Hugh Jackman Returns As Wolverine One of the surest signs of spring is the appearance of comic book movies in theaters everywhere. Hugh Jackman is back as the edgy Logan, aka Wolverine, in a fast, loud origin-myth of a movie designed to cash in on the fanboy fervor that greeted the three X-Men films.
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Hugh Jackman Returns As Wolverine

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Hugh Jackman Returns As Wolverine

Hugh Jackman Returns As Wolverine

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Whether run by wind, solar, or plain old fossil fuel, movie theaters are plugged into the electric grid and cranking up the latest comic book movie, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." Kenneth Turan has this review.

KENNETH TURAN: Whatever you do, you don't want to make Wolverine mad. First comes that God-awful Earth-shattering scream.

(Soundbite of scream)

TURAN: Then those indestructible claws pop out of his hands, all leading to a display of what the fans call berserker rage.

Believe me, it's not a pretty picture. "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" explains how Hugh Jackman came to be the intensely masculine poster boy for Marvel comics' favorite band of mutants.

(Soundbite of movie, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine")

Mr. DANNY HUSTON (Actor): (As Colonel William Stryker) We're going to make you indestructible, but first we're going to have to destroy you.

TURAN: That's the nefarious Colonel Stryker talking up his plan to make Wolverine invulnerable.

(Soundbite of movie, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine")

Mr. HUSTON: (As Stryker) You will be able to withstand virtually anything. It's called adamantium. You're going to have to embrace the other side, become the animal.

Mr. HUGH JACKMAN (Actor): (As Logan) Let's do this.

TURAN: This is not the urbane debonair Hugh Jackman who hosted the Oscars and did a soft shoe routine with Beyonce. Or is it?

For as fans know, Wolverine is one conflicted dude. Yes, he gets mad. Hey, don't we all? But then he feels bad about it afterwards and worries that trying to take someone's head off is a bad thing to do.

"X-Men Origins" is a solid, efficient comic book movie that is content to provide action-heavy comic book satisfactions. If it doesn't rise to the heights of Christopher Nolan's Batman films, it doesn't stray into super-lame Daredevil territory either.

Liev Schreiber plays Wolverine's even angrier half-brother Sabretooth. Don't ask. And he and Jackman are both fine actors who throw themselves into whatever they take on, whether it be Chekhov or comic books.

Director Gavin Hood, best known for his Oscar-winning South African film "Tsoti," came to this job without Hollywood blockbuster experience. Even so, all the explosions manage to go off on time, which in a film like this is all that really matters.

INSKEEP: Kenneth Turan reviews movies for MORNING EDITION and the Los Angeles Times, and there are many more movie reviews at our Web site npr.org, including the new film from Jim Jarmusch, "Limits of Control."

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