Giving X-Men’s high plains drifter an emo-backstory was always tempting but never really necessary.
Slapping on muscle, metal and mutton-chops, star/ producer Hugh Jackman gives it everything he’s got as Wolverine. But save for a killer cameo from Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool, director Gavin Hood’s (Tsotsi) entertaining but faintly redundant movie is often left clawing, like its hairy anti-hero, for some real identity.
Still, no doubt about it, Wolverine looks extremely – yes – sharp on Bluray. The 1080p transfer has a highly cinematic feel to it, with natural skin tones, rich colours, amped-up detail and deep blacks – vital given that much of the movie’s first half plays out in darkness.
As the maverick mutant goes on a rampage through history and gets pumped full of adamantium, the scowly dialogue, scrapping claws and ka-booms all mesh strong and clear, too.
You really do get more bang for your buck on BD. This is Fox’s first release armed with ‘Live Lookup’, a feature that “gives you instant access to up-todate actor filmographies and information related to X-Men Origins via IMDb”. Lounge got most joy, though, from launching Ultimate X-Mode, which offers no less than four rock-solid PiP options. X Connect offers Making Of goodies throughout the film.
Director’s Chair sees Hood join us to explain his full motivations and methods for nearly every scene. Pre-Visualising Wolverine has Hood showing us his animated storyboards and sketches to compare to the film. Even the X-Facts: Trivia Track is worth sticking on for its surprisingly off-topic nuggets. Liev Schreiber is one of only five actors to appear in all three Scream films, we’re told, while Will.I.Am attended LA’s Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. You live, you learn.
Dodge past the uninspiring interview with Stan Lee and Wolvie creator Len Wein, a blah-blah 12-minute Making Of and the six-minute TV promo hyping up Jackmania as the movie makes its debut in Arizona… Yawn.
Head instead for five-minute featurette The Thrill Of The Chase, which autopsies the bit where our hero takes down a chopper. Those massive explosions were done for real (“The rocket is CG... Because we were not about to start firing rockets!” admits Hood) and it’s enlightening to watch the greenscreen bods meld a tumbling Jackman with a real-life helicopter as it crashes and burns into a twisted metal salad.
Weapon X Mutant Files is the other meaty extra – in which all 10 characters are discussed by Hood, the actors – and themselves. “All I wanted was to travel the world,” explains Ryan Reynolds, in character as Deadpool. “Meet new and exciting people. And then kill them…”
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