03 December 2013

The Wolverine Review: Rebirth of the Wolverine

Jackman Cannot Do Wrong with Wolverine / Logan

This Wolverine started really strong with a great Nagasaki scene that occurred 60 years ago during WW2 the B2 bombing. Logan is a prisoner in Japanese camp that is just about to be bombed, he saves a local Japanese officer Yashida from certain death. The flashbacks to that pit in Japan 60 years ago followed us during the first half of the film and those scenes were very good.

The current time frame of the Wolverine focuses on the fallout from the events of X-Men 3 aka X-Men: The Last Stand where Logan kills the women he loves Jean in order to save all mankind. The viewers are introduced to Logan a few years after the events of The Last Stand where Logan lives a hobo style life in the woods and the bears are his best friends, occasionally he takes a break from being drunk hallucinating about Jean he walks into the closest town to buy batteries for his radio. 

When a bunch of redneck hunters wannabes kill Logan’s best friend (the bear). He gets pissed off and deals with them Wolverine style. At this point we are introduced to Yukio (Rila Fukushima) who was looking for the Wolverine for over a year. She was sent by her master Yashida to summon the Wolverine to make a proposition. The scene with Logan and Yukio in the bar was one of the best scenes in the movie. It gave us the chance to see the old school Wolverine, the Wolverine we all waited to see. Yukio had a great first impression and got the needed attention from the Wolverine. 

The vague Japan scenery that followed maintained the great start for the film. The funeral scene was good, the train scene that followed was even better. Logan's interaction with Mariko (Tao Okamoto) served its purpose, their relationship looked a bit unnatural (Logan saving Mariko's grandfather's life in Nagasaki and now sleeping with her 60 years later). Their relationship was a sort of a rebound for them both. 

Wolverine's hallucinations / flashbacks with Jean (Famke Janssen) were impressive and their plotline was the essence of the entire Wolverine movie. Wolverines needed to get over Jean after the events of the last stand and Mariko (like the entire Wolverine film 2013) was the perfect girl for Logan to keep on moving with his life.

Now if we focus on the villains in this Wolverine film, that’s where the problems start to surface. There were too many villains in this movie we had: Viper, Shingen, The Black Clan,The Silver Samurai, The Yakuza. There was not enough screen time for them all really shine. The Villains in the Wolverine were not developed properly and that is one of the reasons the entire interaction between all of them was very confusing and hard to grasp. Each villain had a great potential individually but all of them together just cancelled each other and generated a big mess.

Wolverine Villains:

Viper

If we start with the Viper character the actress who played the part Svetlana Khodchenkova had that sexy and lethal look which was very believable. The problem was that we didn’t really get what made her tick, why was she in this mess with Yashida and what was her final payoff supposed to be. One more thing in the end when she peeled the skin most importantly her hair - that was a bad move from the director she looked atrocious with that bold head.

Shingen

Next on the list is Shingen, Hiroyuki Sanada is a tremendous actor. He brings his intensity to every role. In the Wolverine he brought everything we wanted to see and more. Shingen's battle with Yukio had some very cool fight choreography, the fight with the Wolverine was impressive as well. The fact that Shingen was portrayed as a superior fighter than the Wolverine was an interesting concept. Unfortunately Shingen's character was not written well and he got lost in the long list of villains in the film. Hiroyuki Sanada was completely misused in the Wolverine, if Shingen was the main villain in the film it would be a lot more interesting and realistically fitting than what we got in the end. This Wolverine film focused a lot less on mutants and their special abilities compared to the previous films we got from the X-Men Franchise. If you take out the Wolverine with his claws and Viper with her tongue there was not much mutant special powers showcased in the film (Yukio's ability didn’t had any visual impact). That is why Shingen would have been a perfect for the end scene.

The Black Clan

The Black Clan had a strange alliance with Viper and both working for a man that was out of his mind just didn’t sit well. It was strange seeing those deadly ninjas do whatever was ordered. The question was why they would do that, blind traditional allegiance seemed redundant at least for Silver Samurai's initial goal.

The Silver Samurai

The silver Samurai and the person who was sitting inside looked strangely out of their safe zone, they just didn’t belong in this Wolverine film. Until the final confrontation between Wolverine and the huge adamantium samurai the film looked realistic without too much funny business. Seeing that huge robot in the end made you go "WTF". An even awkwarder site to see was Yukio and Mariko taking Logan's side against the Silver Samurai, it seemed very strange after all the silver samurai gave them everything and they betrayed him for a guy they got to know a week without any remorse and no self lingering. That just seemed strange.

Yakuza

We didn’t even talk about Yakuza and their role in all this simply because they were pretty coherent. They just wanted to kill everyone in all cost without any reason whatsoever.

In conclusion Hugh Jackman is the perfect Wolverine, as long as Jackman is going to make the Wolverine draw his adamantium claws we will be watching the Wolverine / X-Men movies. Jackman broke a record with his wolverine character appearing in 7 different movies (and this is not the end). The guy really likes the character and gladly continues making wolverine appearances in the X-Men films and stand alone Wolverine movies. It doesn’t matter if the movies are bad or good it’s always a pleasure seeing Jackman's Wolverine on the big screen. He draws the most attention to himself that way even if the film is not as good you just don’t notice. Jackman’s presence as The Wolverine over shines everything else but when the movie is great it is a bonus.

This 2013 Wolverine was a fun ride just as we expected it to be, one of the coolest films of the year, it had its flaws but nothing is perfect. If you didn’t see it yet, watch it as soon as possible you won’t be sorry.

Photo credit: Reeda / Foter.com / CC BY



2 comments:

It was an excellent film. The epilogue, during the ending credits as interesting.

i enjoyed the movie as well. The post credits scene was an interesting preparation for Days of future past although there was an even cooler scene that was deleted - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ovv0qvgtMbI

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