Alrighty then, the day has come to review the latest Wolverine film entitled The Wolverine. Now understandably after the disgusting atrocity that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine I was understandably hesitate about watching another solo film involving the claw-wielding mutant. But the director James Mangold, seemed to have a better understanding of the source material and even Hugh Jackman said that this was the kind of Wolverine film he wanted to make. So with their good interviews and interesting trailers I started to feel hope. So now that I’ve actually seen the film does it rectify the mistakes of the past or do we get more of the same shit from before? Read on and find out.
So let’s start with the story. In this film Logan is a drifter, he’s rough, out of action and having nightmares in the form of memories of the past and illusions. At one point Logan is found by Yukio and told that her employer Yashida, an old friend of Logan’s wants to see him, so they travel to Japan and it is here that Yashida offers Logan a chance to be rid of his immortality (his healing factor). Well let’s just say that one thing leads to another and eventually Logan looses his powers, vulnerable for the first time Logan must fight to the limits of his abilities while trying to protect those close to him.
I thought the story in this film was pretty cool. I thought the film started out very strong and it had me captivated, you see Logan’s struggle, understand his suffering and with the Japanese setting you present a whole new set of interesting aspects. Unfortunately the film looses steam getting a little convoluted, slow in pace and the final act is a bit lacking in originality in some respects. That aside, it seems like the script writers have drawn a lot more inspiration from the comics and if you’re nerd like me you’ll notice the subtle references. The clear reference for this storyline is of course Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s 1982 Wolverine, and those key elements are spread throughout this film with obvious modifications made here and there. James Mangold’s direction is done nicely, but after watching this film I can’t help but think that Darren Aronofsky could have done a much better job with the adaptation of the source material. The film as it stands is good, but I could totally see moments where Aronofsky’s talent for torment and psychological stuff would have really elevated the drama, emotion and madness that this film is trying to convey.
Oh and for the love of christ STAY FOR THE AFTER CREDITS SCENE! If you’re a fan of the films then you’ll appreciate it. I really nerded out to that scene yo, it is very cool. :)
When it come to the characters the cast do a good job as bringing these people to live, though some stand out more than others. Firstly let’s start with Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine. Man, Hugh Jackman is still awesome in this role and he physique is something to be admired, his body looks so good (yeah I said that but it’s so true!) I also think he embodies the title character even better than ever before. It’s the subtle mannerisms, handling of his powers and fighting style that really feels like the character from the comics and Jackman excels so well, he is the key element that makes this film work so well. I loved how his character was down and out, haunted by his past and how he handled pain for the first time. The only key person is Rila Fukushima as Yukio, this character is a very deadly and flexible fighter who not only has connects to Mariko but also Logan due to their current circumstances and I really loved how cool and action-oriented Fukushima was.
Then there’s Haruhiko Yamanouchi as Yashida, he played his role pretty well in the film. Also Tao Okamoto is very pretty and lovely as Mariko Yashida and Hiroyuki Sanada as Shingen Yashida is a badass douche as Mariko’s father. Will Yun Lee as Harada is a very versatile and kick ass person in the film, even though his character’s credibility goes down towards the latter part of the film, I still thought he was cool. Brian Tee as Noburo Mori was also good and Svetlana Khodchenkova as Viper was intimidating, cruel and freaky as the mutant with strange abilities. And lastly I was happy with what Famke Janssen did in the film as she reprises her role as Jean Grey from previous films.
As for the presentation it’s pretty good. Visually the film is great, there is some nice cinematography, lovely fight choreography for Wolverine and Yukio, and the CGI while a bit questionable at times, works overall. I think my favourite elements of the film is seeing Wolverine kicking ass, cutting, stabbing and being a badass with his lovely claws! Also the soundtrack Marco Beltrami is nice, definitely adopting a very different and Japanese-esque sound, it is subtle, beautiful and dramatic, though it does lack impact and memorable songs.
In conclusion The Wolverine is VERY GOOD improvement over that garbage film from 2009. With a much better story, setting and wonderful action set pieces, this film is definitely an entertaining piece of work. While it’s not perfect by any means and does have a few problems here and there, The Wolverine does succeed in being a film that has more pros than cons. How much you enjoy it is down to you especially if you’re what kind of comic book fan. I know most fans and critics will hate on the film, but I say go watch it, I feel hope for this character again. :)
Rating: 8/10 (It’s an awesome step in the right direction for Wolverine)
So what did you think of The Wolverine, was it the film that rectified the mistakes of the past or was it another failure in the line of X-Men-based films? Whatever your thoughts, drop them below in the comments section yo! Until the next film review, laters! :D