The most popular character from the X-Men movies gets a solo ride in this forced and unconvincing spin-off. While nifty stunt work and petrol-head pyrotechnics help give the movie a grunty, sweaty feel (love the shot with Jackman walking away from an exploding helicopter), ropey computer effects and a bizarre storyline will disappoint those expecting a top-end blockbuster.
Jackman’s Wolverine still proves an engaging, likeable rogue. Opposite him, Liev Schrieber oozes menace as the villainous Victor Creed (aka Sabretooth). But as soon as they go at each other in hand-to-hand combat, all credibility is lost. It just looks silly – two grown men flexing and growling in what looks like an advertisement for a gay gym. There are moments of intentional humour, particularly from Ryan Reynolds in early scenes as Deadpool, and while The Blob might be a spitting image of Fat Bastard from Austin Powers, his appearance is a ludicrous highlight.
It might be fun for fans to spot some references – how Wolverine gets his name, a little bit more detail about the Weapon X program, where adamantium comes from – but sadly this spin-off seems irrelevant for everyone else, just an odd curiousity that doesn’t feel complete on its own terms. Bryan Singer’s X-Men films were way better.
And what’s up with that unresolved downer of an ending? It’s rumoured that multiple conclusions are circulating in the States as a publicity gimmick. Could we request another one, please?