s been going on and when Logan finds out, he’s furious and wages an all-out one-man war against Stryker, Victor and anyone else who stands in his way.

     

    On the action: cool fight scenes and neat concepts. However, it seemed to me Logan was a little too acrobatic and was able to survive way more and take way more pain than even a mutant with a healing ability could.

    On the story: works for me, in that we knew Logan had a history going in. He was the star of the X-Men movies after all, and X2 especially focused on Logan’s origins as much as they were able to without detracting from the main story. I did like seeing what really went on and, more specifically, how Logan lost his memory. I was under the impression that he lost it because of the adamantium experiment and not after it. Doesn’t matter, but I did feel for the guy when the love of his life wasn’t all she was cracked up to be.

    On Deadpool, because, you know, it has to be covered: the whole story involving the secret ops group Logan was a part of made for fun action. Deadpool’s origin, hey, why not? To be honest, I don’t know if they followed the comics or not because I’m more a DC guy than a Marvel one and don’t know too much about Deadpool other than he’s the “merc with a mouth.” His transformation from normal-looking Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) to disfigured Wade—good stuff.

    Was this a perfect movie? No, unfortunately. It felt too cartoony as opposed to carrying with it the realistic tone the other X-movies had, namely the first two.

    Will I see the sequel? Absolutely. I’m a saga guy so I want to see what happens next.

    Check this film out if you’re the superhero-movie-completist type like me.

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  • Canister X Movie Review #95: X2: X-Men United (2003)

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    X2: X-Men United (2003)
    Written by Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris and David Hayter
    Directed by Bryan Singer
    Runtime 133 min.
    4.5 out of 5

    The rumored war between mutants and humans begins to take shape after a mutant makes an attempt on the life of the President of the United States. Soon, the X-mansion is attacked by military forces led by a man with a hidden vendetta against them. While the X-Men band together to make a stand against those who would rather see them killed or controlled, many of them must also face the demons of their past for good or ill.

    Meanwhile, Jean Grey’s powers are acting up and she’s losing control. The others take notice and try to help, but something else seems to be brewing deep within her.

     

    I love this movie. It was my favorite superhero flick until Spider-Man 2 came out. This movie picked up pretty much where the first X-Men left off, and delivered in spades everything that made the first X-movie so good: solid story, amazing acting, high stakes (even higher in this one), and a respect for the source material. Throw Brian Cox as the main bad guy—William Stryker—into the mix and you got a recipe for a great movie.

    Once again told from Wolverine’s (Hugh Jackman’s) perspective, X2 is the story about facing your past and not running from what you find there. We see this not only when looking into Wolverine’s life, but that of Stryker’s, Iceman’s, Rogue’s, and others. Like the first one, the theme of being-different-is-okay is prevalent, and comes more into play as the government exercises its power while it seeks to investigate what it doesn’t understand.

    The hard part about reviewing an X-Men movie is that everyone does so well in their roles, you can spend a thousand words talking about each. Space doesn’t permit that here, but needless to say I can watch Sir Patrick Stewart’s father-figure and leader role as Professor X all day. Couple that with Sir Ian McKellen’s—Magneto’s—diehard devotion to ensuring mutants are ready for the inevitable confrontation with humans and you can see how these two characters are really two sides of the same coin with both wanting the same goal: peace for mutants. Of course, their means of achieving that goal are completely different from one another.

    There’s a real sense of world-building in the X-Men universe, with each location and character fully developed, and as we visit them with each outing, it’s like coming home to old friends.

    This movie is more intense than the first because, like I said, the stakes are higher and all those at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters are in some real life-or-death danger.

    I also appreciate how they showed that if certain people had these special mutant-enhanced abilities in real life how much of a danger they could be to themselves and to others. This is something not often seen in superhero flicks as the villains in here—even some of the heroes—seemed more misguided than simply evil for evil’s sake. And that’s the kind of world we live in, right? How often are those who do something wrong doing so out of misguided intentions? How many times do we do that ourselves?

    I’m really glad they made this movie and made it so well that the franchise has kept going.

    I’m proud to stand united with X2: X-Men United.

    Recommended.

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