We’re just a few days away from the release of Logan, which many regard as one of the best comic book movies ever made, only losing to Captain America: Civil War. Logan currently has a staggering 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 73% on Metacritic (by Metacritic standards, this is amazing). Since the making of Logan, it has been marketed as Hugh Jackman’s last performance as Wolverine. While some people make the argument that Hugh Jackman will most likely reprise his role once again in Deadpool 2, that is left to be seen as there are no official confirmation yet.
For now, we just have to live with the fact that this could quite possibly be Hugh Jackman’s final outing as Wolverine and that’s very sad. Hugh Jackman is the longest an actor has ever played a comic book character on screen, an astounding 17 years. Not only that, Hugh Jackman has appeared in every single X-Men movie thus far (besides Deadpool). That is a feat that will probably never be matched.
Throughout his years as Wolverine, Hugh Jackman has given us some incredible performances and noteworthy moments. To celebrate his last outing as Wolverine, here are the 15 best Wolverine Movie Moments.
15 Wolverine VS Shingen Yashida
James Mangold’s first Wolverine spin-off in 2013 titled, The Wolverine is perhaps one of The X-Men Cinematic Universe’s (if you can call it that) biggest wasted potential. This isn’t to say the movie is bad. Quite the opposite, in fact. However, there were two issues. One, while the movie has a strong first and second act, the third act is a complete let down. Two, this was made in the pre-Deadpool era and so, the theatrical version of this film was PG 13.
Having said that, The Wolverine still had some of the most kick-ass action sequences in this franchise. One such action sequence takes place midway through the movie, between Wolverine and Shingen Yashida.
The fight sequence is a well-choreographed, edge of your seat type stuff. Wolverine’s healing factor meant that Yashida had no chance of beating him. And while Wolverine did spare his life at first, Yashida stabs Wolverine in the back (literally). Of course, this doesn’t kill Wolverine. Wolverine then turns around and finishes the job.
14 Bullet Train Action Sequence
Yep, this is another one of the many scenes that’s from Wolverine’s first solo movie, The Wolverine. One of the best action sequences in that movie and in the entire X-Men franchise involves a bullet train. At this point in the movie, Wolverine’s healing factor has weakened, no thanks to The Viper. This sequence takes place when Wolverine is trying to protect Mariko from the Yakuza members who are trying to kill her. It was at this point in the movie where I thought to myself, “this is going to be one of the best comic book movies ever.” Well, we all know how that turned out.
Since I already talked about The Wolverine in detail in the first point, here are some fun facts about the movie:
- Hugh Jackman contacted Dwayne Johnson for advice on bulking up for The Wolverine. The Rock suggested that Jackman could bulk really fast by eating 6,000 calories a day of "an awful lot of chicken, steak and brown rice."
- The film was scheduled to be released in Japan in mid-September, more than a month after its worldwide release. This was to avoid insensitive screenings during the early August anniversaries of the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
13 Art Teacher?
One of the best things about the X-Men film franchise is the fact that it isn’t just your usual cookie cutter comic book movies. Okay fine, most of the movies aren’t your usual cookie cutter comic book movies. This is ever so apparent in the second movie, X2: X-Men United. A horrible title by the way.
X2 is a movie that’s much deeper than most people think. It is a movie that has various themes that represent the marginalization faced by the LGBT community. One such scene takes place in Bobby/Iceman’s house. In one of the most obvious representations of the LGBT community, Bobby “comes out of the closet” to his parents. The reactions on his parents’ face tells you everything you need to know about this movie. This scene isn’t a comedic scene. But, there is one moment in this scene that will leave you grinning from ear to ear.
Bobby tells his parents that Logan/Wolverine is a professor at his school. His parent asks, “So, what exactly do you teach, professor Logan?” To that Wolverine replies, “art.” #Classic!
12 Fighting Ninjas in The Wolverine
As mentioned in the 13th subsection, while The Wolverine is perhaps one of the biggest wasted potentials in the X-Men movie universe, it does have some kick-ass action sequences. The best of those action sequences come before the disappointing climatic sequence.
