Film critics take sharp claws to "Wolverine"

Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:40pm EDT
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Movie critics took sharp claws to "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" on Wednesday, carving it up in several poor reviews, but box office watchers said it still should bring blockbuster ticket sales at this weekend's debut.

The movie is the first major release of Hollywood's lucrative summer season, which can account for up to 40 percent of the U.S. annual box office, so Hollywood studios including "X-Men" backer Twentieth Century Fox hope for a big hit.

Yet, despite some praise for star Hugh Jackman as the heroic mutant Wolverine, several critics were unimpressed.

"A prequel to the 'X-Men' trilogy made between 2000 and 2006, 'Wolverine' is silly and typical, not in spite of but because it bonds an undeveloped family feud onto the main character's renegade story," the New York Daily News said.

Showbusiness newspaper Daily Variety said, "Noisy and impersonal, 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' bears all the marks of a work for hire, conceived and executed with a big budget but little imagination," while The Hollywood Reporter called it "a keen disappointment."

In the film, Wolverine vengefully hunts his brother Sabertooth, believing he killed Wolverine's girlfriend.

Wolverine, who uses razor-like claws to battle his enemies, then gets entangled in a U.S. secret program.

The Daily News said Jackman showed a lot of "charisma" in the role he made famous in the previous three "X-Men" movies, which combined have hauled in more than $1.1 billion at global box offices.   Continued...

<p>Cast member Hugh Jackman waves at an industry screening of "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" at the Grauman's Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California April 28, 2009. The movie opens in the U.S. on May 1. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>