The Wolverine (2013)

The Wolverine (2013)
  • Time: 126 min
  • Genre: Action | Adventure | Fantasy
  • Director: James Mangold
  • Cast: Hugh Jackman, Brian Tee, Will Yun Lee


In modern day Japan, Wolverine is out of his depth in an unknown world as he faces his ultimate nemesis in a life-or-death battle that will leave him forever changed. Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his physical and emotional limits, he confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner struggle against his own immortality, emerging more powerful than we have ever seen him before.


  • Logan’s latest adventure is undeniably a step-up from X-Men Origins: Wolverine but it falls short of the standard set by X-Men: First Class.

    It was great to see Logan out of his usual environment, and it was a fresh location for superhero films in general from their usual US base but for the most part, especially the action scenes, they could have been anywhere. The Japanese location felt underutilised in setting this film apart from others in its genre. The action scenes are good, even if they do raise a few continuity questions, and the last third of the film is certainly filled with action, twists and turns. James Mangold managed to succeed where Origins did not, he managed to introduce a whole cast of characters but they generally all felt developed and not just crammed in for the sake of it.

    The film’s biggest disappointment though was that it felt like it slipped back into the comfort of it’s western formula, taking it from achieving the potential the story had, especially when Darren Aronofsky was attached to direct. The source material presented an opportunity for Logan’s darkest and edgiest movie yet, but what we gets feels familiar but in a new location. Where it does set itself apart from previous entries with its dream sequences, which vary from good to distracting, but at least they tried something new.

    Make sure you don’t leave the cinema when the credits hit though, if you’ve not learnt the Marvel formula yet then you might want to consider doing so.

    Overall, The Wolverine is a fun film but one that falls short of its potential. Hugh Jackman is still a perfect fit for Logan, and it was a nice change to see the character in a new environment and in his own story (Origins was not really a solo outing).

  • After the disappointing X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), Hugh Jackman is back on the big screen reprising his famous Wolverine role. ‘The Wolverine’ was initially meant to be directed by Darren Aronofsky – he even re-wrote the screenplay and aimed for a R-rating. However, after his departure, we got James Mangold’s PG-13 version of ‘The Wolverine’. Which is really a shame, since a movie like this truly deserves a R-rating. ‘The Wolverine’ surely is better than the aforementioned movies, but that isn’t saying much. The movie is still underwhelming and full of flaws, the PG-13 rating being one of them.

    ‘The Wolverine’ continues where X-Men: The Last Stand ended. Logan aka Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), who now looks like Jesus, feels guilty about killing Jean Grey aka Phoenix (Famke Janssen). He aimlessly lives his life and often has visions of Jean. One day he meets Yukio (Rila Fukushima), a somewhat strange Japanese girl who invites him to Japan to visit his old friend Yashida (Hal Yamanouchi) because he is dying. There, because of some Sci-Fi mumbo jumbo, Logan is deprived of his superpowers. Weakened like that, he is forced to fight yakuza, samurai, ninjas and other Japanese stuff, while seeking a way to regain his superpowers and trying to solve the mystery surrounding the Yashida family.

    Due to the 2 hours length and poor editing, ‘The Wolverine’ is a quite boring movie. It is shot in intervals: first, there are pretty long intervals where nothing significant happens, and then this are compensated with intervals of too long action scenes. This kind of editing made the movie feel tiresome. Furthermore, ‘The Wolverine’ has a serious villain problem. There are just too many of them, and the majority are left completely undeveloped. The screenwriters should have left one or two of them out of the movie, and focus more on the rest. Also, the love story between Logan and Yashida’s daughter Mariko (Tao Okamoto) was completely uncalled for and made little sense in the movie’s story. Logan had much more chemistry with Yukio than with Mariko and she should have been Logan’s new love interest, in case he absolutely needed one. Besides, establishing Logan’s guilt because of the murder of his love, Jean, is useless if during the course of the movie he bones the first sexy Asian chick he meets. And of course, like I said before, in the world of samurai, katanas and wolverine claws, a R-rating and some Tarantino-esque violence is a must.

