Film: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a prequel to all prior entries in the X-Men film franchise; it focuses on Logan's Mysterious, Dark and Troubled Past from his childhood to the days just before he hooked up with Professor Xavier's gifted students.

On a cold Canadian night in 1845, James "Jimmy" Howlett sprouts claws made of bone and kills a man; he and his half-brother, Victor Creed, escape into the night together. Over the next century, Jimmy and Victor tear a bloody swathe through the American Civil War, both World Wars, and Vietnam—and during Vietnam, the Army has them both executed (Victor for killing a superior officer, Jimmy for defending Victor).

And that execution would have stuck if the half-brothers hadn't possessed the Healing Factor that gave them near-immortality. Since the execution merely "tickled" the duo, Colonel William Stryker exonerates them of their war crimes and recruits them into a squadron of mutant soldiers who perform morally reprehensible tasks for the American government. Jimmy leaves in disgust after one massacre of innocents too many, while Victor—who enjoys his job way too much—stays with Stryker.

Several years later, Jimmy—now calling himself Logan—is forced to deal with his past when Stryker tries to recruit him back into the team...and an enraged Victor later kills Logan's lover. Stryker reapproaches Logan and offers a deal: if he undergoes an operation to reinforce his skeleton with adamantium, he'll have a chance for his revenge against Victor. Logan survives the operation due to his healing factor, then escapes from Stryker's clutches before a planned memory wipe—and vows to kill both Stryker and Victor.

A follow-up to this film, The Wolverine, was released in 2013. Originally envisioned a sequel to this movie, it evolved into a sequel to X-Men: The Last Stand instead; it was also the first of a planned Origins Spin-Off series that would've been followed by X-Men Origins: Magneto, which was scrapped and remade heavily into X-Men: First Class.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine contains the following tropes:

  • Aborted Arc: The film ended with the reveal that Deadpool had survived being decapitated, setting the character up for future appearances. The Internet Backdraft, coupled with the movie's mediocre earnings, led to the studio completely abandoning any plans for a sequel, and releasing the unrelated The Wolverine instead.
    • A solo Deadpool movie will be released in 2016, but it's completely unconnected to the previous films and treats Wolverine as Canon Discontinuity.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Shortly after Logan receives his adamantium infusion, he slices up several items in a farmhouse bathroom (including a porcelain sink) with his now impossibly sharp claws, despite applying what appears to be no more than the force required to move an unrestrained arm.
  • Achilles in His Tent: Gambit.
  • Action Insurance Gag: When Victor hears Logan coming after him for killing Kayla, he asks the bartender if he has insurance. When the bartender says he doesn't, Victor says, "Too bad."
  • Action Prologue: The pre-credits prologue is a flashback of the main character's childhood, while the credits sequence is a montage of Wolverine and Sabretooth taking part in battles through the ages.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Agent Zero was a lot closer to being an Anti-Hero in the comics. He's a straight-up villain here and completely loyal to Colonel Stryker.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Silverfox is given the first name "Kayla". (The Marvel Wiki isn't entirely sure if "Silver Fox" is even the comic book character's real name, rather than a codename.)
  • Adapted Out: Logan's childhood friend Rose was omitted from his back story and much of her role in the plot was given to Sabretooth. As was Dog, Logan's half-brother.
  • Advertised Extra: Gambit qualifies. He has limited screentime, but manages to do a few things (sets/stops a fight between Logan and Sabretooth, takes Logan to the enemy base, saves Logan at a Big Damn Heroes moment).
  • All Your Powers Combined: The film turned Deadpool into one of these. Flimsiest explanation of his name ever.
  • Alternate History/Been There, Shaped History: Logan and Victor's duel with Weapon XI supposedly caused the Three Mile Island Accident, but in reality none of the cooling towers were destroyed.
  • Artifact Title: The title seems a bit ridiculous now, since the planned X-Men Origins series (of which it was meant to be the first installment) never actually came to be.
  • Artistic License – History: The movie claims to start in 1845 Northwest Territories, Canada... Except that the Northwest Territories would not become a part of Canada until 1870 (and the borders of the vast area were gradually changed until 1905, which resulted in the creation of 4 provinces and 2 territories). Canada itself was only granted Dominion status in 1867.
  • Aside Glance: Wade Wilson is constantly sneaking in looks to the camera.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Victor Creed, a clawed and beastlike creature with abilities similar to Wolverine faces John Wraith, a man who can instantly teleport. Creed uses his brain, not his mutant power, to predict the exact location of John Wraith's next teleport destination. Creed catches Wraith's spine mid-teleport, and comments on how Wraith's weakness was his predictability.
  • Ax-Crazy: Victor Creed has a bloodlust that only mindless battle seems to satisfy.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Jimmy and Victor. Several times, and lampshaded the firstnote  and lastnote  times, providing Book Ends to the film.
  • Badass:
    • Gambit puts up a good fight against Wolverine, and is the only mutant who managed to escape Stryker's prison on Three Mile Island.
    • Wade Wilson. Hell yeah. So much that part of the Weapon XI hatred is for the expectations Wade Wilson raised.
  • Badass Longcoat:
    • Victor sports one.
    Wraith: "I'm not Bradley, Victor. I'm not scared of your creepy black coat."
    Creed: "You should be. Dukes was."
  • Bash Brothers: Logan and his brother do this for the first fifteen minutes of the movie. The opening sequence is a Badass Montage through The American Civil War, WW1, WW2 and The Vietnam War!
  • Bastard Bastard: Victor was presumably born out of wedlock because his surname Creed is different from his father's (Logan), and Victor happens to be The Sociopath.
