The BEST Wolverine movie?! Well, it didn’t have much to go up against.
He saw it and it was good.
A fitting swansong. It’s just a shame that we finally get the Wolverine spin-off we deserve when Jackman decides to hang up the claws. 17 years? Has it really been 17 years since the first X-Men movie hit the silver screen?
A franchise I grew up with (Well, a movie franchise. I’ll confess the comic books never appealed to me. Sacrilege, I know). In fact, it took me multiple watches to like the first X-Men movie BUT there was always one character that stole the show for me. Any guesses on who that could be?
Hugh Jackman is a fantastic actor but after all the hype and praise, I feared the worst for another botched Wolverine flick. Origins was a drawn out mess (Let’s not forget the Deadpool subplot) and The Wolverine was shambolic. I mean, come on! A metal samurai robot?! Really?
BUT thankfully, third time’s the charm.
In the near future, a weary Logan (Jackman) cares for an ailing Professor X (Patrick Stewart) somewhere on the Mexican border. However, Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are upended when a young mutant (Dafne Keen) arrives, pursued by dark forces.
The brutally violent and bloody opener set the tone. This Wolverine had had enough. An embittered man ready to die. Done with the world and the people who live in it.
Mangold and co. really took advantage of that 15 certificate. The carnage was relentless. And let’s not forget the endless F-bombs.
BUT it also established a much more cynical and darker feel to the X-Men movies. A direction that would perfectly suit any upcoming DC movie. If they are lucky to be green lit any more.
Patrick Stewart was superb as Charles Xavier. The man who had all the answers. Lost in his own mind. Heartbreaking. I always loved the fractious relationship between him and Logan.
Never giving up on the soldier who had deemed himself a lost cause.
“I’m a glorified truffle pig” – My favourite line of the film. Mangold penned a cracking script.
I was a little anxious when I saw Stephen Merchant’s name pop up in this super-serious gritty neo-Western but the boy from Bristol did well as the albino mutant tracker Caliban. He delivered a much needed comic relief.
Boyd Holbrook was wasted in his role as the slick toothed Pierce. A gold toothed mercenary with cyber-enhancements. The Narcos star made a memorable introduction BUT he soon whimpered into the background to make way for Richard E Grant’s (incredibly weak) and slimy Dr. Rice.
I loved Mangold’s little nods. A Western to its very core. I loved the Shane movie montage sequence. Contrasting the frail and bloodied Logan to the iconic cowboy as he tried to refuse the call.
One last mission. To save a young mutant girl who was being made into a weapon. Something old Wolfie could relate to.
He soon met his match with Rice’s latest creation. NO SPOILERS HERE.
Dafne Keen didn’t do too bad as Laura. It didn’t really come as too much of a revelation about her abilities. Although comic fans will already know. I just wish the trailers hadn’t spoiled it.
Her incessant screaming and zombie stares did do my nut in at times BUT she worked well with Jackman. They made a good duo especially when they teamed up to dispose of their pursuers. One bloody corpse at a time.
John Mathieson’s cinematography was fantastic to look at. Beautifully captured. The special effects were incredible. Great action set pieces and cracking CGI.
The pace meandered by the 80 minute marker and the middle act did draw things to a slump BUT we were soon rewarded with a no-holds barred visceral action packed gore fest.
The only other niggle was that I was left with questions. The meta-textual references with the X-Men comics was a nice in-joke BUT I wondered what had happened to the rest of X-Men. No passing comments. Nothing. Gutted.
After all the time-altering in Days of Future Past, what changed? I’m trying to be as cryptic as possible without divulging too much story.
Mangold tried to make an accessible solo effort BUT I found he isolated the little things that would have polished it off for me.
BUT that didn’t spoil what was a bloody good watch. There were genuine moments where I actually felt a little tear in the eye for the Professor and his miserable protegee.
It may have taken two dreadful movies BUT we got there in the end and I don’t think any X-Men fans will be disappointed.
BUT I’ll let you be the judges.
*DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE END OF THE CREDITS. There are no teasers or spoilers. Nothing. Just a thank you to the people who made this movie. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME*