Movie Review: ‘The Wolverine’ (Spoiler Free)

The Wolverine (2013)

The Wolverine (2013)

The Wolverine

20th Century Fox

Directed by James Mangold
Screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie, Mark Bomback, Scott Frank
Starring Hugh Jackman (Logan/Wolverine), Haruhiko Yamanouchi (Ichirō Yashida), Tao Okamoto (Mariko Yashida), Rila Fukushima (Yukio), a CG grizzly bear (himself), Hiroyuki Sanada (Shingen Yashida), Brian Tee (Noburo Mori), Svetlana Khodchenkova (Viper), Will Yun Lee (Harada), Famke Janssen (Jean Grey)

After the brutal murder of his neighbor, a lumbering CG grizzly bear, a long reclusive Logan ventures out from the wilderness, a wild and woolly Spider Jerusalem out for vengeance. It’s not long before the intrepid Yukio, envoy of the most powerful family in Asia, spots the haggard missing link and ushers him to Japan. This reluctant journey represents the final act of a story which truly began with one fateful day near Nagasaki and an explosion that continues to reverberate through time.

Here’s the real bombshell though. For a story so preoccupied with mortality, The Wolverine proves alarmingly entertaining for a vast swath of its 126 minute run time. It might be the best comic book movie of the year, though a sharp and sudden nosedive in its third act keeps it about on par with runner up Iron Man 3.

Perhaps part of the success stems from the dubiously low benchmarks, set by this summer’s comic adaptations and by this particular franchise in years past.

Saddled with the dire legacies of both X-Men Origins: Wolverine and X-Men: The Last Stand, the screenwriters wisely thrust Logan away from all but the most salient elements of the mutant movie mythos and into an entirely fresh environment, a self-contained family drama in Japan. That’s not to say there isn’t baggage. But it’s carry-on stuff. As with Liam Neeson’s survivalist character in The Grey, Logan is haunted by visions of a lost love clad all in white, doomed to inhabit his linens for eternity. Famke Janssen returns as an angelic Jean Grey, a constant reminder of Logan’s defining tragedy. However murkily the Phoenix saga was realized on screen in that other movie, the events are rendered succinctly, even elegantly, here. Logan was forced to kill a woman he loved, and all he wants to do is join her. His grief has driven him to seclusion in the wilderness, though it’s clear that, had he his druthers, he’d have killed himself a long time ago. Of course, Logan’s healing factor prevents him from sustaining any lasting bodily harm. It also prohibits him from settling down and finding happiness with someone else — even if he felt he deserved such an opportunity — because he knows he’ll only outlive his loved ones.

It’s crucial though, that when a dying soldier, an unexpected echo from Nagasaki, offers to cure Logan of his immortality, our weary hero doesn’t exactly jump at the chance. Doesn’t stop it from happening of course. Thus we’re treated to an adventure where Logan spends much of his time bleeding out, almost constantly on the verge of death. The filmmakers are smart to showcase the healing factor prior to this in a wonderful prologue, really the cornerstone to this whole affair. Happenstance brings two men together in a prison camp, one a captor and the other more a caged animal than a prisoner. Nagasaki changed many things, irrevocably, for everyone. These two were there at the center of it all, and the entire story hinges on a serendipitous encounter that would shape at least one of those lives forever. The asymmetry actually makes it even more poetic. For Wolverine, it was a bad day, but ultimately one of many. That’s his life. For Yashida, that second chance at life and the revelation that death may not be a certainty, drives everything. Everything.

Logan-takes-a-stroll-with-Yukio

But Yashida and Logan represent just one of several truly compelling relationships in the film. Despite her part in a romantic rhombus with Logan, the archer Harada and the politician Noboru, Tao Okamoto’s Mariko emerges as a fierce and fascinating woman in her own right. She’s surrounded by influential, domineering men, from her suitors to her father and grandfather, but the character amounts to so much more than a pawn or a pretty face. There’s also a wonderful kernel there for Yukio, almost an Eponine to Mariko’s Cosette, but that particular relationship probably doesn’t receive the attention it’s due. Yukio’s interactions with Shingen and Logan remain much more satisfying, and when the the urchin turned warrior insists to Logan she’ll make a capable bodyguard, we believe it. Here’s hoping for many more adventures for that particular duo onscreen.