  • Becoming the Mask: Kayla Silverfox is blackmailed by Stryker into posing as Wolverine's lover. However, near the end, the mask has become real.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Fred J. Dukes has a weight disorder. Try not to say anything about it.
    Logan: C'mon, bub. For old times' sake!
    Dukes: ...Did you just call me... BLOB??
    • Wolverine himself has a berserk button, which is when Kayla is in danger at any point.
  • Big Bad: William Stryker.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: The opening credits shows the titular character to have participated in many of these.
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • For all his (many) flaws, Victor Creed really loves his little brother Jimmy. It's best illustrated in the Civil War part of the opening montage, when Logan is shot and they are (at the time) unaware of their healing factors, Victor's expression says it all.
    • Kayla appears to be willing to do anything to keep her sister safe.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Gambit and Sabretooth both save Wolverine at different points in the movie.
  • The Big Easy: Largely averted when Wolverine heads here to find Gambit who, surprisingly, is toned down a lot from his comic persona.
  • The Big Guy: Fred Dukes.
  • Big "NO!": Used twice in, both times by Logan; first time after he kills his father and the second time when he finds the dead body of his girlfriend.
  • Black Best Friend: John Wraith teams up with Logan after he visits him in Vegas.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder:
    • Weapon XI has full length retractable katana blades in each arm. At least Wolverine's blades might've slid into his forearm allowing him to bend his wrist. This guy has no excuse. The blades are in fact so long that he shouldn't even be able to bend his elbow.
    • Sabretooth has Wolverine Claws, what with him being Wolverine's brother. They grow out of his fingernails and are shorter than Wolverine's, but clearly operate on the same principle.
  • Blade Brake: The film has the title hero do this to make a hard turn on a motorcycle. Interestingly it's one of the rare times his claws don't just go clean through.
  • Blood Knight: Victor joins many wars for over a century only to keep his killer instincts satisfied. He enjoys being a warrior far too much to start a life of peace with James.
  • Body Horror: Weapon XI, especially his mouthless face with perpetually open eyes.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: At the end of the film Deadpool fishes his severed head out of the rubble, looks straight at the audience, puts a finger to his lips and says "Shhh".
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Less than a minute into his first appearance, Wade Wilson clearly establishes himself as obnoxious and immature, and almost incapable of ever shutting up, no matter how much he annoys everyone around him (a lot, all the time). He's an excellent soldier/assassin, however, and this, more than anything, is probably the main reason anyone puts up with him.
  • Cain and Abel: Victor is significantly more unhinged and murderous than his brother Logan.
  • California Doubling: The film was mostly shot in New Zealand.
  • Call Back: Col. Stryker says that Wade Wilson would be the perfect mercenary if it weren't for his mouth; towards the end of the movie, Wade has his mouth sewn shut. Lampshaded by Wolverine (especially relevant since Logan, in the beginning of the film, was the first one to speak up about how Wade never stops talking):
    Wolverine: I guess Stryker finally figured out how to shut you up.
  • The Cameo:
    • A younger version of Cyclops, as one of the mutants targeted by Stryker. His power is copied and put into Weapon X. Ironically it also ends up destroying most of Three Mile Island as well.
    • An uncredited and digitally rejuvenated Patrick Stewart as Professor X.
    • Several characters from the comic book can also be seen in the Weapon X scenes: Quicksilver, Banshee, and Toad, specifically. Others are harder to distinguish on sight.
    • When Stryker and Colonel Munsen are discussing Stryker's preparations for the upcoming human/mutant war, a young Jason Strker can be seen frozen in one of the People Jars note .
  • Canon Discontinuity: A very well known example of this trope. After the film came out, no one was really happy with the result (from the fans to the production team - even Hugh Jackman has stated it didn't feel like a Wolverine movie), and the various contradictions it has with the original trilogy. The prequel franchise was then rejiggered with First Class (containing a completely different Emma Frost) and this film was ignored almost entirely in Days of Future Past where even The Last Stand was taken into account. Minor references to Origins in other films include an audio clip of Wolverine yelling, "Kayla!" that plays when Wolverine is unconscious during The Wolverine, and footage of Sabertooth stepping on his bone claws appearing when Xavier looks into his mind in X-Men: Days of Future Past.
  • Captain Ersatz: A kindly old couple on a farm who take in a super-powered individual? That sounds kinda familiar.
    • The first shot of them smiling while driving their pickup seems like a deliberate homage to Superman: The Movie. Richard Donner is a producer on this film.
  • A Chat with Satan: Victor tries repeatedly to persuade Logan to embrace his bestial nature.
  • Cold Sniper: Zero. He even cracks a smile after he had just murdered two innocent people and watched their barn blow up.
  • Comic Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Invoked a few times:
    • The name "Blob" is only mentioned once, as an insulting nickname that Fred Dukes hates. Even then, it only comes up when Freddie mishears Logan calling him "Bub."
    • "Gambit" is only briefly mentioned as Remy LeBeau's nickname that the prison guards gave him because he always beat them at poker.
    • "Deadpool" isn't spoken until the end of the movie, when it's used as a callsign for Weapon XI. Other than that, he's either "Wade" or "Weapon XI".
    • Victor's nickname Sabretooth is never mentioned.
      • This is possibly to skirt the fact that he's so radically different from the Sabretooth we met in X-Men 1 in looks and personality that it's almost impossible to believe they're the same character.
    • Of course, averted by the main character. Although he's more frequently called "James" or "Logan", he fully embraces the codename "Wolverine" by requesting to add it to his military tags, replacing his actual name.
  • Compelling Voice: Kayla's power, though it only works with an added touch. At the end of the film she commands Stryker first to put a gun to his chin, but stops short of making him shoot himself, instead saying "Turn around. Now walk until your feet bleed. And then keep walking."
