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Marvel Knights: Wolverine Versus Sabretooth: Reborn

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Marvel Knights: Wolverine Versus Sabretooth: Reborn Movie Poster Image
Brutal violence in convoluted comic book sequel.
  • NR
  • 2015
  • 44 minutes

Parents say

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Kids say

age 16+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

There are no positive messages here.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Brutal antihero has a conscience; he struggles with a horrific past. He admits his weaknesses are "beer and redheads." Though females are proactive and courageous, they're drawn in a highly sexualized way and engage in seductive behavior. Amid the multi-species characters, Cloak, a young superhero, is black.

Violence

Ferocious cartoon action from beginning to end. Blood flows. Wolverine faces off against his enemies -- Sabretooth and Romulus -- using his sharp-bladed talons to slash, stab, and behead them. The villains use spiked claws and bladed appendages in their efforts to destroy Wolverine and his mates. Other combatants (Cloak, Dagger, Remus) also are vicious fighters using superpowers and mutant strengths to battle their opponents. Characters are impaled, fall from great heights, are caught in explosions and raging fires, and die and return to life.  

Sex

All female characters are drawn with tight-fitting, skimpy costumes to reveal curvaceous bodies and large breasts. Wolverine and Remus (a redheaded mutant) share passionate kisses and seductive banter. Remus wraps her bare legs around Wolverine and pushes her body against his.

Language

Name-calling and mild cursing ("stupid," "hell," "you filthy animal"). Threatening exchanges throughout, including: "I swear I'll cut your head clean off"; "I chopped off his head with a mystical blade"; "Killing pretty girls is my business"; "Everyone you love will die before you"; and "To stop a monster, I have to become one!"

Consumerism

The release of this DVD augments the huge marketing for Marvel, especially the Wolverine and New Avengers brands.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Wolverine mentions that beer is his weakness.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that while Wolverine Versus Sabretooth: Reborn is billed as "the epic conclusion to the duo's greatest battle." In reality, it's simply an animated chapter in the two Marvel mutants' ongoing rivalry -- in fact, it comprises four (10- to 12-minute) chapters adding up to a short 44-minute DVD. And that includes several minutes of titles and end credits for each of the stories. The savagery is nonstop, with bloodletting, stabbings, beheadings, and vicious blades puncturing and slashing relentlessly. Characters fight to the death, burn, explode, and plummet from great heights, only to use their mutant healing powers to rise and fight again. Female characters, though they take charge and are strong, are drawn in a sexualized manner, with tight, skimpy costumes, curvy bodies, and large breasts. Newcomers to Wolverine's and Sabretooth's nature and history will be thrust into an ongoing battle between long-established characters, along with some feeble attempts to provide a context and a very confusing backstory via Wolverine's narration. Frequent menacing dialogue ("I swear I'll cut your head clean off" and "Killing pretty girls is my business") intensifies the ongoing brutality. This DVD is based on a Jeph Loeb book and is a sequel to his earlier publication, Wolverine: Evolution; thus, the opening screen declares, "One Year Later."

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What's the story?

In WOLVERINE VERSUS SABRETOOTH: REBORN, it's a year after Wolverine (aka "Logan," voiced by Brian Drummond) beheaded his longstanding rival, Sabretooth (aka Victor Creed). The superhero mutant is stunned to find that his old enemy is alive, well, and advancing on him to fight again. How could it be? How could Sabretooth have been "reborn"? Their battle is fierce. Nearly destroyed by Sabretooth before he's rescued by a mysterious redheaded woman, Wolverine searches for answers. That search takes him back to the home where he lost his beloved mutant partner, Silver Fox, and finally to the Weapon X facility, the genetic research center in which Wolverine was tortured and brutalized. There he confronts Romulus, the ultimate villain, who threatens to deliver a crushing blow to Wolverine -- not death, but a resurrection of the memories the hero has successfully buried deep in his mind. Wolverine's attempts to destroy Sabretooth and Romulus lead to ever more violent clashes, narrow escapes, and harrowing threats. Wolverine finds his only solace in the arms of the mystery woman who reveals herself to be someone unexpected. A final battle pits the heroes against an army of villains in Romulus' control. (Spoiler alert: Though advertised as the "epic conclusion" to the Wolverine-Sabretooth rivalry, Sabretooth is broken, not bowed, and clearly will live to torment Wolverine another day.)

Is it any good?

The live-action Marvel superhero movies have much more to recommend them than this thin four-episode misfire. This is strictly for fans (teens, one hopes) who simply want to watch claws and blades hit and bloody their comic book marks -- or those who already are steeped in the lore of Wolverine and his relatively complicated history. Though the graphic artist Simone Bianchi has delivered textured, original, and often beautiful images, the crass writing, convoluted story with its staggering list of players, and heavy-handed violence sabotage his work. Also, the voluptuous, passionate female characters who rely on their sexuality as much as their smarts and courage are outdated and often laughable.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what qualifies someone to be a "superhero." Does Wolverine, as he is portrayed in this film, fit the superhero classification? Why, or why not?

  • What is the purpose of the many battle sequences? What point, if any, do you think the filmmakers are trying to make? 

  • Were you already familiar with the characters and their histories? If not, were you confused by the opening visual that said "One Year Later"? To enjoy this film, do you think it's necessary to have read or watched other Wolverine-Sabretooth tales? 

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