Bottom Line: Far superior to its unimaginatively dull and uninspired 2009 predecessor (X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE) this follow up nearly slices its way to the head of the summer blockbuster class. The three main keys to its success are an unflinchingly rugged turn from ‘Jean Val’ Jackman, a director who’s actually taking the material seriously and a comic book-based mentality that’s laced with gritty emotional depth. Never moving in the traditional superhero whiz-bang fashion – aside from the ending where things get a little bonkers and a touch too comic-booky – this is an accessible, confident and very entertaining cinematic pick-me-up in a season of just-below or just-above average, big budget films. THE WOLVERINE is a brooding, sharp, intimate, efficient and dramatically deep popcorn flick. Oh, and extra giddy nerd points are paid out in spades if you stick around for the post credits teaser scene. ‘Nuff said.
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Tao Okamoto, Will Yun Lee and Famke Janssen
Directed by: James Mangold (3:10 TO YUMA, WALK THE LINE, KNIGHT AND DAY and COPLAND
Running time: 126 minutes
Story: In modern day Japan, Wolverine is out of his depth in an unknown world as he faces his ultimate nemesis in a life-or-death battle that will leave him forever changed. Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his physical and emotional limits, he confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner struggle against his own immortality, emerging more powerful than we have ever seen him before…