Film Review: ‘The Wolverine’July 26, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Posted in Comic Books, Entertainment, Marvel, Movies, Reviews, scifi, scifi/fantasy | 2 Comments
Tags: famke janssen, hugh jackman, james mangold, The Wolverine, wolverine, x-men
Okay, let me start off very blunt- The Wolverine was awesome. Directed by James Mangold and starring Hugh Jackman in his sixth appearance as the titular character in the X-Men film series, this film almost all but wipes out the bad taste in audience’s mouths left from 2009’s X-Men: Origins- Wolverine film. This film has a surprising amount of depth, and Mangold’s direction and Jackman’s performance blend effortlessly together. While the film is definitely a stand-alone to the X-Men universe and little to no other mutants besides Wolverine are present, it brings in a cast of relatively unknown actors playing such great characters that you are still constantly engaged. That, and the wonderful character development that goes on with Jackman’s Wolverine.
The center of this film, obviously, is Wolverine and his inner turmoil over the events of X-Men: The Last Stand, in which he had to kill the love of his life, Jean Grey. Or rather, her alter ego, the Phoenix. Wolverine’s decision to do so has clearly haunted him ever since, as the film starts off with him living in the woods and being a shadow of his former self. That, and Famke Janssen returns as Jean Grey throughout the film, her character either haunting or helping our hero, depending on who one looks at it. Jean Grey’s cameo in the film is personally, my favorite tidbit. Though she doesn’t appear in any leading capacity, her scenes with Wolverine are so poignant and well crafted that it drew me in more so than any action scene in the movie. Of which, there are many.
The bullet train sequence is probably the action scene most excellently choreographed, and Mangold makes the scene exciting and effortless, where it could have easily been cheesy and subpar. While it takes some time for the action to pick up in this film, once it starts it doesn’t stop until the final scenes. Usually nonstop, unnecessary action scenes bore me, but with – and this shouldn’t be considered a spoiler given this plot point’s importance in the trailers – Wolverine’s healing powers suddenly failing him, the drama behind each of these scenes is amped up. It made me care so much more, and I thought that was incredibly well done.
The film opens with a flashback to the Atomic Bomb dropping on Nagasaki in WWII, and the weight behind that devastation is personified through Wolverine’s character. Much of this film is about pain, and learning how to live with it and accept it, and finally, to move on from it. This doesn’t just come in the form of Wolverine either, but also some of the supporting characters Yukio (My favorite new addition to the X-Men universe), Mariko, and Yashida, played by Rila Fukushima, Tao Okamoto, and Haruhiko Yamanouchi.
All in all, The Wolverine is an excellent addition to the X-Men film series, as well as a quality film in it’s own right. Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Wolverine has never been better, and James Mangold proves that superhero movies can have more to them than just fancy CGI effects and flashy costumes.
And lastly, don’t be silly and leave the theatre when the credits start to roll. You’ll be missing out on something great.
I award this film 5 out of 5 Metal Bikinis.