Ryan Reynolds is now one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars, thanks in large part to his performance in Deadpool. The action comedy wasn’t the first time he played the character, though, having also portrayed a different version of him in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, one of the most disappointing outings for both the actor himself and contemporary adaptations of Marvel comics. And if you’ve never seen it but are curious to check it out, it’s now available on Disney Plus.
The film, naturally, is focused on the backstory of the enduringly popular mutant from the original X-Men trilogy. After he stops aging for well over a century due to his regenerative abilities and fights through multiple historical wars, he joins a black ops team, although ultimately leaves due the questionable morality of their actions. He later seeks vengeance against his former commander when his lover is killed and the group’s members are targeted for assassination.
Reynolds has a supporting role as one Wade Wilson, a smart-mouthed katana-wielding mercenary so skilled in his choice of weaponry that he can cut bullets out of the air. He doesn’t have a great deal of screen time, though, appearing in the opening portion of the film before later being stated to have been killed by Sabretooth. At the movie’s climax, however, it’s revealed he’s still alive and has been mind-wiped into compliance and imbued with a number of stolen mutant powers, whereupon he and Wolvie face off.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine was largely a failure when it released, making only a modest profit and being widely criticized for its uninteresting plot, over-familiar tropes, bland characterization and utterly redundant revelations about the titular hero that add nothing to the audience’s understanding of him. Ryan Reynolds’ brief time on screen forms some of its few highlights, but even his weapons-grade charisma can’t save a film that there was little point in making in the first place.