I saw Logan last week. Hugh Jackman is the first live-action Wolverine, he was a kinda strange choice, since the character is short and Jackman is Australian, while Logan is Canadian, though the two are practically the same in general, both live in extreme weather, both speak a version of English that confuses Americans, and both are friendly as all hell. Both also have reputations as badasses, because there’s so much that can kill you in both countries. Canada has wolves, stags, grizzly bears, all the things that *look* like they’ll fuck you up and it’d be an honour. Australia… hoo boy. Snakes and spiders, mostly, but Crocodiles, Sting Rays, Box Jellyfish, Sharks, Cassowaries (like mutant Emu’s on steroids and straight out of Hell) and boxer roos, the big, fuck-off kangaroos that are like, 8 feet tall and on steroids and can punch a hole clean through your chest if you don’t shoot them first with a shotgun, or, better yet, a double barrel .44 Magnum shotgun. And wild boars, you gotta use that, their skulls are that thick and they move that fast and that angry.
I illustrate these animals because A) they’re fucking savage and B) none of them have anything on Wolverine. I mean shit, he can regenerate, has metal from another planet in his bones, and retractable claws that can cut through ANYTHING. Okay, maybe not Juggernaut’s helmet. Nothing can cut through that. But anything else in that setting, forget it, basically. His claws are the fucking Colt from Supernatural.
So, he’s been in all of the Xmen movies. All 7 of them. (8 counting Deadpool?) So, let’s see if I recall much about those.
Xmen: decent action movie, one of the two properties that Fox did well on, for the most part, the other being Spiderman. The visuals were a grey and black colour palette, the costumes were obsessed with “not yellow spandex” to the point they were all black, the computer thing was grey moving blocks and I thought Cerebrum looked best in First Class, honestly. Some of the dialogue was alright, most was kinda stupid though. For a comparison: I liked “Not everyone can shrug off bullets, Logan.” And when Cyclops later tested Wolverine’s identity because Mystique was present, Logan simply said, “Dick.” I think that was where he gave him the middle claw. Cyclops was convinced. On the other end of the spectrum was Storm’s line about toads and lightning storms. Ugh. Fuck no, writers, have her JUST ZAP HIM! Still, Xmen 1 was good, not great, and it was revolutionary at the time for LGBT issues.
Xmen 2: a perfectly good sequel. Soldiers tried to capture mutants, mutants ran around the house and wouldn’t go to bed like good little children. And Iceman chilled Logan’s beer. And the cat licked Logan’s claws. I didn’t even remember until now the lake bit, though. Or the facility. Or some hot-ish, but forgettable, Asian… Wolverina? (shut up)
Xmen 3: The Last Stand. Sigh. It was pretty bad. Magneto busted out with a single paper clip, though. The soldiers learned to use fully plastic weapons. The team work displayed in the bridge fight was great. The line “I’m the Juggernaut, bitch!” was the stuff of one-liner legend. Magneto ripping the San Francisco Bridge out of the supports and putting it down where he wanted it was the stuff of visual legend. (at least until the submarine in First Class went one better)
Most of that movie didn’t do much for anyone, but the climatic final battle did deliver the goods. The girl from Game of Thrones was, I think, was a better Phoenix, though. Not a better Jean Grey, but then I can barely recall that much about Xmen 3, so yeah. No confidence there.
Then you have First Class, which was just amazing, and is the inspiration for Adrian in Children of Fire (with some Hans Gruber for good measure).
Days of Future Past was… good in concept, but where Rogue got the new powers from is a mystery that was never explained. The way the human guy in charge of the Sentinels was merely wrong, that was a nice change of tone. Peter Dinklage can’t really do anything but Tyrion, though, from what I’ve seen and heard so far. He did alright here, but that character was overshadowed by the legendary Tyrion Lannister. As any role he’s in would be.
Apocalyse was just… ugh. Kill me, please. Rehashing Magneto’s origin in a lazy, uninspired way (though his wanting to be left alone by the soldiers and being forced to use his powers at the steel mill was an inspired moment). The murder of his wife and child was just too on the nose. Apocalypse himself was boring. The power upgrades were… what again? Xavier losing his hair that way was just stupid and undid the gag in First Class. The Wolverine cameo was on the nose too. So was the “third movie in a trilogy sucks” comment. Mystique’s arc was repeated pretty much the same way but a much lesser quality.
The only good thing was that final battle, and how Magneto pulled the two beams together to form the X.
And then Logan was the R-rated gore-fest with death and rage and suffering right until the end that a series like this needed as a capstone, at least as far as Logan’s story goes. Cinematically, it’s the perfect ending to a series of movies about mutants fighting. The series starts of good, goes downhill, and rises right back up after two Wolverine solo movies. (The first I’ve seen, a few times, it’s stupid good fun in my opinion, I think everyone just focuses on how bad they treated Deadpool, but Wade Wilson was at least cool as shit; it’s right at home in the 80s, and that war montage with the two brothers is amazing. “He fought and died in two world wars” comes to mind as a phrase from an “adult” cartoon I loved as a late teen, see if you can guess it from that quote).
So okay, he’s in 9 movies, I think. Two were cameos, three were solo outings, and this has more than cemented Hugh Jackman as THE Wolverine. He was pretty much born to play the role, like Reynolds in Deadpool. (Cable sounds fucking amazing, and I kinda remember him from the cartoon, mostly only while it was playing on the TVs at the Step Inn in the Valley back in like 2009 (now Netherworld)). They played metal there. Seems appropriate, really.
That’s my retrospective on the series. In Marvel’s hands again, any Wolverine they have will have BIG shoes to fill. And I think they can safely just not have him around and it won’t be an issue, he does kinda go off on his own a lot.