A reluctant superhero returns to action.
Directed by James Mangold(PG-13)
Hugh Jackman’s latest Wolverine film might be “the most satisfying superhero movie of the summer,” said Andrew O’Hehir in Salon.com. Shaking off the “general stupidity” that plagued the character’s 2009 solo outing, this unpretentious action hit suffers “a severe energy drop-off” in its final act but otherwise provides the “popcorn-flavored” thrills that summer audiences crave. Jackman is “electric” in his sixth go-round as the title character—a surly mutant who’s been blessed/cursed with immortality and retractable claws since surviving the bombing of Nagasaki in a nearby prisoner-of-war camp, said Richard Roeper in the Chicago Sun-Times. This time he’s drawn into a conflict in Japan after he visits the deathbed of a wealthy industrialist, and he rewards fans with, among other highlights, an “outrageously entertaining” fight scene atop a racing bullet train. Unfortunately, the “grab-bag plot” feels “scattered and far-fetched,” said Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times. Despite Jackman’s star power and a fair share of effective action sequences, this Wolverine “stubbornly refuses to catch fire.”