We start the Top 7. You finish the Top 10.
He’s done it five times now. Hugh Jackman has put on the claws, facial hair, and jacket. He has snarled and screamed to the heavens. We love it, right? So why not figure out what the best moments are from the films X-Men, X2: X-Men United, X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and now The Wolverine? Let’s not forget his cameo in X-Men: First Class. It doesn’t look like Jackman’s reign as Wolverine will be ending any time soon with X-Men: Days of Future Past coming. Also, if you see The Wolverine this weekend, there is an additional scene worth sticking around for about half way through the credits.
- READ Nick Allen’s TSR Blog: ‘The Wolverine’ and the Curse of Eternity
- READ Nick Allen’s Scorecard Review of “The Wolverine”
I’ve decided to call him Wolverine in all instances, instead of going back and forth between Wolverine and Logan. If this upsets you for some reason, I hope you can find a way to forgive me. Also, I do realize there is a movie called X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but that doesn’t mean it has any moments that belong in the TOP 7.
7. Saving a Soldier The Wolverine (2013)
Recap: Wolverine is a prisoner in Japan during World War II. While bombs are being dropped, Wolverine must decide whether or not to save Yashida (Hal Yamanouchi).
Reason: It’s always good to see Wolverine with the bone claws. Beyond that we have three Japanese soldiers commit harakiri as the city is about to be destroyed. Yashida seems like a good enough guy, attempting to rescue prisoners before they are blown to bits. Watching the bomb go off is a great special effect, and then seeing Wolverine go through some pretty nasty burning to save Yashida gives The Wolverine a really good start (which it unfortunately can’t maintain).
6. Killing Phoenix in X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
Recap: Wolverine uses his self-healing powers to get close enough to Phoenix, who is an out of control Jean (Famke Janssen), destroying everything she can. Jean gains control of her inner-Phoenix for a moment, begging Wolverine to save her. He does, by killing her.
Reason: While the film definitely proved to be disappointing, and did hurt the emotional impact of this moment, it’s still a really good concept. Wolverine loved Jean. He also proved to be the better man when he told Cyclops (James Marsden) that Jean loved him at the end of X2. Killing someone to save them is always a tough spot to be in, but luckily with Wolverine you feel like you’re just adding one more painful memory to his treasure chest full of pain and heartache. On just a visual note, watching Wolverine regenerate and get torn apart is pretty cool.
5. The Speed Train in The Wolverine (2013)
Recap: The Yakuza gang is after Mariko (Tao Okamoto), and Wolverine protects her.
Reason: When you find yourself in Tokyo, you have to check out the speed train. They reach more than 300 mph. That’s exactly the sort of thing I would say to someone if they were going to Tokyo … and had I ever been. Luckily, Wolverine does it for us. It’s really good, goofy fun. A fight on the train with some hooligans leads Wolverine and some bad guys fighting it out on top of the speeding train. You don’t have time to wrap your head around the illogical components of the situation. Just like Wolverine and his claws, you just grab on to the moment and have a good ride.
4. Cage Match in X-Men (2000)
Recap: Wolverine is in a cage match to earn some money.
Reason: Tough, a loner, only looking out for himself, and a man of few words. That’s exactly what we dreamed Wolverine would be like on the big screen, and his first scene doesn’t disappointment. What is perfect about this moment is that Wolverine knows he can destroy almost anyone who gets into that cage with him. Let’s forget the fact that shortly after this cage fight, he then as a small fight with Sabertooth (Tyler Mane). This moment is especially meaningless after X-Men Origins: Wolverine created a further story involving Sabertooth being a half-brother of Wolverine’s.
3. Saving Rogue in X-Men (2000)
Recap: Wolverine rescues Rogue, but she is near death. He holds her near to him, and transfers his regenerative ability into her, almost killing himself in the process. He’s knocked out, but comes to in Jean’s laboratory.
Reason: Wolverine is willing to sacrifice himself to save Rogue, and a little nervous during the process. During 99 percent of these X-Men films, Wolverine walks around with a swagger. This is one of the few moments that such doesn’t happen. Don’t get me wrong, I love the swagger, but only if it comes with an ounce of venerability.
2. Cameo in X-Men: First Class (2011)
Recap: Charles Xavier/Professor X (James McAvoy) and Erik Lensherr/Magneto (Michael Fassbender) are looking for more mutants. They’re building a team to take on Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon). They track down Wolverine at a cafe, but the meeting only lasts a few seconds.
Reason: While this is definitely the shortest moment for Wolverine on this list, and simply part of a montage, it’s showcasing the Wolverine we love. “Go fuck yourself,” is uttered from Wolverine’s lips without even glancing at the two men. Plus, with it being a PG-13 movie, it’s the one f-bomb the film was allowed. Who better to take it?
1. Defending X-Mansion in X2: X-Men United (2003)
Recap: There is a military raid of the X-Mansion led by Stryker (Brian Cox). He’s after mutants and Cerebro. He didn’t realize Wolverine would be there to get in the way.
Reason: For anyone who said, “Yeah, but I wish we would have seen Wolverine go on a rampage in the first X-Men,” this is the dream scene. Wolverine kills a lot of soldiers. It is most definitely a “take no prisoners” moment, with the claws being used exactly how we want them to be used – as the perfect killing machine that doesn’t require reloading.