These are terrific performances, and they’re all hurled into a series of fantastic action set pieces, including a really entertaining battle on the top of a bullet train. Jackman is charming and oozes gravitas. He capably maneuvers between comedy, action and drama better than just about anyone. A feat we probably don’t celebrate nearly enough.

And I need to mention this really bizarre, totally unexpected Blue Valentine homage that seriously has to be a Blue Valentine homage even though, why would you even have that. It’s great.

Then there’s the third act, a sticking point for so many modern action films, even the most cerebral. It’s tempting to shunt all the blame to Viper, a boring femme fatale seemingly arrived from some lesser comic book movie. From the performance to the costume to the horrendous speechifying, the character serves as agent to the movie’s least inspired choices. She’s Halle Berry as Catwoman bad if not quite toad in a thunderstorm bad. To be fair, that’s not all that’s wrong with the final set piece. It’s simply familiar, and by this point in the film, it’s all become the stuff of play sets and plastic pagodas. You’ll also probably have worked out the endgame thirty or forty minutes before you’d wanted to. It’s no small disappointment, especially after such a focused character piece had been built to that point.

And yet…

The Wolverine, despite that boss battle, offered a far more entertaining journey than the competition. It all comes down to character and to relationships, strong dynamics and beating hearts that kept me invested. Cripes, even the CG bear.

3.5 Stars

(Out of 5)

 

 

Comments

  1. Apart from Logan, not one other character was defined beyond an archetype. I mean, come on… describe Mariko, without saying love interest, japanese, daughter of Yashida, damsel in distress and suicidal. There just is nothing there.
    I was really let down by the film. 6/10 at best.

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      I’m not saying Mariko is the most nuanced character, but perhaps because the bar is so low for the love interests in these films, I was impressed with the level of agency. She resists being shaped and coerced by her suitors and her father. She cares about her history and retains ties to pastoral Japan despite her upbringing. She saves Logan’s ass a couple of times and makes some brave choices. Active choices. For someone who doesn’t have super powers, I think she behaves courageously. Believably so.

    • I haven’t seen the movie yet, but most of that sounds right in line with Mariko from the book.

      Asking someone to describe a comic book character and then giving them a list of five descriptors or synonyms they can’t use is kinda difficult no matter which character you’re discussing. Describe Wolverine without saying hero, Canadian, mutant, killing machine, or grumpy.

    • Short, stabby, bad haircut, beer, hairy.

    • Thank you for proving my point.

    • I was just listing stuff I personally like about the character. Most people pick the noble stuff like “being heroic” but that kind of thing doesn’t matter to me.

      To me it’s much more interesting to describe a character in five words/phrases than it is to deny their use. It’s like saying “I’m right. Sure, I can think of reasons why I might not be right and they’re all very valid, but here they are so you can’t use them against me.” It’s like only agreeing to a fist fight if you’re opponent has one hand tied behind their back- it’s mental cowardice.

  2. I don’t want to live in a world where IM3 was the best of comicbook/summer movies of 2013…

    Anyway, I feel that I need to watch the movie to understand who all these characters are (Logan gets a bodyguard?). But this was a good review, well-written. I honestly wasn’t expecting another Origins (really, what are the odds you’d 2 of those?) so I’m happy for Wolverine fans that enjoy the movie. Oh, a “Pacific Rim” trailer just played on my tv screen, that’s probably my default movie theater choice until Kick-Ass 2 or Thor come out.

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      When Logan loses his healing factor, Yukio says she’ll be his bodyguard. It’s played for laughs (she’s scrappy), but without giving too much away, Yukio is a very capable warrior and Wolverine is not used to being at all vulnerable. They make for a really good team.

    • Yeah I figured Logan losing his healing factor was the reason for a bodyguard, that was just an example I used. The side characters you describe sound like they’re important to the plot or well done. Like I said, I’m not interested in the movie, I was just curious to read your thoughts on it. I still need to listen to that Pacific Rim podcast.