However, if you’ve only watched this movie once and that’s in the cinema, this scene is nothing special. But when watched on the Blu-Ray R-rated version, this sequence is nothing short of magical. In one of the best shot action sequences in the entire franchise, Wolverine goes ape on a bajillion ninjas. It’s HIGH OCTANE stuff! What makes this scene even more incredible is that it takes place on snow and to watch Wolverine slice up some a*shole ninjas turning the snow red is a delight!
If somehow this ended up being the climax of the movie, it would have been much better. Unfortunately, Wolverine eventually gets captured and we have to sit through Wolverine vs some giant robot that was clearly a butchery of the source material.
11 Waking up in the past, X-Men: Days of Future Past
Wolverine is known for his metal, knife-like claws. But what some people don’t know is that Wolverine wasn’t born with metal claws. He had bone claws until he was part of William Stryker’s Weapon X programme that infused adamantium onto his skeletal system. Before the weapon X programme, Wolverine had bone claws.
We got to see Wolverine’s bone claws in the horrible sorry excuse of a movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The next time we see Wolverine’s bone claws is in X-Men: Days of Future Past. To save the universe, Kitty Pryde (who developed the ability to send people back in time for the sake of plot convenience) had to send Wolverine back in time. When Wolverine wakes up in the past, he’s half naked beside a woman. Of course, he is. Suddenly, a bunch of men break into his room. In pure Wolverine fashion, he rips out his claws. Only, it wasn’t his metal claws that came out, but his bone ones. Logan’s reaction to his claws is comedic GOLD!
10 Wolverine Faces William Stryker
Sorta like what Lex Luthor is to Superman, William Stryker is to Wolverine. He isn’t a super powered being, in fact he hates the ideas of mutants to begin with. However, Stryker is one of those a*sholes who are extremely smart and cunning. Not to mention, he’s pure evil. William Stryker is the man who gave Wolverine his metal claws. Before Stryker’s weapon-X experiment on Wolverine, Wolverine had bone claws. Sure, it sounds like he got an upgrade, but that’s only half the story. The weapon-X experiment is torturous. Unfortunately, because Wolverine’s memory got wiped out, he can’t seem to remember his past. Which is one of the more interesting arcs in the Wolverine character.
There is a tension filled scene in X2, somewhere in the first act. William Stryker and his men attack the mansion and Wolverine destroys a lot of them. However, just as Wolverine was about to flee, William Stryker appears. He talks to Wolverine and for the first time you see Wolverine letting his guard down. Clearly something is bothering him. Luckily Iceman puts a barrier between them and Rogue convinces Wolverine to escape with them.
9 Surviving a Nuclear Bomb
Another scene from The Wolverine? How is this movie not the best X-Men movie to date? As mentioned, while the climax of this movie took a turn for the absolute worst and the theatrical edition of this movie left a lot to be desired, this movie is still extremely rewatchable, especially for its first and second act. The opening scene of this movie featured Wolverine in one of the most unique X-Men scenes to date. One of my favourite aspects of the X-Men movies are the fact that they sorta intertwine these characters with real life historical incidents. We witnessed that in X-Men Origins: Wolverine when Wolverine and Sabertooth kick-ass in various wars throughout history and also in X-Men: Days of Future Past when Magneto is accused of the assassination of JFK.
The Wolverine’s opening sequence does the same. Wolverine is held captive at a Japanese military camp when the nuclear bomb on Nagasaki drops. The scene in which he saves one of the Japanese soldiers is simply spectacular!
Of course, his good deed ends up biting him in the ass, when many, many years later, this Japanese soldier, who is now old and withered, tracks down and attempts to kill Wolverine and harvest his healing powers. Yep, that’s right. That Japanese soldier goes on to be the Silver Samurai.
