Saturday, July 27, 2013
MOVIE REVIEW: THE WOLVERINE
Hugh Jackman returns as Wolverine in this sequel to the member of the X-Men's first solo outing. Mark Bomback and The Usual Suspects' Christopher McQuarrie penned the script, which takes its inspiration from the Chris Claremont/Frank Miller Marvel miniseries from the 1980s dealing with the character's adventures in Japan as he fights ninjas in the ceremonial garb of the samurai. Knight and Day's James Mangold directs. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi
Director: James Mangold
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee, Hiroyuki Sanada, Brian Tee, Famke Janssen
Release Date: Jul 26, 2013 RealD 3D
Rated PG-13 For language, Intense Sci-Fi Action, Some Sexuality and Violence
Runtime: 2 hr. 6 min.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine was such a massive misfire that I excised the majority of the film from my memory as soon as the film ended. Needless to the say, I wasn’t terribly excited about The Wolverine especially after Darren Aronofsky dropped out. James Mangold is a solid if unimpressive director so I was still fairly leery of another solo entry for Wolverine. Thankfully The Wolverine is a solid piece of comic book filmmaking with a focused storyline with a pensive seriousness that pervades the better part of the film. Mangold delivers a well balanced film that provides enough action to keep your blood pumping, an impressive bullet train sequence stands out, and heart to keep it interesting. By this point in time the audience should be well versed in the general particulars of Logan’s story so the film doesn’t waste much time explaining rudimentary facts, instead it focuses on Logan after the envents of X-Men: The Last Stand. As a result Hugh Jackman is allowed to flesh out some of the turmoil at play in Logan’s mind. The result is a mixed bag with some of the attempts hitting home while most of the Jean Grey hallucinations come off a tad too heavy handed. Even with its flaws, its effect character building. It helps that the cast of supporting characters and villains has been trimmed to an economically small group. Rila Fukushima leaves a solid impression as Logan’s de facto sidekick. Tao Okamoto, the love interest, feels like she should leave a bigger impression but she’s decidedly bland. Fairing worse is Svetlana Khodchenkova’s vamping villainess, Viper, who is a ham fisted misfire especially in the final act. The final act itself forgoes all the seriousness for a goofy and ultimately anticlimactic end to the film. The Wolverine would have fared better if it’d had some tighter editing, especially in the flabby midsection, and delivered a thrilling finale but it still delivers a solid entry into the X-men cannon. An excellent post credit sequence will leave you waiting patiently or impatiently for the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past.