  3. Now I’m excited.

    I was reserving my hope because I thought I knew better. Turns out I don’t. You’ve very rarely steered me wrong, Paul. I’m really hoping this movie was everything you said it was, and the movie Logan deserves. Living true to stereotype, I was going to see it in theaters either way. But after reading this and a few other positive reviews from critics I trust, I’m genuinely excited.

    No pressure though, buddy. I won’t hold you accountable.

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      Just go the restroom when they get to the pagoda in Act 3 and you’ll be okay. I truly believe, despite any failings, it’s an excellent showcase for Wolverine as a character. That thread is incredibly successful. You will laugh and you will cheer several times.

    • Ha! I will most likely stay for the third act and wish that I hadn’t. It takes a lot for me to walk out of a flick. Maybe I’ll duck out for a smoke if my eyes can’t stop rolling.

      Speaking of staying for the duration; Without spoiling, was the mid-credits sequence as cool as I’ve been hearing it is?

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      The mid credits sequence is cool because of who’s there. It’s basically all about the star power. It’s very clear they’ve been paying attention to those OTHER Marvel movies.

    • Cool. Looking forward to it.

  4. Well, I’m pleasantly surprised that Paul was pleasantly surprised. Was hoping for a moody, character driven piece starring Marvel’s most oft-used mutant and sounds like they largely accomplished that. Still though, can’t help but wonder at what could have been had Aronofsky stayed aboard.

  5. Blue Valentine reference? I saw The Wolverine last night and didn’t pick up on any Blue Valentine references–and that’s one of my favorite movies. Please do tell.

  6. I thought your review was spot on, though. Very much on the same level as Iron Man 3. I find it hard to believe, though, that Mangold and company didn’t realize how campy the villains were. It almost feels like the Viper woman/Silver Samurai scenes were directed by a different director. It was just so tonally jarring. If those last 30 minutes could have maintained that same tone, this movie would have easily been the best super-hero movie of the summer. Unfortunately, ADHD took over and it became a cartoon.

  7. Paul, do you know if Josh and Conor saw it as well? Will you all be doing a Special Ed podcast?

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      Oh, we don’t talk unless it’s through lawyers.

    • A sensible policy. I hope your people can talk to their people and make it happen.

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      There will likely be a special edition podcast, but unfortunately Conor is traveling and Josh said it looks too scary. So I have some special guests lined up.

      I’m kidding. Actually Josh said a New Kids in the Block reunion concert kept him from checking out the movie this week.

    • Is it wrong to hope a certain ex-iFanboy, side-burned, X-Men/Wolvie super fan is one of those guests?

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      It’s never wrong to hope, but no, Ron will not be one of the guests on this one.

    • Jeff Reid Jeff Reid (@JeffRReid) says:

      I wonder if Josh enjoyed the concert as much as my sister-in-law did. She waited outside by their tour bus and even got a photo with Danny.

    • “Oh, we don’t talk unless it’s through lawyers. … Josh said it looks too scary.”

      Hilarious!

      “It might be the best comic book movie of the year, though a sharp and sudden nosedive in its third act keeps it about on par with runner up Iron Man 3.”

      I feel stupid asking this, but what was #1, then? I know you didn’t like Man of Steel, so… does Star Trek count as a comic book movie, or are we counting the Dark Knight Returns Part Two animated thing?

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      I perhaps phrased that somewhat incoherently. I think this and Iron Man 3 are the top comic movies this year. Up until the third act, The Wolverine was leaps and bounds better than the others, with Iron Man 3 a distant second. It was a Usain Bolt level lead. Once we hit the third act though, it’s more like a really close Phelps/Lochte final sprint. I rated this one only half a star higher, so it’s not much of a victory dance.

    • @ Paul Montgomery It’s a sad day when I enjoyed Wolverine and IM3 more the MoS…

    • @Paul: Hm, okay, interesting. You didn’t phrase it that incoherently. I guess I was just interpreted the sentence as if it meant that Iron Man 3 was ALREADY the “runner up” before Wolverine entered the race.

      Looking forward to seeing the movie in the theater soon.

      And… Your comment there has me imagining Iron Men and Usain Bolt racing.

  8. ochsavidare ochsavidare (@ochsavidare) says:

    Sounds cool! You’re making me more hopeful about this movie now, Paul. To me the trailers had this kind of campy origins feel, so I was prepared to not really like it.