    Still, all of this doesn’t mean that ‘The Wolverine’ is an absolute failure. I liked how the movie has a more serious, darker tone, than the Origins movie. The mystery regarding the Yashida family was also plausible (in spite of some obvious twists) and some jokes in the movie weren’t as bad as one might expect. I particularly enjoyed the first act of the movie, before it went dull. ‘The Wolverine’ surely isn’t disastrous, it has its good moments from time to time. I think it will satisfy the majority of its audience, especially the ones who were utterly disappointed with the Origins movie. Actually, it was quite nice to see Logan have some limitations and still fight his enemies. it would have been even nicer if his enemies were somewhat better written.

    Rating: 6/10

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  • “What they did to me, what I am, can’t be undone.”

    Despite the fact that “The X-Men” were never my favorite superheroes, this film could still fascinate me. The script wasn’t entirely accurate and you ended up with a huge number of questions in some situations. It’s a long time ago I’ve watched the original X-Men movie. And “The Wolverine” is the most imaginative character off course. It’s therefore normal there are apparently a number of spin-offs about him. By choosing Japan as the location, the interference by the Yakuza was a logical consequence. The positive result is that you sometimes get flashy and highly entertaining action moments, with a mix of “Martial Art” and the cutting and slicing actions of “The Wolverine” as an excellent combination, presenting exciting movie moments. Unfortunately, these moments are extremely scarce. What a shame!.

    Hugh Jackman is magnificent as “The Wolverine”. A legendary role that fits him like a glove. Since there are no other fellow mutants, he has the difficult task to carry the whole film. He does, but unfortunately it is not enough to make it a real epic super-hero story. There’s also the fact that the movie focuses on the personal emotional state of Wolverine and the process of dealing with the death of Jean Grey, his beloved. Apparently he is guilty for her death. Cause of the lack of any prior knowledge of the entire X -Men saga, those flashbacks were completely useless to me. Further, the role played by Rila Fukushima (Never heard of her before) as Yokio was a sublime addition to the main character. Her oddly shaped face made ​​her look like a bizarre partner. But it’s the action she shows, with her ​​flashy moves, which made it a pleasant movie to watch. Tao Okamoto as Mariko was necessary for the overall picture, but otherwise I thought it was a kind of a pathetic performance. Especially the amorous part I didn’t like although it probably was mandatory to use.

    The story on its own was not very original, and as mentioned earlier, at some times it didn’t make much sense to me. In a nutshell, you can summarize it as follows: Yashida, a Japanese industrial magnate is being rescued by Logan during the bombing of Nagasaki. Yashida is eternally grateful for that and invites him to japan. He wants to thank him just one more time before he pasts away. To redeem Logan from his eternal suffering and life, Yashida suggests to give that gift to himself so he can enjoy eternal life. Logan refuses and the assistant of Yashida (who is also a mutant apparently) implants a type of pacemaker in his heart. His self-healing powers gradually disappear and he becomes vulnerable.

    Eventually there remain a few unexplained questions . Wasn’t it the case that those claws of Logan couldn’t be destroyed ? After drilling in the knuckles of Logan the self-healing forces seep into Yashida , who also looks visibly younger after that. Yet only moments later he dies from a simple stab wound. Weird ! From where did Viper come? What purpose did she have in mind ? She is a kind of mutant that knows a lot about different poison and shows a snake tongue as it suits her. Wouldn’t it make more sense that she reduces Logan’s powers, by implanting poison in his heart, instead of a futuristic type of parasite. And how the hell did she get that thing in there ? Did that intense french kiss help her getting it in there ? What was the skin replacement all about ? The do-it-yourself heart surgery Logan did, was a bit excessive ! How the hell did he get through his ribs? The high-speed chase on the train, even though you’re a superhero, breaks with all the laws of physics. And my biggest question was : If Yashida really wanted to take over those powers, why take the risk to reduce Logan’s powers so there could be a possibility he died ? He could forget about that eternal life if that happened !

    In the end it’s just another superhero movie in which the superhero rather looks like a sad,isolated individual whose superpowers slowly diminish. You have to be patient to see some action until the funeral of Yashida. But when that moment arrives, you’re glued to your screen. Unfortunately that feeling doesn’t really come back and you can only look at a kind of tourist guide of Japan in which all aspects of the country are reviewed. The end is unbelievable and sometimes downright ridiculous.

    It’s entertainment but not at an exceptional level.

    Not quite so super !

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