He doesn’t wear yellow spandex, isn’t Canadian and is definitely much taller than the stocky, 5 feet 2 inch tall Wolverine that we know from the comic books. But for a large part of the world, Hugh Jackman perfectly embodied the ageless character over the last 17 years, making him synonymous with the name.
After Logan, out March 2 in the UAE, Jackman’s ninth outing as the foul-mouthed mutant warrior, the actor will hang up his adamantium claws for good. In the process he’s going to make sure he makes it very difficult for just about anyone else to fill his boots.
In a bid to say goodbye to the beloved actor’s stint as Logan/Wolverine, we binge-watched all his films this past weekend. And because we couldn’t let that exercise go to waste, we’re now subjecting you to a quick rating of every X-Men movie that featured the character (cameos included), from worst to best.
8. X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
The third X-Men film was quite possibly the worst superhero film ever made, a few exceptions aside (I’m looking at you Fantastic Four). While it introduced amazing characters (Angel, Multiple Man, Colossus), they saw little to no character development. Professor Charles Xavier, a fan-favourite, was turned into an absolute monster, but with no service to plot or the emotional backbone of the film. Cyclops, ring leader of the X-Men, was killed within the first 15 minutes of the film, and no one batted an eye. Come on guys, even Agent Coulson’s death brought more grief. Also, our boy Logan had little more to do than stand around, taking turns looking confused and angry, perhaps channelling the audience’s emotions while watching this movie.
7. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
Wolverine’s debut solo film, apart from committing continuity crimes, featuring horrid CGI and just plain sucking, also savagely sewed up future franchise saviour Deadpool’s mouth, making X-Men Origins: Wolverine an ordeal not to be easily forgotten. A lot of people watched this movie before it even hit theatres thanks to an online leak of a hilariously unfinished full-length copy of the film, complete with body wires and Play-Doh versions of characters and props — still better than what we finally saw on the big screen. Wolverine deserved a better origin movie, bub. The movie did have one of the best opening sequences in superhero film history, which saves it from being the worst X-Men movie.
6. X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
While Bryan Singer showed off some mean directing chops with X-Men Apocalypse, the weight of carrying the backstories of too many great mutants ultimately proved to be too much. The film was also Logan’s most recent trip back to his origin story and by this point we’re all pretty clued in to what really went down during the Weapon X experiment. However, his brief cameo was perhaps the highlight of this movie.
5. X-Men: First Class (2011)
As far as cameo appearances go, First Class nails it with Wolverine. While he has under ten seconds of screen time in this movie, Jackman truly lived the character in those few moments, where he brusquely asks Professor X and Magneto to “[expletive] off”, and delivered what was a smashing success of a scene that had fans standing up and cheering in the theatres. Few X-Men actors, if any, can make that sort of an impact in that space of time.
4. X-Men (2000)
The first X-Men movie, while problematic, was also our first meeting with Jackman’s Wolverine and perhaps our generation’s first look at what a superhero movie could be. That iconic cage fight scene where we come face-to-face with Wolverine for the first time was enough to cement the actor in X-Men history, even if he looked nothing like his comic book counterpart. On revisiting the film, what stood out was how many rules this film broke: the movie begins, not by introducing us to the heroes, but by taking us straight to the back story of the villain; it espoused anti-nationalism and diversity values with conviction and sensitivity; and there was also a clever, hidden-in-plain sight “coming out” scene.
3. X-2 (2003)
The first movie that truly dealt with Wolverine’s problematic history and his Weapon X origin story, X-2 was a winner simply because it let Jackman find his place in the X-Men team, and in the process, the canon itself. Apart from great action sequences, the film also gave time for Wolverine to develop his romantic urges with that ‘Will they, won’t they’ shtick the film played out between him and Jean Grey.
2. The Wolverine (2013)
Jackman’s second outing in a solo Wolverine film, which took him to Japan and onto his second love interest Mariko, was terribly underrated. Perhaps the only film in the franchise that stayed close to its comic book source, we enjoyed watching Wolverine assume his noble warrior role. With The Wolverine, Jackman also had the chance to add subtlety and depth to his character, who was, until then, a little too heavy-handedly drawn.
1. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
The best movie to come out of the X-Men franchise, the film also did great by Wolverine to flourish and take charge, amid the younger versions of Professor X (James McAVoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender). The time travel-based story allowed for Wolverine to switch from reluctant hero to trusty mentor, and while that was a character departure for the clawed hero, it was also a great way for Jackman to show off his versatile acting chops.
Don’t miss it
Logan releases in the UAE on March 2.