  9. I am just back from a screening of The Wolverine, and totally agree with Paul’s review- although I would actually have given the movie a strong 4/5 rating. I’m a sucker for a Japanese setting and have always been a big fan of the Claremont/Miller Wolvie mini-series, so this ticked all kinds of boxes for me! Nice to also see a tip of the hat to the BKV/Eduardo Risso arc from a couple of years back in the stunning Nagasaki sequences. And the mid-credits sequence (I didn’t know for sure there would be one, but stayed in my seat just in case) was a mouth-watering glimpse of things to come, in the mighty Marvel movie manner to which we are all now growing accustomed!
    Great review, Mr Montgomery, and a great movie. I would go see it again tomorrow if I could!

  10. As I usually am with the written reviews here, I’m glad I read this. It is very easy to see the movie and then immediately dislike it for all of that awful third-act business. But you’re right, Paul, the character work is all there. The Mariko-Logan scenes are very good. It’s fun to see their relationship grow while also learning or relearning bits of the mutant we all know so well.

    SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

    Final scene definitely got me excited as well. Who knew floating coins and frozen people could ring so true.

  11. tripleneck tripleneck (@tripleneck) says:

    I liked it. It pains me to say this, but The Wolverine was a lot truer to the character that comic fans know and love than the Man of Steel was to its subject. I could feel the love, appreciation, and respect for the source material(s) and characters from everyone involved.

  12. Sorry Paul but I strongly disagree with a lot of what you’re saying.

    The opening scene of the film is the only one in its 126 minute run time that is not completely devoid of subtlety. The Wolverine is a film that has little or no respect for its audience, constantly telegraphing events so blatantly that I had to laugh at some of the silliness.

    One memorable scene involves that old Wolverine trope where he wakes up in the middle of the night with a claw erection (happens to us all), only this time he’s not alone after having some sexy-times with a young Japanese girl. Rather than freak out at almost being butchered in her sleep by Logan’s razor sharp claws, Logan’s pillow-buddy tells him a night-night story to calm his nerves. What a nice gal.

    One of the big problems with The Wolverine for me lies in the lack of gore. Logan’s claws might as well be made from candy canes for all the disembowelling and gouging they do in the film. The problem is that studios like Fox don’t want to cut out the teen demographic, so rather than alienate a chunk of their audience and make a truly great film, we get the watered down PG-13 version of Wolverine. The lack of consequence in the film simply drags any suspense from its narrative, and The Wolverine truly suffers because of it.

    As for character, what character? The grimacing or frowning modes of Hugh Jackman’s Logan? Or the shy and beautiful (and stick-thin) Mariko who you just know is the love interest because they have that slow-motion introduction when they meet… give me a fucking break!

    • agreed

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      Apology accepted.

    • …Captain Needa.

    • I can’t remember many panels in the comics of Wolverine eviscerating his foes with their entrails springing out and red blood splashing all over. I think the movie’s approach was similar to the comics in that such details are suggested rather than directly illustrated. Maybe you’re thinking of the MAX line or other comics like Crossed, but you can’t really expect a mass audience product like ‘The Wolverine’ to limit its earning potential by trying for an R rating.

    • Wolverine is a PG-13 character made for a PG-13 audience. Complaining about the lack of gore in a summer super hero movie like The Wolverine is like complaining about the lack of graphic sex in a romantic comedy.

      “Man, Knocked Up was such a cop out. They didn’t even show Kathryn Heigl get penetrated.”

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      It should be noted, Digital Spy reported recently that the home video release of The Wolverine will boast an unrated cut, so maybe that will satisfy some of the bloodlust?

      http://www.digitalspy.com/movies/interviews/a499438/james-mangold-the-wolverine-will-have-a-bloodier-unrated-cut.html

    • Yeah the leader of a mutant hit squad responsible for the death of a child is so PG-13. And there are plenty of panels with Wolverine eviscerating people in the comics, look harder, Wolverine: The Best There Is is just one example. If your Wolverine is PG-13 then I’m glad you enjoyed the movie, my Wolverine has blood on his claws and I didn’t enjoy the movie. Oh and you have to hold a Japanese sword with TWO hands!

