Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Wolverine’s foreign film.
Back in 2009, we were “treated” to a Wolverine stand-alone film called X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Needless to say, the movie wasn’t really liked by many X-Men fans. Now, Hugh Jackman, no matter how good or bad a movie is considered, Jackman is still the best Wolverine, and it’s his character that we’ll never get tired of. So this year, yet another stand-alone film was released called The Wolverine. Currently, Jackman is scheduled for Days of Future Past, and another stand-alone Wolverine project is also in the works…the man is still pretty darn popular in the role, and I can understand why. I wish I was able to see The Wolverine when it was first released, but for whatever reason I couldn’t until now. Now that I have, I am able to add the review to The X-Men Collection.
Alright, so back in the days when Wolverine had bone claws, he saved a man named Yashida in Japan from an atomic explosion of all things – obviously showing off the graphics division hard at work. For years, Yashida searched for Wolverine, wishing to thank him for saving his life. Just before he died, he got a hold of Logan and had him transported to Japan to thank him. He did, but he also wanted Wolverine’s powers, claiming that taking it would be giving Logan a gift of death. Wolverine said no, but his powers were taken from him by force when he was sleeping and dreaming of Jean Grey, who he felt guilty for killing in X-Men 3. Meanwhile, people sought after Yashida’s granddaughter, gunning for her life, so a weakened Wolverine must save her while figuring out how to get his powers back and running.
The story, for the most part, is pretty basic and easy to understand. You might, however, need someone to tell you that this is a mystery. At no point in the film will anyone tell you that part of Wolverine’s mission is to find out why people are trying to kill this girl. If you don’t have the mindset of mystery, then that part may seem a bit confusing to you. You eventually find out why she is on someone’s hit list, and everything will come together in the end, I promise. The other side-story is as easy as pie to understand – Wolverine must find an alternative way to succeed his mission, because now, if he continues down the path he is used to, it could kill him.
The tone of this movie really doesn’t feel like any other X-Men or Wolverine film around. It feels like a Japanese foreign martial-arts flick, because in part…it is. What really sets it apart is Wolverine, and Hugh Jackman truly still has it in him. I mean, a part of what makes him him is his ability to heal and live forever, and this movie wanted to show you the other side of that…like in Skyfall, they made James Bond vulnerable. I loved that film for that, yet an invulnerable Bond also has its positives. Same thing here, you need to be able to see all spectrums of Wolverine to appreciate his character.
Now. This is one of the more violent and action-filled X-Men movies around, and I really like that. I mean, the original X-Men films were amazing, but every time Wolverine clawed at someone, you just had to use your imagination as to where the claws went. This film was so much more graphic, and suddenly you’re having a wickedly awesome time. Also, the chasing and fighting sequences in this film were phenomenal. The stuff on top of the train will be stuck in my head for a long time, and the end credits scene…I haven’t felt so pumped up for a character’s path since the end credits scene in Iron Man.
Wolverine is such a great character, and there are so many different things you can actually do with his character…it’s limitless. Makes me want Hugh Jackman to really be invincible so he can continue on with playing the character. The Wolverine was a great ride and really fun in general, and as far as stand-alone projects go, I’d say this one ranges on the line of success, but in the end I’m more pumped to see X-Men: Days of Future Past.