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By Kevin J. Johnson

BD combo

THE WOLVERINE EXTENDED CUT is the latest film in Fox’s X-Men series from director James Mangold and the venerable Hugh Jackman as Logan. This cut is about 15 minutes longer than the theatrical release, and is much more in line with the rugged ethos of our hero. Basically, take an X-Men movie. Now, add F-bombs. Eh, maybe a severed limb or two.

Blockbusters these days skirt the rating system for all its worth, leading to creepily bloodless PG-13 gunfights and hardened warriors that never, ever swear. The Wolverine Extended Cut furthers its realistic approach of Logan’s character study by adding a bit more grit and carnage to the action, as well as more nuance to the quieter scenes. The cast is given more dramatic meat to play in this version, with Rila Fukushima (Yukio) and Tao Okamoto (Mariko) especially benefiting from the extra runtime.

This version breathes, takes its time and feels less like an appeasement to the MPAA. As a result, it hews more closely to its source material (the acclaimed Claremont/Miller series) than any of the other X-Men films. And while you can’t watch this version in 3D (wait for that Blu-ray, folks), you still get a nifty featurette, “The Wolverine: Path of a Ronin.” Jackman, Mangold, and the cast and crew talk about adapting the comics, and what it took to make this film a true stand-alone (versus 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine).

The Wolverine

The Wolverine succeeded in showing that Fox can spin off solo showcases for the ballooning X-Men cast. And now with this extended edition, Mangold and Jackman prove you can have a superhero film that’s more mature without sacrificing thrills, action or ninjas. And I gotta have my ninjas. (I forgot to add, there is extra ninja action in this version. And ninjas almost always equal an R rating. Hence, their welcome presence in this cut.)

{Own it, Redbox it, Wait For Cable}

This unrated edition will be unleashed December 3rd, on Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D, and is available now via Digital HD download.

foxdigitalhd.com/the-wolverine