‘The Wolverine’ (aka Wolverine 2) Review

by on December 27, 2013

in Entertainment, movie reviews

The Wolverine movie review

I finally got around to watching The Wolverine, starring Hugh Jackman, from director James Mangold.  (After dealing with Comcast’s new rental delay processes)

Jackman reprises his role in yet another Wolverine movie as Logan/Wolverine where we get to see an adaptation on a very popular chapter from the comic’s past, from the Frank Miller and Chris Claremont ’80s storyline, where Logan finds himself in Japan, encountering Mariko, lots of Ninja and The Silver Samurai.

Except, it’s the classic definition of “adapted,” where they based the premise on something, then went off and changed up so much that it isn’t quite that original story.  But hey, it’s Hollywood.

In the source saga, Logan learns a lot about himself while there is some self-realization, this take has been modernized by Mangold, and it’s been through a few entertainment hurdles to get to this point.

They first hired screen writer Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects), but then Mark Bomback was hired to rework McQuarrie’s script.

The director’s chair first had Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, Black Swan, The Fighter) on board, and I remember being pretty excited about that.  But then he exited the project and Mangold (3:10 to Yuma, Walk the Line) was elected to the director’s chair by Twentieth Century Fox.

Rila Fukushima in The Wolverine

The Wolverine starts out with Logan being tracked down in Canada by Yukio (Rila Fukushima), where’s he’s been self-exiled since events in X-Men: The Last Stand.  That and continual nightmares about Jean Grey (Framke Janssen).

Yukio was hired by a man named Yashida (Hal Yamanouchi) to track him down and “thank him.”  Yashida was someone that Logan saved back in WWII.  He’s now a very rich and powerful tech CEO.

But there’s more to that ‘thank you’ than meets the eye.  Much, much more.

But before we go there, we look at how Logan has been dealing with life and death and all those that he’s left behind over the years.  And though Yukio convinces him to go to Japan, it’s there that Logan meets Mariko (Tao Okamoto), Yashida’s grand-daughter.

Hugh Jackman and Tao Okamoto in The Wolverine

Yashido offers Logan mortality, while Logan gets caught up protecting Mariko from lots of Yakuza, Ninja and evil-doers hell-bent on kidnapping her.

Oh, and Logan starts to have issues with his abilities.

It’s rather fascinating actually.

BTW:  Hugh Jackman proves once again that age is not a limiting factor when getting in shape!!!

Hugh Jackman in good shape, in The Wolverine

The first act of the movie wasn’t too bad and as we were led into the second act, things were feeling like a movie with some story and substance.  It surprised me, as we had background, personal demons and reasoning for what Logan was doing.

But as we move forward into the third act, it’s unavoidable in a Wolverine movie, but the action and confrontations start to take center stage, as all the characters are in their places, and they have to be put in their place.

Movie Review Popcorn Score 07Keeping in mind that I am not a fan of Wolverine, I would not be unhappy had I spent money on the movie.

I’d give the movie an easy popcorn-7.  Almost an 8, but there were some twists and turns and changes to the original story that were distracting and a bit confusing.  But not that much.

With that said, here’s just a spoiler or two I need to mention…

The Wolverine movie spoilers

The Wolverine Spoilers

At the start of the film, we see Logan in WWII saving Yashida.  And in one glimpse, we see Logan’s bone claws in ‘the pit’ he’s in.

(We know in the comic franchise that he had bone claws for a period of time.)

As we are watching Logan protect Mariko, it’s at this stage that his healing powers are greatly diminished.  Yet he still uses his metal claws, without, what looks like no damage.

And if we remember back to the first movie showcasing Wolverine, the one thing he did say was that every time he extends his claws, they hurt.

But as the movie comes to a close, after dealing with the Silver Samaria, we see that through force of nature and his own abilities, that the movie closes out, leaving him again, with bone claws.

Quite the classic look!  I hope Wolverine movie fans are ready for that “new” look.  It’s weird, but it’s part of who he really is.

Mid-Credits Scene

Yes, keep the rental movie playing.

In the mid-credits closing scene, we get to see Logan, a period of time after events in The Wolverine, going through an airport, and he’s approached by Magneto and Prof. Xavier!  Yes, played by Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart.

ON AMAZON:   The Wolverine

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Dan O. December 27, 2013 at 10:32 am

Good review Bruce. This story is surprisingly more grounded in drama, than any actual over-the-top, crazy action. But even when that sort of action does show up, it’s fun and effective, just like it should be.

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