17 years ago from the moment we saw him in that cage fight in Canada in the 2000 film X-Men all the way to this weekend’s release of Logan, Hugh Jackman spent the better part of the next 2 decades bringing Wolverine to life.
Before the films even launched the golden age of superhero movies, Wolverine was a well beloved character in the X-men comics as well as the 90s X-men animated series that still holds a special place in many 80s/90s kid’s hearts. Hugh Jackman just brought us a new standard to the character over the course of 9 movies. While Jackman had claimed a few times that he’d be retiring from portraying Wolverine only to pop up in another X-men film, there’s a good chance this is the last time we’ll see him pop on the claws (unless in his words he can play with the Avengers, which would be incredible but doubtful). Similarly this is very likely the last time we’ll see Sir Patrick Stewart in the role of Charles Xavier as well according to recent interviews. While we have James McAvoy portraying young professor X, it’s going to be hard to picture anyone else but Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. However the character is larger than any one actor so I think we’ll see Wolverine again possibly after letting a X-film cruise without him for a movie or two (Next X-Men movie is rumored to be Dark Phoenix and/or taking the mutants on a cosmic adventure) .
As a salute to Jackman’s near-20 year portrayal of Wolverine I thought it’d be fun to highlight my favorite Wolverine moments from each film….including Origins:
Canuck Bar Brawl (X-Men)- This was shortly after Wolverine’s introductory cage fight. Wolverine is enjoying a post fight beer until he’s confronted by the man he beat in the cage. This is when we first see the claws pop out with many, many more moments to follow.
Wolverine vs Lady Deathstrike (X2)– X2 was a bigger and better film compared to most of the other X-men movies. While there’s great moments of Wolverine defending the school from Stryker’s forces, I personally liked to see him square off against Lady Deathstrike (although she’s never referred to as such). Those claws into the back….ouch!
“Grow Those Back” (X-Men: The Last Stand)- While this movie did a half-baked Dark Phoenix story and some emotions were running high with Wolverine and Jean at the end, I really enjoyed his fight with a random limb-regenerating mutant. After a few cut off limbs regenerating during their brawl, Wolverine ends the fight by kicking the guy in the balls and tells him to “grow those back”. It reminded me a lot of Indiana Jones shooting the swordsman in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Opening Credits (Wolverine: Origins)- This is certainly the worst of the X-films for many reasons. Terrible portrayals of Deadpool, bad CGI compared to the earlier movies, underused Gambit, ect. However one thing this movie did nail was Sabretooth. I’m personally bummed this was the only appearance of Liev Scrieber’s portrayal. The opening montage to Origins followed Wolverine and Sabretooth through the revolutionary war all the way up to Vietnam. Definitely a shining moment from an otherwise bad movie.
Pool Time! (The Wolverine)- The second Wolverine solo film was a much better adventure than what was shown in Origins. Wolverine is living the life of a hermit following the events of The Last Stand when he was forced to kill Jean Grey.
He finds his way to Japan where he loses his healing factor and goes on the run with the daughter of a man whom owes him a life debt for saving him in WW2 while being pursued by the Yakuza. After lying low in a hotel, one of the mobsters finds them and is immediately thrown out the window by Wolverine and into a pool several stories down. When asked how he knew there was a pool, his only reply is: “I didn’t”.
A Polite Decline (X-men First Class)- I really loved this swinging 60s prequel of X-men but Logan/Wolverine is simply reduced to a cameo when he does a polite decline to Xavier and Magneto’s recruitment efforts.
3 quick words made this moment probably the funniest and most crowd pleasing moment of First Class.
Waking up in 1973 (X-Men: Days of Future Past)- Arguably the best of the X-films prior to this weekend’s Logan, this time traveling movie connects both the First Class Trilogy with the Original Trilogy to prevent a dark future. Wolverine is sent back into the body of his younger self (bone-claws and all!!!) to prevent a chain reaction of events that would kill his allies.
In true Wolverine fashion, when he wakes up in 1973, he’s in bed with a mobster’s daughter just as the bodyguards come into the bedroom.
Weapon X (X-Men Apocalypse)- Weapon X was an almost unexpected surprise. While we knew Wolverine would have a cameo thanks to TV spots spoiling the fun, I didn’t expect to see him in full Weapon X gear. We also got to see the famed berserker rage!!
Plus he got to animalisticly sniff Sansa Stark/Young Jean Grey before heading out into the Canadian Wilderness.
The Claws making contact!!! (Logan)- This movie is too fresh for spoilers, but this is the movie that is a perfect capstone to 17 years of Jackman’s portrayal of Wolverine. It’s the closest we’ll get to my favorite Wolverine tale: Old Man Logan. We see a frail and battered older Logan as he goes on a dangerous road-trip with an even frailer but at times feisty Professor X. T
his movie brings in all the feels, excitement, grittiness and violence that suit the Wolverine character perfectly. With the R-rating we do get to see the claws finally make contact…sometimes through a head! There are obviously much greater moments with Logan and Xavier and other characters but to stay spoiler-free we’ll leave it at this.
What were your favorite moments? Sound off below!!