'The Wolverine' starring Hugh Jackman is rapidly winning over the critics.

The 44-year-old actor, who famously releases his retractable claws as Wolverine, won't need them to defend him against the critics as they have applauded his performance in the latest X-Men spin-off.

Revolving around the fans favourite character from the Marvel comic book series, the sequel sees Wolverine in Japan, where he encounters a crime syndicate and an old flame in Jean Grey (Famke Janssen). He is tested when an operation strips him of his immortality.

The thrilling storyline makes for an exciting film and critics claim it is more emotionally engaging than other comic based movies.

The Wrap's Alonso Duralde commented: ''In the final wash, 'The Wolverine' provides a compelling look into a beloved screen character and offers up enough excitement to merit its existence.''

Hugh also appeared to garner the praise of critics who were impressed by his physical shape throughout the film.

Peter Debruge of Varitety said: ''Though Wolvie comes across a bit world-weary and battle-worn by now, Jackman is in top form, taking the opportunity to test the character's physical and emotional extremes.''

However not everyone was pleased with Wolverine's return as Empire Magazine's Chris Hewitt dubbed his return ''deeply unsatisfying''.

He said:''The final showdown, tonally and in terms of scale, is deeply unsatisfying, with ludicrous reveals, bad CG and plot turns so convoluted they threaten to derail the movie at 300 mph.''

The film is still in good stead ahead of its release on Friday (26.07.13), after scoring a 72 per cent ''fresh'' rating on review site RottenTomatoes.com, but with many reviewers still to comment the film's average is uncertain.