Prequels seem to be the filmmaker’s tool of choice these days. We’ve had the hugely successful Batman Begins and Casino Royale – and now the X-Men team are getting in on the act with this back story for the mutton-chopped mutant hero Wolverine.

We catch up with the young Logan fleeing his home with half-brother Victor after killing the man he believes is responsible for the death of his father.

After fighting alongside each other in numerous wars, the formidable pair are invited by a young Colonel William Stryker (Danny Huston) to join his elite military squadron of mutants called Team X.

After becoming disillusioned with their aims and methods, and finding it increasingly difficult to restrain his blood-thirsty older brother, Logan quits.

But six years on his past finally catches up with him as revenge-hungry Victor hunts Logan down and destroys the thing he cares about most – his girlfriend Kayla.

A livid Logan vows to kill Victor and allows his former boss Stryker to inject him with adamantium which will metallise his skeleton, make his claws razor-sharp and render him virtually indestructible.

Teaming up with fellow mutant Gambit, Logan – now calling himself Wolverine – destroys the Team X headquarters and frees the captured mutants being used for experiments by Stryker.

The brothers are briefly reunited as they join forces to defeat Stryker’s ‘perfect’ mutant - before a familiar face appears to fly the escapees to safety.

Director Gavin Hood gives us an insight into Wolverine’s emotional core - through lost loves and his complex and violent relationship with his brother.

Reprising the role of the moody Wolverine, Hugh Jackman shines as he explores the mutant’s vulnerable side - revealing what drives him and what has hurt him.

Jackman, who went down the method acting route, woke at 4am daily to down a protein shake as part of a punishing workout schedule to help him embody the character physically and mentally. Whatever his motivation, Jackman makes Wolverine a cool, tortured comic book turned movie hero.

The casting of Liev Schreiber as Victor is spot-on as the pair are well matched in terms of strength, looks and acting. Schreiber is at his fearsome best here and some of the fights between him and Jackman are truly ferocious - albeit with the help of some pretty convincing special effects.

And Danny Huston delivers a strong turn as the ruthless and conniving Stryker who has his own revenge-fuelled agenda.

Irritating plot holes aside - how can these experiences have shaped Wolverine’s future personality if his memory has been wiped? - this prequel offers an enjoyable glimpse at one of the X-Men trilogy’s most intriguing characters.