Logan hits theaters today! It’s been one hell of a ride with Hugh Jackman’s indelible performance as Wolverine over 17 years and nine films. Today’s Friday Five is dedicated to the most unforgettable moments (so far) in the film legacy of the surliest, the toughest, the most Canadian of them all…
We first saw him with his back to the camera, about to deliver a beat-down in a cage match somewhere in the wilds of the Northern Territories. But it’s the next scene, where young Rogue first observes Logan’s extra-extra-ordinary gift that Jackman gives us our first taste of the character we know and love. And the “snikt!” sound. And that trademark raised eyebrow. It’s all there.
For all that X-Men was pretty good in introducing the characters and setting the stage, it held back a bit on full-blown action. We didn’t really get to see Wolverine go ham on some baddies until X2, when General Stryker’s assault team descends on Xavier’s School while most of the faculty are away. It’s up to the man with the claws to lead a bad-ass defense of the students, and boy he doesn’t hold back. (Though Colossus, itching to get into the fight, has a memorable assist.)
Hot take!: The Wolverine is four-fifths of a great movie. Flawed, yes, but great. It’s really only the last reel – with the Silver Samurai reveal that feels plucked out of a Michael Bay movie – where the wheels come off. Whatever your opinion of the film, it’s hard to deny that few moments capture the character’s legacy like the WWII prologue of this film, as prisoner of war Logan saves the life of Japanese officer Yashida by shielding him from the Nagasaki atomic blast… with his body. Ouch.
WARNING: Strong language ahoy!!
Okay, sure, this might be a tiny bit of a cheat. This is his entire appearance; Jackman’s cameo in First Class took some criticism for implying that Fox couldn’t manage to make even one X-Men film without Wolverine in it. In spite of the continuity issues, though, its awesomeness is two-fold: One, a perfect capper to a great montage sequence. Two, it’s well-noted that to keep a PG-13 rating on language, you’re only allowed one F-bomb; two or more gets you an R. Logan here is arguably the perfect example of “If you only get one, make it count!”
This last entry is important not just for Logan’s significance, but for where it brings his relationship with the X-Men and specifically Professor Xavier at this point in the franchise. Leading up to hot-mess 70’s Xavier’s flash-forward to get a talking to from his future self, Logan exposes the most horrific memories in his arsenal – and as we know, they are doozies – to Xavier to underline the idea that he’s not messing around. It’s almost enough to scare Charles off, but Logan has come a long way since he first stumbled through the mansion’s halls in an ill-fitting hoodie. He defers to Future Xavier on wisdom needed to save the world here, but it’s his own sincerity – his gruff implication that if anyone can be talked around to the teamwork plan, he can – that makes the scene so poignant.
(All film clips: 20th Century Fox)
What say you, Looters? Best Wolverine moments fo sho, or is there another one (of five) you like better?
And don’t forget to pick up Loot Crate this month, featuring a totally bad-ass Wolverine item you’ll love. Marvel Gear & Goods‘ current crate also features both Wolverine and All-New Wolverine exclusives!