Josh Wilding Reviews: THE WOLVERINE; "An Edge Of Your Seat Adrenaline Ride"

20th Century Fox have always been hit and miss when it comes to their big screen adaptations, so is James Mangold's The Wolverine another Fantastic Four or up there with X-Men: First Class? Hit the jump to read my spoiler-free review of the movie!

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By Josh Wilding - 7/26/2013

I wasn't expecting much from The Wolverine, but wow, director James Mangold REALLY delivers with this one. So many people have called it the Wolverine film we've all been waiting for, that to say it again here would almost be a cliche, but it really is! Despite failing to answer some important questions (such as what has happened to the X-Men or how Wolverine SEEMS to remember the events of WWII despite having previously been portrayed as having no memory of his past), the plot of The Wolverine is solid enough. With the spotlight squarely on a damaged Logan haunted by the death of Jean Grey in X-Men: The Last Stand, the film sets out to help restore and redeem the former X-Man, throwing in plenty of challenges along the way. It also manages to avoid the mistakes made by X-Men Origins: Wolverine and doesn't throw in an abundance of unnecessary cameos; in fact, apart from the Japanese characters from Chris Claremont and Frank Miller's iconic comic book arc, the only major new mutant to be introduced here is Viper. It's a wise choice, and while there are an abundance of mutants they could have possibly used, the story doesn't suffer from this truly being a solo Wolverine film.

However, the movie could have done with being a little shorter and arguably takes a little too long to get going, but when it does, there's no let-up and the final act in particular is an edge of your seat adrenaline ride. The action in this movie is top notch, and while the big funeral fight isn't all that different from what we've seen before, everything from the superb bullet train sequence onwards is pure gold. That is expertly choreographed, as are the final few battles. There's also not a single weak moment in terms of the special effects - unlike X-Men Origins: Wolverine's terrible CGI claws or X-Men: First Class' wonky wire work - and the gigantic Silver Samurai is particularly impressive. Almost as impressive is how brilliantly the filmmakers have recreated Japan on the big screen, despite not actually filming there! The Wolverine never fails to convince and is topped off with a great score from Marco Beltrami. If you're thinking of taking any particularly young children to see it though, you may want to reconsider. There may not be an overabundance of blood, but there is enough violence and adult themes to make this not the most family friendly of films!

It goes without saying that Hugh Jackman is perfect as the titular character, but this movie gives him some really meaty material to sink his claws into. Ferocious, emotional and savage, Jackman brings Wolverine to the big screen in such a way that it's impossible to imagine anyone else being capable of. Mangold also gets some great performances out of Tao Okamoto (Mariko), Rila Fukushima (Yukio) and Hiroyuki Sanada (Shingen). Considering the fact that this is a supporting cast made of actors not all that well-known playing characters that the casual moviegoer will have never heard of, it's impressive just how solid The Wolverine is in terms of performances. Svetlana Khodchenkova is mostly good as Viper, despite the fact that her character is a bit on the one dimensional side. All in all, this latest outing for Logan follows in the footsteps of X-Men: First Class as a return to form for Fox's Marvel movie universe and really does give us all the Wolverine movie we've all been waiting for!

The Wolverine fires on all cylinders and is a thrilling, action-packed thrill ride for fans of the iconic comic book character. Hopefully the unanswered questions the movie raises - make sure to stick around for a superb mid-credits scene - will be resolved in Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past.









Based on the celebrated comic book arc, this epic action-adventure takes Wolverine, the most iconic character of the X-Men universe, to modern day Japan. Out of his depth in an unknown world he faces his ultimate nemesis in a life-or-death battle that will leave him forever changed. Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his physical and emotional limits, he confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner struggle against his own immortality, emerging more powerful than we have ever seen him before.


STARRING:

Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine
Hiroyuki Sanada as Shingen Yashida
Hal Yamanouchi as Yashida
Tao Okamoto as Mariko Yashida
Rila Fukushima as Yukio
Will Yun Lee as Kenuichio Harada
Brian Tee as Noburo Mori
Svetlana Khodchenkova as Viper

RELEASE DATE: July 26th, 2013.
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136 Comments
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Reasonnnn - 7/26/2013, 1:42 PM
Heard it goes downhill in the 3rd act but that overall it's a good flick. Heard Yukio is badass as [frick].
TheAbaryMan369 - 7/26/2013, 1:50 PM
Here it comes...
ManOfKrypton - 7/26/2013, 1:50 PM
So Josh is trying to make up for his Pacific Rim review!

Josh you're way off the mark again... The Wolverine was average at best!!! Fox took a dump on this like they always do on everything X-Men related.
SpectacularJoShFest - 7/26/2013, 1:52 PM
Seeing it today :)
LongDuckDong - 7/26/2013, 1:54 PM
Good to hear. I'm excited to see this tonight.
DrDoom - 7/26/2013, 1:54 PM
@ckal

lol +1
blvdnoise - 7/26/2013, 1:55 PM
I also enjoyed it. Can't wait for DOFP..
ManOfKrypton - 7/26/2013, 1:55 PM
@ckal

lol +2
TheWolverine08 - 7/26/2013, 1:56 PM
SWEET! Seeing this tomorrow! I got a feeling it'll be the best CBM of 2013.
DEATHbyEXILE - 7/26/2013, 1:57 PM
Battabing - 7/26/2013, 1:58 PM
Yeah, all one can say about this movie is that it's better than Origins.

