Sam Strange Remembers: X-MEN ORIGINS - WOLVERINE

The legendary Hollywood producer remembers the time he told the origin story of circus freak Wolverine.

By the time I was asked to make X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I had already made three X-Films. And after all that experience, I still didn’t quite understand the Wolverine character. Or any of the X-Men for that matter. And I still don’t. I suppose that is why I passed on making the new old one.

Here’s my take on the X-Phenomenon, and you can tell me if I’m wrong: It’s about a bunch of circus freaks who fight each other. They all have nearly invincible freak-powers, but some can be nullified by an opposing freak-power. So when they fight, it is like a “Paper, Rock, Scissors” match. Wolverine can kill anyone on the planet, but he’s incredibly vulnerable to Magneto’s magnet freak-power. And yet, Storm could simply drown Magneto with a hurricane if she wanted to. Need to kill Storm? Just have Nightcrawler BAMF behind her and cut her throat. Time to kill Nightcrawler? Have Professor X order his brain to stop hopping around so much. See? It’s pretty much just like ポケモン. Actually, I don’t understand ポケモン, either. Can’t even read it.

Meanwhile, all this fighting has a social message as well. Every circus freak is also gay, and the world hates them because most people don’t yet understand that gay people are the greatest, most fun and happy people on earth. The gay men, I mean. Not the lesbians. They’re horrible.

Some circus freaks want to educate the world, others want to simply wipe the world out, and this is why they fight. Personally, I would be on the “wipe the world out” team, but since I need the world to watch my movies, I leave my own personal politics at the door when it comes to making X-Movies, along with my common sense and need to logically understand character motivations.

None of that really comes into play with X-Men Origins: Wolverine, anyway. This one’s more about personal vendettas in a pre-circus time. The film begins with baby Wolverine (Baby Hugh Jackman) sick in bed. Watching over him is some older kid we don’t know (Baby Liev Schreiber). Over the course of this scene, we think these two are brothers, find out they aren’t, then find out they are. Know that I am trying with all my might to take you on an emotional roller-coaster ride of epic proportions, and you may get whiplash. Then Whiplash shows up.

Some other stuff happens and Wolverine’s dad (old makeup-Hugh Jackman) gets killed by the other kid’s dad (old makeup-Liev Schreiber). Baby Wolverine screams at God and unleashes long sharp boner-claws from his knuckles which he uses to kill the other kid’s dad. With his dying words, the guy reveals himself as baby Wolverine’s actual dad. Baby Wolverine screams at God again, and this time a boner-tail comes out of his ass. He screams at God again, and the bone tail goes away forever. After this, Baby Wolverine and his bud, Baby Sabertooth, run off towards their circus freak destiny.

I always like to give my fans freebies, so during the opening credits, I treat everyone to a mini-movie where Wolverine and Sabertooth take part in every major American War, making friends with Gary Senise each time. The two of them seem to be good buddies at this point, so they must be on the same page as far as killing people goes. Whether that’s Wolverine’s “don’t kill some people” page or Sabertooth’s “kill everyone” page, I refused to comment on because I was being artistically ambiguous.

Along with America as a whole, Vietnam finally rips the brothers apart. When Sabertooth tries to rape a Vietnam girl, Wolverine screams at God and grows a morally-conscience foot, which he then puts down. Their ensuing fight reveals their circus freak powers, and the army shoots them. When this doesn’t kill them, it gets them the attention of Major Ted Striker, who is also a Major Asshole.

Ted Striker has put together a team of circus freaks to do his evil bidding and asks Wolverine and Sabertooth to join. They say yes and head off to some hell-hole or another to kill people and steal their stuff.

The team is a pretty eclectic group of badasses. There’s…

Deadpool. This guy thinks he’s really funny. He’s actually just a regular guy with circus freak swords that do whatever it takes to save his life. For instance, we see him wisecrack his way into a room filled with guns. When they start shooting, his swords take over and deflect all the bullets, while Deadpool himself keeps making stupid jokes.

The Blob. At this point, The Blob isn’t all that Blobby yet, so everyone makes fun of his code-name. He’s just an invincible guy who punches tanks.