  • Composite Character: The film went along with the comic book's then (and rather compelling) implication of Dog Logan and Victor Creed/Sabretooth being the same individual, years later however, the comics show Dog and Sabretooth as not being the same person. Movie Victor also takes on Rose's role from the Origin comic as the person who helped Logan run away.
  • Continuity Drift: When Sabretooth first meets Wolverine in X-Men, he never gives any indication that he knows who Wolverine is, even though he spends more time with him than with any of the X-Men. This film later reveals that, not only do the two have an extensive history together (going back to the mid-1800's), they're actually half-brothers.
  • Continuity Snarl: Quite a few, really.
    • Cyclops is portrayed as a teenager in 1979 during the movie, but is portrayed as a man in his mid to late twenties in the original X-Men trilogy, which takes place 20 or so years later. James Marsden was 27 when he portrayed Cyclops in X-Men, about ten years too young.
    • Admittedly, Cyclops was blindfolded whilst being rescued from the Island by Wolverine, but it still seems unlikely that in X-Men, he would have no idea whatsoever that he has met the man who once saved his life.
    • Cyke's eyebeams carry heat in this film, when in all of his other appearances, they are purely kinetic.
    • X2: X-Men United hints that the adamantium was injected and shaped by doctors, and (in a flashback) Logan is seen fighting off several doctors who've been working on him before escaping the Alkali Lake facility covered in blood. In this movie, the adamantium bonding process is hands-free, no doctors ever work on Logan, and the adamantium is grafted to his bone claws, something he wasn't mentioned as having in the following films. Additionally, the X-rays don't show the two giant holes he should have in his skull.
    • Also Sabretooth never had his memory erased and should know his own brother. In X-Men, which was released first, it seems that Sabretooth does not know Logan, looks completely different, and is near-mute (though none of the Brotherhood is terribly talkative in X1.) That surprised people; Tyler Mane is contracted for two movies, and would not have changed much due to age. You'd have expected Sabretooth to be largely the same but with more lines instead of the totally different character we're given here.
  • Cool Bike: The Harley-Davidson Logan acquires at the Hudsons' farm.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Wolverine and Sabertooth fight three times during, with Sabertooth getting the upper hand the first time, the second ends indecisively, while in the third, Wolverine beats ten shades of sunshine out of Sabertooth in around ten seconds.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Wade Wilson. Too bad they took away Deadpool's mouth.
    • Victor, to a lesser degree.
    Victor: [after Wolverine pops his new claws in front of him for the first time] Ooh. Shiny.
    • Gambit.
  • Death by Adaptation: Kestrel and Agent Zero.
  • Death by Origin Story:
    • The film has Love Interest Kayla. Being Logan, a character who in the comics collects dead lovers and was unattached in the first three movies, it seemed she was doomed to die, and the film doesn't disappoint... at first. But when it's revealed he death was faked and their affair false, the trope seemed averted. But then it turns out she really loved him... so she was dead as a doornail by the end, and the now amnesiac Wolverine didn't even know to cry over her corpse. Tragic in all the wrong ways.
    • Then there's John Howlett, Wolverine's father, who is killed by the groundskeeper Thomas Logan in a drunken rage. The trauma of witnessing this activates young James' mutation: bone claws and he uses this to kill Thomas Logan, supposedly avenging his father's death. With his dying breath, Thomas Logan reveals that he, not John Howlett, is his real father.
  • Dénouement: The film not only has this trope, but two Sequel Hook segments as well, one of which has just been greenlit by Hollywood. That's right, folks: the Merc with the Mouth is getting his own movie.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: Stryker manages to bypass both Wolverine's adamantium bones and healing factor by shooting him in the head with adamantium bullets. The bullets pierce his skull, and while Logan's brain can heal, his memories can't.
  • Doomed by Canon: Wolverine has to lose his memories and rename himself "Logan", Sabretooth has to distance himself from Wolverine to the point of giving him the silent treatment, William Stryker has to survive and so does Cyclops. Silver Fox has to either die or board a bus (since Wolverine doesn't have a girlfriend in the original movie).
  • Downer Beginning: Jimmy's father dies, leading the boy to kill the assassin, Logan... and discover he is his real father. So Jimmy is forced to run away along with Logan's other son, Victor.
  • The Dragon: Agent Zero is Stryker's dragon at first, then Sabretooth and Weapon XI later on.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Subverted during one of the post-credits scenes, we see Wolverine in a Japanese bar. The bartendress asks him if he's drinking to forget, to which Wolverine replies he's drinking to remember.
  • Dumb Muscle: Fred Dukes, who Stryker employs to do the heavy stuff like stopping a tank from firing at them, is not the smartest of Stryker's team, even getting a tattoo of a woman he only met the night before.
  • Edge Gravity: A weird non-videogame example occurs during the climactic battle on the top of the coolant tower. Punched, kicked, tripped, backdropped and blown up, characters always land on the top of the wall, which is less than a meter wide-though considering that the characters are pretty much immune to falls it wouldn't really matter.
  • The '80s: Bulk of the movie takes place in 1985 or the very least 1986, but given the nature of what happened to Logan's memories, it is unsure when it took place. The Other Wiki states Stryker met Logan and Victor in 1975 placing the majority of the movie in 1981. Regardless, it certainly doesn't capture the look or the feel of the time.
  • Empty Elevator: Very much averted - they're in the elevator, right in the firing line of two dozen mooks with automatic weapons. So they send in the Merc with the Mouth to "clean up" first.
