What a pleasant surprise! The Wolverine turned out to be a much more enjoyable film than I thought it was going to be, seeing as it’s Hugh Jackman’s 5th (arguably 6th) movie in the same role. The Wolverine offers everything it promises: claws vs. katanas, wild adventures in Japan, mob guys who prefer backflipping down the street to walking like a normal person, and so many shirtless Jackman scenes that your fantasies will forget he’s prone to stabbing the people he sleeps with. I give The Wolverine three very sharp and pristinely polished claws up, and I will say that if you’re looking for a movie that both you and your significant other will enjoy, this may be the perfect summer fit.
While I did find it entertaining, I can’t help but point out a few areas that fell a bit short. Taking that phrase literally, Viper was clearly not one of them because being “immune to every poison known to man” doesn’t mean you’re immune to free falling for hundreds of feet. Not every mutant is an invincible healer. But these are details, I’m picking at details.
Speaking of Viper, however, if you are looking for a movie full of awesome mutants with frightening powers, might I recommend Monsters University instead? There are only three mutants in this entire film and their abilities don’t get points for creativity. Plus, one of said mutants (the Wolverine) loses his blow-your-mind healing ability about 20 minutes into the film. And they never let you forget it. He gets shot, stabbed, beaten (by others and through self-inflicted harm), yet, like that famous pink bunny with the drum, he just keeps on going and going. Similar to Jackman’s mutant ability to keep a franchise going single handedly for over a decade, Logan, it seems, just can’t die.
Thanks to the fact that Logan grew up with the ability to heal and therefore never learned the consequences of not ducking when your brother says “Surprise punch!”, he shows no qualms over plunging head first into any and all fights, which makes for a very entertaining viewing experience. The fight scenes were extremely well executed whether in a room, on a train, or in a very Star Wars-like, “Luke I am your father” metal shaft of scaffolding. They make use of several different kinds of weapons while staying true to the Japanese theme. I will say this, however; if you ever see someone shooting arrows off a roof with pinpoint accuracy, might I suggest you run for cover instead of calmly pretending that nothing is amiss? Just a suggestion, of course.
Now, I have a few technical notes about the conclusion, nothing to spoilery, but if you’d rather keep the mystery alive then please feel free to skip to after the images below… First off, isn’t there a shortage of adamantium in the world? Didn’t they have to hunt down every last gram to make Logan’s skeleton? So how, pray tell, can they make a 10 foot robot entirely of this precious, nearly extinct metal? Hmm? Also, the Silver Samurai is a robot… For all you X-Men fans out there, I share in your collective sigh. And finally…
The Wolverine is an on-the-run kind of movie, meaning there is plenty in it to keep the plot rolling. Logan, however, has the terrible misfortune of visiting Japan during the rainy season. Not sure if it was pathetic fallacy or just a means of getting Jackman to take off his sopping wet shirt, but there was an extreme amount of precipitation in this film and a shocking lack of umbrellas. It was nice to see a sequel to the X-Men movies after two prequels in a row. Although some points from X1 and X3 were hinted at, I never felt like I was watching a movie I’d already seen. There is a little clip during the credits that blatantly advertises for the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past, so don’t leave as soon as James Mangold’s name pops up. While the romantic aspects of The Wolverine sort of miss the mark, no one is denying that Hugh Jackman doesn’t play a great character. For his performance and the team’s first class set design, I have to say I enjoyed The Wolverine but will settle the score around 6.5/10.