With Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Boyd Holbrook, Dafne Keen, Richard E. Grant, Stephan Merchant

Written by Scott Frank, James Mangold, Michael Green

Directed by James Mangold

Almost certainly taking a cue from the success of Deadpool's more adult aimed attitude (which also made double the box office at half the budget of other Marvel movies), this installment of the X-Men franchise steers away from the general audience safety for a more mature exploration of these characters, in particular the near-immortal Logan (aka Wolverine).

Set in 2029, no more mutants have been born for quite some time. Logan is living a miserable existence, aging and his health in serious deterioration, driving a limo and with Caliban, are looking after an increasingly senile Prof. Xavier in secret (just inside the Mexican border). His mind declared a weapon of mass destruction, Xavier has to remain medicated as his seizures can destroy everyone around him (one particular scene in Vegas a gripping and intense experience).

Wanting to accumulate enough cash to get a boat and head out with Xavier, away from the population, the depressed, aggravated and disgruntled Logan's plan gets derailed when a woman approaches him to help a girl named Laura, who she claims to be a mutant. Not interested, circumstances and evil elements close in, forcing Logan to act - and as you can imagine, it won't be subtle. And even though this character around which this story pivots is a child, don't be fooled. The violence is intense, heads literally rolling, and the F-bombs fly freely. What makes some of the action scenes seem even more violent is when it involves Laura, a kid (but the people she's ripping to bits are the bad guys, so it's okay, no?) So, your offspring will be disappointed not being able to go along to this one.

Not healing as quickly as before, some of the brutal battles they face in keeping her out of the villains' grasp brings Logan close to death in what seems to be a futile journey to get Laura to safety (with Prof. X in tow).
Continuing the momentum with the theme, director Mangold's previous movie The Wolverine (2013) had him flow into the further fateful exploration of Logan's character... and some fan hearts will get broken.
While these movies are pretty serious in tone, this is a much heavier installment to the other films in the franchise, but a satisfying, natural progression for the Wolverine, with laughs kept to a minimum.

Marco Beltrami adds to conveying the film's darker mood with his soundtrack (having done everything from Scream, Resident Evil with Marilyn Manson, Del Toro's Blade II and Hellboy, to World War Z, Fantastic Four, The Wolverine and many more genre-related titles).

Since the year 2000 ten X-Men-related movies have seen the light (incl. this one and Deadpool), and in addition to featuring in all of these, Wolverine is naturally the fan favourite with a third of these films solely dedicated to him.
When the Wolverine origins movie came out (directed by SA's Gavin Hood), I expected several of these to follow, but it seems as though the demand isn't there for the likes of Phoenix, Cyclops, Storm, Mystique, Beast and others to get expanded back stories or further solo adventures (other than those illustrated in short flashbacks and movie prequels like X-Men: First Class).

It is near impossible for Hugh Jackman to turn around the perception that his embodiment of the Wolverine is his career-defining achievement (not many actors who played James Bond are able to shake that). But, he does it well and I'm sure he's proud of this and at peace with the fact.

4 / B
- Paul Blom

0 1 2 3 4 5 6
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- B - C

More Wolverine movies:

Wolverine Origins The Wolverine

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