    • Uncanny X-Force doesn’t have as much gore as you think it does. What the bomb did to Logan at the beginning of the movie is on par with the grossest scene of that series. And I feel totally bad for you if the Wolverine from The Best There Is is your Wolverine.

    • I never said Uncanny X-Force was gory, just that the events therein weren’t all sunshine and lollipops. Also I was using The Best There Is as an example of gory Wolverine comics. My point about the lack of gore in the film is that it made the action of this film feel like it had no consequence, there was not so much as a pint of blood in this Wolverine movie where he apparently cut down scores of bad guys. If you like your violence with no blood then I feel totally bad for you 😛 And just for the record, while Wolverine is a long way from being my favourite character I do personally love; Jason Aaron’s run, Uncanny X-Force, Wolverine and the X-men, Old Man Logan and the Claremont Miller mini.

    • All which are PG-13.

  13. I borderline loved it. That’s two good ones in a row for Fox X-Men Films (First Class and now The Wolverine). At long last the bitter mind-taste of X3 and Origins has been removed from my brain-palate. The Viper and Silver Samurai characters aside, I love the tone of the film; it evokes those old action thrillers that Michael Douglas and Mel Gibson used to make. I’m really stunned and thrilled that they made a (mostly) non-super hero super hero movie and released in the summer. I hope the film is rewarded with some good box office numbers.

    Too bad I never thought to stay for the mid-closing credits sequence.

  14. Yeah, I enjoyed the first two thirds quite a bit but the final act really spoiled the whole thing for me. It just felt like a total cop out after what was, up to that point, a quite fresh take on the character.

  15. I loved it, my only complaint is the giant super shredder boss. But over all I can’t wait to see it again.

  16. I liked it quite a bit but I did not care for the part where he loses his adamantium claws and is now back to bone claws. I really dug the bonus scene post credits where we see Magneto and Professor X to set up ‘Days of Future Past’ for next year. I agree with the 3.5 out of 5. That is right where I have it.

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      Yeah, I’m really curious how that choice is going to play out in future movies. I guess we’ll find out in Days of Future Past.

  17. I enjoyed “The Wolverine,” and would give it four out of five stars. The internet is already buzzing with the news that this film is not making as much as the studio expected. Well, I don’t believe the studio’s public estimates. The studios have a good idea from experience about what kind of business a sequel will do, and we can tell from a couple of factors that expectations for “The Wolverine” were good, but not stratospheric. First of all, the movie is being released mid-summer, not at the beginning like dependable blockbusters “Iron Man 3” and “Man of Steel.” Second, the studio did not put a ton of cash into “The Wolverine.” The CGI in this movie is not jaw dropping. Some critics were OUTRAGED! OUTRAGED I TELL YOU! By the collapsing buildings in “Man of Steel.” But those collapsing buildings were an awesome CGI spectacle that cost a bundle to put on screen. Warner clearly did not put as much money into “Wolverine.” Nonetheless, I found “The Wolverine” to have a solid plot with good characterization. I’m curious Paul. This is an action adventure film but you didn’t like the third act? Really? What would you have rather seen — Logan and the villains talk things over and come to an understanding?

    • Oops! Actually, I think Fox made this movie, not Warner Bros., which made “Man of Steel.”

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      I think there’s a vast gulf between the third act here and the one you’re describing in jest. That leaves a lot of room to find a happy medium. I suppose I was looking for a final confrontation with a bit more imagination. And an antagonist far more sophisticated and interesting than Viper. If only because the buildup to that encounter seemed a little less familiar, a lot fresher. And hey, you’re at 4 stars and I’m at 3.5. We’re not far off here.

    • The Wolverine did underperform a bit at the US box office, but overseas it’s killing. It made about $86 million in foreign box office, giving it $141 million in its first weekend. Not bad on a $120 million budget (not including marketing costs). In foreign markets it’s outperforming any of the other X films, and it’s not even close. Apparently, US moviegoers are experiencing super hero fatigue but outside the US the public haven’t grown tired of these kinds of movies yet. Emphasis on yet.

