The Wolverine

The Wolverine ★★★

Hugh Jackman really puts his body through the mill to get in shape for these X-Men spin-offs, and it pays off with a character that looks as indestructible as he does cool. Ever since he wandered into that bar in Laughlin City Alaska he's entertained us with a mixture of tortured anguish and muscle-bound anti-hero with smarts. This film starts in 1945 in a Japanese POW camp and the dropping of The Bomb on Nagasaki before jumping forward to present day and Logan battling his demons in the wilderness. Another story of an act of kindness that comes back to bite him in later life, this has Logan paying his respects to a former foe on his deathbed. It becomes slightly complicated and convoluted very quickly, but director James Mangold manages to give us something with a whole new feel to Wolverine's future. During the film he's offered the chance to give up his gifts, ease his pain, and grow old naturally. It'll all come at a price of course, and when push comes to shove, Logan's selflessness and decency prove too important to let others to fall victim to evil and corruption. It was a change to see Wolverine vulnerable for once, but Jackman has created such a formidable and engaging character that it was never going to be long before his claws came out. A film that has improved on a series of rewatches, this is a big step up from X-Men Origins: Wolverine both in terms of a coherent story and in quality of script.

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