  • Enemy Mine: Wolverine and Sabretooth against In Name Only Deadpool.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • The generals allowed for Stryker to carry out his Weapon X project. However, one of them called Stryker out when telling him that he suspects that Stryker's motivations were basically out of Fantastic Racism. This gets him killed by Stryker.
    • Dukes clearly is disturbed by what Stryker does to Three Mile Island.
  • Exposition of Immortality: The film starts with Wolverine and Sabertooth as young children in 1845, then starts a montage of them fighting in every American war from the Civil War to Vietnam.
  • Extranormal Prison: Briefly featured a series of holding cells that combine this trope and Tailor-Made Prison. Each cell was made capable of holding their individual mutant occupant.
  • Face Death with Dignity:
    • Once Victor arrives, Chris Bradley doesn't even flinch.
    • John Wraith upon being confronted by Sabertooth, refuses to be scared and attempts to fight him.
    Wraith: I'm not Bradley, Victor. I'm not scared of your creepy black coat.
    Creed: You should be. Dukes was.
  • False Reassurance: Wolverine nearly throttles Colonel Stryker when he thinks he's lying. Styker swears that he's telling the truth "on the life of my son!" Of course, as we saw in X2, Stryker doesn't value his son's life very highly.
  • Faux Affably Evil/Affably Evil: Stryker is very polite and charming, often calling Wolverine "Old friend". This doesn't change the fact that he's unrepentantly homicidal and manipulative.
  • Finger in a Barrel: In the past, Dukes does this with a tank cannon, causing the tank to explode from the inside. It's a good thing Duke is super tough.
  • Five-Bad Band:
  • Flashback Nightmare: Implied in one scene with Wolverine where he is screaming in bed and apparently accidentally injured Fox with his (regular) claws, where he explained that he had nightmares on every single war he fought in.
  • Flipping the Bird: Wolverine does it to Gambit.
  • Foregone Conclusion: It's a given that Logan, Sabretooth, and Stryker will all survive the film. Logan will receive his adamantium skeleton from the Weapon X program. Finally, Logan's memories of everything in his life up to, and including, the events of the film will somehow be erased by the end of the film.
  • The Foreign Subtitle: The film became Wolverine: X-Men Zero in Japan.
  • Foreshadowing: Stryker says to Wade Wilson that he'd be the perfect soldier if he didn't have such a mouth. Stryker later turns Wade into a mutated super-soldier who literally has no mouth.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When John Wraith teleports, going frame-by-frame reveals that, unlike fellow X-Men characters Nightcrawler and Azazel, Wraith teleports in at least two phases— first his skeleton materializes, and then his body, clothes and all.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Wolverine's first rampage, of course.
    • Made all the more curious that he's naked once he escapes - immediately prior to that he was wearing a pair of briefs.
    • Naked People Are Funny: After Wolverine's initial rampage in the buff, which is naturally done seriously, he ends up running to the nearest barn, to the surprise of the old couple who own it.
  • Gainaxing: We have Emma Frost's slow-motion bouncing near the end before the helicopter.
  • Genre Savvy: Scott Summers sees Victor and runs. Immediately.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The film had them try to create an indestructible warrior. That worked pretty well. Then they pissed him off. That didn't.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Wolverine, Sabertooth and Deadpool.
  • Guns Akimbo: Agent Zero, while attacking the Nigerian compound.
  • The Gunslinger: Agent Zero. Pistols, rifles, anything!.
  • Heroic Rematch: Wolverine/Sabretooth.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Victor Creed with his half-brother Logan for their childhood and most of their adult lives, up until Logan leaves Team X.
  • Historical In-Joke: Wolverine and Sabretooth fight Weapon XI atop the cooling tower at Three Mile Island, destroying it in the process.
  • I Am a Monster: In one of the TV spots, Sabretooth utters this chilling line.
    "I'm not your friend... I'm an animal who dreamed he was a man. But the dream is over... and the beast is awake. And I will come for you, because it's my nature."
    • This is either a Shout-Out or a ripoff of Seth Brundle's "insect politics" speech, which itself is an homage to the Japanese poem, "I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?"
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Played dead straight, by Logan's squeeze Kayla, in regards to him killing off Sabretooth and/or Stryker. Two men, who have been rounding up mutants like cattle, are effectively above the law, and will most likely continue to hunt Logan down as long as he lives. All of which could be solved by a little extra stabbing...
  • Ignore the Disability: Used with a twist. Wraith warns Logan not to mention Dukes' extreme weight gain, as he is sensitive about it. The very first thing that Logan says is "Hey, Fat- uh, Fred!" It's clearly accidental, but as Dukes doesn't seem to care, Logan continues doing it on purpose, calling him "Slim" and the like. Logan doesn't hit the Berserk Button until he uses the word Bub, which Dukes mishears as Blob. The joke here is that Fred Dukes is a long-standing Marvel Comics villain, who uses the identity "The Blob".
  • Ill Boy: Both James and Victor were sickly children before their mutation manifested.
    Victor: You're always sick.
    James: You were sick when you were my age.
  • I'm Cold... So Cold...: Some of Kayla's parting words was this.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Agent Zero's main power.
  • Inertia Is a Cruel Mistress: Victor takes advantage of this to kill Wraith.
  • In Name Only: This film is fairly notorious for it, with many of the featured mutants having little (or nothing) to do with its comic book counterparts:
    • Emma Frost. The only attributes that she has in common with her comics counterpart is that she's blonde and can turn her skin into a diamond-like form. First Class would ignore her appearance in this story and present its own version of Emma as much closer to her comics counterpart. Then again, she's called "Emma", but the surname is never said. However, in one of the character TV spots, they clearly use Frost as her surname.
