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The Movies/TV 8 Ball: Top 8 Wolverine Movie Moments

February 28, 2017 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

Top 8 Wolverine Movie Moments

Welcome, one and all, to the 8 Ball in the Movie Zone! I’m your host Jeremy Thomas and as always, we will be tackling a topic and providing you the top eight selections of that particular category. Keep in mind that this list is meant to be my personal opinion and not a definitive list. You’re free to disagree; you can even say my list is wrong, but stating that an opinion is “wrong” is just silly. With that in mind, let’s get right in to it!

Hugh Jackman’s long-running tenure as everyone’s favorite adamantium-infused mutant comes to an end this week, as Logan makes its bow in theaters on Friday. The third solo Wolverine film will be Jackman’s purported final time as the title character, a role that made him famous and which he has played in every X-Men film since the original movie seventeen years ago. While the X-Men franchise has had its ups and downs, Jackman has always been phenomenal in the role, which is one he’s always had an open and professed love for. He took a character that many dreamed for years to see on the big screen and turned him into an even more hallowed and famous icon than he already was. This week, in honor of Jackman and his work in the role, we’re going to take a look at the best moments in the live-action franchise for the feral but honorable Canadian berserker.

Caveat: If it was a moment featuring Logan in the live-action X-Men films, it was eligible.

Just Missing the Cut

• “Hey! It’s me.” “Prove it.” “You’re a dick” (X-Men)
• “When they come out, does it hurt?” “Every time.” (X-Men)
• Chaining Striker to a Helicopter (X2: X-Men United)
• Bone Claws Reveal (X-Men: Days of Future Past)
• Opening Credits Montage (X-Men Origins: Wolverine)

#8: The Fastball Special (X-Men: The Last Stand)

Some moments in Wolverine’s film history are important because they are advance his character, provide a great action scene or are integral to their film’s — and the franchise’s — success. Other moments are great because they’re just fun or provide great fan service. X-Men: The Last Stand is by no means a good film; in fact, it’s the worst in the franchise. But one early moment provides a long-awaited fan service moment and does so with just the right amount of fun. The film finally put audience members in the Danger Room and in the process, it gave one of Logan’s most famous offensive moves life. While battling a sentinel hologram, Logan looks over at Colossus and calls for the patented “fastball special,” in which the metal mutant flings Logan up so he can take the adversary out. It was a fun moment in a film that could have used a lot more of them and gave X-Men fans a reason to stand up and cheer.

#7: Weapon X’s Escape (X-Men: Apocalypse)

While 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse is very polarizing among fans (to say the least), there’s one moment that just about everyone loved. Wolverine is a character who doesn’t often get to cut loose the way that he should be able to due to PG-13 ratings requirements. This is one of those rare exceptions. After the X-Men are abducted by William Stryker and sent to a secret facility to be interrogated, Jean Grey discovers someone being held in the facility that can help. She frees Logan — known at the time only as Weapon X — and he goes on a murderous rampage through the facility which leads to the X-Men being freed. Singer leaned strongly on a horror look for these moments and it allowed him to get away with a lot more within the rating restriction than he otherwise could have, making for a brutally effective action sequence. It also happened to re-establish a continuity for Logan’s origin after the original X-Men films (including X-Men Origins: Wolverine) were wiped away by Days of Future Past’s time travel hijinks. This was the kind of Logan that fans always wanted to see and gave a good idea of what kind of violence we might expect in Logan.

#6: Logan Kills Jean (X-Men: The Last Stand)

I’m as surprised as you guys that not just one, but two moments from the worst film in the series made it in. But while Last Stand was an absolute mess in terms of storyline, direction, pacing and most character development, it did prove to be a big one for the Canucklehead. As cool as the Fastball Special was, Logan’s character takes an entirely new turn when, in the climax, he’s forced to kill the woman he loves to save everyone. The Logan/Jean Grey relationship had been teased out and played with throughout the previous two films and with Cyclops dispatched in the opening moments of Last Stand (a poor decision, but that’s not the point), there was no way not to touch on it in some way during the course of the film. This meant that Logan found himself in the impossible decision of killing Jean or letting the Dark Phoenix destroy absolutely everything. As much as I hate the film as a whole, I can’t argue against the fact that this was a powerful moment that was well-played by both Jackman and Famke Janssen. It’s a pivotal moment in X-Men history both on the page and on the screen, and Logan’s choice would come back to haunt him quite literally during his solo franchise and have an affect him in Days of Future Past as well.

