Ok, I was going to have my first non-review post and rant about the Royal Baby that appears to have taken up all the news in the UK at the moment for no particular reason. I mean seriously, it’s a baby, there were loads born that day as well and they did not get into the news. It’s such a non-story that really does not matter at all and I’d hate to think people think all British people love the Monarchy and therefore love this Royal Baby. Trust me, not all of us do. On that note I went to do something more worthwhile with my time, so I went to see the new X-Men installment, The Wolverine.
So The Wolverine follows directly after X-Men: The Last Stand with Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) suffering from depression from killing Jean Grey and is living rough in the wilderness. He is then found by Yukio (Rila Fukushima) and is brought to Tokyo, Japan to meet her dying employer Yashida (Haruhiko Yamanouchi). Once there he informs Wolverine that in return for saving his life at Nagasaki in World War II, he wants to grant Wolverine his mortality, removing his “curse”. Wolverine refuses but soon after, while attending the now dead Yashida’s funeral, gangsters attack and attempt to kidnap Mariko Yashida (Tao Okamoto) Yashida’s granddaughter and now heir to Yashida Industries. It is here Wolverine discovers his mortality and now he must find out who did this to him, whilst protecting Mariko from those wishing her death.
Yeah, there is a more to the film than this skimming the surface overview, but I do not want to be called out on spoiling the film. However, here’s the thing. There is not a lot to spoil. The plot is paper thin that within the first twenty minutes or so, you can very easily figure out what is going to happen for the rest of the film. You can almost play the film through your mind five minutes ahead of what actually happens and, more often than not, you’ll probably imagine exactly what is about to happen. I’m guessing they tried to give the film a semblance of depth by adding (spoilers… kind of) by having Wolverine have dream sequences with Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) to show his lingering guilt and love for Jean, but to be honest it feels a little forced and merely an excuse to show off Janssen’s body. Seriously, it feels like the set up for a photo shoot most of the time. Not complaining, but just saying.
What also annoyed me about this film is the amount of clichés there appeared to be and also a lot of box ticking. Is Wolverine going to be plagued by doubts throughout the film about fighting and killing? Check. Is there an attractive lady that Wolverine will have a relationship with? Check. Is there going to be a mutant villain shoehorned in because we can’t have the villains just being human can we? Check. Is Wolverine going to ride a motorcycle? Check. It feels so contrived, as if they went to the Dummies Guide to making a Wolverine Movie and followed it to the letter. Originality is something not really brought to the table here. In fact it feels like originality was left at home as it was not to be trusted in the car ride to work.
Then there’s the relationship. I know people may call spoilers but if you haven’t figured out that Wolverine would get it off with at least one of the female characters then you haven’t even watched the trailer by my reckoning. Their relationship lacks the emotion to get to that point. I’m not saying there is not any, there clearly is, but when Wolverine and Rogue share a deeper bond and chemistry, with Wolverine only being the father figure in that relationship, something has gone wrong.
Now I’m not saying this film is terrible. It looks that way, but I’m not. There are clever action scenes, some good, if a little standard, plot development and some funny lines thrown in. Furthermore, it’s brilliant to have a superhero film in somewhere that is not America. With all the Japanese customs and Japanese actors and actresses, the film feels broader than its original American routes, and keeps true to X-Men comic characters. Also there are ninjas and samurai swords involved. Who can’t at least go watch a film for that?
When you get to the barebones of it, the film holds up as it has enough action and Adamantium claws in it to keep X-Men fans satiated and , in terms of superhero movies, this feels like Marvel Avengers Assemble when compared to Man of Steel, which felt like this year’s Iron Man 2. By all means go see it, it’s not a bad movie, but you don’t get that feel of epicness like other superhero movies have given us in recent years. But if you’re looking for a good action romp, there’s always Pacific Rim, which I shall be reviewing shortly, so look out for that!
- CBR REVIEW: “The Wolverine” is ‘Well Worth Seeing’ (comicbookresources.com)
- The Wolverine Review (goodkindofgeek.com)
- Movie Review – The Wolverine (2013) (mumsibles.wordpress.com)
- The Wolverine (moviemaniac1268.wordpress.com) – I recommend this one.