    • Agent Zero. Not only do they use his New Weapon X callsign instead of his Weapon X one (Maverick), he somehow has Agent X's powers as well. Neither his powers as Maverick (kinetic energy absorption and redirection), nor his powers as Agent Zero (corrosive skin secretions designed to defeat Healing Factor abilities) make an actual appearance. Oh, and he's no longer East German.
    • Bolt. Or Bradley, for those who missed him because he's long-dead in the comics. He's not only not called by his callsign, he's also no longer the kid Maverick teaches in the use of his powers after retiring - he's now Maverick's comrade-in-arms. Who, instead of lightning-flinging powers, has electric-appliance-powering-and-controlling powers.
    • Deadpool retains his sarcastic sense of humor, Motor Mouth & katanas... and even those fall by the wayside by the time of the main events of the movie. While he does undergo a procedure to give him a copy of Wolverine's Healing Factor that leaves his body horrifically scarred just like in the comics, he's also saddled with Cyclops' optic blasts, Wraith's teleportation (He uses a device in the comics) and a pair of Blades Below The Shoulders, and just to add insult to injury, his mouth is sewn shut.
    • In the comics, Blob's fat body was a part of his mutation, with the super strength more of a Required Secondary Power. In fact it's the fat that made him virtually resistant to any weapons.
    • John Wraith in the comics typically relied on More Dakka and if necessary rocket launchers in a fight, not Teleport Spam and fists. Instead his rather long-ranged teleportation was used to make quick and clean getaways.
  • Instant Flight, Just Add Spinning: Gambit does this with his cane
  • It's Personal:
    • The only thing in the world Victor cares about is his baby brother. When said brother walks out on him, he doesn't take it well.
    • This is also how Stryker gets Jimmy involved in the Weapon X program.
    • When Logan gets bashed through a wall by Gambit, he sees Victor. When Gambit appears right behind him, intent on continuing their fight, Logan doesn't even spare him so much as a glance before elbowing him in the face and fighting Victor.
  • I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: Stryker forces Kayla Silverfox to conspire with him this way by threatening to kill her sister, Emma Frost.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: For all its faults, the film's opening montage of the many wars the US has been in did show Victor's decline from a soldier doing his job to a ruthless killer quite nicely without being really obvious about it.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Wade Wilson jokes with his mutant comrades that his katana are far more "memorable" than guns. He is shown to be capable of parrying fully automatic fire from multiple opponents with them, occasionally deflecting bullets at enemies. The blades, of course, are completely undamaged.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The film features quite possibly one of the most painful instances of this trope. An antagonist loads a gun with Adamantium bullets, knowing he can't kill Wolverine with them, but intends to give him Laser Guided Amnesia by shooting him in the head. He succeeds, wiping Wolverine's memory with no other side-effects. Wolverine's "memories don't grow back", but his ability to speak, read, walk, recognize police cars, hide from police cars, etc, do.
    • In the comics it is explained that when Wolverine experiences particularly traumatic moments, his brain mentally 'heals' around the memories of that moment. Traumatic memories could include having to watch the woman you love die/betray you, watching all of your friends and family members get killed, undergoing an intensely painful medical procedure under no anesthesia or finding out your brother is now an Ax-Crazy psycho. Taking all of the above into account, having several slugs pumped into your brain at near point-blank range is just the icing on the cake.
  • Left Hanging: The film ended with two Sequel Hooks in The Stinger. One revealed that Deadpool was still alive, and the other had an ominous scene showing Logan in Japan. The next movie, The Wolverine, takes place decades later and ignores both of those bits.
  • Like Cannot Cut Like:
    • Wolverine faces Weapon XI, which has an adamantium katana.
    • William Stryker shoots Wolverine in the head with adamantium bullets (which is kinda justified, as a bullet, which is really fast, could have more impact than a blade). Doesn't kill him, but it does give him amnesia — presumably the shock of the impact gave him severe brain damage and his Healing Factor couldn't piece all his memories back together. Though why this doesn't result in a pair of .44 caliber holes in Logan's adamantium skull is unclear, since his healing factor can't grow back the implanted metal.
  • Lockdown: When Wolverine is escaping the Weapon X facility.
  • London England Syndrome:
    • A variation with territory and country listed occurs in the case of "Northwest Territories, Canada." The American writers clearly didn't do their research because a portion of this region didn't enter the Canadian Confederation until 1870 (and the other sections were later divided up into separate provinces and territories over the next few decades), so in 1845, it should've been referred to as "North-Western Territory, British North America." James Howlett and Victor Creed were therefore born as British citizens (although presumably it would've been easy for them to obtain Canadian citizenship after the Dominion of Canada was founded in 1867).
    • "Lagos, Nigeria."
  • Losing Your Head: In one of The Stingers Deadpool's severed head wakes up before shushing to the audience and fading to black.
  • Love Makes You Crazy/Love Makes You Evil: Victor did not take his brother James leaving him for a life of peace well... not in the least.
  • Made of Explodium: Wolverine takes down a helicopter, the tail end of which explodes upon hitting the ground. Not so bad. But then Wolverine exchanges dialog with a crash survivor and walks away, lights a trail of gasoline coming from the same helicopter, and makes it explode again in the background.
  • Market-Based Title: The film became known as X-Men Zero in Japan.
  • Mega Manning: Weapon XI
  • Mighty Lumberjack: Logan takes up lumberjacking in his Retired Badass phase.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: The film starts with Wolverine and Sabretooth as children.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: One of the earliest trailers includes a brief shot of a young Black girl with white hair, who's clearly mean to be a young Storm. Her single scene was cut and can only be seen on the DVD.
  • Mondegreen: When Logan addresses the very overweight Fred J. Dukes as "bub", Fred gets mad because he mishears it as "Blob". (Fred J. Dukes would actually become the mutant known as the Blob).
