In many ways, the Wolverine presented by 20th Century Fox's recent X-Men movies has been the Rambo of the modern age. He's a perfect mix of old-school soldier tropes (tall, strong, veins bulging and visible from space, monosyllabic grunts, protects young defenseless women, etc.) and early 2000 superhero style (cool leather jackets, catch-phrases, and metal claws that extend out from between his knuckles). Never mind that Fox's Wolverine is almost a foot taller than his comic book counterpart, and ten thousand percent handsomer and more charming---though that last caveat is due entirely to the acting of fan-favorite Hugh Jackman, whose upcoming seventh turn as Wolverine in X-Men: Days of Future Past will set a new record for the number of times one actor has played a superhero in the movies.
Wolverine (neé James Howlett, but going by Logan) marched through his previous films in a blur of pecs-flexing and violence; in the first X-Men movie, he became team leader almost immediately (and fell in love with the original leader's wife, to boot). In X2, he saved the entire X-Men team from destruction, but even that pales in comparison to his world-saving feats in the critically-panned X-Men: The Last Stand (the third film in that franchise). In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Logan epitomizes himself by saying: "If I come with you, I'm coming for blood. No law, no code of conduct. You point me in the right direction, you get the hell out of my way."
However, the more any single film has been about Wolverine-as-Rambo-surrogate, the more it has been critically panned—and, perhaps ironically, the more it has been commercially successful. Excluding the out-and-out terrible Origins, as a general ...1
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