Thursday, August 1, 2013

Movie Review: The Wolverine (2013)


The Wolverine 2013 Hugh Jackman Logan poster based on Chris Claremont and Frank Miller's 1982 limited series

This is a spoiler heavy review. Readers who wish to avoid plot details are recommended to skip the review.

The movie opens with the nuclear bomb attack on Japan in 1945. Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is a Prisoner of War (POW). Just as the bomb is about to be dropped, Logan is released by a Japanese soldier, Yashida (Ken Yamamura), who in turn is saved from the deadly blast by Logan.

Cut to the present. Logan is living in the woods and has recurring flashbacks of his one true love, the deceased Jean Grey (Famke Janssen). The only other living being, Logan has any connection with is a big, lumbering Grizzly Bear. The latter becomes the target of some hunters and Logan is forced to put him out of his misery.

Rila Fukushima as Yukio in The Wolverine 2013 movie Hugh Jackman Logan

Logan's encounter with the hunters at a local bar is interrupted by Yukio (Rila Fukushima). She works for an aging Yashida (Hal Yamanouchi), who wishes to see Logan one last time. Logan reluctantly travels to Japan to honor his friend's last wish.

Logan soon finds himself in the midst of an ongoing plot to kill Yashida's granddaughter Mariko (Tao Okamoto). This leads to the centerpiece of the movie - a chase sequence that starts at Yashida's funeral, continues on the streets and ends with Logan taking on assassins atop a speeding bullet train.

A wounded Logan discovers that he is losing his healing powers and faces the prospects of being mortally wounded. There are a few other supporting characters - Harada (Will Yun Lee) an archer, Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova), a mutant with the ability to inject poison and Mariko's father Shingen (Hiroyuki Sanada).

Silver Samurai in The Wolverine 2013 movie Hugh Jackman Logan

The movie climax involves Logan facing off against Silver Samurai. The movie's version of Silver Samurai is a hulking robot, operated by Yashida.

This is an out and out Hugh Jackman movie. There are a number of shots of Hugh's immensely ripped body. In his sixth outing as Wolverine/Logan (counting his cameo in X-Men: First Class), Hugh has the role down pat. This time, he fleshes out his signature role more, thanks to the loss of his self-healing ability.

Hugh Jackman as Logan Wolverine in The Wolverine movie review 2013 James Mangold

Most of the remaining cast members are stereotypes - the young sidekick, the damsel in distress, the evil businessman and a few more. Don't miss out the excellent promo for X-Men: Days of Future Past in a mid-credits scene.

Will Yun Lee as Harada the archer, Svetlana Khodchenkova as Viper the mutant, Tao Okamoto as Mariko and Hiroyuki Sanada as Shingen in The Wolverine 2013 movie

Pros

  1. Hugh Jackman's performance
  2. Very much a personal story - No threats of world wide apocalypse or scenes of city wide destruction .

Cons

  1. Badly staged action sequences
  2. Convoluted climax
  3. Lack of chemistry between Hugh Jackman's Logan and Tao Okamoto's Mariko
  4. Jean Grey's flashback scenes

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Image Sources: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Marvel Entertainment and Dune Entertainment

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13 comments:

  1. Since this is spoiler heavy, I will wait and read this after I watch the movie but. I would like to know if you enjoy the movie?

    -James

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks James.

      I liked Jackman's performance, but everything else was average. Not as good as X-Men or X2 or X-Men: First Class, but better than X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

      B2B.

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    2. Thanks for the info, hopefully I will be able to see it soon.

      -James

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    3. You are welcome, James.

      I look forward to your review as well.

      B2B.

      Delete
  2. We had pretty similar feelings about this one, good but not great.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I obviously enjoyed it more than you! I quite enjoyed the fact it was a simpler story, with less world shattering import. The last 20 minutes were rubbish, however. Disagree about the action scenes - loved the funeral and train fight! Now you've read it, you may want to read my review..?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Gypsy King.

      I too liked the personal feel of the movie. Finally, some respite from the usual world saving blockbuster fare.

      I agree about the climax too. I liked the train fight, but the shooting of the fight sequence at the funeral somehow lacked coherency (at least in my humble opinion).

      I will check out your full review now :)

      B2B.

      Delete
  4. Good review. I think I liked it a bit more...for me it was really just that final fight that severely hurt the movie.

    Everything else leading up to that I thought was great. Good point about the Jean Grey scenes though...there were too many of them and it's like the director was hitting us over the head telling us that Logan feels really bad about it.

    Once again, good review!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Jordan for stopping by!

      If the director had cut down on the Jean Grey scenes and put together a better climax,the movie would be in an altogether different class.

      B2B.

      Delete
  5. We have been waiting to see this film for ages. We have it on DVD now so will be able to watch it at the weekend. I will come back to see your review after writing my own to see if we have the same views. We really like the blog you have here. M+F Reviews

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the compliment.

      I look forward to your review. I think you will like the movie.

      B2B.

      Delete
    2. Finally watched the film tonight and now have read through your review. Some similar points - which is nice as I did feel I was starting to be over critical. I was quite disappointed as I usual love those sort of movies but it happens.

      If you are interested you can read the review here: http://movieandfilmreviews1.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/the-wolverine-review-mutants-should.html

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