  • Mundane Utility: Bradley, who can power electrics, has a job as a carney after the war. "Turn the light off, get a prize. Three tries for a buck."
  • My Hero Zero: Subverted with Agent Zero, a rather two-dimensional throwaway villain. (He dies painfully.) To be fair, he's actually pretty dangerous - if you don't have a skeleton made of adamantium and the original Healing Factor.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In the comics, Deadpool's nickname was "The Merc with the Mouth". Here, he's the Merc with No Mouth.
    • Stryker's ultimate mutant weapon being called "Weapon XI", in reference to the revelation in the comics that "Weapon X" actually meant "Weapon Ten". Which means that if Weapon XI is Wade Wilson, and Weapon X is Wolverine, there were nine previous attempts.
    • Stryker can be seen wearing a silver cross necklace in the scene where he goes to meet Logan in the hospital, likely as a nod to the fact that he was a priest (not a military officer) in the comics.
    • Deadpool never dons his trademark costume, but Wade wears a red T-shirt as a nod to his comic outfit.
    • Also, during the final fight, there's a brief close-up of Deadpool charging up his laser eyes, which causes his face to resemble his comic counterpart's mask.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • Minor example: TV commercials would feature some of the other mutants in the movie, with one of them noting Emma Frost. Her role in the movie is to turn into diamond at one point, making her more of a cameo than the semi-major character the commercial played her up to be.
    • This has happened with other characters like Deadpool as well. Some comments have been made about the TV Spots saying how ridiculous it is that a whole 30 seconds said more about the characters than their screen time throughout the entire film.
  • Nice Hat:
    • John Wraith is always wearing his cowboy hat in pretty much every scene.
    • Gambit wears his hat throughout most of the film. It's a nice one, indeed.
  • No Endor Holocaust: If the film is to be believed, Wolverine is at least partially responsible for the Three Mile Island leak aka, one of the things that helped kill nuclear power, and the first major leak in American history. Granted, Deadpool could have stopped firing, but you've got to wonder what Wolvie was thinking causing his head to fall into the silo.
  • Not Afraid to Die: Subverted when Victor Creed, aka Sabretooth comes to assassinate his ex-team member Bolt. This little exchange takes place:
    Bolt: I'm not afraid of you, Victor. I'm not afraid of dying.
    Creed: How do you know? You've never tried it before.
  • Nothing Personal: Victor doesn't give a damn about causes. Contrast his attitude toward Jimmy with It's Personal.
  • Not Wearing Tights: The film took the black leather from previous films away, leaving everyone in Civvie Spandex.
  • Not What I Signed On For: Wolverine is not too enthusiastic about massacring a village full of civilians.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: Due to being intended to start a spinoff "X-Men Origins" franchise which never materialised
  • Offhand Backhand: Wolverine elbows Gambit in the face as he's coming up behind him to deliver an angry speech.
  • Offing the Offspring: Thomas Logan nearly shoots his son James Howlett when the kid is charging at him with newly sprouted bone claws, but Elizabeth Howlett manages to grab the hunting rifle before Thomas could do so.
  • Off with His Head!: The title character talks about wanting to decapitate his big brother, but only end up beheading "Weapon XI" (Deadpool/Dudepeel, in this version an experimented up Wade Wilson).
  • Oh Crap!:
    • Wolverine has one during his climatic fight against Deadpool when it's revealed that Deadpool has teleporting powers.
    • Zero sports an epic one when he tries to shoot a bullet into Logan's head to (temporarily) take him out, which would have worked if he had normal human bones. Instead, it just bounces off his now indestructible skull and Logan just growls.
  • Old Money: Judging by the refined manners of John Howlett and the grandeur of the mansion, James Howlett was born into wealth. However, he learns when he was around 13 years old that his mother Elizabeth had an affair with Thomas Logan, his family's groundskeeper, and is their illegitimate child. After the death of both his stepfather and biological father, James runs away from home, and he has been scratching a living ever since.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: As Weapon XI is about to decapitate Logan, he is tackled away by Victor Creed. "Nobody kills you but me!"
  • Origins Episode: For Wolverine.
  • People Jars: Colonel Stryker collected mutants in glass tanks, where they stayed naked in freezing-based suspended animation. Stryker's own son was one of these.
  • Playing with Syringes
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: The film has been stated to be a testing bed for films based on Gambit and Deadpool. The fact that the two were the most common points of criticism (Gambit for Advertised Extra, Deadpool for They Changed It, Now It Sucks) would tell you it didn't work. However, Ryan Reynolds' Wade Wilson from before his disfigurement (and the Post Credits Sequence with him) was considered quite awesome and so far, he's still intended to be the lead actor should a Deadpool film be made. However, though the movie left him salvageable (with the brainwashing apparently undone in the end, he's free to put on a mask and act like the Wade from the scenes people liked while having the comics' version of the face behind the mask) it still probably won't follow from the movie because comic Deadpool usually doesn't have Eye Beams or Teleportation.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: In the comics, Fred Dukes A.K.A Blob, is a mutant whose specific abilities seem to revolve around being morbidly obese. In the film however, Dukes is physically fit until he develops an eating disorder, but his super strength is what allows him to carry his own weight.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "I can feel your spine, Johnny Boy. Never knew you had one."
  • Present Day Past: The movie doesn't look like it takes place 20-30 years before the main X-Men movies.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: Threatened but not gone through with, or maybe genuinely considered. Silverfox makes Colonel Stryker put the muzzle of his empty revolver under his chin, but doesn't make him pull the trigger, instead telling him to walk away until his feet bleed and then keep walking. As the film is a prequel to X2, she couldn't have killed him anyway.