      I urge people everyone on iFanboy to see it. It’s much more satisfying than Man of Steel or Star Trek 2. I’d put it just ahead of Iron Man 3 for the summer’s best blockbuster.

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      Best comic book blockbuster, sure. Overall best blockbuster? Unquestionably Pacific Rim.

    • I should have qualified my earlier statement by saying I haven’t seen Pacific Rim yet. I would imagine that the tones are so different it would be hard to compare. Interesting that The Wolverine and Pacific Rim seem to be suffering from blockbuster fatigue in the US but oversees they’re doing pretty well. Good job by the underdogs.

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      Tonally I’d say the odd duck out in this bunch is the humorless Man of Steel.

    • Yeah, it was rather dour. Follows the Nolan model for sure. I guess Warner looked at the math and saw that:
      Dark Knight + not funny = $$$$ while Green Lantern + funny = $.

      Still, one joke, Man of Steel? One joke? And at the very end, too. Delivered by Carol Ferris, ironically.

      You think Batman 4 (aka Man of Steel 2) can use either Braniac or Darkseid now that Marvel is using Thanos and Ultron? My vote for the Batman 4 villain would be the angry spirit of Kevin Costner, now known to the world as Pa Kentornado.

      Just an idea.

    • I liked a lot of “Pacific Rim,” but the way the scientists were used for comic relief made me roll my eyes. Whenever you see smart people made to look foolish in a Hollywood movie, it’s usually for marketing reasons. Hollywood execs think that working class audiences want the less educated to look more competent than the more educated characters. Another recent example of this is Sandra Bullock’s Yale educated FBI agent looking less capable than Melissa McCarthy’s scruffy Boston detective in “The Heat.” This is even though I doubt one could become a detective in a large American police force without having a degree, nowadays.

      One film that pleasantly bucked this tendency was “The Avengers.”

    • There’s more than 1 joke in “Man of Steel”. But anyway…

      @Invasionforce, is it really that big an epidemic that Smart people don’t act smart in movies? I mean the scientists in “Pacific Rim’ were sort of clownish, but they still seemed smart to me. And also funny. But in the end they helped fight the Kaiju invasion and save some lives.

    • @Invasionforce – I spent the whole movie thinking that one of the scientists in Pacific Rim was the same guy who played the fake British professor on crutches in There’s Something About Mary just redoing that character.

  18. Great review Paul! Was going to skip this, like I did the first movie, but gave it a chance on your opinion. I was not let down. The film was really a pleasant surprise, very solid. Thanks for encouraging all of us to check it out.

  19. Saw it last night. I really enjoyed it. I more or less agree with everything I’ve read about it; the movie succeeds in examining the character and placing him in an engaging story, and then falls apart when it remembers it’s a superhero movie. Wolverine is a character that has always walked the gray line between hero and killer, and the filmmakers would’ve been wise to stick with that tone and carry it through to the end.

    Still, the plot was surprisingly smart for a solo comic film, and it was nice to spend time with Logan and not be wrapped up in the usual “bad guy wants to rule/destroy the world, but bad guy needs this to do it, and good guy is the only one who can stop him” boilerplate. Jackman may not be the ideal representation of the character, but goddamn if he isn’t fun to watch. He obviously loves playing Logan, and even though this wasn’t the R rated evironment that the character could potentially thrive in, I’d say this is the closest he came to my vision of Logan. With the exception of Viper (an inclusion as useless as a character as the actress who played her), the rest of the cast was pretty solid. I for one would love it if Yukio popped up of DOFP as a member of the team. That’s a character who, despite being a gaping departure from her comic book counterpart, has a lot of mileage left in her. She’s an example of creative liberty put to good use.

    This movie was one step closer to fulfilling my dreams of a film that truly mines the potential of Logan, and it does a lot to help rinse the bile of Origins off the tongue.

    4/5

    SPOILERY THOUGHTS

    – I’d almost rather they’d combined Shingen and Yashida into one full realized villain. It would’ve all but destroyed the plot point of Yashida’s will, but I think it would’ve streamlined the conflict a bit. I think the audience wanted to believe and like Yashida up until they telegraphed the ending when they revealed that he’d been stockpiling adamantium. And despite showing Shingen being a competent oponent in the practice dojo, I never really bought him as a threat. If they had made him the warrior-turned-mob-boss he is in the book, and just mentioned that he’d been keeping himself alive but was running out of options, it would’ve raised the stakes and replaced the boss battle with what should’ve been a clawless duel until that last moment.