#5: The Bullet Train Fight (The Wolverine)

For many people, The Wolverine set Logan’s solo series on the right course after the misguided X-Men Origins: Wolverine. While that film went off the rails pretty much the moment that Wolverine got his adamantium, James Mangold’s film kept things much more grounded and, while not a perfect film, was miles ahead of its predecessor in telling a great Logan story. That includes the action scenes; while Origins was seemingly obsessed with the idea of illogical physics-defying fight scenes, Mangold managed to keep his film’s faction exciting without looking goofy. The most notable action scene is undoubtedly the bullet train fight with a group of Yakuza thugs that starts inside the train but quickly spills onto the roof. Logan is given an appropriately badass feel in this scene as he beats his way through the bad guys including flinging himself into the air to crash into one villain, then send him catapulting off the train. It delivered a fight scene with real intensity and showed fans who were skeptical after the issues in Origins and Last Stand that this version of Wolverine still had exactly what it took.

#4: Battle With Lady Deathstrike (X2: X-Men United)

Speaking of memorable fights, this has to be considered a big one. Many fans consider X2: X-Men United to be the best film in the franchise and it’s hard to disagree. Not only did it deliver some great new characters like Nightcrawler and William Stryker while expanding the world of the X-Men films, it also contained some of the best fight sequences to date in the series. That has to include Logan’s battle with Lady Deathstrike at Alkali Lake. Deathstrike, capably played by Kelly Hu, is basically Striker’s brainwashed enforcer in this film and while hardcore comic fans may balk some at that, in the film version it worked perfectly. The first X-Men film didn’t have an adequate opponent for Logan; Sabretooth isn’t treated seriously enough and while he has a great fight with Mystique, it wasn’t ever in doubt. Putting Logan against another adamantium-infused character gave him a greater challenge. With lots of wire-fu involved, Deathstrike proves to be a dangerous enemy and when he finally finishes her off by injecting her with liquid adamantium, Jackman portrays an expression of empathy and even regret for having to kill someone who went through a similar experience to what he did. When great action and good character development combine this smoothly, you’re sure to have an incredibly memorable moment.

#3: The Cage Match (X-Men)

Our first look at Wolverine was one of the best. The first X-Men took comic book movies to a new level and much of that had to do with is portrayal of Wolverine, with Jackman becoming a full-on star out of nowhere with his first run as the mutant berserker. Bryan Singer portrayed the audience’s first look at Logan with perfect precision as seen through the eyes of Anna Paquin’s Rogue, who encounters Logan as a participant in a cage match where he’s beating up rubes in order to earn drinking money. The framing of the sequence was incredibly effective, showing us first Logan with his back to the camera as he waits for the fight to start and then dispatching the challenger with in very short order. It’s appropriate that our first look at Wolverine is as a near-animal inside a cage and it set the tone of what to expect from the character through the course of the film — and, as it would turn out, many films to follow.

#2: Logan Rebuffs Magneto and Xavier (X-Men: First Class)

This very nearly made my #1 spot, just because it sums up Logan’s character in such a perfect, short scene. X-Men: First Class was a PG-13 film and, as most cinephiles know, that means you can get away with one F-bomb. Director Matthew Vaughn and his co-screenwriter Jane Goldman used that allowance to maximum effect, waiting until Magneto and Xavier were rounding up their team and deciding to drop a Logan cameo right in the middle. As the two go around collecting their mutants, they walk into a bar and approach Logan to ask him to join them. His response resulted in one of the biggest and most sincere laugh moments in the entire series as he quite succinctly says “Go f**k yourselves.” It’s a short-lived scene but it’s perfect for the character and allowed Logan to be the narrative through-line that kept the continuity as clear as it could be with a series as sometimes-convoluted as the X-Men films.

#1: Fighting Off the Raid on the Mansion (X2: X-Men United)

While the X-Men: Apocalypse scene truly showed off how brutal Logan could be, it was all done in service of a plot moment that basically happened just so the film could continue — a deus Logan machina, if you will. And while the fight with Lady Deathstrike was undeniably badass, it didn’t show off exactly how dangerous Wolverine truly could be. Of course, it didn’t have to because earlier in the film, we already saw that. If the Alkali Lake sequence in Apocalypse pushed the limits of what a PG-13 film could show, that’s only particularly impressive because of how effectively this X2 fight scene had already pushed it. When Stryker sends a group of soldiers in to attack Xavier’s mansion, Logan cut loose and Bryan Singer gave fans the violent, ruthless killer that had been somewhat missing from the first film. Logan slices and stabs his way through special forces guys in a near-frenzy, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake. This was the moment where what few fans hadn’t come on board with the movie version of Wolverine were truly turned into believes and it’s the truest image of Wolverine we’ve seen in Jackman’s tenure: vicious, relentless and deadly, but doing so in the service of good. As good as Logan seems to be by all the advance buzz, it has a tall order if it wants to give us a better Wolverine on-screen moment than this.

And that will do it for us this week! Join me next week for another edition of the 8-Ball! Until then, have a good week and don’t forget to read the many other great columns, news articles and more here at 411wrestling.com! JT out.