This Sydney-shot spectacular from director James Mangold once again, of course, lets Hugh Jackman’s Logan/Wolverine take centre stage, and that’s more than okay as he can act and, well, he still has that damn six-pack (or is it a 12-pack now?).
Introduced incarcerated and saving the life of Yashida, a prison guard at Nagasaki during WW2, the haunted, shadowy Logan is summoned many years later to contemporary Tokyo and the side of the now-elderly and super-rich gent (Haruhiko Yamanouchi), and offered the chance to become mortal and truly die. In a plot that echoes Superman II, Logan’s X-ish powers andimmortality are taken at the moment that he most needs them, as corrupt officials, nasty yakuza and a mysterious woman (Svetlana Khodchenkova) with a killer tongue threaten him and Yashida’s granddaughters. Intriguingly, said granddaughters are played by striking near-unknowns (Tao Okamoto and the sword-wielding Rila Fukushima), and they almost steal the film from the heavily-sideburned Jackman by doing almost nothing.
But, nevertheless, it’s still Hugh’s movie, and he’s in formidable form, whether chatting with the dead Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), skewering multiple baddies, clinging to a bullet train’s roof (a sequence given away in the trailer) – or performing seriously ouchy auto-surgery.