Wolverine is one of the most popular comic book characters in the Marvel Universe. He has had numerous series throughout the years and has a huge following in the nerd community. And yet when it was time to give him his own movie, it was a disappointment to fans. Based on one of the most highly regarded Wolverine comics, this could have been a triumph for the studio, creating a new franchise for them. Instead it performed moderately well worldwide and fell off into obscurity … and many of the fans were glad it did.
Finally, a Hulk-style reboot/sequel has come about to give audiences what they have longed for – a great Wolverine movie. Though some liberties were taken with the story when adapting it from the comics, the main points stick through and the additions and changes that have been made are largely good ones.
Set in the modern day, about eight years after “X-Men III: The Last Stand,” Logan (Hugh Jackman) is a loner. After the death of the woman he loves, Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), he moved to the wilderness of the Yukon, living wherever he can in the woods. He ventures down into town only for essentials. This is where he is found by a representative of an old acquaintance, Yashida. Wolverine had saved his life in World War II, shielding him from the blast of the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki. Wolverine survived because his healing power won’t allow him to die. (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine” had established that Logan was hundreds of years old, born in the early 1800s.) Wolverine has lived a long time and his longevity has become a curse to him. He has nothing left to live for. So Yashida makes him an offer – give up the healing power. Yashida has found a way to transfer the mutant gene from Wolverine to someone else, allowing Logan to have a normal life, grow old and die, to give him mortality.
This is a great take on the original story, almost good enough to make up for the Origins debacle. Action, romance, steel claws – there’s something for everyone.
Jackman originated the character onscreen with the first X-Men movie and now, five films later, he is just as good as ever. If only Fox and Disney could work out the rights to get him in “The Avengers”….
Rated PG-13, I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars. It was really good, but it goes up against some big competition as the third superhero movie this summer. Not as good as “Man of Steel,” but better than “Iron Man 3.”