It is the year 2029 and we get to see that our favourite mutant with an attitude, Wolverine, is not doing so great. Due to a virus that targets mutants, his healing ability is slowly fading away and his adamantium skeleton is poisoning his body. Wolverine is driving a limousine, trying to save up money for medications for the now senile Xavier, and a boat they want to buy to sail off into the sunset. Hugh Jackman does a fantastic job in his last portrayal of Wolverine and overall the tone and pacing of this film is just about as perfect as it can get. Yet there is one issue I have with this film – Donald Pierce.
Here come the spoilers!
Donald Pierce is a hired gun of the research corporation that created the girl and other mutants utilizing DNA from other mutants thought to be long gone. Donald Pierce confronts Wolverine in his own limousine and you would think Pierce would be somewhat more menacing or have at least demonstrated super strength and fast reflexes to challenge Wolverine. Yet the film doesn’t showcase any special abilities of Pierce. In fact, Pierce is often seen backing away and, in the final scene, running away from Wolverine. So why would he even confront him earlier in the film if he honestly had no real advantage power-wise against Wolverine? The trailer showcases his character quite a bit, and perhaps it was to mask the real big baddie of a genetically cloned young Wolverine that proves to be a real mincing threat to our beloved aging hero. Donald Pierce’s character and the Reavers (cybernetically-enhanced soldiers) all seem to be no real threat beyond their guns.
So how to take what is truly a very good solid film (perhaps the best Wolverine film we will ever see Hugh Jackman in) and make it even better? Re-write Donald Pierce as the character he was in the comics. Give him superhuman strength and fast reflexes and let him be a real threat to Wolverine. In the casino scene when they give Xavier his shot to stop the seizure which froze everyone in place, Donald Pierce should rush into the casino to confront Wolverine in the hallway and let the fight continue out into the casino floor. This would have made for some spectacular hand to hand sequences to really heighten the film’s action. Then Wolverine could slice off his arm and Pierce can play second fiddle to the young cloned Wolverine in order to avoid the Spiderman 3 debacle I often refer to (too many villains versus the single hero).
Hugh Jackman has played Wolverine for seventeen years and nine films and this swan song for Jackman is really a great way to send off a character we have loved for a long time. I think the studios are recognizing, with the success of the Rated R super hero film, Deadpool, that giving Wolverine no leash of a PG13 rating really allows them to serve up some great fight scenes and let those claws go berserk! I thoroughly enjoyed this film and beyond the one issue of Donald Pierce I enjoyed it. I do hope Hollywood takes notes from Deadpool and now Logan’s success and translates it into better superhero films.
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