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The Wolverine: Blu Ray Review

Rating: M
Released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Hugh Jackman returns as The Wolverine.

In the latest, Logan's living rough in the Canadian wilds, bedraggled and uninterested in life as a mutant or as Wolverine after the death of Famke Janssen's Jean Grey in X Men: Last Stand. But, years ago at Nagasaki, he saved the life of a man known as Yashida when the bomb's dropped and now as the ultra-rich Yashida nears the end of his life, he wants to repay the debt to Logan.

So, escorted to Japan by the red-haired Yukio (Fukushima), Logan meets with Yashida as requested. However, after he's asked to look after Yashida's grand-daughter Mariko (Okamato), things start to go awry - a scientist named Viper appears to attack him in his sleep and suddenly, the once invulnerable Logan is now facing mortality, questions about his own life and a very uncertain future. Bound by his word, Logan's thrown into a war against the Yakuza, aimed at bringing down the Yashida empire and Mariko as he tries to work out what exactly is happening to him...

The Wolverine is a different X Men movie to any that have gone before it.

It's a more considered, more introspective piece which favours smarts and story over all action set pieces. It's by no means yet another origin story for Wolverine, but is in fact, an adventure of Logan's from 1982 and one of the first he had as a solo character which has been a much-heralded comic arc for Wolvy. Jackman is at his vulnerable best when Logan's trying to work out what's going on - both in modern day Japan and also in his own life. He brings an understated downplaying of the role this time around (no cigar-chomping here, bub) and it makes Wolverine a lot more realistic as he goes on his journey, faces his lack of immortality and takes on his demons.

Fuelling a feeling of a drifter film, a Ronin (samurai without a master), this Logan's a more melancholy and maudlin character in this latest outing - and while there are some incredible bursts of action (a sequence aboard a bullet train stands out), the overall feeling is muted and not what you'd expect from the sixth outing of the X Men favourite. Swathes of the film pass without any real action or spills and thrills, and it teeters precariously on the dull in places - but the story telling's key here and Mangold's certainly given that the time to breathe and depth to a character that you thought you already knew. It's this side of the film which is infinitely more interesting than the rest of what transpires towards the end - because it forgoes its original path for a finale which is generic, boring and simply a "battle the boss" end. It's almost as if Hollywood's come in and commanded an action beat down ending to provide a blockbuster pay off.

A fantastic final tease sequence sets up X Men: Days of Future Past thrillingly so make sure you stay on for the credits - it's a magnetic piece which concentrates on the three main players of the X Men movies and has got this geek salivating for the sequel.

Extras: Alternate ending, path of a Ronin, and set tour of X Men: Days of Future Past.

Rating: 6/10