8 Breaking Down When Jean Dies
Wolverine is generally known for his angry demeanor, ass kicking, love for violence, more ass-kicking, and the likes. Every now and then, he’s funny. But did you know, that Wolverine can also be an emotional character? As mentioned above, X2: X-Men United isn’t your usual cookie cutter comic book movie. This movie, in which many still regard as the best X-Men movie to date, is first and foremost a character driven drama.
And one of the more interesting character arcs in this movie is the love triangle between Jean, Cyclops and Wolverine. And no, this isn’t one of those love triangles that would make you want to punch yourself in the face repeatedly until you’re blind. *cough* Twilight *cough* This is more of a realistic love triangle, so to speak.
Towards the end of the movie, Jean Grey sacrifices herself to save the team, to her demise. Cyclops breaks down, screaming and crying. While Wolverine just remains his usual Wolverine self, telling Scott, “She’s gone. She’s gone!” However, there’s this look in his eyes. You could tell that he was hurting too, he just didn’t want to let it out. Who knew that Wolverine could be badass, funny and emotional? Great props to Hugh Jackman for that controlled performance.
7 Cage Fight in X-Men
Wolverine has one of the best character introduction of any comic book character on the big screen. Surprisingly the first protagonist we’re introduced to in the first X-Men movie wasn’t Wolverine, but Rogue. Rogue had left everything and everyone she cared about behind and decided to flee after her powers almost killed her boyfriend.
She sorta stumbles into this underground fight club of sorts, when we get a first look at Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. It is important to remember that when Jackman was cast, people backlashed. I mean a Broadway star playing Wolverine? The idea seemed ludicrous. However, the moment we’re introduced to Wolverine in this cage fight sequence, worry turned to awe. Jackman was the right man for the job. And Bryan Singer was exactly the right man to steer this franchise.
This was a straightforward scene featuring Wolverine kicking someone’s ass. But Jackman’s performance shows you exactly what you’ll be getting out of this character. Wolverine isn’t your regular superhero. He’s a damaged man, with a dark past.
6 The Bar Scene After The Cage Fight
Adding on to the excellent introduction to Wolverine, after the cage fight, Wolverine goes to the bar to have a drink. Rogue is there at the bar. For no reason, whatsoever, a couple of thugs pick on Logan. This leads to an extended introduction to the character, so to speak, this time metal claws on full display. When disturbed, Logan immediately unleashes his claws on the thugs, before leaving. What’s interesting about this scene is Rogue’s reaction. It’s apparent that she’s afraid, but there’s also intrigue in her eyes. For the first time, ever, she’s laid eyes on someone just as different as her. A fellow mutant.
Since I already talked about X-Men in detail in the point above, here are some fun facts about the movie:
- Hugh Jackman took ice cold showers every morning of filming in order to help get into character. This tradition started when jumping into the shower at 5am before realizing there was no hot water. Shocked awake but not wanting to wake his sleeping wife, he grit his teeth and bore it, before realizing that this mindset - wanting to scream and lash out at something but having to hold it in - was the mentality that Wolverine is in constantly. He then made cold showers his Wolverine preparation routine for each film featuring the character.
- Neither Patrick Stewart or Ian McKellen knew how to play chess during filming. A chess master came in to teach them.
5 Weapon X Escapes in X-Men: Apocalypse
Another disappointing X-Men movie is the latest one (excluding Deadpool) – X-Men: Apocalypse. After the disappointing X-Men Origins: Wolverine, people thought that would be the end of the X-Men universe. Then came Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class, and it was awesome. Then Bryan Singer came back on board to helm X-Men: Days of Future Past and HOLY SH*T, not only was that the best X-Men movie, it’s also one of the best comic book movies ever made. So, of course fans were super excited for X-Men: Apocalypse. And while X-Men: Apocalypse isn’t terrible, it wasn’t nearly as good as what most people were hoping for.
However, just like many other points on this list, even disappointing or terrible X-Men films can have excellent moments involving Wolverine. And, it’s no different here. Jean, Cyclops and Nightcrawler attempt a rescue mission, they stumble upon Wolverine, locked up in a cage. Jean Grey lets the beast out and he goes full crazy on all the guards. It’s an amazing scene although it makes no sense in terms of continuity.
