HEADS roll, blood sprays, metal claws pierce skulls.
No, the Hostel franchise has not been revived from its grave – X-Men’s Wolverine has been given the adult audience treatment, eschewing the colourful skin-tight superhero jumpsuits in favour of graphic violence.
Things are deadly serious now.
But does it justify the ninth appearance of Wolverine on the big screen?
Set a few years in the future, Wolverine aka Logan (Hugh Jackman) is living a low-key life as a limo driver and feeding medication to 90-year-old Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), who is losing control of his powers in their desert hideout.
The loner is brought back into the spotlight when he comes across young Laura (Dafne Keen), a mutant with extraordinary strength (and a distinct similarity to Wolverine) who has escaped a facility for mutant children and is being targeted.
Wolverine reluctantly tries to help her get across the border to safety.
Blood is spilled – and plenty of it – and some may welcome this change of pace for a film featuring an X-Man, but the film’s violent content begins in top gear and has nowhere to build from there.
Wolverine is hardly shown with any more dimensions than what we have seen before; he remains aloof, angry and growly.
There is closure to the character but it feels emotionally distant when it should be heartbreaking after spending so much time with him throughout so many years.
And while the gore is reasonably new for the X-Men franchise, it is hardly new to the genre, Super and Kick-Ass already toying with it in 2010 and Deadpool’s recent monster success clearly paving the way for this instalment.
Logan has claws but they won’t leave deep scars.
Directed by: James Mangold
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen
Review by: Julian Wright
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