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Given that I went into XMO:W with very low expectations, I found it pretty entertaining. The plot was bound to be pretty brainless anyway so I was OK with what it did, and focusing on Wolverine and Sabertooth as twin killing machines made for good enough fight scenes. Danny Huston made a good Stryker and Jackman more or less carried this film to watchable. Without his tight lipped stoicism and everyman sensibility during the scenes where he isn’t beheading anyone, the character Logan would have been laughed off screen nine years ago. Liev Schreiber was something of a wild card going in but I liked his performance greatly. He managed to bring menace to every step and every sneer, the camerawork made him look massive enough to fit the part and choosing his acting ability over Tyler Mane’s look definitely kept the film from grinding to a halt early on. Ryan Reynolds came off very watchable as Wade, enough so that the end credits make me hopeful of the already approved spin off film. I doubt anyone has grown on me more as an actor in 2009 than he has. But it wasn’t all good choices-Lynn Collins brought nothing to any of her scenes. Flat acting and stilted dialogue, her character always came across as a plot device and never as a person. Will.I.Am has to be a frontrunner for the Razzies this year with his god-awful performance. I doubt that the character Gambit is salvageable for screen anyway, but a cheesier David Blaine with a slipping accent and pat “Cajun” dialogue certainly didn’t help. The effects are outright laughable at times. Some of them just scream “this was shot against a blue screen.”  The Daily Show uses the same fiery background as Wolverine’s exploding motorcycle jump to better effect. The differences between rendered backdrops and real locations were glaringly obvious in several scenes, giving the movie a cheap, rushed feel. Still, for a summer blockbuster, Wolverine had all the right parts and the leads pulled it up higher than it had any right to soar. 3 stars


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