Disappointed that the latest big-screen outing for Marvel’s adamantium-clawed antihero felt a little blunted?
“There were some trims we made to secure a PG-13 rating,” concedes director James Mangold on the commentary for The Wolverine’s ‘Unleashed Extended Edition’ (exclusive to 3D Blu-ray). “In this cut, there’s a little more violence...”
Though the 12 extra minutes don’t add much in story terms to Logan’s (Hugh Jackman) jaunt to Japan, they undoubtedly restore a harder edge to what is arguably the X-Men movie-verse’s most character-focused and mature entry to date.
The standout temple-fight set-piece benefits the most; with Wolverine’s unique brandof rage-fuelled hack-and-slash now accompanied by flourishes of arterial spray and squelchy sound effects.
Coming out of a summer season that gave us Pacific Rim and Man Of Steel’s VFX-stuffed mayhem, it’s still refreshing to see a studio tentpole whose major action beats rely on, as Mangold puts it, “eye contact, sweat and muscle”.
And though The Wolverine inevitably (and frustratingly) veers into generic territory with a CG-fuelled final act, even here the film’s not afraid to take some risks, presenting Bryan Singer with an interesting challenge for Days Of Future Past. It’s also 90 per cent less ridiculous than anything in 2009’s X-Men Origins…
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