The Wolverine

The Wolverine ★★★★

78/100

“What kind of monster are you?”

I never really quite understood the hate for this if I’m being honest. This was actually the very first X-Men film that I saw in theaters so maybe I’m a little bit bias towards it, but frankly I feel like every time I watch it, I enjoy it immensely. Outside of the studios need to reboot the franchise after The Last Stand & X-Men Origins, I think this is probably the best thing to come out of the former. Really builds upon a rather lackluster film with a lot of heart and helps give a great defining movie for the character here, which succeeds even further with the sequel four years later.

For the first two acts of the film, James Mangold and Hugh Jackman work effortlessly in crafting a tale of heartache and pain for a deeply troubled and dense character that comes to screen really well here and even is expanded further in the sequel reunited the two as well. However, what I love so much about The Wolverine is it’s solidarity; not only within the actual character of Wolverine and the world that he loves in, but how well this film works as an outside force in a rather expansive universe. While yes it is a bit of a linger from The Last Stand, everything happens here on its own and that’s one of the best aspects.

Mangold understands this character and the story that he wanted to tell and it’s clear. The Japanese setting and the limit on the actual mutant characters (thankfully unlike Origins) allows the focus to be Jackman and he does his all. At the time, and even a little bit after, probably his best outing as Wolverine; a deeply exhausted performance that showcases the our power of Jackman and fulfills the story set up by Mangold almost simultaneously. Although the supporting cast really doesn’t do much for me, it’s nice to see actual Japanese characters in Japan; I know a weird thing to say, but Hollywood likes to shove every white person in there and it’s refreshing to see this didn’t.

It’s a thrilling and exciting film that at the same time embodies the character of Wolverine so well. I keep saying that this enhances in Mangold’s Logan, but the starting point here is what really helps both of them soar. A really character defining film and an outlier in an otherwise heavily connected franchise, James Mangold’s The Wolverine is most likely the most underrated entry into the franchise, as well as in the entire superhero genre as well; and I love it every time I watch it.

2013 Ranked
X-Men Ranked
Superhero Films Ranked

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