When Hugh Jackman burst onto the scene as Wolverine in 2000s X-Men who knew that after all these years we would be seeing him taking his turn as the fan favorite character for the sixth time with his second solo feature The Wolverine. The last solo adventure X-Men Origins: Wolverine didn’t fare so well even though Jackman was as great as always, but did well enough that it gave him another chance to deliver the film the fans wanted to see, but does The Wolverine slash its way to the top or will it put the nail in the solo career of this character once and for all?
The Wolverine follows Logan as he struggles with his past demons and is now living in seclusion in hopes to find peace. When his past lures him to Japan he will be put to the ultimate test both physically and emotionally that will change his life and test his immortality for the first time. This is not your typical comic film as it is darker and more character drawn as opposed to forcing the action and drowing it with cameos. Here we see the Wolverine the fans have been wanting both struggling and unleashing his rage. Mangold took a big chance here as this film is very slow paced letting the story be told instead of just watching Wolverine fight. Make no mistake there is plenty of action that is both memorable and well executed showcasing the Wolverine the fans know and love, but cranked up to a whole new level. This version is tortured and lost allowing Jackman to deliver his best performance as the character to date. The rest of the cast do a great job with the always great Will Yun Lee tearing things up and delivering some of the best solo action moments of the cast. As a comic fan there are a couple of things that may bother some in the way they handle a specific popular character that is a part of this story, but if you sit back and think about it they really didn’t alter it all but instead paid their own variation of a homage to it without showcasing it. Sadly they could have kept it as it was meant to be seen, but everyone takes their own liberties and you have to just let it go. There is an ongoing sequence that is partially shown in the trailer featuring the deceased Jean Grey played by Famke Janssen that has been getting some flak, but this is actually a driving force to the story and fits in perfectly.
There is no doubt that there will be a lot of people who may not like the film because they just want to see Wolverine slice and dice, but for anyone that has ever read a Wolverine story knows that he is a complex character and deserves the story to tell it. BE sure to stay after the credits for one of the best bonus scenes to date. It’s already known that Jackman is returning for a seventh time as Wolverine in the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past, but let’s hope this one opens the door for some more great tales of the man who is the best at what he does.