Hugh Jackman is the only actor to star in all six X-Men movies, which reflects on the popularity of his character. Wolverine is the Iron Man of the Avengers and the Batman of the Justice League.
Knowing how popular this particular comic icon is, I walked into the showing of The Wolverine with a sense of dread. After all, knowing that a movie is going to be a guaranteed hit has left writers and directors in the past doing a half-hearted job. Iron Man 2, Spiderman 3, Quantum of Solace, and even X-Men Origins ‘Wolverine’ are examples of weak film making.
Has this stand-alone Wolverine movie suffered the same fate as its predecessor?
Based on the celebrated comic book arc, The Wolverine begins in World War II, where we first see Logan peering out from a boarded-up well, while bombers approach. A small group of Japanese soldiers end their lives rather than being bombed. Just as one soldier, Yashida (Ken Yamamura) is about to end his, he’s stopped by Logan, who protects him from the bomb’s blast.
Fast forward many years later (soon after the events of the original X-Men trilogy), an elderly Yashida (Haruhiko Yamanouchi), now a powerful businessman, summons Wolverine, who has been living a solitary and tortured existence. There, on his death bed, Yashida offers to relieve Wolverine of his X-Men powers.
During Logan’s visit, Yashida’s granddaughter is kidnapped. Can our favourite mutant get her back despite his self-healing powers disappearing?
Reviews for this film have been oddly mixed, ranging from ‘dull, humourless and predictable’ to – ‘A terrific character study of a beloved superhero’. I’m going to sit on the fence with this one and say I partly agree with both comments.
Stand-out moments include a fight scene on the top of a Japanese Bullet train and around 30 minutes of Hugh Jackman topless (in my wife’s words). But the moment that tops it all has to be the scene half way through the end credits. Stick around for that.
There are times where I missed the other X-Men characters, but if I were to watch 126 minutes of any of the mutants, it would be Wolverine.
This action-adventure is worth the trip to Peterborough’s Showcase cinema and is everything you’d expect from a summer blockbuster. But with trailers promising ‘The Wolverine film you’ve been waiting for’, I expected a little more.
Genre: Action & Adventure
Runtime: 126 mins
Director: James Mangold
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Famke Janssen, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tao Okamoto, Will Yun Lee & Hugh Jackman’s Abs
See this if you liked: X-Men Origins ‘Wolverine’ & Iron Man 3[youtube id=”WEbzZP-_Ssc” width=”600″ height=”350″]