The Marvel movie making machine is in full force with its latest release, The Wolverine. After Iron Man 3 was a big hit this past May, this movie is destined to become another summer powerhouse. Wolverine: Origins was very successful and did a great job at explaining the origins of Wolverine and was the first X-Men movie to be release after the Marvel Studios makeover. I cannot speak for everyone, but I was a little concerned with another all Wolverine movie. I feel there are many stories in the X-Men universe that could be told. Do not get me wrong, Wolverine is one of my favorite characters, but I would like to see variety. With that said, after seeing this movie I do not fault another Wolverine movie being made. This movie is well done and goes even deeper into the Wolverine character.
The movie is based on a 1981 comic series of the same name, and takes place in an unknown amount of time after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand. Logan aka Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is haunted by the death of Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), and is plague by nightmares. One of those nightmares brings him back to August 9, 1945. Logan is a prisoner in a Japanese POW camp when the United States uses the Atomic Bomb on Nagasaki. When the bomb is dropped, Logan saves a Japanese Officer by the name of Yashida (Ken Yamamura/Hai Yamanouchi). Logan awakes and we find he is once again living in exile.
After having this nightmare, Logan is sought out by Yukio (Rila Fukushima) who is Yashida’s adopted granddaughter. She convinces Logan to return to Japan with her because Yashida would like to thank him. While there, Yashida offered Logan the opportunity to become a mortal many given up his regenerative power to Yashida. Logan also meets Yahisda’s other granddaughter, Mariko (Tao Okamoto). Logan sees that Mariko is in some type of distress, and this will play out as the movie progresses. While contemplating giving up his powers, a mutant by the name of Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova) somehow robs Logan of his regenerative powers. Shortly after this happens, an event takes place which now forces Logan to become a hero and protect Mariko from evil forces.
This movie was well made, and I believe is properly spaced out. The Wolverine contains a lot of action, and the action is not forced down the movie goers throat. It does a very good job of going deeper in Logan’s character and portrays some of the struggles he is going through due to his mutant power. The movie also tells a good story in general. This majority of The Wolverine also takes place in one of my favorites countries, Japan and the setting of it also greatly impacts it’s undertones. Japan and it’s culture is known for bravery, honor, and ancient traditions. Much of the culture and traditions play heavily on this film, as well as defining Wolverine as a character. I found the action exceptional, and Hugh Jackman once again blows the audience away with another great performance. Jackman puts all he has into this character, and even went through a rigorous six month training regime to prepare physically for the role of The Wolverine.
With the good points highlighted, I did find some annoyances with the film. Although it had a great story line, there were several angles at times of too many characters brought into the film. Story line arcs would jump from one to another without fully explaining the previous arc. Some scenes also seen rushed, and some action sequences were overly exaggerated. I was also not a big fan of how the director handled Logan losing his mutant power of healing. I can’t really say I felt Logan was in too much peril after he lost his abilities. He would get injured and momentarily realize he could not heal, only to go on like nothing happened. Another thing I do not understand is that when Wolverine deploys his claws, they poke through his skin. With his healing power, the skin would heal itself when they were retracted. In the movie after he loses his power, the deployment of his claws seem to not affect him and heal themselves when retracted somehow. These issues aside, the movie still is a good watch.
I encourage anyone wanting to see a good movie to buy a ticket to The Wolverine. There are some disappointing things in this movie, but it is still good nonetheless. The movie also has a twist at the end I won’t spoil, and if you stay through the credits there is a big surprise awaiting you. My final words on The Wolverine are that the people over at Marvel once again made a hit, and I cannot wait to see how they tell their most popular X-Men storyline in next year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past.
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