Hugh Jackman has played THE WOLVERINE six times. That’s more than anyone has played any superhero in a feature film. So, you might expect that Jackman could sleepwalk through the role and just cash his paycheck. but, that’s not Hugh Jackman. And his dedication to giving 100% to every role is what makes THE WOLVERINE special. The story is predictably dark, as all movies in this genre seem to be these days. Logan is in isolation in some unidentifiable wilderness, when he is discovered by a young Japanese girl. We learn she’s a mutant, though her ability to see someone’s death isn’t nearly as cool as like, oh say, killing someone with just a touch (Rogue for the uninitiated). She is a messenger sent by a Japanese tycoon who Logan saved from annihilation at Nagasaki. His old friend is dying and wants to say goodbye. Logan reluctantly travels to Japan and discovers his friend wants more than just a farewell, he wants his ability to heal himself and has found a way to do it. The darkness in the movie is internal to Logan. His struggle with immortality and whether he wants to continue being The Wolverine. Jean Gray appears to him in his nightmares, telling him to come be with her in death. Logan rescues his old friend’s granddaughter from the Yakuza which leads to a pretty good fight seen on top of a moving bullet train. Eventually, the movie does go off the rails a bit. It turns from introspection to all out superhero convention in the final third. But, fans will like that because that’s exactly where they want it to go. There were a couple of things that bothered me though. Logan swears a lot. I’m no prude when it comes to cursing in movies, but this felt jarring and out of place. If the point was to differentiate him from the mostly Japanese cast, well, he’s THE FREAKING WOLVERINE! That’s difference enough. We get he’s a bad-ass. Dropping some blue language in the dialogue doesn’t further the point. And without giving the ending away, there are some questions that were left unanswered about the state of Logan’s mutant abilities. That said, this is a very good movie with one great performance from Jackman, decent 3D effects and satisfying action sequences. Oh, and stay for the credits for one awesome teaser for what I can only assume is X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. — Alan Yjdman

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