One of the easiest ways for an actor to become a household name is to star in a superhero movie. It worked for Chris Pratt. It worked for Jennifer Lawrence. It worked for Andrew Garfield. And it certainly worked for Hugh Jackman.
Jackman starred as Wolverine in the first X-Men movie back in 2000. Now, nearly two decades later, he's saying goodbye to his most popular performance in Logan, the final Wolverine movie. Over the last 17 years, Hugh Jackman has made a name for himself in many blockbuster films. Most have been hits, but some have been misses. Let's take a look in honor of the farewell of such an iconic character.
Vincent Moore — 'Chappie'
Chappie was a polarizing film, but I rather enjoyed the unique sci-fi vibe. To be honest, I hadn't even heard of the movie until I saw a trailer on TV two weeks before the film came out. I was drawn to the movie because I wanted a chance to see Hugh Jackman play a bad guy. Honestly, he should stick to being a good guy.
Jackman's performance in Chappie not terrible, it's just so one-dimensional. He plays a jealous guy who goes through great lengths to have his work appreciated, but you never really see a reason why it would be. He just ends up a mean guy the entire time, and even by the end of the movie, you can't really find anything new in his performance.
Blackbeard — 'Pan'
Who in their right mind thought that pirates should sing Nirvana in a Peter Pan movie? I know it's not Jackman's fault, but you can't help but cringe when you hear the song come out of his mouth. If you've seen Les Mis, you know he can actually sing quite well, which makes this scene even more painful.
One scene isn't enough to make an entire performance bad, but the sub-par quality hangs on until the bitter end. Unfortunately with a movie like Pan, Jackman could have brought all of the acting talent at his disposal, but that still wouldn't have resulted in a halfway-decent character.
Van Helsing — 'Van Helsing'
Van Helsing was still during the early days of Jackman's career, so he gets some slack for this one. In a story about werewolves and vampire hunters, you expect at least some thrilling action and mysterious plot right? Not so much.
Not even Jackman's acting and various vampire-killing weapons made this movie memorable. Maybe if you watch it, you might find some interest in a scene or two, but ultimately Jackman's performance equals the film as a whole: forgettable.
Charlie Kenton — 'Real Steel'
Real Steel shares a few things in common with Chappie. Both are set in the near-future, both have humanoid robots, and both feature Hugh Jackman with some okay acting. This role had a little more depth than Chappie's Vincent Moore, but by the end of the movie you start to get the feeling that Charlie Kenton could have been played by almost anybody.
When it comes to roles about a former legend who has to be pulled back into the spotlight, Hugh Jackman does a much better job in both Eddie the Eagle and Logan. In Real Steel, he was thoroughly mediocre.
Wolverine — X-Men Franchise
We all knew this one would be here right? Sure, the character might have starred in a couple bad movies, but at the end of the day, he's the reason that the X-Men franchise has lasted this long. Jackman has been carrying a franchise on his back for 17 years, and you can't do that without a simply stellar performance.
From his early days in the original X-Men to his solo ventures, this is the only Jackman performance that we've seen grow over the years. From solo films to brief cameos, Wolverine has endured decades, growing and growing in popularity, and Jackman with him. Now, with the release of Logan, we really got to see all of Jackman's talent culminating in one breath-taking farewell performance.
Keller Dover — 'Prisoners'
It is often the case of major actors that some of their lesser known roles are some of the best. Such is the case with Hugh Jackman in Prisoners. I assure you, you've never seen this caliber of acting come from Jackman before. You've seen his berserker rage in the X-Men movies, but in Prisoners, you get to see his rage after his daughter goes missing.
Jackman's acting is so genuine in Prisoners, that at times you'll forget that you're watching a movie. He has the task of acting alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, and he does so magnificently. You can really feel his pain in this movie, which is a great feature for an actor to accomplish.
Jean Valjean — 'Les Miserables'
Acting is one thing. Acting while singing is something else entirely. Most of us have known that Hugh Jackman is no stranger to singing on-stage, but Les Mis was the first time that most of us got to see him in action.
Honestly, I'm not a big fan of Les Mis as a movie, but it's worth sitting through for me just to see Jackman's performance. I'd even say he's better than Liam Neeson in the non-musical Les Mis, and that's saying something.
Robert Angier — 'The Prestige'
Everyone loves a good Christopher Nolan movie right? What about a movie where Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale play rival magicians in a story full of twists and turns? Yep, that's a real thing.
Jackman starts out as the guy everybody should rooting for, but as the film continues, you start to question how heroic his character really is. You never really know whether to love him or hate him, and that's where the brilliance of his performance really lies.
Superhero actors typically don't show up a whole lot outside of their franchise roles, but when you find an actor like Hugh Jackman that keeps his career alive with brilliant performances, you know you have something to look forward to. Even though his time as Logan has come to an end, we certainly can expect many more movies from this terrific actor.
Make sure to catch Logan, in theaters now!