The Wolverine (2013)

wolverine-movie-poster-2013
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visual: 8/10

A different type of X-Men movie; set-up for the next X-Men movie

Felt drawn out at places, some aspects of the story didn't fit with the overall telling

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Wolverine

Studio:  Marvel Entertainment

Genre(s):  Comic Book/Action/Adventure/Martial Arts

Release Date(s):  July 26, 2013

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

wolverine-jean-grey-famke-janssen-hugh-jackman-in-bed

You’re not going to go all Phoenix on me…are you?

Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) is dead and Logan (Hugh Jackman) is in mourning while living in the wilderness.  Logan is contacted by Yukio (Rila Fukushima), and he learns that a man he saved during the bombing of Nagasaki is dying.  Ichirō Yashida (Haruhiko Yamanouchi) claims he can offer Logan the death he’s longed for in exchange for his mutation which can keep him alive.  When Ichirō dies, Logan learns that Ichirō’s daughter Mariko (Tao Okamoto) is now a target of the Yakuza.  Logan finds himself on the run to protect Mariko from a mutant killer named Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova)…but discovers that his heal factor has been compromised.

wolverine-yukio

I’m more of a Crouching Tiger

Directed by James Mangold, The Wolverine is more of a follow-up to X-Men:  The Last Stand from 2006 than a sequel to the previously released X-Men Origins:  Wolverine of 2009.  The movie was greeted with mostly positive reviews and is widely considered an improvement over the previous entry.

I really wanted to like X-Men Origins:  Wolverine and started out liking that film with the origin of Logan and Sabretooth.  Unfortunately, the movie collapsed into a mess of a plot and far too many characters to keep focused.  Here, the film is more focused with fewer characters and is stronger as a result.

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I can’t wait to get out of this old skin…

The story of The Wolverine has a lot of basis in the Chris Claremont and Frank Miller Wolverine limited series which was released in September of 1982.  It told the story of Wolverine’s romance with Mariko and his time in Japan.  The character of Yukio first appeared there, but the basis of The Wolverine combines other storylines including one’s involving the Silver Samurai and his long-time partner Viper.

The only problem with this combining is that I don’t feel the samurai aspect of the film mixes well with the technology part of the film.  I liked the samurai stuff far more than the quest for Wolverine’s healing factor.  I’m guessing it is due to legal rights, but the Marvel ninja villains are generally the Hand rather than Yakuza.  The end of the film of course leads to a big smack down, and I wish that the Silver Samurai hadn’t been “Iron Man”-ized by turning him into more of a robot.

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Everybody was samurai fighting!

The acting for the film is quite good.  Hugh Jackman owes this style of Wolverine, and I can’t imagine anyone else playing him (though I don’t know how he’d do with an “all-feral” Wolverine).  I enjoy Rila Fukushima as Yukio and would love to see more of her, but Tao Okamoto leaves me a little flat as Mariko.  Svetlana Khodchenkova was too much as Viper who generally was just a green-haired professional assassin in her original incarnation.  Janssen’s return as Jean Grey also got a lot of flack for the gratuitous nature of her appearance, but I’m ok with it because it is Wolverine’s idealized version of her.  It is also worth sticking around to see two old X-Men favorites show up to greet Wolverine in a post credit scene.

The Wolverine shows a step-up from the previous Wolverine, but it also is not quite as good as X-Men:  First Class.  The movie does have flaws, but for the most part they are rather minor.  The movie is rather surprisingly violent for a PG-13 movie and had some stronger language that made me look twice at the rating.  The Wolverine does serve as a bridge of sorts between X-Men:  The Last Stand and X-Men:  Days of Future Past.  Hugh Jackman returns for a final Wolverine solo film in Logan in 2017.

Related Links:

X-Men (2000)

X2:  X-Men United (2003)

X-Men:  The Last Stand (2006)

X-Men:  First Class (2011)

X-Men:  Days of Future Past (2014)

X-Men:  Apocalypse (2016)

Deadpool (2016)

X-Men Origins:  Wolverine (2009)

Logan (2017)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by

Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn’t afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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