Summoned to Japan by an old acquaintance, Wolverine becomes embroiled in a conflict that forces him to confront his own demons.
Directed: James Mangold
What we think: I’ll break this down into two parts, the film and the 3D aspect. I’ve not always been a fan of the latter and this was only the third film I have chosen to don a pair of specs for.
The Wolverine is pretty much a long awaited sequel to X-Men: The last Stand in which Logan/Wolverine had to dispatch his love interest Jean Grey, and ends up doing what what most sulking super heroes do, grow a long beard and head into the unknown.
After a very impressive opening which flashbacks to the Nagasaki bombing where Logan saves the life of particular solider, we catch up with him living rough in the mountains chasing down hunters and generally doing his bit against animal cruelty.
He’s tracked down and ushered to Japan where he comes face to face with the life he saved in 1945, Yashida (Hal Yamanouchi), a man desperate to prolong his own life at whatever cost.
His offering to Logan, a chance to be made mortal, resonates with the big man but he decides against entering into any deal “you don’t want what I’ve got”. And so Yashida looks to take what he can’t have by any means necessary. Meanwhile Logan finds himself in the middle of a family war and into the arms of Mariko (Tao Okamoto) whom he saves from a load of gun toting Yakuza at a funeral in one of the film’s big set pieces.
The film is a bit clunky as it moves from one action set piece to the next, which involves slipping in and out of Logan’s dreams involving Jean Grey lying about in a silk nighty. All of course is essential to the story, as he tries to come to terms with losing those around him.
Jackman for the most part does a decent job, he is the perfect Wolverine (someone finally managed to tame the iconic hair), not least in the physical form which is very impressive I might add, he also manages a few humorous quips in the process.
The Japanese back drop to the film is a perfect setting, even if at times Wolverine looks like a lost child. Told he is a ronin, a samurai without a master, he struggles to fit into the culture making a number of faux pas along the way.
The final third act which sees Wolverine engage in battle with the Silver Samurai, something of a mechanical let down when it is revealed how the massive suit is powered.
The Wolverine is relatively mutant free, aside from the hairy beast himself only the green suited Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova) stands against him, and the less said about her suit the better. Poison Ivy ring any bells?
I still firmly believe that 3D does little to enhance a film other than to grow the already massive ticket price, granted there were one or to moments but there was nothing to suggest I would race back to book another 3D experience.
Fans of the X-Men films will make time for this one, and it is a massive improvement on the Wolverine Origins story. However it just doesn’t quite cut the mustard for me, perhaps given the softer rating. I would be interested to see the R-rated version that may hit DVD and Blu ray shelves at some point in the future.
What did you think of the film, agree with us? Leave a comment and let us know.