In the week that Hugh Jackman HINTED at MAYBE being open for more time as the legendary mutant with claws for Marvel? I remind everyone that 2013 saw his most underrated turn in the role..
I love THE WOLVERINE. Why? I’ll elaborate..
- Self contained: Though linked to DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, it’s by no means tethered to sole definition on terms of what comes next. Equally it references X3: LAST STAND and atones for X MEN ORIGINS:WOLVERINE without overdoing either connection or separation from that legacy.
- Upbeat but not bland: There are some tough, dark moments here and you feel the hero’s pain. But you never wallow in it. It’s why I hate LOGAN because by contrast, it just throws misery at the screen for its own sake. And yes I know I’m alone in that. OR AM I? 😉
- It’s Flawed: I am not saying this movie is perfect. His motivation for helping the heroine is unclear. Is he in love again? Does she remind him of Jean Grey? It could have used a tweak. As could the chain of muddled villainy in the piece which makes the culmination anti-climactic. But I like those flaws because they breed thought and discussion.
- Atmospheric: It’s an immersive experience. The score is beautiful. The locations are brought to visceral, textured life. The rain in a forest, the lights of Japan. THAT TRAIN FIGHT!!
- JAMES MANGOLD = BALANCE! There is reason for Spielberg handing James the keys to Indiana Jones. Mangold knows how to do period detail whilst keeping things punchy and timelessly relevant. He gets to the essence of a character, their lore and their world, whilst extracting the core elements and fusing them, afresh.
- It respects animals. Any movie that is anti sport hunting by wallies is fine by me!
- That blonde mutant lady is FIT. I love her. Shut up. Give her a spin off! Svetlana Khodchenkova IS VIPER: in VIPER: THE MOVIE! If waldo off GI Joe can get an origin movie..why not this Goddess?
Above all? It’s HUGH JACKMAN. He is in peak shape here, for sure and more than held his own against other superheroes that summer of 2013, both Iron and super-men included.
It’s his charm, craft, dedication, precision, timing and heart that make this role HIS. Hugh is a talented, warm, vibrant soul of stage and screen. Unbeatable.
Sure, Wolverine could be re-cast, especially if you do subscribe to the inane notion that youth is integral to the character.
But WHY re-cast when there is no need? Wolverine’s age and appearance are fluid in universe, as written? So Jackman can continue in this role, forever, via occasional outsource to younger actors /deep-fake flashback etc.
Hugh: you don’t NEED to get insanely ripped in a role once mooted for BOB HOSKINS!
The ‘diversity’ argument does not work here, either. Yes, ‘Logan’ can regenerate to any race /gender etc. Except that Marvel, for all its virtue signalling, still has three white middle class male 20-40 something Brit actors now front and centre of its universe (Loki, Dr Strange, Spiderman). It’s like the War of Independence never happened!
Keeping Jackman as an X-Man in charge puts an Aussie in his 50s at the head of the brand; building new communities through the goodwill from the old. And still allowing for him to do other stuff as an actor and even, yes, in time, setting up a re-cast if that arrangement simply does not work out. These things happen. It’s showbiz!
But it would work. It will. And I hope to see, akin to Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry or Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones, a series of self contained, serial adventures, from Logan, played by Jackman, in the mould of THE WOLVERINE.