The Wolverine 3D: Unleashed Extended Edition review

This longer Blu-ray cut of the latest X-Men spin-off finally lets Wolverine off his leash

Set after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand, this latest spin-off sees Wolverine head off to Japan in a tale inspired by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller's celebrated 1982 comic book series.

Utilising the same mix of action and introspection, director James Mangold's film helps flesh out the character while also letting him flay the flesh from the bones of his enemies. As such, The Wolverine marks a new cinematic high point for Hugh Jackman's mutant and gives fresh hope for next year's X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Picture: The set includes three versions of the film – 3D theatrical cut, 2D theatrical cut and 2D 'Unleashed Extended Cut' – each on its own BD.

Unsurprisingly, the two 'flat' AVC-encoded 2.40:1 1080p encodes are pretty much identical from a technical standpoint. Scenes such as Chapter 15's funeral fracas marry expertly-rendered fast-paced action with intricate detailing and rich colour saturation. On the flip side, Wolverine's nighttime showdown with the ninjas in Chapter 28 is a perfect example of the clarity of the image when handling low-light levels.

The MVC 2.40:1 1080p stereoscopic version also hold up very well in terms of the quality of the encoding itself. However, the 3D conversion itself is another matter. Unlike the more convincing examples we've seen, the overall effect of the conversion is similar to a pop-up book, with clearly delineated layers in the imagery, rather than a cohesive sense of depth running throughout. A handful of sequences, such as the cleverly staged bullet train brawl in Chapter 16 are rather more convincing, but in the main the 3D feels more like an afterthought than a key part of the experience.
Picture rating: 4.5/5

Audio: All three presentations of the film feature an enjoyably energetic DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack. Separation across the soundstage is utterly seamless and bass response reaches some truly impressive lows during the opening nuclear explosion, and when Wolverine takes on the Silver Samurai in the film's showdown. So even if it can't quite match the likes of Man of Steel in terms of sheer raw power, this is still a fine mix that AV fans will love.
Audio rating: 4.5/5

Extras: On this BD release, the 2D theatrical cut is accompanied by the hour-long, Path of the Ronin documentary, the trailer, an alternate ending, a promo for X-Men: Days of Future Past and a Second Screen App (providing extra Making of… content).

As well as adding 12 minutes of footage to the film (including some fun ninja-mulching), the 'Unleashed Extended Cut' also features a rather dry chat track from director James Mangold and the Second Screen App.
Extras rating: 3/5

We say: While the 3D isn’t always convincing, overall this remains a top-notch Blu-ray package for one of the best X-Men movies yet

The Wolverine 3D: Unleashed Extended Edition, 20th Century Fox, Region A/B BD, £28 Approx