Release: July 26th, 2013 Rating: PG-13 Run time: 126 min Starring: Hugh Jackman, Tao Okamoto Director: James Mangold
The Wolverine is back in a character centric story, which of course, focuses on probably the most popular mutant from the X-Men mythology and thankfully, it comes off much, much better than the previous Wolverine movie. Whew!
Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: When Wolverine is summoned to Japan by an old acquaintance, he is
embroiled in a conflict that forces him to confront his own demons.
Yukio (Rila Fukushima) is Logan’s new bodyguard and looks can be deceiving, as she can kick plenty of ass.
Finally, a Wolverine movie that doesn’t have the word X-Men in the title and isn’t filled full of mutants, causing the movie to burst and spew forth trash. Instead, The Wolverine gives us a straight story, following Logan on a journey to Tokyo, as he says goodbye to an old friend from long ago, but not everything is as it seems, as Logan becomes infected with a toxin, that shortens out his healing factor and in conjunction, he must protect the beautiful Mariko, played by first time actress, Tao Okamoto, from a band of Yakuza members. Rough times for Logan.
That’s the short and sweet version of the plot for The Wolverine. There is definitely more to it than that, but I’m not one to spoil the shit out of a movie. Instead, I’ll let you know that The Wolverine takes it’s time with the story and doesn’t go for the jugular right away. Yes, a few pacing issues do rear their ugly mutant head and there are times where I was getting antsy for some Wolvie action. Thankfully, when the action does come forth, it’s fun, violent (but not bloody) and keeps you on the edge of your seat, especially the fantastic bullet train sequence.
The Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) fighting freaking ninjas! How awesome is that!!
There are are few issues besides the pacing, which mostly deal with the story. It can get a little convoluted at times, wondering why this person is after this person, but this other person seems to be a friend, but is not, but possibly is. See, confusing and it can cause your mind to boggle, but thankfully come the end, everything is laid out for you and you can rest easy that you don’t need a master’s degree to enjoy it. After all, this isn’t Shakespeare we’re talking about here.
I gotta give props to Hugh Jackman for once again strapping on the claws, which look a hell of a lot better this time around, compared to Origins, and having a blast with the role. He broods when needed, spouts humorous lines like always and looks jacked beyond belief. The guy might be getting older, but I sure as hell couldn’t tell. It was also nice to get a little bit of Jean Grey in the film, played once again by Famke Janssen, proving that the movie does follow the last X-Men movie, The Last Stand. She appears to Logan throughout the film and provides constant torment for the angst-ridden immortal mutant.
Hugh Jackman looking jacked. This guy knows how to pack on the lean muscle.
My knowledge of the character Wolverine extends to the movies and one comic that I’ve read several times when I was younger (I never did get around to buying the second one in that series). Having said that, I still think this movie ranks as one of the better efforts in the X-Men line of films and provides us a solid story for Wolverine, that feels like a mix between a James Bond story and mutants, with a foreign setting, high paced action, mixed with some tender moments and filled with some lovely ladies, who I guess could be called “Wolverine Girls”. Highly recommended, Bub.
P.S Stay during the credits, as a mid credits scene comes up, that ties this movie into the next upcoming X-Men movie, X-Men: Days of Future Past.)