4 Killing Jean Grey
While X-Men Origins: Wolverine is considered the worst in the X-Men franchise, its predecessor, X-Men: The Last Stand also receives a lot of flak, understandably so. While the first two X-Men movies were first and foremost dramas, X-Men: The Last Stand, infamously directed by Brett Ratner, threw away drama and substance for cookie cutter nonsense. This isn’t to say that the movie is all bad though. This movie has a decent first act. A ballsy one at that, killing off Cyclops. But it sorta loses its way as the movie progresses. However, because all these characters were already well established in the first and second movie, we still cared for them.
The climax in this movie is heart breaking. Jean Grey is completely taken over by the Dark Phoenix and is on the brink of killing thousands of people. Nobody is able to come near without being disintegrated. Nobody but Wolverine that is. Because of his healing factor, Wolverine slowly makes his way towards Jean Grey. He looks at the woman he loves in her eyes, says he loves her, before putting his claws through her gut.
3 Montage Sequence in X-Men Origins: Wolverine
X-Men Origins: Wolverine is regarded as one of the worst films of all time. Okay, fine. Maybe not. But it’s pretty terrible. And, it butchers one of the greatest comic book characters – Deadpool. Thankfully, we have a new Deadpool now, and everybody is happy pretending X-Men Origins: Wolverine doesn’t even exist.
Having said that, not every single thing in that movie is bad. In fact, surprisingly, it has one of the best and definitely the most unique Wolverine sequence in the franchise.
After Logan, who’s probably 10 years old at this point accidentally kills his father, he and his half-brother Victor AKA Sabertooth flee the scene of the crime. Then we see the them grow up in an excellent montage sequence featuring the duo kicking ass throughout history. These two fought in the American Civil War, World War I, World War II and even in Vietnam. What’s interesting about this scene isn’t just in how cool it all looks, but it also tells displays Wolverine’s and Sabertooth’s unmatched healing abilities that prevent them from ageing like a normal human being.
2 Go f**k Yourself
Just as highlighted in the 10th point of this article, not every great Wolverine moment has to have blood or body parts being sliced. As these movies, have proved, Hugh Jackman has excellent comic timing as well. That’s not to say that Wolverine is suddenly a funny guy. He’s not. For the most part, he’s dead serious. But you can use Wolverine’s seriousness to create comedy gold. And this is ever so apparent in one particular scene in X-Men: First Class.
Now, X-Men: First Class took place in a time before Wolverine joined the X-Men. Heck it took place in a time when Professor X wasn’t bald and had two functioning legs. So, it’s only natural that you wouldn’t see much of Wolverine in this movie. But that doesn’t mean there’s no place for a quick cameo. In fact, this is perhaps one of the most memorable cameos in cinema history.
Professor X and Magneto are travelling and recruiting mutants. One of the mutants they intend to recruit is Wolverine. They approach Wolverine in a bar and before they could tell him anything, Wolverine says, “go f*ck yourself!” GENIUS!
1 Wolverine Goes Nuts in X2
Alas, we have arrived. The best damn Wolverine moment in the history of the universe…. until Logan comes out in a few days’ time and makes all these moments look like a lousy episode of Spongebob Squarepants. Pre-Logan, this moment probably tops every single “best Wolverine moment” list you can find on the internet.
Of course, it is none other than Wolverine going nuts in X2: X-Men United. When the first X-Men movie came out in the year 2000, it was something special. But while it did have some damn good Wolverine moments, it didn’t have THE Wolverine moment that we so desperately want. Fans began to wonder if we would ever see THE Wolverine moment, especially since these movies take place in a PG13 setting.
In one of the early scenes in X2, William Stryker and his men break into Professor X’s mansion. They start sedating the kids and kidnapping them. Then it happens... Wolverine unleashes his claws and GOES BANANAS on those men. It’s crazy! And not something we’d thought we’d ever see in a comic book movie.
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