“X-Men Origins: Wolverine”

Directed by Gavin Hood

Released May 2009

What are your favorite comic books? As a child, I was drawn to the Lone Ranger and Dennis the Menace. My wife preferred Superman and the Justice League of America. Even so, this film has some pretty talented actors, and my beloved’s enjoyment of the two earlier X-Men movies rubbed off a little on me. I expected to be entertained.

Unfortunately good actors still need a good story in which to shine. Instead, this film’s creators seem too concerned with revealing how Wolverine got those shiny metal blades that come out of his hands, and how he lost his memory. Feel free to show that, too, but do it with a story that I can get caught up in, a story where something is really at stake.

Hugh Jackman and Liev Schreiber are great actors who know how to grab and hold an audience. But seeing them in this film is a little like watching Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum compete at shuffleboard. Yes, it’s an interesting matchup. But wouldn’t you rather see them pitch against each other in the World Series?

— Robert Digitale