    – When Logan tossed Noburo off that balcony, it was probably the strangest cheer that ever came out of me in a movie. I was so thrilled by the risk they took with that. Of course, they had to let him live, but to even allow your audience to think, even for a moment, that the hero just tossed a dude from a building like a crumpled up napkin was a bold move. I thought it was a great moment.

    – I appreciated the attempts to include characters from Logan’s story like Harada and Viper, but at times the cast often felt crowded for such a character-driven story. It’s a trademark of any comic flick to have characters that are a pale imitation of their counterparts, but if you’re going to have Harada, he should be allowed to actually perform as the Silver Samurai. His constant switching from good to bad only confused things. And we took Viper’s abilities a bit too far.

    – Like everyone else, the bone claws bothered me. But mostly because the rest of his skeleton is still adamantium! Surely there’s a way that Magneto could help him out with replacing the claws, especially with all that extra adamantium lying at the bottom of that mountain. I don’t care how they do it, just replace that shit.

    – As cool as it was seeing Stewart and McKellen at the end, it mostly served as a reminder of X3. As soon as you see Logan’s reaction to seeing Xavier, there’s a collective “Oh yeah, he’s supposed to be dead.” I’m sure some fans would just as soon forget it, but I’d like some kind of explanation, however quick. It was Ratner’s fault, not Singer’s. But ya gotta tie a knot of that thread and clean up his mess.

    • Sorry. Didn’t realize how huge that “comment” was until I hit submit. We really need a user movie review option ’round these parts. 🙂

      A sure sign of a good movie when you have a lot to say, right?

  20. Everyone here needs to remember that Disney now owns Marvel………so gore won’t be allowed. I saw the movie today and came out a bit disappointed but was better than part 1. I loved the movie until he got his claws cut off……that’s when it went down hill to me.

    • Fox owns the movie rights, however, and can pretty much do whatever they want with the character.

    • What @Nightwing97 said. Disney owns the Marvel Cinematic movies (Avengers, Iron Man, Thor, Cap, GotG, Hulk, etc). The reason Fox went PG-13 is probably because of what happened to “Dredd” which was R-rated. R-rated movies make less money now I guess.

  21. LOL… spider jerusalem.

    too funny. Love your work Paul

  22. I think this movie and First Class put the X-movies back on track. Besides the fairly generic final boss scene, this movie told a very good story that Logan was thrust into. The oil & water of Wolverine’s interacting with the Yamada family helped bring out good character moments for both parties involved.

  23. Jamozk Ekhiss Jamozk Ekhiss (@JamozkEkhiss) says:

    I don’t see the problem with the other X-Men films – Origins is one of my favourite superhero films, and Last Stand follows it.
    Anyway, this one is epic (though I felt the train fight went on a bit too long).

  24. Started out petty good, but then turned into ridiculousness, almost hokey by the end.

    Jackman is a good Wolverine, the best we’re gonna get for the part I think; but I think he still doesn’t quite get Wolvie as a character. Logan is an honorable man who is battle-tested. Too much did it seem Jackman was playing him out as someone who was clueless in regard to honor and what that means to a soldier.

    Another Hollywood disappointment of a masterpiece level comic book in Claremont & Miller’s work, would place this installment on the same level of an Amazing Spider-Man, Man of Steel, or Iron Man 3 as a flop of recent comic book movies from a hardcore comic book fanboy.

    The actor for Yukio turned in the best performance in this in my opinion, and they did a horrible job in who they chose for the role of Viper in this. The whole character was senseless and retarded in this, and not loyal to the comic book’s Viper in Wolverine lore.

    The end doesn’t make sense in why Yashida would turn so dishonorable in trying to steal Logan’s life-force or healing factor, and the concept for the Silver Samurai was all Hollywood and none comic book unfortunately. He’s Mariko’s brother in the comic book, far from that in this. Speaking of which, they got Mariko right in this at least.