As for quality, it's as average as average can be.

So far, the CBM of the year has been MOS.
ekrolo2 - 7/26/2013, 1:58 PM
@ManOfKrypton

Ah my friend its called having a different opinion than you and not everyone will always like or dislike the same thing or to the same degree you do :)
fanboy03191 - 7/26/2013, 1:58 PM
Makes me wanna go out and marry a hot Japanese girl.
ekrolo2 - 7/26/2013, 1:59 PM
As for Wolverine I agree with the 4/5 stars here, sure it had its problems that kept it back from being the best CBM of the year but its easily the second best X-Men movie we've gotten thus far and its helping this franchise recover from Origins and Last Stand, now its up to DOFP to finish the job.
MrMartinMarvel - 7/26/2013, 2:00 PM
@ckal +3
TheWolverine08 - 7/26/2013, 2:03 PM
This has me wanting to watch X2 again.
Jackraow21 - 7/26/2013, 2:04 PM
I'm probably going to go see it again this weekend.
TheAbaryMan369 - 7/26/2013, 2:05 PM
ckal

+5
ABLEE337 - 7/26/2013, 2:06 PM
@ckal

lol +6
Nubase - 7/26/2013, 2:07 PM
What made this movie cool is that the script was tight, it stayed true to the iconic story just updated for these times.

The movie delivered the wolverine..finally it has happened.

And the connection to x men DOFP..sweet, make sure you stick around for it
Swiftsword777 - 7/26/2013, 2:07 PM
Rila Fukushima my god Every time I saw her my heart would stop.... Said it in another post and saying it again I enjoy this better than Iron Man and Man of Steel i'm shocked to be saying it but those are the facts and anyone who says different is probably lying to their self.But damn that 3rd act, this film could have been flawless I mean top 3 flawless [frick] a top 5.
CaptainAmerica31 - 7/26/2013, 2:08 PM
This was a pretty dam good flick. Can't wait for DOFP
glynthomas86 - 7/26/2013, 2:08 PM
I don't know if I'd say it's what we've all been waiting for but it was much better than Origins and a big step in the right direction. It's definitely a must-see. The cast was great. The fighting was excellent. Wolvie had a lot more berserker rage this time around.....finally. I just wish the twist ending wasn't predictable. But overall very good film. Second best CBM of the summer....even after Thor 2 comes out.
Spideyshawn - 7/26/2013, 2:09 PM
Yup this one was great best superhero film of 2013 thus far...Still gotta see what thor does.
Ocelot - 7/26/2013, 2:09 PM





ekrolo2 - 7/26/2013, 2:10 PM
I don't get the complaint about the third act, the only thing really ridiculous thing is Silver Samurai being a giant suit of armor the last fight actually reminded me off a horror flick with Wolverine running away and hiding from something that can kill him even when hes at full power.
TheWolverine08 - 7/26/2013, 2:10 PM
@ocelot Good stuff! Wolverine being a badass as usual!
ATrueHero1987 - 7/26/2013, 2:14 PM
Was going to see this today but I'll have to wait until Tuesday.
Luigi - 7/26/2013, 2:22 PM
Agreed!
cosmicman - 7/26/2013, 2:24 PM
Kiss some more ass, Josh.
Swiftsword777 - 7/26/2013, 2:24 PM
@ekrolo2 Dude Wolvi Vs the ninjas could have been so [frick]ING EPIC but they dropped the ball on that one = 3rd act FAIL or they could have made it up with a KILLER silver samuria battle but theY FAILED!
TruePunishment - 7/26/2013, 2:25 PM
I liked it better than Man of Steel. I liked MoS, but it was a pretty joyless movie. Wolverine is a lot darker than Superman, yet his movie had more humorous moments without going over the top with it.
Swiftsword777 - 7/26/2013, 2:26 PM
@cosmicman Back the [frick] off ass worm!
Dandy - 7/26/2013, 2:27 PM
I can't wait to see this, but judging from what I've heard, it's good but not anything great.

I'll have to wait to see it for myself to decide.


So far though (despite a good sized group of comic book fans not liking it) Iron Man 3 is looking like the best superhero movie this summer. Best received by the critical and commercial audiences, made a boatload of money and definitely improved on Iron Man 2.

Highly competitive summer........
MatTaylorX - 7/26/2013, 2:30 PM
What a fanboy review. Average film at best.
HelaGood - 7/26/2013, 2:31 PM
FANTASTIC News, @JOSH!!! been waiting for this!!
exe - 7/26/2013, 2:31 PM
So far, Man of Steel > World War Z > this movie > Pacific Rim >>> Iron Turd 3.
ekrolo2 - 7/26/2013, 2:34 PM
@Swiftsword777

I was disappointed with it but not to your extreme point where the film completely goes to shit like you make it out to be. Relax bro, the Blu-Ray ones gonna have like 20 minutes of extra footage and the entire ninja fight in glorious R-rated glory (I know saying glory after glorious was redundant).
Chloefornication - 7/26/2013, 2:35 PM
And Pacific Rim was bad?
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