THE WOLVERINE REVIEW: Wolvie Slices & Dices Through A Dramatic, Action-Packed Film
After the disastrous X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I was skeptical for another solo film. So how does James Mangold's movie turn out? Hit the jump to check out my review of The Wolverine. SPOILERS AHEAD.
So The Wolverine has to be better than Origins right? With the bad taste of that and The Last Stand still lingering, I went into this film with an open mind, being hopeful that I wouldn't be let down.
The film opens up with Logan hiding out in 1945 Nagasaki, beautiful cinematography from Ross Emery to give this film a grounded look. Continuing to have nightmares of Jean Grey, giving off good back story as to why Logan is evidently in this emotional state. Moving forward, I really found myself invested into this story in particular, where there was no underwhelming moments, per say not over cluttered with other mutants.
The effective notion of the film, is the writing from Mark Bomback and Scott Frank (Along with Christopher McQuarrie who was uncredited), giving sense to who The Wolverine character is, bringing out the sorrow, and rage. With this, we have engaging characters, with Yukio being Logan's "bodyguard" with constant back and forth bickering, which lead to some humorous but touching moments. Mariko having a bittersweet relationship with her father Shingen, along with her very wealthy but sick grandfather Yashida, whom of course wants to repay Logan for saving his life. I have to give credit to James Mangold and the casting director, for really going for actors who filled out the Japanese setting to have an authentic feel, even though the majority of it was filmed in Australia.
Hugh Jackman has portrayed this brute of a mutant for 13 years, I really appreciate his passion for the character, and with his interest in wanting to bring the Japanese saga to the big screen, also wanting to bring this character to a level we had yet to see, finally had it's do. Jackman IS Wolverine, and I couldn't imagine anyone else in this role, and yet too many people complain about his height not being comic book accurate of 5'3 (unless you want Danny DeVito, not too far off at 5'0 then good luck finding an "accurate actor" to portray the role)which is silly. Hugh really showed that inner being of Logan, isolating himself from the X-Men, to confront his own demons being pushed to the limit, and I applaud him for getting the opportunity to deliver the film and character he always envisioned.
Now lets get onto the fun part of the film, the action. What really bothered me about Origins was the action, there really wasn't meaning to it, and good LORD let me not get into the awful CGI claws. But with this one, Mangold handled the action very well, staying true to the grounded feel. And a plus, blood on Wolvie's claws! But in all seriousness, I felt the pain that Logan was going through, and he struggled to get through Yakuza thugs, being shot leading to immortality, weak and loss of power. And the stand out was not only Logan going one on one with his foes, but the Bullet train sequence, reminiscent of the train sequence in Spider-Man 2, cue that there is no music just an all out brawl. Marco Beltrami's score is quiet, yet effective to this story which I really enjoyed. With the $120 million budget, less CG was involved but on the right scale thanks to the help of Weta Digital. Overall the action was brutal, especially for a PG-13 rating, can't wait to see the Unrated directors cut.
The Wolverine has a gritty tone, and emotional depth to Logan that I've finally got to see, a great installment into the X-Men lore completely erasing the awful memory of Origins away, but this isn't a film without its flaws, the character Viper ( Svetlana Khodchenkova) was an okay but underused villain, and the fight between Logan and Silver Samurai felt uneven with the tone, although it was badass nevertheless. With that said, this is the Wolverine film I've wanted to see back in 2009 and it's here and it delivered, kudos to Mangold, Jackman and co., for finally getting the character right. Also, be sure to check out the after credits scene, really cool! RATING:4.5/5
To show appreciation for the film, check out my tweet:
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