  • Psycho for Hire:
    • Victor Creed, once he leaves Team X.
    • Agent Zero, once Team X closes.
  • Punch Clock Villains:
    • Wraith and Bradley of Weapon X. They do their job and try not to think too hard about it. Then later repent. After all, "I was Just Following Orders" is only an excuse for so long.
    • Kayla Silverfox as well.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: The film has Logan go mano-a-mano against Fred Dukes a.k.a. The Blob without using his claws to get information from him. Logan's glove-clad punches prove rather ineffective.
  • Race Lift: Agent Zero is a white guy of East German descent in the X-Men comics, but is played by Korean actor Daniel Henney.
  • Real Men Wear Purple: Gambit.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Wolverine makes this one on Kayla when she's revealed to be allied with Stryker.
    Wolverine: That story you told me about the man who gets flowers for the moon. I had it backwards. I thought you were the Moon and I was your Wolverine, but you're the Trickster, aren't you? I'm just the fool who got played. Worst part of it is I should have known and I ignored my instincts. I ignored what I really am. That won't ever happen again...
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Victor is the red to Logan's blue.
  • Related in the Adaptation:
    • The film makes Sabertooth Wolverine's half-brother (as opposed to simply being another Weapon X experiment). Though it seemed to be Fanon before the movie was filmed, due to Dog (Wolverine's half-brother in the comic) having a resemblance to Sabertooth in the end. This also makes him a Composite Character.
    • Silverfox is the sister of ... a character with diamond skin named "Emma", but whom Continuity Snarl means can't really be Emma Frost, although that was clearly the intention.
  • Retcon: Origins introduced a few to what was established in the first three films.
  • Retired Badass: Fred Dukes and John Wraith become a boxer and his manager respectively, after Team X disbands.
  • Riding into the Sunset: Included this near the end- before a subversion. Logan/Wolverine and Kayla are walking off into the sunset- and a gunshot rings out as Stryker arrives with his adamantium bullets...
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Pretty much the whole point of the movie.
  • Rule of Cool: The movie is generally considered at its best when it remembers that it's about Hugh Jackman running around stabbing people in the face.
  • The Runaway: In the beginning of the film, young James Howlett and Victor Creed ran away from home together after James stabs and kills Thomas Logan for murdering his father, then finds out that Thomas was his real father.
  • Saved by Canon: It look like Wolverine is about slam his claws right in Sabretooth's throat. Granted, he just knock him unconscious but you already know that he wouldn't kill Sabretooth anyway since he appeared in X-Men, that takes many years after this movie.
    • Although, the movie version of Victor seems to be a different character than Sabertooth anyway.
  • Sequel Hook: The Stinger at the end shows Logan drinking away his sorrows in a Japanese pub. A new film, dubbed The Wolverine is now in production, and will feature Wolverine's adventures in Japan.
    • Due to the poor reception of Origins, The Wolverine actually ignores the events of Origins, and instead takes place years after the events of The Last Stand.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Exaggerated in a bedroom exchange between a traumatized Logan (whose healing powers make him well over a hundred years old) and his lover Silver Fox.
    Silver Fox: Was it the war?
    Logan: Yes.
    Silver Fox: Which one?
    Logan: All of them.
  • Shirtless Scene: The film took this to an extreme, which was much to the delight of Hugh Jackman fangirls. During a dramatic escape scene, not only does he erupt from a tank of water completely shirtless (and indeed naked) (muscles + dripping water...) but he then proceeds to escape, running and fighting his way out of the building. Viewers get a lovable full-body shot (in which censorship is barely provided by his leg from a mostly-side-shot) when he jumps off a waterfall.
  • Shooting Superman: The military scientists who made Wolverine immune to bullets decide to stop him by sending an assassin, armed with bullets, to kill the man who is immune to bullets. As they watch their plan fail, they comment on the fact that the assassin never stood a chance because he wasn't using the special adamantium bullets they had right there next to them!.
  • Short Lived Aerial Escape: Wolverine destroys a helicopter by using his claws, a motorcycle, and a military Humvee as an impromptu catapult, allowing him to slice the rotors off of an enemy helicopter mid-flight. The trope is somewhat subverted in that he blows up the helicopter after it crashes, by lighting its leaking fuels with his cigar.
  • Sinister Scraping Sound: Sabretooth uses his nails to scratch Kayla's car before killing her.
  • Skyward Scream: This was done three times in the movie.
  • Smug Snake:
    • Stryker. Down to the overconfidence part.
    • Also Agent Zero has his moments.
  • Soft Water: Averted. Before jumping into the ocean to reach the island, Logan tells Gambit to his enjoyment that it will hurt very badly falling out of his plane.
  • Static Character: Averting this with Wolverine was one of the criticisms of the film ("Although it can take credit for clearing up some of the mysteries surround the title character's identity, those revelations serve to make Wolverine less compelling").
  • The Stinger: The film had, depending on your screening, either a now-amnesiac Logan in a bar, "drinking to remember" or the living disembodied head of Deadpool, having gained his mouth back and his Medium Awareness as well. There was also General Stryker getting arrested, but everyone got that one.
  • Stock Subtitle: Origins.
  • Stout Strength: Blob, post-eating disorder.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Sabretooth taunts a young Cyclops by telling him that it's a little too dark to be wearing sunglasses. Of course, Cyclops kind of needs to wear them.
  • Super Team: Colonel William Stryker assembles Team X which features James Howlett, Victor Creed, John Wraith, Agent Zero, Christopher Bradley, Wade Wilson and Fred Dukes. Some of them don't get along very well.
