X-Men Origins: Wolverine ★★★

Action set pieces connected by a thin and clichéd plot, where the latter is in the service of the former, rather than the other way around. All the characters are two-dimensional, so there is little emotionally involving material in the film. The excellent, powerful opening-credits sequence is memorable. Major annoyance: the ultimate mutant solider—who is sadly underused, by the way—is remote-controlled by computer commands. In the end, the movie feels somewhat pointless, since the insight it gives into Wolverine’s origin is superficial. Hugh Jackman’s and Liev Schreiber’s forceful performances in the lead roles drive the movie; Danny Huston is well cast as William Stryker. Gavin Hood is not an obvious choice to direct a film of this kind, but he does it relatively well. There is an extra scene during the first part of the end credits and one at the very end; unfortunately, the film copy at my local theater had the less significant scene of the two different second extra scenes that exist.