???. This guy can make light bulbs glow somewhat brighter than normal.

John Wraith. This guy has the amazing ability of being black while wearing a cowboy hat.

Agent Zero. This guy jumps. He also has two guns which work in the same fashion as Deadpool’s swords. In fact, if his guns and Deadpool’s swords were to fight each other, I imagine it’s make a pretty entertaining stalemate a la Wolverine vs. Girl Just Like Wolverine in X2, and Wolverine vs. Sabertooth as seen twenty times in this film.

Wolverine’s job in this group is to stand around going, “Hey, this ain’t right, bubs.” After a while, he gets tired of doing that and leaves the mercenary life for domestic bliss as a logger in Canada, Colorado, located right in the heart of the beautiful Magnited States of America. There, he meets a school teacher so not-long for this movie that I didn’t even bother giving her a name or showing you her boobs.

After twenty years of this, Sabertooth shows up and kills Wolverine’s wife, while also laying a humiliating ass-whooping on Wolverine himself. Beaten, Wolverine screams at God again. This causes Striker to show up and shove a bunch of indestructible metal into Wolverine, making him an even more indestructible indestructible guy.

Wolverine’s boner-claws are now metal claws, so otherworldly and strong that when light reflects off them, they look like something airbrushed onto the side of a van. As soon as Striker makes Wolverine invincible, he starts trying to kill him. He tries by shooting him, blowing him up, and cutting off his head. When none of that works, he pisses his pants and runs away.

For the next hour, Wolverine gets people to help him find Striker. Each time, Sabertooth shows up, kills the person, and fights Wolverine. Whenever Wolverine and Sabertooth fight, it goes like this:

Wolverine goes: ROOOAAARR! (flexes muscles likes he’s holding an invisible roll of carpet).
Sabertooth goes: SNARRRL! (gives us a sinister smile so we see his gay little teeth).
Wolverine runs at Sabertooth.
Sabertooth gallops toward Wolverine on all fours and it doesn’t look at all stupid.
Contact: Wolverine goes high. Sabertooth takes him low and knocks him into something.
Wolverine stabs Sabertooth. Sabertooth doesn’t care.
Sabertooth scratches Wolverine. Wolverine doesn’t care.
Wolverine stabs Sabertooth. Sabertooth doesn’t care.
Sabertooth throws Wolverine into something bigger than before.
The two go their separate ways.

Is it boring? You tell me. You’re the one that made this movie a kabillionaire.

Anyway, Wolverine eventually finds Striker on an island called Striker island. Here, Striker has imprisoned every circus freak that will be important ever and experiments on them. His endgame is a perfectly unkillable circus freak that he can use to wipe out all the other circus freaks. When Wolverine shows up, he wakes up this new badass, but Wolverine just cuts off his head because, in his haste, Striker forgot to give him the DecapabilityImpossibility freak-power owned by renowned circus freak, Decapabappababy.

But he still has one ace in his hole. As Wolverine emancipates the circus freaks, Striker prepares a gun with bullets made out of the same metal as Wolverine. Used to not giving a fuck, Wolverine walks directly into his gunshots and takes two in the noggin. You might think that two identical metals would just nullify each other, but you’d be wrong because Striker’s bullets are fucking pointy as hell.

Wolverine’s brain grows back, of course, but his memories do not. Immediately, all the freed mutants begin filling him in on what happened. But then a mysterious man in black tights arrives in a floating chair.

He says his name is Meta-Man, and his job is to watch X-Men movies and interfere only when their continuity is threatened. If their universe is to survive, every free circus freak must agree to never discuss the day’s events. Furthermore, when they run into Wolverine in the future, they must promise to pretend they’ve never met him before. They all agree, and Wolverine is left going, “huh? who was that guy? hey! where’d everyone go? someone help me. i gotta pee, but don’t remember how!”

Sabertooth becomes a husband and logger in Canada, Colorado, while Wolverine spends the next twenty years re-learning that he likes to smoke cigars and say “bub” a lot. Everyone kind of stops talking when he enters rooms, and he never understands why. It’s tragedy.

(three stars)