  • Sword Sparks: Logan's claws have always done it some of the time, but in this movie, it's taken to unprecedented heights.
  • Tears of Remorse: The film has Kayla pulling this when Wolverine muses the folktale that he is just a fool who got played due to the fact that she is blackmailed into working for Stryker.
  • Tele-Frag: John Wraith uses his ability to dodge Victor Creed's claw attacks, until Creed uses his knowledge of Wraith's fighting style to lead him, stabbing right where he knew John would end up. Worse than stabbing: Creed knew Wraith so well, he was able to grab hold of his spinal column, and rip it out when Wraith tried to 'port again.
  • Teleport Spam:
    • Deadpool.
    • As well as John Wraith. Deadpool did borrow it from him, after all. Which didn't help much when Victor figured out that he teleported in a predictable pattern, and got him to teleport into roughly the same area as Victor's claws, with predictable results.
  • There Is No Kill Like Over Kill: Logan brings down a helicopter and its mutant operator, who is then incapacitated and trapped. He could use his adamantium claws to stab his helpless victim, but decides instead to blow up the entire helicopter in a massive display of pyrotechnics.
  • They Were Holding You Back: This is apparently why Victor kills Kayla. Only it turns out, it was Stryker's plan, not Victor's, and Kayla is not actually dead.
  • Thunderbolt Iron: Adamantium is a rare mineral ore only found in meteorites. Stryker and his team decimated an African village just to obtain more.
  • Title Confusion: This film gained the unnecessarily lengthy X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and is referred to simply as Wolverine by most sane people.
    • X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a bit of an Artifact Title; it was originally intended to be the first of a series of prequels focusing on the backgrounds of various characters (X-Men Origins: Magneto was in the works but got lost in Development Hell). Had this happened, the title, while still long, would have at least made sense because "X-Men Origins" would be the series name and "Wolverine" would be the movie name.
  • Token Good Teammate: Subverted. Wolverine was the most vocal and adamant about his disapproval of Team X's actions, but it turns out after his departure most of the rest left not long after, with only Zero and Victor staying behind. Logan simply set the example, as they realised what they had become.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • The military needs to stop Wolverine, who they've made immune to almost all weapons. To stop him they have at their disposal: An incredibly skilled marksman, and adamantium bullets capable of penetrating the adamantium shell around his skull and incapacitating him. Somehow the idea that they should combine these two things doesn't seem to occur to them.
    • Said marksman also thinks it's a good idea to take a jab at Wolverine when he has decided to let him live. After seeing the guy take down a HELICOPTER.
    • John Wraith, whose only power is teleportation and who thinks the best way to take down a big angry guy with claws and a huge healing factor is to punch him out.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The trailer inadvertently revealed Weapon XI, whom Wolverine fights at the end of the film. And the toy packaging spoiled that he is Deadpool.
  • Trick Bullet: Amnesia bullets.
    • Although technically those weren't "amnesia bullets", they were regular bullets made out of adamantium, thus the only thing they had that could pierce Logan's Nigh Invulnerable skull. They were supposed to kill him but his brain was able to regenerate, just without a huge chunk of his memories. Anyone else would fair far worse than just amnesia.
  • Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: The film has this at the very beginning when a black ops group of mutants cram into an elevator. And then the bad guys cut the power. Deadpan Snarker Wade Wilson makes a comment about it, of course.
  • Understatement:
    • Logan's response when asked how his execution by firing squad went.
    • Also this exchange:
    Farmer: "Had a rough night?"
    Wolverine: "You could say that."
  • Unflinching Walk: Wolverine does this away from an exploding helicopter.
  • Unobtanium: Adamantium comes from meteors. Specifically, sacred African meteors, making it this continuity's answer to Vibranium. Thus completing the transformation begun in the Ultimate Avengers films.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Logan goes into this state as he's escaping the Weapon X facility.
  • Unwitting Pawn:
    • The look on Wolverine's face when Blob told him that Stryker was performing experiments on mutants and when he realizes what led him to willingly get his brand spankin' new adamantium skeleton... priceless.
    • Emma Silverfox becomes Stryker's hostage -> Kayla is forced to work for Stryker -> Kayla faked her death as a part of their plan -> Wolverine accepted Stryker's offer to transform his bones into adamantium to avenge Kayla.
  • Vapor Trail: Wolvie ignites a spark with his claws. The fire travels up the trail of fuel leaking from Agent Zero's downed helicopter. Kerflooey.
  • Vehicular Assault: Wolverine takes down a helicopter (and previously a jeep).
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Victor and Jimmy's first fight is Curb-Stomp Battle in Victor's favor. Then Jimmy gets his adamantium and wipes the floor with Victor.
  • Villainous Rescue: The film has Sabretooth saving Logan, because "Nobody gets to kill you but me!"
  • We Used to Be Friends:
    • The film details the relationship between James Howlett (Wolverine) and Victor Creed (Sabretooth), who are half-brothers. They were Bash Brothers to the very end until Victor's sociopathy went off the deep end and caused James to lose his connection with Victor.
    • Victor also kills his old teammates.
  • What Are You: A shocked and disgusted Elizabeth Howlett directs this question to her son James, who has just sprouted bone claws.
  • Wipe That Smile Off Your Face: Stryker finally finds a way to shut Wade up by first sewing, and in the finished version, plastering his mouth shut. The Stinger shows the decapitation/fall of the head somehow opened it again.
  • Wolverine Publicity: He's so popular that he gets his own movie. Also features fan-favorites Wade Wilson and Gambit.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Invoked by a young Victor Creed after James Howlett kills his family's groundskeeper. The boys are being pursued by lawmen and search dogs.
    Jimmy: I want to go home.
    Victor: We can't.

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